Key Fob Issues, Anyone Else? - Mazda 6 Forums : Mazda 6 Forum / Mazda Atenza Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Key Fob Issues, Anyone Else?

So I did a search for this issue and didnt see anything about it on this forum, at least not for the 3rd gen. My keyfob worked fine for the first year or so, then some issues arose:

1. Sometimes the car wouldnt recognize the keyfob even though it was right smack in the middle of the car. Tried moving it around, no dice. Eventually would use the "push the fob against the start button" procedure for dead batteries and it would start.
2. Pressing the lock and unlock button sometimes just straight up doesnt work. I look at the fob, the red light is coming on, I'm 2 feet from the car, and it doesnt do anything. I usually fix it by pressing the unlock button, then lock again and it will magically work.

Now I've replaced the battery several times in this keyfob and that seems to help for about 6 months and then the issues start again. I dont think its just a battery issue though because this battery is only like 3 months old and now its starting to do issue number 2, though not number 1.

Anyone had any issues like this have any advice? Was Mazda any help? I honestly avoid going to the dealer like the plague since the ONE time I took my car in for warranty repairs they gouged my paint on BOTH rear doors and did a shitty job repainting them, then Mazda USA was basically like "Whelp, they tried!"
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 09:40 PM
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What about the spare key fob ? Do you face the same issue with that one as well ? Mazda "suggests" changing the key fob battery every year. If yours works fine for 6 months when the battery is new and then starts to fail, the primary suspect is likely the battery. Probably the issue is accentuated during winter months since the battery drains faster.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2017, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MilR View Post
What about the spare key fob ? Do you face the same issue with that one as well ? Mazda "suggests" changing the key fob battery every year. If yours works fine for 6 months when the battery is new and then starts to fail, the primary suspect is likely the battery. Probably the issue is accentuated during winter months since the battery drains faster.
No key fob should be dying after 3 months; thats absurd. Plus, I've tested the batteries I've removed and they're still at ~3.0V (I think they're 3.2V when new), so the voltage hasn't even dropped 10% meaning the battery still probably has quite a bit of juice left. Seems like they just made a shitty product and we're stuck with it.

On a side note, I did have to replace the other battery but it was after two years. My wife never drives this car but keeps that fob. I do wonder if maybe when the car is running and the fob is inside, maybe the fob is constantly pinging the car and wasting energy? I do put a shitload of miles on this car, 74 miles a day.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 03:05 PM
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I'm actually going thru your #2 issue as well. Keyfob works fine the first time unlock which unlocks the driver's side and if I press it again, no response at all, lock or unlock. I literally have to wait about 10-15 seconds to unlock/lock all the doors. Did you ever found out the solution?


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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the slow reply, I havent been on M6club for a while! I ended up just buying a large pack of replacement batteries and replacing it each time this issue starts. It works, even though I'm annoyed that I have to replace my battery 2-3 times a year. It's just wasteful; poor electronics design imo. It's like the battery can no longer supply enough current once it drops 0.2 volts, which is just bad design for the circuit. If current delivery were a problem, just spec a larger battery. It's not like our fob isn't thick enough to accommodate.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2018, 01:36 PM
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RF *transmission* requires quite a bit of power. Reception requires almost none. Unfortunately primary lithium cells (which these button cells are) don't lose no-load voltage in a linear fashion with remaining capacity. It is not uncommon for these cells to show right around 3V open circuit and yet be unable to deliver any material amount of current at all.

If you really want to see if there's power remaining in those batteries put a 100 ohm resistor across it with the voltmeter on it at the same time. Betcha you see the voltage collapse when you do that.

BTW "bulk pack" coin cells (and CR123a cells too!) are often actually reclaims (!) from some place in China; the sellers know damn well that they mislead you severely if you simply measure open-circuit voltage. Buy reputable ones in the two-packs (e.g. Rayovac, etc) in the store. Yes, I know, they cost a couple bucks each..... but they'll actually work for a while.
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