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Old 06-10-2021, 01:06 PM   #1
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Key FOB Issue

Anyone else having issues with their key fobs eating up batteries quickly, like in 2 months. Had been using cheaper batteries and thought that might be the issue, but replaced them with Energizer 2025's last time. They are being depleted just as fast. Fob control is seldom used, especially when it's parked by my house. Most access is through the side door and then I use the key.
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Old 06-10-2021, 03:56 PM   #2
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Haven't changed a battery in either of ours yet.
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Old 06-10-2021, 11:27 PM   #3
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2016 Prism 24G - still on original batteries.

Almost sounds like one of the buttons is stuck but I am sure you would notice that.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:03 AM   #4
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Guess I'm just lucky, but it's both fobs so it must be something in the system. Guess I'll have to call the MB folks and ask them. For now, think that I'll just pull the batteries when here at the house and not in use until I can sort it all out. Must just me my problem cause I only got two responses to my query.
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Old Yesterday, 07:33 AM   #5
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A search on the Internet has revealed that the problem I'm having is not unique to MB Sprinters. Seems like every vehicle manufacturer who issues key fobs with their vehicles sees similar problems. Some worse than mine, some better but essentially the same problem. The worse problem is that no one seems to know why. I'm sure that the guys who designed the system know, but they aren't talking. Personally, I think that it's internal to the design of the fob. Fired up my O'scope in the lab and watched the fob in action. It was quiet and not transmitting anything unless a button was pressed. Then it would send the appropriate code once and go quiet again. Must be some sort of parasitic drain inside the fob someplace. Would have to destroy it to dig any deeper, so I'll let it be.

Think when these batteries die, I'll just pull them and do without. As long as the door keys still work, I'm good until someone figures this out.
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Old Yesterday, 11:06 AM   #6
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Is the fob only a remote? Or does it also do some handshake thing to allow the engine to start?
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Old Yesterday, 03:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KanzKran View Post
Is the fob only a remote? Or does it also do some handshake thing to allow the engine to start?
I believe it does do something that triggers the steering lock to release (that solenoid/worm gear sound it makes, when you insert the key), but I can't recall if that's related to, or needs, power in the fob.
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Old Today, 07:29 AM   #8
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The fob is only used to unlock/lock the doors. In the View it will also trigger the side living space door solenoid. There is no remote start or emergency function available with this fob. Don't believe that there is any kind of "conversation" that goes on between the fob and the Sprinter. At least I never saw any while I was watching it in my lab. Actually no need for any. The fob sends the command (encoded for a vehicle match) and the vehicle locks or unlocks the doors. Just one short burst each time a button is pressed. If the button continues to be pressed, there is not a constant stream of bursts being transmitted, so it's not a stuck or defective button.

The problem seems to be unique to each fob. Some have a drain problem, some don't, some just worse than others. Last time I changed the batteries, I changed them in both fobs. They read 3.21VDC when new.
Yesterday, the batteries in one fob were at 2.91VDC while the batteries in the other were 3.01VDC. As I mentioned, I rarely use the fobs to lock/unlock the doors and the spare fob has never been used, except to test that it worked. Both keys hang on the same hook in my garage, so it's most likely not environmental.

As I said, this problem is not just with MB fobs. Each vehicle manufacturer's fobs appear to have the same problem. Leads me to believe that many, if not all, come from the same source and only the encoding is unique for each manufacturer.
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