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Change a car key battery in 5 easy steps!

The latest addition in our ‘how to..’ series teaches you how to replace a car key battery yourself. Changing your car key battery is one of the easiest quick fixes you can do yourself at home and can save you money! If you aren’t confident in replacing the battery at home yourself, you can get a reputable garage or motoring shop to help you. If you want to have a go yourself, then read our top 5 tips for replacing a car key battery at home. 

How to replace a car key battery yourself: 

  1. Identify the type of battery you need. You can either find out which battery your car key needs by referring to the owner’s manual or by slipping off the car key casing and checking the current battery. 
  2. Buy a replacement battery. Replacement batteries for car keys are usually lithium coin batteries, they cost as little as a couple of pounds to buy and can usually be purchased in any supermarket. 
  3.  Gently pry the fob open. In some cases, you may need to use a small flathead screwdriver to open the fob but usually, you can just do it with your fingernails.
  4. Replace the battery. Gently remove the old, dead battery and replace it with the new battery. DO NOT discard the old battery at home instead take it to the specialist recycling point. You can view places to dispose of your car key battery on the Recycle Now website
  5. Clip the fob back together. Once the new battery is in place, all that’s left to do is clip the two halves of the fob back together and test that your new battery is working correctly. 

How do car keys work? 

Most modern cars now come with car keys that can lock/unlock the vehicle through a signal transmitter. The signal works by transmitting a code to a receiver in your vehicle. The key and the car must be synchronised in order for the key to work, which helps to avoid keys opening other cars, the car being stolen or the signal being hacked. 

Signs that your car key battery is dying

Usually, car key batteries last around 3-4 years and keeping an eye out for early signs can reduce the need for panic at the roadside! 

  • Reduced signal strength or range.
  • Multiple presses to get the button to work. 
  • The fob works inconsistently. 
  • No signal or the fob does not work.
how to change car key battery

What to do if your car key battery dies?

If your car key battery has gone dead and you’re locked out of the vehicle, there are a number of things you can do:

  • Try the key fob again when placing it right next to the vehicle The car key battery may not be completely dead yet and there may just be a problem with the signal.
  • Use the manual key inside the fob and insert it into the key slot. Sometimes the manual key slot can be tucked away in the handle and many drivers forget it’s even there to use!
  • Replace the car key battery at the nearest opportunity. 

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