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I have an old car key and the rubber buttons that push the micro switches have come off.

How can I fix this to make the car key usable if I still have the rubber buttons? What about if I don't still have the rubber buttons? I don't want to spend lots of money as the car is old and might not last long.

UPDATE: So while my original question specifically related to micro-switches upon reading the hack on the Sugru site how would the key be fixed if the "small rod that touches the chip" was missing?

  • Have you tried anything? Usually I can get new keys made for a very reasonable price. – J. Musser Dec 29 '14 at 12:31
  • I have now 'fixed' the issue with some clear tape over the buttons. Would be interested in other hacks to solve my issue especially if the rubber buttons are lost as happened on my wife's keys. – Nick J Adams Dec 29 '14 at 13:38
  • Just put something else there and tape it down... – Zach Saucier Dec 29 '14 at 14:26
4

Use Sugru to fashion new buttons. I've made everything from phone cases to hinges for my car's sun visor from that stuff. It is holding my shoes together.

The problem with the car keys is the waterproof aspect: you don't need any rain getting into the electronics as they not only unlock your door remotely, but they also (assuming that is a Renault key as it looks like) may perform an electronic authentication with the car. Sugru is waterproof, and it is flexible enough to act as a pushbutton. Since you have the old buttons, just smear some Sugru over the old buttons to create a new waterproof surface that will hold the buttons in place.

  • 1
    it's a Peugeot actually and I'm pretty sure that it does nothing other than open the locks but I do like your suggestion. Would have worked perfectly for my wife's car where the rubber just seemed to ware away in the middle. I see they even suggest it on their site sugru.com/guides/how-to-repair-a-key-fob. – Nick J Adams Dec 29 '14 at 15:23
  • @NickJAdams: Nice find! Renault and Peugeot are the same company today. Replacement Renault keys won't start the car unless they are "programmed", which is why they cost > 80 euros. You could probably check this by calling the dealer and asking how much would cost a replacement key for your car. – dotancohen Dec 29 '14 at 16:09
3

I ran into this problem with one of my Jeep key fobs. The rubber buttons wore out, and popped off.

I fixed it by reinforcing the rubber membrane on the inside of the fob with liquid electrical tape and then super gluing the buttons onto the liquid electrical tape. I did this hack over a year ago, and it still works great.

The steps I took were to open the key fob, and remove the rubber membrane from the inside of the fob. Put the plastic case aside, and tape the loose buttons in place to the membrane from the front to hold them in the proper position. Then I layered on several thin coats of the liquid electrical tape on the back of the membrane until it built up a good thickness. After that was all dry, then remove the tape and gently peel off the buttons. There should now be a perfect impression in the rubber membrane where the buttons were. User super glue and permanently glue the buttons on. Reassemble the whole fob, and it will be just like new.

3

OK, I have solved my issue - I had both of the buttons still - I covered the buttons with clear tape.

my solution

Would still like to have some 'hacks' in the case the buttons are lost. I almost lost them a couple of times before I put the tape on.

0

The rubber broke off of my FOB on the bottom button that unlocks the car. After being quoted $200 to replace the entire piece, I fixed it as follows:

  1. Cut a very small section of a cotton swab (or "Q-tip"). This bit fits in the hole that makes contact with the actual button.

  2. Place a fitted piece of eraser in the cavity, covering the cotton swab bit. I used a hand held eraser and sliced it for width and thickness. It was white so I also colored it black with a permanent marker.

  3. Tape over the modified button. I used clear plastic tape which seems to work fine.

0

In many cases, you can buy a replacement case for your keyfob on amazon for less than 10$. Once you receive the new case, all you need to do is open your old, broken case take out the control board, they key itself and the battery and install them in the new case. This is a pretty easy operation that takes about 5 minutes. This does not require the dealership to re-program the key or the car.

The result is a keyfob that looks as good as new. (Because it is new, actually)

I found out that this was possible because I've just had the same issue and the dealership wanted 320 CHF (~320$) to make a new key for my 2008 Peugeot 207. I started looking for other options since the quoted price is more than 10% of the value of the vehicle...

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I tightly wrapped my whole key fob in plastic wrap.

It worked like a charm!

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