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Key Fob Battery Low


May 8, 2015
Detroit, MI
I got "Key Fob Battery Low" warning today after owning the car for 6 months. I've owned other cars with key fobs that are still going strong after 2+ years. What are other peoples experience?

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Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2013
Austin, TX
Mine were replaced at the annual service the past two years, so they lasted at least one year. I've heard of this happening if you store the keys near the car- such inside the house just on the other side of the garage wall.


Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
Do you store the fob near the car? Some report that if your key is too near the car it seems to make the battery drain faster.


Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
Carlsbad, CA
OP, while my Tesla FOB has not needed a battery replacement yet, I'll tell you that with my former Lexus, MBZ and BMW experience, FOB Battery Life is to a large degree related to usage -- I've had them last 6 months to 2-3 years. As TexasEV and FlasherZ suggest, keeping your FOB within closer proximity to the car will reduce it's battery life and from following other forums, tends to be the major issue... To resolve that, move the FOB further away where you store it today, or put it inside some foil or one of the fancy packs or devices designed for such purpose. If you replace the battery yourself, be careful of the super cheap versions from places like eBay that don't come with a marked expiration date -- my experience says many of those are beyond their life before you ever start to use them and you get what you pay for.


May 8, 2015
Detroit, MI
I keep the battery about 15-20 feet away from the car... through a couple of walls. Same place I keep the keys for the other car.

I called service to ask them for the battery version and instructions since I could not find it in the manual. They said it peculiar that both keyfobs would show the warning at the same time and scheduled a service tech to come to my house.... Is this not the best service ever.

"But how did it it report that the battery is low?" The dashboard had a warning updated post with picture.
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Nov 30, 2012
St. Louis, MO
I got the same warning mere months after my last annual (and presumably key fob battery swap). Advisor admitted sometimes the batteries they get are iffy - he swapped the batteries in both fob's.


(S85-3/2/13 traded in) X LR: F2611##-3/27/20
Mar 8, 2012
I got the same warning mere months after my last annual (and presumably key fob battery swap). Advisor admitted sometimes the batteries they get are iffy - he swapped the batteries in both fob's.
I've yet to have a replacement battery last as long as the original battery in any remote control device.


New Member
Mar 6, 2016
I have also had problems with the batteries. When the original batteries went dead, I got replacement batteries but some do not have long shelf life. I then got rechargeable batteries and they work but don't seem to last long before they need recharging. Why hasn't Tesla come up with a better idea? Their car is based on rechargeable batteries but they seem to have sloughed off the engineering of the fob to a supplier, who is not technically adept enough to provide rechargeable fobs.


Aug 11, 2014
Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA
Typically the rechargeable coin batteries are a bit less voltage than their
non-rechargeable counterparts, so they appear to the fob that they are
already noticably discharged even when they are new.

Using fresh coin cells is not difficult, they generally last a year or more,
and can be changed easily, in just a few seconds.

If yours are not lasting well, maybe you are storing the fob too close
to the car ... within fob-shot ... and they keep chatting with the car?


Nov 15, 2013
SF Bay Area, CA
My fobs are used pretty much equally and they sit about 15 feet from car one wall across when I'm home. One of my fobs went low battery in about 15 months (no annual service in the interim). Subsequently, both batteries replaced during service after 25 months of ownership.

So one of my fobs lasted 15 months and the other more than 25 months. Which means fob battery life is unpredictable :)

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