'06 SS Key Fob MYSTERY - Cobalt SS Network

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Old 05-14-2018, 02:55 PM   #1  
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'06 SS Key Fob MYSTERY

First I would like to say that I'm somewhat of a lurker here and this is my first post. Original owner of an '06 Cobalt SS/NA that I've decided to refurbish and keep. The information here on this site is simply invaluable and has saved me TONS over the Stealership in repairs and general maintenance.

Now for the issue at hand. My key fobs (2) quit working only a couple years ago and my local GM stealership wants $80 each fob and $140 to program. Pure rubbish man. Since I claim to be a lurker and have found quite a bit of useful information on this site, one would wonder why I am making a post about a subject that already has hundreds of posts? Simple....they are not working for me.

I would like to be very specific on the fixes I've tried thus far... (in chronological order)

1) Changed the batteries

2) Noticed both fobs had the battery solder connection issue......... I'm a network tech and my soldering skills are quite nice. Resoldered the connections. This worked for about 2 days after about 3 years of not working (both fobs), then nothing.

3) Cleaned the contact pads with 91% isopropyl alcohol. I did this in conjunction with the resolder.

The battery resolder, cleaning and new keypad/shell worked but became intermittent then nothing. Checked and rechecked the batteries and solder job. Nothing.

4) I really want/need this to work so I tried pulling the radio AND the ECM fuses to reset things (another fix from this site), waited a minute or 2, put them back in, started pressing the lock/unlock then BAM ...it worked like new. Barely had to press the keypad for it to work properly. Good stuff right?

Well not for me. Had both fobs working gloriously..... went for a drive (about 45 minutes), got to my destination, went to walk away while pressing......nothing. Tried the fuse reset fix twice now, each time it works...until I have to drive, then nothing.

Now I'm thinking its the transmitter or some other much bigger fix. What am I missing? What else can I possibly do besides think its the transmitter? Why the hell won't it stay connected? It's like it doesn't recognize the fobs after I drive the car now. Not going to keep yanking fuses only to get this to work for half a day.
This is making me sick to me stomach. Any sound advice I haven't tried?
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:43 AM   #2  
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The carbon pads can wear out on the button and cause them to work very intermittently but the pads still look fine, good way to test is get a small screwdriver and short the contacts on the pcb, if it works better and farther away then that's the issue, they sell "rebuild" kits on ebay, I know they work bc cust have had me put their fob together using the kit but idk how long the pads last compared to factory.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:06 AM   #3  
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Originally Posted by Kolt View Post
but idk how long the pads last compared to factory.
they last a little shorter, but the price is right so it's fine.

i've heard of people gluing alum foil on the pads to get them to work. i didn't because 1) the replacement is like $5 on amazon and, 2) I don't want them to come off and "push" the button inadvertently.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:19 PM   #4  
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Holy ****. Did anybody actually read that whole post? **** me lol
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Old 07-07-2018, 01:19 PM   #5  
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Ok then, I want to update this thread because maybe it will help someone with this common issue....and to be brief if I can.

1. The key fobs are the original 13 year old fobs

2. I really wanted to understand wtf is going on with them and exhaust most possibilities of malfunction...I hate paying stealership for ANYthing.

For the most part the fixes I implemented work and still work. I haven't done anything else to these fobs outside of what I outlined in the OP. However, there are inconsistencies.

a. the fobs work but only are consistent in certain conditions....experimented with this for a few weeks. During the day the fobs work near perfect every time, only inconsistency is with the distance from the car which I can lock/unlock. Seems like the brighter it is the more normal the fobs work.This applies to the trunk and panic buttons too.

b. at night, late dusk and twilight....I have to put the fob up to the darned window for it to work. I'm not sure why this is, but after weeks and hundreds of experimental presses during all times of the day, this is just fact for these fobs.

Conclusion…. the damned things are just OLD. New batteries and contacts pads and soldering etc...doesn't change the fact that the electronics in these little remotes simply become less efficient over time. I'm glad I have about 85% press success rate with them without paying $300 for 2 new fobs at the stealership, which is good enough for now.

Oh yeah, obligatory shot. From a couple weeks ago after a quick detail...

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