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Key fob "low battery" warning notice too short? Fob battery good for 1 mth only?

Discussion in 'Model X' started by alexcuse, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. alexcuse

    alexcuse Member

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    Anyone have similar experience can provide feedback to Model X key fob low battery issues?

    1) How long in advance do "low key fob battery" message usually warn before fob battery completely runs out? Other non-Tesla cars, the warning could occur for several days and still work fine before fob battery need replacing. For my situation, I got the low battery warning at lunchtime, and by end of workday it was completely out.

    2) For key fob battery to last less than 40 days from initial car pickup seems absolutely abnormal to me. What could contribute to such quick battery loss? I tested after, where I usually leave my keys at home, if I press on the key fob it is close enough to where my car is parked to lock/unlock the car. But not close enough that it will automatically unlock car without pushing button. Does being that distance still constantly use up key fob battery?

    3) Is this something need to take to service to look in detail, or I should just buy and replace key fob battery myself? I tried removing key fob battery and putting same battery back in, but that didn't work so fob battery seems to be completely dead.

    *Recapping my situation in more detail:

    Picked up new Model X on December 19, 2016.

    I had a service appointment last Wednesday for unrelated issues, and there was no warning then of low battery on key fob. I do wonder though if something happened during service that significantly reduced my key fob battery.

    Two days later, during lunch hour on Friday, I got my first warning that the key fob is low on battery. When I return to car again 3-4 hours hours later, the key fob was completely out of battery and I couldn't get into car. Being at work, my key fob was not within range of my parking spot during those hours.

    Thankfully, when I called Tesla support, they were able to help me unlock car remotely and then I reactivated mobile access (got turned off during either service appointment or software update?) to be able to start engine via phone app.
     
  2. CmdrThor

    CmdrThor Active Member

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    I keep two spare batteries and the tool to open the fob in my glove box. The batteries are cheap. Service center will likely replace for free, but sometimes you are not near a service center.

    My fob malfunctioned this past weekend and started killing every battery I put in it. I received no warning that the battery was low. Once I put a battery in the bad fob, it wouldn't even work in my other fob. I took it by the service center yesterday and they replaced the fob.
     
  3. outie

    outie Active Member

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    Early production fobs seem to have issue with draining battery, but yours is much newer that shouldn't have the issue.

    One factor could be a bad battery in the first place. Have it replaced and observe.

    The distance... could be another reason, but that's something for you to test by moving it further away.

    I took delivery late-Sept and I have yet to have battery issue, so the FOB battery is def good for more than 1 month.
     
  4. nctalkinghead

    nctalkinghead Member

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    I had what I considered "premature" battery death about a month ago. Both of my key fobs started generating the low battery warning at the same time - what are the odds of that happening! SC folks explained that I need to keep fobs at least 25 feet away from the car. Both of mine lived much closer than that, so they have new homes. Another suggestion was to use a metal box - which is where the SC keeps their keys stored - and this can be even next to the car. Apparently when the fob is within "talking" distance of the car it is having a conversation with it. This drains the battery. So moving the battery outside the car's "hearing" range should solve my problem. And as mentioned above I keep spare batteries in the car and hope that when my fob's battery dies I am not locked out of the car where the spares are :)
     
    • Like x 1
  5. xkwizit

    xkwizit Member

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    Ditto @nctalkinghead - I have had my X for 9 months and haven't yet received low battery. But if you search you will find threads on this that say that since these are Bluetooth fobs, if they are within a certain distance, they keep communicating with the car, you will hear random clicks from the car, lights may come on etc. Eventually your fob will go low battery.

    I tested by placing fob in the farthest BR and it was still communicating. Then I read about placing in a metal box and that worked fine.

    It's a bit of a pain as we have always had our car keys in the kitchen and that's where the S keys are. But X keys get a nice box in the BR.
     
  6. Solarman004

    Solarman004 Member

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    This may be different, but early on I got a few "Key not Detected" warnings in the car. At a service appointment at the 3 month point, I took both FOBs with me. The service technicians told me that the FOBs needed a firmware update (in the FOB, not the car. Who knew FOBs had programmable firmware?) After they did the update, I haven't had the message recur.
     
  7. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    I had my fob's reprogrammed twice. The third time they replaced them. It was really only one of them but they did not want to take a chance I might have mixed them up.
     
  8. Seattle Tom

    Seattle Tom Member

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    Doesn't help you now, but if this happens in the future you shouldn't have to call Tesla. If you place your fob where the windshield meets the hood on the passenger side (all the way down), you should be able to unlock the car by pressing the door. Then take the fob and place it in the cupholder and you'll be able to start the car.
     
    • Disagree x 1
  9. KKelly

    KKelly Member

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    I had my X serviced last month for an unrelated issue. At the time, there was a service bulletin for the keys. They had the batteries replaced and new firmware updated.
     
  10. KKelly

    KKelly Member

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  11. alexcuse

    alexcuse Member

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    Thanks all for all the helpful responses. I will try out the metal box, as well as Seattle Tom's tip to unlock seems really cool. I will ask about the service bulletin next time I'm at Tesla Service.
     
  12. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    Just be aware that pulling the battery and replacing was my SOP for a number of times. It would work for a few weeks or a month and then was DOA. Tesla finally gave up and replaced the fob. It's been rock steady now for 3 months.
     
  13. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Active Member

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    That is for the Model S not on the Model X. I think on the Model X the spot is the bottom of the B pillar on the drivers side.
     
  14. Seattle Tom

    Seattle Tom Member

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    Nope, it's the X.

    Here's a video with an explanation and some other tips too. The Like Tesla channel is a wealth of information - they do great work!

     
    • Disagree x 1
  15. flar

    flar Member

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    According to the X Owner's Manual the key should be placed at the base of the door pillar between the front door and the falcon wing door. The location shown in the video is near where the Model S manual says to place the key. I'm guessing that their key fob in the video was not dead and so the door opened for them simply because a battery powered fob was in range, but if someone has a dead key fob they could double check. In either case, if the location shown in the video doesn't work, just try the location shown in the Model X manual, which is at the bottom of the car near the base of the B pillar (page 10):

    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_x_owners_manual_north_america_en.pdf

    Actually, the location they show in the video doesn't match the Model S manual I found on line either. The location in the Model S manual is near the base of the passenger side windshield, but nearer to where the wiper arm attaches to the wiper blade (page 7):

    https://www.tesla.com/sites/default/files/model_s_owners_manual_north_america_en_us.pdf
     
    • Informative x 1

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