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remote key/door opener suddenly stopped working!

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by pellouch, May 15, 2009.

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  1. pellouch

    pellouch New Member

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    Hi, I have a 2008 toyota prius and suddenly two days ago the key FOBs don't work to open the door. i tried the one FOB that hasn't been used since forever and has plenty of power, so I don't think it's the battery in the remote, but i thought I saw a similar thread in here that I may need to replace the 12 v battery?

    I hope I can avoid that as that battery is quite expensive.

    Thoughts?

    -phil
  2. NoMoShocks

    NoMoShocks Electrical Engineer

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    Check the Remote Access On/Off button under the steering column, right next to the Reset Tire Monitoring Pressure button. Two black buttons under the sterring column you will probably have to get on you hands and knees to see them easily. Too easy to bump by accident though and then you are left with remote access keyfobs not functioning.

    Larry
    1 person likes this.
  3. Ct. Ken V

    Ct. Ken V Active Member

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    Hi, pellouch,

    So your remote doesn't even unlock your door(s) with even the push-buttons on the remote? You have to take out the metal key & use it to unlock the driver's door?

    If you don't need the metal key but have to use the push-buttons on the remote to unlock your car & it's only the SKS functions that don't work, then see if the SKS-enable button below & to the left of the steering column got bumped by accident as sometimes happens. I believe for the SKS system to be functional the button needs to be in the "out" position. The "in" position shuts the system off (& then you'd have to also insert your fob into the docking slot to start the car).

    If the only way into the car is with the metal key & the car won't start with the fob in the docking slot then it's likely you left something on & ran the 12V battery down & will need a jump to get you going. Since your car is fairly new, a jump start followed by a half hour drive (without shutting your car off until you get back to your driveway or garage) should be sufficient to re-charge it. But before you shut it down, look for whatever you may have left on to kill the 12V battery (usually it is the hatch not closing completely & leaving the cargo area light on).

    BEFORE YOU TRY A JUMP START, make sure you have the right polarity so you don't fry your $4,000 inverter & blow fuse links. You also don't have to go directly to the little battery. You can use the jumping lug in the big fuse/relay box under the hood.

    Ken (in Bolton,Ct)

    Edit : I was still typing my response when NoMoShocks posted his reply.
  4. pellouch

    pellouch New Member

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    thanks guys. i checked the on/off button. it is labelled "key" right? it was in the "in" position, I pushed it out, but I still can't use the FOB. I can use the FOB to drive around and I just need to have the FOB in the car, it doesn't have to be actually in the key hole. i can't use the button on the outside of the car handle to lock or unlock -- i can only use the metal key.
  5. pellouch

    pellouch New Member

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    okay, i just lied. I cannot start the car unless the FOB is in the key hole; i just checked.
  6. ceric

    ceric New Member

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    pellouch:
    There are four parts in the SKS systems. It helps if you could narrow it down.
    (1)- fobs
    (2)- sensors
    (3)- KCM (keyless control module)
    (4)- Coil Antenna

    It seems that you have proved that fob is not the issue. Nor is the simple button under the steering. That took care of (1).
    For (2), do you have the same issue opening doors from both front doors and the hatch?
    If so, it is not the sensors either. It is rare to have multiple failure of sensors simultaneously.
    Therefore, it has to be (3) or (4).
    (3) is the controlling unit.
    (4) is the antenna that talks to your fobs.
    There is a way to tell which one (3 or 4) using dealer's hand-held computer thru OBDII port.
    On my Mazda CX9, the key shape light in the dash flashes like Morse codes if anything went wrong. Different flashing means different error codes (i.e. look up the book to see which part is at fault).
    If any code is thrown in the system (not necessarily shown in the dash), dealer can easily fix the issue. If not, it becomes a "treasure hunt". I hope it will not come to that.
    Good Luck.
  7. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    Make sure the button under the steering wheel is in the out position. If it is in the out position, take the car to the dealer. That's what the warranty is for.
  8. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

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    A little red LED on the fob should flash when you push any of the fob buttons. If not then the fob battery should be replaced (or the fob has otherwise died for some reason).

    Check the 12V battery with a voltmeter at the jump point under the hood. With the car completely OFF it should read from 12.4V to 12.7 V. If it's less than 12.0V the battery is near death. If you don't have a voltmeter use the self-test procedure given here:
    http://www.myhybridcar.com/forums/toyota-prius/217-checking-12v-battery-health.html
  9. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Your driving a 2008 right? I would think a trip to the dealer and a little warranty work should take care of the problem.
  10. pellouch

    pellouch New Member

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    Okay, thanks for everyone's help, but I am a bit sick to my stomach now. I went to the dealer who said the issue was no longer under warranty (3/36).

    Then he proceeded to charge me $110 to replace a $5 watch battery somewhere in the car. 2.5 hours later, i was fuming and felt like i had just gotten taken to the cleaners.

    *sigh*
  11. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    You DID get taken to the cleaners. Sounds like all the dealer did was replace the fob battery, which you could have done yourself. I would go back to the dealer and ask for some money back. By the way, the fob battery would not have been covered under the 3/36 warranty.
  12. efusco

    efusco Troll Slayer Staff Member

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    did you take delivery more than a year ago? If not, then it should still be covered under the 1 year, non-advertised, adjustment warranty and they should replace the battery for free or at least for the cost of the battery.

    The $110 sounds like a diagnostic fee (usually around $90), plus the service charge for the battery and the replacement.
  13. pellouch

    pellouch New Member

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    I don't think it was the fob battery, because my other fob didn't work either. is there a CR2032 battery in the car somewhere?
  14. firepa63

    firepa63 Former Prius Owner

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    CR-2032 is the battery in the fob.
  15. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Is the diagnostic fee covered under the "1 year, non-advertised, adjustment warranty"? Thanks!
  16. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    wow, you did get taken. i had the same issue on my 04 but had had it over 2 years. i was under the 36,000 mile limit so that might have made a difference. but they ended up putting me on a different frequency since my battery was ok. (back then, i was the only driver, so the extra fob had never been used up until this issue arose)

    it was all done under warantee.
  17. dgungadoo

    dgungadoo New Member

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    I just had a similar problem today... until then both remote keys worked fine. This morning there was a severe lighting storm in the area, and both my cars (Volvo XC90 and Prius) wouldn't open with the respective remote keys.

    Manually they both opened ok though.

    On the Prius, the alarm sounded as soon as I got in the car (having opened the car with the manual metal key). I proceeded to insert the fob in the "slot" and started the car. It started ok, but the red key LED was still blinking on the dash. After fiddling with the menu interface aimlessly, after a while the alarm stopped...
    I was able to drive... to my relief.
    After a quick 15min drive, I pulled back in, parked the car and tried to lock it with the fob... didn't work.
    The red LED on the fobs comes on when I press any of the buttons, but the car doesn't react. Is there a reset somewhere of the system ?




  18. mikepaul

    mikepaul Senior Member

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    I had Batteries Plus change both fobs maybe a year ago, and the cheap battery gave out quickly in the one I carry around. Rite Aid had lithium replacements in a 2-pack for like $5 so I invested $10 in a new screwdriver kit from Home Depot to handle the small screws and now I'm good for hopefully another 3 years at least...
  19. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    Batteries Plus usually does not provide a battery that lasts as long as the original, but cant beat the price. plus, sometimes, a longer lasting battery will not last due to other factors, (heat, inference, etc)

    either way, i think they still provide a great source for batteries (cellphone battery i replaced was $22.95 there, $39.99 at cellphone store... battery tanked only 4 months away from upgrade date...so who needs a better battery??)
  20. jackfarrell

    jackfarrell New Member

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    Thanks Larry...you hit the right button fix for me....Jack
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