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Old 02-11-2009, 05:02 AM   #1
JGreene510
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Default Remote Keyless Entry Question

Ok, I am taking a gamble and posting this in the "General" forum, but I've noticed as of today I need to press a couple of times on my FOB to get my alarm to engage/disengage. I just have the plain Jane factory RKE set up in my SC2 (1998) and I checked the manual and it said that it's normal for the range to fluctuate for these set ups (supposedly it's normal in all cars with a RKE/Alarm). Also it's been rather rainy out and that was mentioned to cut down the range as well. When I first bought the car I noticed the same issue and looking through the receipts I see the car has been taken to the dealer 2 times in the past 5 years regarding a issue with the RKE. I don't think I have an issue per say with the RKE module in my car (Where the heck is it in my SC2 anyhow? I understand where they are located on SL's.)

Anyhow, does this sound kosher to everyone else about the range fluctuating with these set ups? At this point it is too late to go buy some new CR2032 batteries and I don't have spares at this moment (usually I do, one of the perks from being in IT is LOTS of spare motherboards that use these batteries. Already used my spare when I first got the car. FOB 2 stays in a drawer as a spare, and has enough juice to unlock the car, if your about 10 feet away) and I have already disassembled both FOBS and cleaned all of the contacts (Jeez those contacts get dirty, and for some reason WET, under the buttons, behind the gray rubber.)

Any and all input is welcome. Anyone think I am on the right track?

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Old 02-11-2009, 07:44 AM   #2
Fox Slaughter
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1998 SC2
1996 SL2
Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

Just to give you a helpful hint. If you put the FOB to your chin it will increase your range. Go out and try it. It works. I mean press it up to your chin like under your jaw bone.

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Old 02-11-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

(BTW, you don't capitalize 'fob'; it's just the common word 'fob', not an acronym.) RKE module is in the same physical location in your coupe as in the sedans/wagons, but you obviously have to take out more trim to reach it. What exactly did the service orders say they had to do the two times it was in?

BTW, are you on the original fobs? They just plain wear out (I *think* it's whatever is conductive on the back of the button pad), esp. the earlier ones. You can get new or less used fobs via eBay. Doesn't have to be a "Saturn" fob, just a GM fob with four buttons and a matching FCC ID# (probably AB01502T). Newer design seems to last longer, and have a better range.

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Old 02-11-2009, 04:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
(BTW, you don't capitalize 'fob'; it's just the common word 'fob', not an acronym.) RKE module is in the same physical location in your coupe as in the sedans/wagons, but you obviously have to take out more trim to reach it. What exactly did the service orders say they had to do the two times it was in?

BTW, are you on the original fobs? They just plain wear out (I *think* it's whatever is conductive on the back of the button pad), esp. the earlier ones. You can get new or less used fobs via eBay. Doesn't have to be a "Saturn" fob, just a GM fob with four buttons and a matching FCC ID# (probably AB01502T). Newer design seems to last longer, and have a better range.
Service orders were non-specific. Just says customer came in complaining that the RKE was malfunctioning, and a tech took $75 worth of time troubleshooting it and then it worked. No mention of any new parts. Although I can tell that there are 2 different fobs in use. One older and one newer (I use the newer and keep the older in the sock drawer.) I can tell because the older one has a yellowed look on the printing on the fob. The newer one it clear white. Also as I mentioned I took them both apart for cleaning. Yuck! The amount of crap that builds up on those things. But I am on my way out now to go get some batteries and visit my Dad, so lets hope the $3 battery is a good fix, rather then a $45 fob.

Thanks for the help, all!

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Old 02-11-2009, 05:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox Slaughter View Post
Just to give you a helpful hint. If you put the FOB to your chin it will increase your range. Go out and try it. It works. I mean press it up to your chin like under your jaw bone.
Yeah, I've heard of that. The RF travels through the fillings in your mouth, using them as a kind of antenna. Or so I am told. I've tried it, but I feel like a little too much like a kid when I do that. But good lookin' out!

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Old 02-11-2009, 06:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

Oh, great, so if the mercury in our mouths isn't making us crazy enough, let's turn them into antennae!

BTW, replacement fobs are usu. in the $10-20 range on eBay.

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Old 02-11-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Oh, great, so if the mercury in our mouths isn't making us crazy enough, let's turn them into antennae!

BTW, replacement fobs are usu. in the $10-20 range on eBay.
Wait, we needed a REASON to be crazy!? Man, I thought I had that goin all on my own. So I replaced the batteries on my fobs, and I've been locking and double tapping lock to hear the horn beep. It works about 3/4's of the time and I am about 30 feet away with a big friggin' SUV parked in front of mine. And I am on a second story (my appartment is on the second story) so I think I'll be fine. I was caught in the rain and was re-reading the manual. According to Saturn the range is 26 feet. Well, I guess I'm beating that range so I guess I should just leave it be.

I guess the general rule should be (at least for me) "If you can see the car, chances are the RKE will work."

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Old 02-11-2009, 10:00 PM   #8
dorisSL
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Default Re: Remote Keyless Entry Question

i know on my AFTERMARKET alarm system the range varies greatly. like from 150 feet to like 10 feet of range. i think i've figured out what has the greatest impact on the range





how the fob happens to feel at any given moment.


other than that, it does seem worse in the cold (i'm guessing that's the batteries squeezing out less juice)

...
1995 SL, born 12/23/94, manual, WAI 190,500, "Doris"
(I'm Ben, the car is Doris)

you can't mulch at those speeds man, that's too fast

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