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Discussion Starter #1
I was going to post this in the Mods thread but I thought I'd just throw this out there for general consumption.

I was reminded of a situation last year when we were getting ready to turn in my wife's Mazda CX-5, with push button starting, at the end of the lease. With a week or so before we turned it in, I started having trouble getting the car to start. We'd had it for three years and I was worried that the battery may be dying or a starter/solenoid/whatever problem, and that I may have to buy a new battery and then give it to the dealership!

I looked in the manual and all it said was if I were having these kind of problems to take the car to the dealership.

Well, what I eventually discovered was that the battery in the fob was dead and therefore not sending the signal to the battery to start the engine! In the manual, regarding the key fob, it showed only the way to change a battery but nothing about how if the battery dies and doesn't get changed, it will keep the fob from sending the signal to start the car!

Man, if I would have spent the dough for a new battery when it wasn't necessary... And I think Mazda is delinquent in not providing this information to consumers.

Now, this is a Subaru Outback and not a Mazda but I think it's worth passing along. I just changed the batteries in both fobs for my '16 OB Premium as I noticed that the batteries were getting weak in a three-year-old car. The lesson from the Mazda immediately popped into my head...

Hope this helps others.
 

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2015,OB LTD,3.6,Twilight Blue
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With the OB, if the fob batt dies, which has happened to me, you have the option to hold the fob on the dash button to start the car. That worked exactly as the manual said. When the fob batt was dead or even dying, the engine never craked at all. When the car batt goes dead, it is DEAD! It doesn't even try to crank. Even the brake pedal seems like you're pressing on a brick.
 

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you can hold the fob with the buttons facing you, and touch it to the start button... foot on the brake pedal.... when it's that close, the status of the button will change and you can start the engine.
 

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That was one of the nice features of my CTS, it would provide a warning when the fob battery was low.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thx for those responses! The manual(s) are as big as War and Peace and read like it too. I don't recall seeing that about touching the fob to the button. Good to know.
 

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That was one of the nice features of my CTS, it would provide a warning when the fob battery was low.
I've gotten random warning messages from the car when the battery gets low and you're driving.... the remote not being in range or not detected or something like that. I forget the exact text.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Yeah, the "keyfob not detected" message is a good indicator of a problem, but a low battery warning would be a handy feature. The symptoms of a bad car battery are very different from those of a dead fob. In fact, I'm not sure how one would confuse the two.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6 Limited
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you can hold the fob with the buttons facing you, and touch it to the start button... foot on the brake pedal.... when it's that close, the status of the button will change and you can start the engine.
How dead battery are we talking?

Can I remove the battery and it still function?
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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In the manual, regarding the key fob, it showed only the way to change a battery but nothing about how if the battery dies and doesn't get changed, it will keep the fob from sending the signal to start the car!
...
I think Mazda is delinquent in not providing this information to consumers.
At some point it becomes the user's responsibility to exercise a little logic and understanding of basic systems. Even your TV remote requires new batteries every few years. General principle: If there's a battery in it, that battery will eventually need to be replaced.
 

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More details: when you move the fob close to the start button (dead battery in the fob), the car will automatically move from OFF to ON .... then you can press the button to start it.

Here is a quick video I'm too lazy to edit for the audio clipping. The radio is still on from a previous ignition cycle. Battery obviously not in the guts of the fob (annoying cover with button depictions and spare key removed). move the gutted fob thingy to the ignition start button, car moves to ON automatically (gauges self test, dash lights come on, you hear the climate control start the fans since I had them set manually earlier).... then all you do is press the START button and you're off!

 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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2015 Outback 3.6R Package 23
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The manual’s index took me to the answer in about 15 seconds.
Yep. I bought replacement lithium batteries a couple years ago expecting my fob to quit and tossed them in the glove box. The car is more than 4 1/2 years old and I'm still on the original fob batteries. I guess I should replace them soon but the remote still works fine.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 Premium
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One of my fobs quit working last week, so I popped it open. I believe it was the original battery. It had started to leak electrolyte into the fob battery holder. Luckily, most of the leakage was confined to the non-electronics side of the fob case. I rinsed the goo off with distilled water, and dried thoroughly. The side with the electronics had just a dab of leakage, so I cleaned it as best as I could with a dry paper towel. There does not seem to be any corrosion of the metal parts.

It might be worthwhile to replace the battery before it dies. The other fob was still working, but it too had electrolyte leaking inside.
 

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One of my fobs quit working last week, so I popped it open. I believe it was the original battery. It had started to leak electrolyte into the fob battery holder. Luckily, most of the leakage was confined to the non-electronics side of the fob case. I rinsed the goo off with distilled water, and dried thoroughly. The side with the electronics had just a dab of leakage, so I cleaned it as best as I could with a dry paper towel. There does not seem to be any corrosion of the metal parts.

It might be worthwhile to replace the battery before it dies. The other fob was still working, but it too had electrolyte leaking inside.
Yeah, I end up with coin cell battery remotes that will leak if the battery is old enough.... clean it up, and then use some good contact cleaner as well (deoxit or similar). as someone mentioned, a battery charge indicator would be nice to have.... I guess you could open it up and test the voltage of the battery, but then you're that close to swapping it out.
 

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I was going to post this in the Mods thread but I thought I'd just throw this out there for general consumption.

I was reminded of a situation last year when we were getting ready to turn in my wife's Mazda CX-5, with push button starting, at the end of the lease. With a week or so before we turned it in, I started having trouble getting the car to start. We'd had it for three years and I was worried that the battery may be dying or a starter/solenoid/whatever problem, and that I may have to buy a new battery and then give it to the dealership!

I looked in the manual and all it said was if I were having these kind of problems to take the car to the dealership.
.
.
Now, this is a Subaru Outback and not a Mazda but I think it's worth passing along. I just changed the batteries in both fobs for my '16 OB Premium as I noticed that the batteries were getting weak in a three-year-old car. The lesson from the Mazda immediately popped into my head...

Hope this helps others.
I had the same issue In January this year, with my 2018 CX-5 (traded it in for my new Outback Prem 2 months ago), my Mazda fob battery ran out just less than a year from getting it. What the dealer said is the Mazda fobs CONSTANTLY talk to the car even when out of range (i have mine in a faraday bag when at home), and so the battery needs changing every year -- we'll that ain't in the manual. Bought a 4pk Duracell CR2025 batteries, and only used one. Outback fob i think is CR2032, same as PC motherboards.

Weird thing is i have had several top trim Ford Focus's with same fob setup, and NEVER had to change the battery, but I do change my cars every 3-4 years.
 

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'18 Outback Limited/Ex: 2000 Outback Limited
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About replacing the fob battery...what's the trick of popping off the top to get to the batt? I've read the manual, but is that sucker that tight?

Really don't wanna bust the fob being careless.

TIA!

Bill
 

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2015 Outback 2.5i Limited, Ice Silver/Black
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It had started to leak electrolyte into the fob battery holder.
FWIW, I don't think that was the battery leaking. On a whim, I disassembled my 2 keyed openers to check the battery voltages and found a clear substance on the same side of both. I think it may be dielectric compound to prevent corrosion or some neutral agent to facilitate factory assembly. Oh, the voltages were 2.99 and 3.03 after 4+ years. I seldom use the 3.03 reading one.
 
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