Key Went Through Washing Machine - Smart Car Forums
User Tag List

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 278
Thanks: 1
Thanked 68 Times in 34 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Key Went Through Washing Machine

Well, after two years and 3 months of having the Smart and its fancy electronic key fob, I finally did the "ooops" of leaving it in the pocket of a pair of my pants when I washed them. I've had other cars with remote entry before, just usually on a fob attached to the key like a key chain, not as PART of the actual key. All the other cars I currently have are standard key locks only, no remote entry, so I had TRIED to be careful with the Smart's key, just in case I forgot. And since I'm the one that does the laundry in the house, I don't have anyone but me to blame for not checking the pockets first.

So I went out to the car after JUST pulling the key from the wet pants (pre-dryer, I at least didn't screw up THAT badly), and the car unlocked and locked using the buttons. So I thought I dodged a bullet. This was as I was leaving for work, so I didn't bring my spare key since the main one looked to be functioning fine.

Put in my 8hrs and was walking out the door to go home. Hit the Unlock button on the key, it honked once. Not beeped like the alarm, honked (and blinked the parking lights). I tried the door, it wasn't unlocked. So I hit the button again, still just the single honk. So I tried the Lock button, the car went into Panic mode, honking its horn over and over and over again, with the blinking parking lights. This usually wouldn't be so bad, except I have upgraded my horn, so there is now a LOUD airhorn sounding in the parking lot. Got that to stop, but it still wasn't unlocking. So I removed the keyhole cover (carefully so as to not break the stem), inserted the key and unlocked the door. It has been a while since I read the owners manual, so I forgot that if you open the door using this method the alarm will sound. It did. But at least it was just the siren and not the horn again. I paused for a moment, trying to figure out how to disarm the alarm since the key's buttons were not working. I thought maybe starting the car will work. It did thankfully, as I had already been the cause of too many loud noises in the parking lot.

I drove home and tried locking the car with the key's button. No joy. So I went inside, grabbed the spare and hit the Lock button on it, worked as it should (hadn't been washed. :P). At which point I went back inside and popped open the washed key to see how bad it looked. Didn't snap any pics, but about 9hrs after being removed from the washer, it was still VERY wet inside. I cleaned and dried everything on the backside of the main board and around the battery off as best as I could without access to any alcohol for the electronics as I would have liked, then went out to try the key on the car. Again, no joy. So I went back inside, popped the key open again and took a closer look at the prongs/posts holding the board to the button panel. It looked like you could possibly squeeze the three-headed prongs together to allow the board to slip over them, but I wasn't really sure. I tried it, but wasn't able to get it to budge that way. Then I decided to try just prying up the board away from the button panel, thinking maybe the prongs don't have THAT good of a grip on it. They did not, the board came up and away cleanly. More water/residue on that side of the board which I cleaned off. I put it all back together and figured that I would let it dry out for another 16hrs and try it on the car again.

Lock and Unlock so far are working. I haven't tried the hatch release yet nor the Panic, but will check those in the morning. Hopefully this is it and the electronic board in this key is a bit more resilient than the one in my old Mk III Jetta.

Edit: I want to put some pics on here, but my camera is in the mail coming back from being repaired. I'll update the thread tomorrow with how the rest of the functions are on the key and then put some step-by-step pics in showing the process of opening the key and dealing with the internals so that if anyone in the future needs to do this they'll have a better understanding.
uberpanzer is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to uberpanzer For This Useful Post:
deepblueQ (06-01-2011), HGB (01-20-2012), kennyrayandersen (06-01-2011), larryw4csc (01-20-2012), louis bolieu (06-01-2011)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 05:51 AM
Admin/mod.
SCOA Club
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Clearwater
Posts: 9,245
Thanks: 593
Thanked 1,343 Times in 855 Posts
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Garage
Would patience pay? I mean after drying what's feasible with a paper towel, keep the fob open to let it dry naturally for few hours. Maybe with the initial help of a hairdryer on its cold setting? No heat, of course...
Just wondering for the next one that has this happen.
JPaul is offline  
post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 06:22 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 278
Thanks: 1
Thanked 68 Times in 34 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Patience did pay off in the end (at least so far, fingers crossed). I had THOUGHT that it was toast before pulling the circuit board away from the button panel, but then found even more water and such between those two surfaces. Dried and cleaned that area out with the towel, reassembled and let it all dry for many hours. And that did seem to work.

Basically hadn't thought about a hairdryer since I was able to get to all the internal parts, once I separated the board from the buttons that is. Had I not been able to do that, I may have resorted to a dryer.
uberpanzer is offline  
post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 07:57 AM
 
ManchVegas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Aberdeen, WA
Posts: 670
Thanks: 23
Thanked 191 Times in 130 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Garage
You can also do the cell phone trick of then covering the fob in a bowl of uncooked, dry white rice. The rice will draw the moisture out of the fob.

This trick has been used to rescue cell phones that have been dropped in water or got wet.

Last edited by ManchVegas; 06-01-2011 at 09:44 AM. Reason: fixed it
ManchVegas is offline  
post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:08 AM
 
parnami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Philadelphia..ugh
Posts: 385
Thanks: 74
Thanked 27 Times in 16 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Garage
I've washed my key twice so far without problem. Phew! I was under the impression that the seals on the keys kept water from making it's way inside. Instead, after hearing your experience, I guess I was just lucky.
parnami is offline  
post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:25 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: tx
Posts: 5,849
Thanks: 2,260
Thanked 1,496 Times in 999 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 112 Post(s)
Garage
yeah, it's kind of surprising -- I washed a memory stick and it had IMPORTANT data on it. I did use a hair dryer but tried not to get it too hot, worked like a charm. Thanks for sharing -- that could come in pretty handy.
kennyrayandersen is offline  
post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:29 AM
SCOA Club
 
orngandblack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 1,045
Thanks: 147
Thanked 198 Times in 138 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Garage
you could try some wd-40 too. When I dropped my cell in the cats water dish I tried the rice trick but it didn't work. All my buttons when pressed did something they were not suppose to do, I thought the phone was beyond repair. I decided to spray some wd-40 all around inside, around the battery and in every nick and cranny I could find and guess what, it worked. The phone still works today.
orngandblack is offline  
post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:54 AM
 
Smart Enuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,183
Thanks: 34
Thanked 134 Times in 83 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManchVegas View Post
You can also do the cell phone trick of then covering the fob in a bowl of white rice. The rice will draw the moisture out of the fob.

This trick has been used to rescue cell phones that have been dropped in water or got wet.
Hopefully, you don't accidentally toss that rice into the rice cooker. That might affect the taste.
Smart Enuf is offline  
post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 08:57 AM
 
Smart Enuf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,183
Thanks: 34
Thanked 134 Times in 83 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by orngandblack View Post
you could try some wd-40 too. When I dropped my cell in the cats water dish I tried the rice trick but it didn't work. All my buttons when pressed did something they were not suppose to do, I thought the phone was beyond repair. I decided to spray some wd-40 all around inside, around the battery and in every nick and cranny I could find and guess what, it worked. The phone still works today.
Yup, that's what WD-40 was invented to do (WD 40 = water displacement perfected on the 40th try).
Smart Enuf is offline  
post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 06-01-2011, 11:44 AM
 
redoregon's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 330
Thanks: 319
Thanked 191 Times in 81 Posts
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by uberpanzer View Post
I want to put some pics on here, but my camera is in the mail coming back from being repaired.
Did you wash it or something?
redoregon is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to redoregon For This Useful Post:
a2jack (06-02-2011), Eddie19852004 (03-23-2013), HGB (01-20-2012)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Smart Car Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


331

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



  Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Smart Key In The Washing Machine gryphon smart General Discussion 19 10-27-2009 11:04 AM
Washing a Smart chobocobo New Members Area 12 09-02-2009 02:44 PM
Whew! Smart Washing Red_Zippy smart General Discussion 26 05-14-2009 04:00 PM
Pampering Your Smart - Washing saronian smart Operation and Maintenance 34 09-09-2008 10:13 AM
Washing the Smart tee4 Mid-West Region 4 02-11-2008 09:34 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On