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Key Fob Owner Fail

Discussion in 'Australia & New Zealand' started by brewster, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Location:
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    I realise this is probably stating the bleeding obvious, just letting others know that may not be aware of the consequences of not having a mechanical connection for locking. (Which I like by the way).

    My little story: Went wading at Bridgewater Beach with my key fob in my back pocket (mistake #1) and not carrying my mobile phone (mistake #2). I only had one back pocket in my shorts. Long story short - sea water ingress to the key fob, no longer working, couldn't use the phone ap to unlock the car. Stranded. Fortunately, with the use of the beach cafe phone, I was able to contact my daughter-in-law to pickup my spare key from my house and drive the 25km to rescue me.

    So, word of warning, make sure the key fob is kept waterproof or away from water. Have a plan B. And hope for a bit of luck. (Assistance not too far away and available. Have you any suggestions on any other safeguards?

    The fact I hadn't been in the sea for 30 years (the surf was up a bit) and a budding new romance probably clouded my thinking through the situation.
     
  2. EVTECH

    EVTECH Member

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    Could have called Tesla roadside to unlock it remotely, unless the car was in an area with a poor signal.
     
  3. brewster

    brewster Member

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    In my case, I don't know many ph#'s by memory. Old age is my excuse, and probably means more fails to follow.
     
  4. Brian May

    Brian May Member

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    Hope they are positive that the person calling is the car owner... And not just somebody who happens to know the owners name, date of birth, etc.

    "Hello, I managed to <insert story here> can you please remote unlock my car <obvious details, number plate, colour, etc>?"
    "Certainly sir. What is your name?"
    "Sorry, I can't remember."
    ...
     
    • Funny x 1
  5. meloccom

    meloccom Moderator Aus/NZ

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    Don't give up on your fob.
    Do the following immediately.
    1: Remove the battery
    2: Drop the fob into preferably distilled water to wash away the salt. Leave it to soak for about an hour.
    If you don't have distilled water drop it into tap water whilst you go out to buy distilled.
    An alternative to distilled water is isopropanol but I'm not sure how the fob cover would react perhaps drop it into isopropanol for just a few minutes to drive out the water but at your own risk. The advantage of isopropanol is that it dries faster.
    3: Remove the fob from the distilled water and place in a warm area with the battery cover still off, such as near a heater vent. You want warm and dry not hot.
    4: Forget about the fob for 2 weeks
    5: Replace the battery and cross your fingers
    6: Buy a new one if it doesn't work.

    Good luck.
     
  6. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Thanks so much for the advice Meloccom. I have left it far too long before I wrote this up to take a shot at the clean up, but hopefully others will gain from this.
     
  7. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    Don't be so sure. Solid state electronics are remarkably resilient. It remains worthwhile opening it up and seeing what corrosion is there. The battery is cactus for sure, but the rest? May yet be salvageable.
     
  8. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Had opened it up and a prong on the ic looked corroded away, plus other damage.
     
  9. idoco

    idoco Member

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    Tip. Have your spouse/significant other/trusted child put the app on their phone and give them access. That way they can unlock remotely.
     
  10. ICUDoc

    ICUDoc Member

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    Nice to hear from you, Brewster.
    Best of luck with the fob, but much more importantly, with the budding new romance.
    Do you think the Tesla is an aid in such affairs???
    Regards,
     
  11. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Yes, he he, the Tesla is a definite chick magnet. Highly recommended. The stories I could tell ......
    Always be indebted to Elon Musk and his cool car.
     
  12. ICUDoc

    ICUDoc Member

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    Awesome :)
     
  13. eclectricdave

    eclectricdave Member

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    Malbourne Australia
    In addition to Meloccom's advice you can remove the water faster by spinning in a washing machine in spin cycle. Tape to one side & spin in various positions.
     
  14. omniwolf

    omniwolf eNizl

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    Neutral Bay, Sydney
    I had my fob go through the wash a couple of weeks ago. It sat around for a couple of hours before I realised.
    I took the battery out, turned a warm hair dryer on it for a few minutes, then dumped it in a bag of rice for about 8 hours.
    Then I put the same battery back in, and it's all good and still working to this day.
    I guess my advantage was it wasn't salt water (but it was sudsy)
     
    • Like x 1
  15. Dborn

    Dborn Confirmed

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    My Mercedes key fob landed up in more than 5 meters of sea water ( next to my boat), it was eventually fished out using an old loudspeaker magnet. Took me about an hour. I rinsed the lot in fresh water, shook it, and tried it - it worked!! Was able to drive home from the marina. In fact, that fob worked until I got rid of the car to get the S. Some 4 years!!! Bear in mind, I did not properly dry the fob, nor did I do the rice trick, although I would now. The fob was not waterproof, had been in 1.5 atmospheres of pressure and had been subjected to a strong magnetic field. I actually wrote to Mercedes congratulating them on their key!!!
     
  16. uccprince

    uccprince New Member

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    On a related note, has anybody found a reasonable way to carry their key during watersports. I'm a surfer and while we have an SUV that normally serves as our "surf car" and went ahead and installed the whispbar racks and like having the option of catching some waves right after work. Based upon recommendation from local shop, I chose to use an Aquapac (Aquapac - Waterproof Cases for cameras, iPhone, iPad, iPod cases and more. 100% Waterproof cases, backpacks and drybags) to put my FOB in, but as an extra pre-caution I also put it in a ziplock bag inside the Aquapac. Used this a few times with OK results (slight water in Aquapac but key was protected by ziplock) in head + surf. Then this weekend I took my SUP out so I wasn't even in the water a good part of the time and the Aquapac failed me ... key fob is dead and I had to call spouse to bring me extra key.

    I would think there has got to be a better way but after some time on Amazon and Google I can't seem to find much.

    Anybody else run into this problem or others have any suggestions?

    Thanks!!!
     
  17. Keiron

    Keiron Member

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    Hi Brewster
    I missed this thread as I got back from the States.
    One old elec eng trick is to remove battery as quick as possible.
    Flood the fob with humble Metho.! Yes metho. It drives off thewater, reduces surface tenstions for droplets under chips etc and drys off reasonably quickly. Most Pcb's can be cleaned while their power up as metho is a very insulator unless you create sparks........
     
  18. brewster

    brewster Member

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    Thanks Keiron, unforunately the IC was RS
     

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