Key Fob Battery Replaced - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,315
edited June 2015 in Volkswagen
imageKey Fob Battery Replaced - 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI Long-Term Road Test

Our long-term 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI gets a new key fob battery, and we enjoy a pain-free visit to Santa Monica Volkswagen.

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Comments

  • rmhpmirmhpmi Member Posts: 37
    It's not the $9 I'd lose sleep over but rather the fact the battery only lasted a few months. I have an 11 year old Infiniti G35 and I've never replaced the key fob battery. What else on this VW fails too early? Besides the passenger seat heater I mean.
  • 7driver7driver Member Posts: 145
    $9 is a bit high for a run-of-the-mill Panasonic CR2025 battery or two. And all those who are worried about it lasting only a few months should be replacing it with an Energizer instead of a Panasonic.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    rmhpmi said:

    It's not the $9 I'd lose sleep over but rather the fact the battery only lasted a few months. I have an 11 year old Infiniti G35 and I've never replaced the key fob battery. What else on this VW fails too early? Besides the passenger seat heater I mean.

    Does your 11-year-old Infiniti have keyless lock and unlock - from the fob, door handle and hatch, window and sunroof open and close from the fob and the door handle, and keyless ignition? I have a twelve-year-old SVT Focus that's on the original key fob battery, too. But that's because the key fob does nothing but lock and unlock the doors, like your Infiniti.

    Yeah, those batteries are around $9...TEN of them are around $9 - a ten pack is $8.49 to be exact, with free shipping from Amazon Prime. And making a trip to the dealer to have them pop the key fob open (no tools required) and install an eighty-five cent battery - ? Incredible.

  • dvanosdvanos Member Posts: 52
    edited June 2015
    fordson1 said:

    rmhpmi said:

    It's not the $9 I'd lose sleep over but rather the fact the battery only lasted a few months. I have an 11 year old Infiniti G35 and I've never replaced the key fob battery. What else on this VW fails too early? Besides the passenger seat heater I mean.

    Does your 11-year-old Infiniti have keyless lock and unlock - from the fob, door handle and hatch, window and sunroof open and close from the fob and the door handle, and keyless ignition? I have a twelve-year-old SVT Focus that's on the original key fob battery, too. But that's because the key fob does nothing but lock and unlock the doors, like your Infiniti.
    Well put, gotta love the comparison between a 11 year old Infiniti and a 2015 VW, sounds like typical VW quality basher who has probably never owned a current VW. This guy (rmhpmi) needs to get out more and check out some current automobiles the vast amount of electronics compared to 2004 has greatly increased.
  • socal_ericsocal_eric Member Posts: 189
    While most owners could buy a replacement cheaper at their local drug or department store (and even cheaper online) and replace it faster than a drive to the dealer, I would have suspected it wouldn't be covered under most bumper-to-bumper warranties after the normal wear-and-tear item period (usually seems to be 12 month/12k miles for many manufacturers to cover things like bulbs, batteries, wiper blades, brake pads, clutch discs, etc.), so it's nice to see how VW and the dealer would handle this issues for someone that wasn't very automotive savvy and had that warning message pop up. Only other item I'd find interesting is clarification on how long they're covered.
  • fordson1fordson1 Unconfirmed Posts: 1,512
    VW covers anything the car needs, other than tires, for 24 months/24k miles. Used to be 36/36...my 2011 GTI called for wipers, a cabin air filter, complete brake fluid flush and refill and of course oil changes and tire rotations and the regular 10k mile checklist items including any fluids or airing-up of tires (never needed anything but washer fluid) over that time period...it was all done free.

    My total list of things going wrong over 51 months and 42k miles: screw in LF tire, driver's door keyless sensor for outside door handle replaced, and on 2 occasions, it threw a warning light for the stability control and ABS - shut down, restart, all OK. That's it.

    Oh, and they reflashed the body control module and the ECM with new firmware, once each, and extended my intake manifold warranty from 5/60 to 10/100 - some of them were troublesome, but not mine. Car is APR Stage I. Can't complain.
  • expensivehobbyexpensivehobby Member Posts: 91
    So somebody above is going to blame VW for a bad panasonic battery? Now if something goes wrong with the fob and it wipes out batteries maybe you can complain later but now? No.
  • bc1960bc1960 Member Posts: 171
    There is no way of knowing how old the battery was before it went into the device, nor what conditions it may have been stored in between its manufacturer and use, both of which will affect its capacity. The remotes for my 1995 Ford and 2007 Mazda both lasted about six years, and both required at least a screw driver to replace. The Mazda uses a CR1620 battery which proved more difficult than I expected to find locally (Allegheny County outside Pittsburgh), and was >$6 at the few places that did have it. After persisting I found it for $4 at the 9th place I tried, Pep Boys; of course I may have spent at least $2 on gas after finding it at Walgreens along the way, but I usually take a Sunday drive anyway. Mazda says it should last 2 years @ 10 uses a day, so 6 was pretty good. The way the newer proximity keys operate is somewhat analogous to a cell phone with Bluetooth on, so I'm not surprised the batteries die faster.
  • fvfvsixfvfvsix Member Posts: 2
    That's the problem with using coin cell batteries in PKE key fobs. Basically, they lose total capacity at higher drain rates, so your 300mAh battery is probably only 200mAh at best when used in a wireless application. That probably translates to about 2 years in a VW key fob....Unless you store it around other PKE fobs (or near the car itself), and the VW fob software doesn't have a low power mode that allows it to ignore the signal from any other keys that may be transmitting over a long period of time. Voila - now your battery is dead after only a few months.
  • veedubber86veedubber86 Member Posts: 57
    I've had a couple of more elderly VWs and I've never had to replace the keyfob batteries. Mayeb something to do with it being the smartkey?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 232,928

    I've had a couple of more elderly VWs and I've never had to replace the keyfob batteries. Mayeb something to do with it being the smartkey?

    That's definitely it. Our 2011 Infiniti needed new keyfob batteries after 2 years. (leased,so never found out how long the replacements lasted).

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  • barich1barich1 Member Posts: 143
    edited June 2015
    Smart key batteries are only expected to last about a year. This is still a bit early, but Edmunds probably has a lot of smart keys hanging near each other, which probably causes them to drain faster.

    Also, I can't imagine taking the car to the dealer to have the key fob battery replaced. Seriously?
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    barich1 said:

    Smart key batteries are only expected to last about a year. This is still a bit early, but Edmunds probably has a lot of smart keys hanging near each other, which probably causes them to drain faster.

    Also, I can't imagine taking the car to the dealer to have the key fob battery replaced. Seriously?

    If the dealer wasn't too far of a detour from where I normally drive, and the battery was covered under warranty, I sure as heck would drive to the dealer for my free battery! The battery in my 06 Acura's smartkey lasted 9 years, which I think is pretty reasonable.
  • schen72schen72 Member Posts: 433
    dvanos said:

    fordson1 said:

    rmhpmi said:

    It's not the $9 I'd lose sleep over but rather the fact the battery only lasted a few months. I have an 11 year old Infiniti G35 and I've never replaced the key fob battery. What else on this VW fails too early? Besides the passenger seat heater I mean.

    Does your 11-year-old Infiniti have keyless lock and unlock - from the fob, door handle and hatch, window and sunroof open and close from the fob and the door handle, and keyless ignition? I have a twelve-year-old SVT Focus that's on the original key fob battery, too. But that's because the key fob does nothing but lock and unlock the doors, like your Infiniti.
    Well put, gotta love the comparison between a 11 year old Infiniti and a 2015 VW, sounds like typical VW quality basher who has probably never owned a current VW. This guy (rmhpmi) needs to get out more and check out some current automobiles the vast amount of electronics compared to 2004 has greatly increased.
    i "inherited" an 05 VW new beetle convertible when I got married to my wife. My first experience owning a VW (or any German car) and it was horrendous. I don't know if it's indicative of all VWs, but the new beetle is truly a POS. It just felt poorly built and when you close the doors, it feels like it's going to break. The power windows would often not go up all the way when you closed the door (auto-lowering windows due to vert top). On top of that, with only 20k miles on it, the convertible power top was sometimes not closing. And the rattles - oh the rattles! I decided to sell it and not deal with possible huge repair bills. Plus, I didn't really need it as I had 3 other Acuras already. Get this - the beetle's timing belt needs to be replaced at 40k miles! This is from the manual!
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