When it rains, it pours. Or as Roseanne Roseannadanna liked to say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s another. But it’s always something.” (Example from YouTube)
Saturday morning I went to get groceries and noticed that the key fob (aka the van remote) couldn’t do anything. Upon further examination, I found that the unlock button had seized. After unloading the groceries Timothy and I worked to open up the fob layer by layer. Sure enough, the little microswitch under the unlock button would not “click” anymore. WD-40 didn’t free it. I think the spring/metal stamping inside the switch broke.
We joked that if I did have my Geek Man Cave downstairs, we could do some soldering and move the Panic Button switch into the Unlock Button position and vice versa. I never press the Panic Button.
I was concerned that Honda was going to charge an enormous amount to give me a new one. Luckily I did a few minutes of research and found that you can get new ones pretty cheap and uniquely pair them with your car by yourself if you know how. So today Amazon dropped off a pair of new key fobs for $40.
Later in the afternoon Timothy went on a smoothie run in my car. Suddenly its key fob isn’t working well, but this time it’s because the remote’s battery is nearly dead. Thankfully there’s an NFC way to start the car when your remote has a dead battery (holding the fob adjacent to the location where we used to insert keys), but unfortunately the car kept reminding us every minute or two that “Key not in Range”. Yes, Marilyn, I know. We started the car with that backup NFC means, you’d think she would know that it won’t “see” the remote.
Luckily that also had a cheap solution. We stopped in Rite Aid and picked up a pair of the type of batteries it needed. Once back home, I put fresh cells in both of my car fobs and things were back to normal. There are plenty of YouTube videos demonstrating how to safely open the remote for common car manufacturers.
I know that this is a minor First World Problem(tm). When I was young, there were no wireless controls to lock/unlock, or open the sliding doors, or power trunk lids. I’m still happy that it was just a hassle and not a major expense.