It was a pleasant, mildly sunny day in Mangalore when I made up my mind to cleanse the exteriors of my car with unending jets of cold water to remove the dirt and grime that did not belong there. Such a joy it is to wield a garden hose that is spraying pressurized water and gently caress the smooth curves of the car :)
Everything done, I parked my car and got on with my day. That fateful day, when I had to go somewhere, there was a heavy shower. Out I go and press the teeny tiny magical button on the key fob expecting a loud beep, but whats this? no sound! I press the button again and still no response! After a few more presses and a little frustration, I figure the batteries on the fob must have died. I did not have the spare remote with me so I though I'll go but batteries. Braving the cold lashing of the rain, I reached the nearby electronics shop and asked for a couple of 3 V button cell. The lady of the shop, without a slightest hint of enthusiasm hands it to me. I pop it into the remote then and there and head home. As soon as I reached the apartment, I press the unlock button.. no sound I go stand next to the car and press again no response. I wondered if all the water that I splashed went inside the central locking unit and caused a short circuit.
The next thing that I could think of was to open it with the key, pop the bonnet and disable autocop and so I did. No sooner had I inserted the key and turned, the burglar alarm went off. This brought a sense of panic and a sense of relief. Relief because atleast the autocop unit was not faulty!
With the alarm wailing its heart out, I popped the bonnet and got my tool kit out to disconnect the battery terminal but what is this! No spanner in the toolkit :) I waited for close to 15 minutes for the watch man to bring me a spanner as the whole world eyed me with suspicion. Yeah! I looked like I was stealing my own car!
Just as the watchman got me the spanner and I was about to disconnect the batter, a familiar keeenk was heard! yes, the car locked itself when the button on the remote was pressed! What a relief. I thought thats the end of the story but I would discover soon that Moore's Law isn't there for nothing!
Many days later after putting in long hours in office, I came out to the parking lot at 11 in the night and discovered that the car would again not open! Knowing what to do now, I quickly called the security guys, kept the spanner handy, opened and disconnected the battery terminal. My logic was once the power is cut to the unit, it will forget the current state, I can reconnect and then start afresh with an unlocked car, but what I did not know is that the unit will still go off when I reconnect the battery. With nothing else to do, I started driving with the burglar alarm blasting away in the middle of the night on a highway that is constantly monitored by police. With all trust on the office ID card, I hit the road. All through the drive I kept pressing the unlock button on the fob. Suddenly one key press registered and sanity was restored.
Lesson learnt for the day: When the car's central lock misbehaves, its always wise to manually lock your car. Key less entry can take a hike!
Few days later I got another remote that I had, put in the batteries from the current remote and tested, it worked fine. But i still did not trust it. For days together I locked and unlocked manually with the key. After a few days I called up the Autocop technician at Mangalore and told him my problem. He said there might be some problem with the switches or batteries and that he'll come the next day and look into it. This got me thinking! I opened up both the key fobs and checked the batteries.
Now comes the revelation! Both the fobs had 3V batteries indeed, but the spare one that still had the original drained batteries had some 2025 etched on it whereas the one that I had replaced were 2016. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that the 2016 batteries were thinner. I quickly got out to a watch repair shop and got the 2025 batteries. I knew they would be available there because my watch also uses the same batteries. I popped the new batteries in and tested it a couple of times and it worked like a charm :)
The thinner batteries would not make contact properly and would not complete the circuit which resulted in the remote lock/unlock not working intermittently.
Phew! Finally everything set and life is back to normal!
Tip 1: When your remote locking/unlocking is causing trouble, always use the key to lock. This way, when you unlock with the key, it won't set off the burglar alarm.
Tip 2: I'm not teaching robbery, but on low end once you open the bonnet, you can simply disconnect the burglar alarm. It is usually a thin wire connected to the black terminal.
Disclaimer: I'm not responsible for whatever you do with your/other's car.X posted here