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DIY - Battery Replacement in Lexus Key

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Old 02-16-08, 06:59 PM   #1
Neofate
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Default DIY - Battery Replacement in Lexus Key

I thought while I was replacing my key battery I would make a simple Do it Yourself out of this.

Most people would intuitively figure out how to do this, but I know of some people who would bring this to the dealership to get changed out.

If your key doesn't remotely unlock or lock your doors anymore, try changing the battery.

If you have to be very close to the car for the remote to work, change the battery.

The Battery needed is a CR1216 (It is round, about dime sized) --(Note have a report of a 1998 LS battery being a 1616 from radioshack.) -- So might be wise to open the key up and check the battery before you buy one.

Tools needed: Small screw driver -- (Very small, something like a jewelry tool or 'eye glass tool'. It will be a phillips head.

*Note: Personally, I used a flat head screw driver because phillips head are universal if you have the appropriate sized tool.

--After I changed my battery the range on the remote locks went from about 10feet to 50 yards. Impressive to me. Though it was probably the original 13yr old battery.--

To start, here is the key, and the screw shown. (I apologize for blurry pictures but the camera wouldn't do any better.)

Click the image to open in full size.


Next use your appropriately sized screw driver to unscrew the single screw in these keys.
*Note: Do not strip the head of the screw. So make sure your screw driver is making solid contact with the head, and is indeed turning the screw -- It should not take much effort to break the initial time induced thread lock.

Click the image to open in full size.

Once you have taken the screw out, lay it off to the side out of the way. Gently pry open the two halves of your key. Now you will have the key apart.

*Be gentle but a little pressure will be needed here. I used the flat head tool to slip into a gap at the bottom of the key and it easily popped apart.

Click the image to open in full size.

Notice in the previous picture there was an O-ring rubber piece that is off to the side. This is located around the battery itself, and would be wise to remove. Lay it off the side as shown.

Remove the battery - It has one edge of metal that holds it in place. So be sure not to pry against that edge. Otherwise the battery literally almost falls out. *Refer to previous picture for how things should look at this point.

Throw old battery away, and place new battery in the slot. Make sure the Positive (+) side is facing upwards as shown. Then take your rubber O-Ring and place around the battery in the groove.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now the key should be ready to put back together. This is how it should look before you close it back up.

Click the image to open in full size.

Take the other half of the key and place it on top of the bottom half. Make sure they are lined up correctly and *gently* press them together. It will make a small click and you are nearly done.

*Do not force anything, if it feels like you are pressing too hard, take it apart and try again, making sure nothing is preventing it from closing. (IE: battery fell out, rubber o-ring shifted, and so forth.)

Lastly take your screwdriver and screw the single screw back into the slot.

*Note: Make sure the screw goes into the threads evenly. Do not force the screw in. The screw should screw in easier than it came out. (Watch the seam between the halves as you screw in the screw to make sure they don't have any space in them. If some space starts to develop, the screw is cross-threading or going in at the wrong angle. -- Back it out and try again.).

*** Only make it hand tight. There is absolutely NO need to make this have 80lbs of torque on it. Screw it till it is snug, and leave it. The key stays together without the screw, so a snug screw will be all you need.

Click the image to open in full size.

You are done! When done make sure the seams/gaps between the two halves all the way around the screw are together like they were before you took the key apart, as I am doing in this blurry picture.

Click the image to open in full size.

Congratulations, you now have a key that works like new!

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by Neofate; 02-21-08 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 02-16-08, 07:40 PM   #2
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hmm, nice writeup. Did every LS400 have a battery in the key? My key is cracked a little and has revealed metal under the plastic, but no noticeable place for a battery.

My car has a remote control on/off switch to the left of the steering wheel (near the fuel door switch).

I'm assuming my car used to have a key button to lock and open the car due to seeing the switch.
Can I get a new remote control for it?
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Old 02-16-08, 07:42 PM   #3
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yes but its a couple hundred dollars for the new remote key...nice write up.
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Old 02-17-08, 01:52 AM   #4
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Thanks.. almost silly, but I figured someone might use it one day.

As for your key -- Yes your car , at one time, had a key like mine with a button to remotely unlock the doors.

Also, YES, you can get a new one.

I was about to write that you could go online to:

http://www.lextasy.com/Lexus-Key-Replacement.htm

And get a new replacement key for a third or less of the cost of the dealership, as I did this for my fathers 99 LS 400 -- But it seems they only do 1998 models forward. Which is odd.

You might call them up and see if there are any options for your year model,.. if not. The dealership will charge you like 285$ or so.. its insane, but it would be nice to have a remote door lock.

For that kind of money you could just get a lower to mid grade alarm installed and have more options and better security.

Main reason I like remote door locks is A) You don't scratch your door up using the key everyday,.. and B) It arms your alarm immediately (Not sure if your alarm arms without it.. but I bet it does on the regular manual key lock).
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Old 02-17-08, 02:52 AM   #5
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ehh, id rather get the shell from ebay or sewell, Lextasy has a very poor reputation on CL and other lexus forums
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Old 02-17-08, 07:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PureDrifter View Post
ehh, id rather get the shell from ebay or sewell, Lextasy has a very poor reputation on CL and other lexus forums
Well I didn't even notice if lextasy had the earlier model keys. Though I can attest I used them for a 99 LS 400. They had the key cut and sent (minus buttons/guts) and shipped back to me in 3days. The only needed the key code, which I had.

Took me about 2 minutes to take the insides from the broken key and put in the lextasy key. Worked and felt (lookd) like new.

I can only attest to my single experience.

Though ebay is probably a good spot to look.. though you will need your key specific to your car. The keys are built into the shells... so you couldn't buy a key from someone on ebay that has one laying around -- I suppose people can program/cut keys on ebay and offer the service that way.

Anything is cheaper than the dealership. I understand, but am distgusted at what Lexus (toyota) charges for some things. Even if you bought a 60-80,000 dollar lexus new, it doesn't mean you have the money to spend a 5,000% markup on everything. -- Another subject though, it is what it is. Luckily there are alternatives for most things.. and where there aren't, someone will be able to benefit by providing the alternative.. IE: The few who do the instrument clusters/LCD's the right way.

However, thanks for the heads up Driftor,.. I had no idea Lextasy had a bad rep, I will put that disclaimer in my posts before recommending them in the future.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:58 PM   #7
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I literally can't find anything anywhere for my car. Where in the world can one get a key remote for a 1990?
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Old 02-17-08, 07:19 PM   #8
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ebay ....
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Old 02-19-08, 02:41 PM   #9
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Default Replacing key battery

Nice writeup, very imformative. You can follow those instructions or, you can go to any Radio Shack and purchase the battery ( same cost ) as anywhere else, and they will install the battery FREE. I have had it done and they were very careful in not breaking the case.

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Old 02-19-08, 04:48 PM   #10
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Thanks Dan.

This is for , well, "Do it yourself'ers" -- Some people just want to do it themselves regardless of what it is.

Though I agree getting the battery changed out in the key is generally not an expensive thing to do. (I have no idea if the dealership would charge you more than $5.. but I would be inclined to think yes.. )

Besides the battery needs to be changed what , once a decade? Maybe every 5-6 yrs to be safe?

I was going to grab a second gen key and show how to transfer the guts.. but it is the same procedure, it would be almost impossible not to follow these directions (or basically remove the screw hehe)-- and not figure it out.

Only danger is in mis-threading the screw, stripping the screw head (biggest thing I would imagine, due to size) -- and not allowing for the case to be closed and come to together seamlessly.

Remember anyone who is changing their batteries.. don't strip that screw.. if it doesn't move easily,.. do yourself a favor, and go beg, steal, or borrow the appropriate size screwdriver. -- Also just snug tight is all it needs, you overtighten now, next time you have to undo the key , it might come back to haunt you.
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Old 02-20-08, 07:43 AM   #11
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Nice write up and thanks for taking the time to do it.

My remote only works when close to the car so it's time for a new battery. I'm gonna try my friendly RS today at lunch.

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Old 02-20-08, 08:01 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddievegas View Post
Nice write up and thanks for taking the time to do it.

My remote only works when close to the car so it's time for a new battery. I'm gonna try my friendly RS today at lunch.

Eddie
My pleasure -- I think I will be adding a good many write ups in the coming days/weeks/months. Some might be repeats, but having multiple variations of write-ups with pics and details is a good thing imo. Some people understand one persons way of doing it better than another, and the combination might make it click for others.

Anyhow, also consider going into any jewelry shop. They will have the battery, and the tools. Probably charge you 5$ to do it (battery is a little cheaper than that.. but still nothing).

Also note, these remotes on the First gen's like mine are designed to work 'close' to the car. Unlike your aftermarket keyless entry/alarms. I believe the manual states 3meters (9feet) range. In reality I can get mine to work from 10times that range.. but it is finicky outside of 20-30feet, just by design.
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Old 02-20-08, 12:12 PM   #13
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I never knew that the older keys had batteries. Is the button on the side of the remote??
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Old 02-20-08, 12:15 PM   #14
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Took a walk to RS today at lunch. RS wouldn't change the battery for me, but they have more jeweler's screwdriver types and sizes than the mind can imagine and will let you use them.

Anyway, my '98 LS400 remote required a CR1616 as that was what was in the remote key fob. I have no idea when, or if, the battery was ever replaced, but I'm guessing it's been awhile as the range was pretty bad. It took a couple minutes to change the battery and the range is much improved.

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Old 02-21-08, 09:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJW98LS View Post
I never knew that the older keys had batteries. Is the button on the side of the remote??

Yessir -- We have alarms and keyless entry too! -- We don't NORMALLY use Telekenesis to open our doors.

Yes, the button is on the side, if you look at those pictures you will notice it, especially of the opened key. If you didn't tell someone about the button when you handed them the key they might not figure it out right away

Oh, and glad to see others getting that battery changed and getting more range. -- 1616 eh? I'll have to mention that in the original write up for the '98 LS models) --

Although I did a 99 LS and it was a 1216 just as mine was. I wonder if the 1616 is basically the same thing,.. hrmm.
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Old 02-21-08, 09:45 AM
 
 
 
 
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