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Discussion Starter #1
One of my 2017 Bolt FOBs is intermittent. Twice now it has somewhat died for a short time and then been fine. The battery is ok. Last week I went to get in the car using the door button. That worked, but the car alarm then went off. I used the FOB to silence it. Then I had to put the FOB in its pocket to start the car just that one time. Since then it's been fine, again.

I went for my last free dealer visit yesterday for tire rotation and checkup, since the car will be 2 in a week. After declining the oil change ($90), I asked them about the FOB problem. They checked for OBD fault codes (car body, not engine codes) and found none. They said a FOB failure normally throws a code.

Any ideas? Is the FOB warranty 1-year or something else? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Never thought of RFI...could be. I won't be back to where it happened last week ever [during a trip]. If it happens again in a local I frequent I will see if it's reproducible. Thx.
 

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yes. I'm also getting some remote not detected errors; there's a separate thread on here regarding this, though. I think I'm just going to get a new battery for the FOB. Since it's happening to a few others with 2017 Bolts; mine is a very early one (Dec. 2016). So it's very likely just a battery that needs to be replaced.
 

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BoltFan, I've only had my Bolt since end of April (and just under 2,000 miles) and find I never touch my FOB. Locking and unlocking the door is easy while wearing the FOB, and I've never found the need to start the car or use whatever else is available through one of them.


I've taken the two factory FOBs, and, after duplicating them (one for the wife, one for me), I leave the original FOBs at home, in a nice safe place. That way I can duplicate other FOBs as needed. Keep in mind, you'll need the OEM FOBs when making others.



Here's the place I went for the dups. Every time I've bought one they had a 10% off sale..:


https://www.carandtruckremotes.com/2019-chevrolet-bolt-remote-start-key-13508767.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwg73kBRDVARIsAF-kEH8fUV59tPhn2tI3oRKJi-NHqIM6wAhRXn6Ga32HJG0igDNEyHME96gaAueCEALw_wcB


If you so desire, you'll have to have the keys cut on the dups, as they are, of course, just blanks.


Duplicating the FOBs was a cinch. Just follow the directions (in the manual, I believe) to the "T" and you'll be all set.


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yes. I'm also getting some remote not detected errors; there's a separate thread on here regarding this, though. I think I'm just going to get a new battery for the FOB. Since it's happening to a few others with 2017 Bolts; mine is a very early one (Dec. 2016). So it's very likely just a battery that needs to be replaced.
It's not the battery - that's the first thing I checked. Could be RFI as previously noted. Using "remote not detected" I found those other threads - thanks! They didn't show up searching for key fob.
 

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BoltFan, I've only had my Bolt since end of April (and just under 2,000 miles) and find I never touch my FOB. Locking and unlocking the door is easy while wearing the FOB, and I've never found the need to start the car or use whatever else is available through one of them.


I've taken the two factory FOBs, and, after duplicating them (one for the wife, one for me), I leave the original FOBs at home, in a nice safe place. That way I can duplicate other FOBs as needed. Keep in mind, you'll need the OEM FOBs when making others.



Here's the place I went for the dups. Every time I've bought one they had a 10% off sale..:


https://www.carandtruckremotes.com/2019-chevrolet-bolt-remote-start-key-13508767.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwg73kBRDVARIsAF-kEH8fUV59tPhn2tI3oRKJi-NHqIM6wAhRXn6Ga32HJG0igDNEyHME96gaAueCEALw_wcB


If you so desire, you'll have to have the keys cut on the dups, as they are, of course, just blanks.


Duplicating the FOBs was a cinch. Just follow the directions (in the manual, I believe) to the "T" and you'll be all set.


Rich
Thanks, Rich! I never considered this but it's a great idea! Much appreciated!
 

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It's not the battery - that's the first thing I checked. Could be RFI as previously noted. Using "remote not detected" I found those other threads - thanks! They didn't show up searching for key fob.

As an experiment, you can get the Bolt to turn on with a FOB that has a dead battery (this would tell you the FOB is OK at any rate). The directions are in the manual someplace, but, in short, you place the FOB, face down in the bottom-most part of the armrest cubbyhole. There's a little spot, which will be obvious once you see it, for the FOB to be sitting in.



Then just start the Bolt as you normally would.


Rich
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As an experiment, you can get the Bolt to turn on with a FOB that has a dead battery (this would tell you the FOB is OK at any rate).
The good news is that this has always worked, so whatever it is that goes wrong is more of an annoyance than anything else. Until it happens to my wife, and she freaks out. [Yes I told her about the secret FOB place, but she forgot].
 

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As an experiment, you can get the Bolt to turn on with a FOB that has a dead battery (this would tell you the FOB is OK at any rate).
The emergency transponder in the FOB that let's you start the car with a dead FOB battery is a different circuit and technology than the one that uses an encrypted radio protocol for keyless unlocking and starting. I wouldn't assume that the FOB is OK just because the transponder works without a battery.
 

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The emergency transponder in the FOB that let's you start the car with a dead FOB battery is a different circuit and technology than the one that uses an encrypted radio protocol for keyless unlocking and starting. I wouldn't assume that the FOB is OK just because the transponder works without a battery.

Thanks Sean. Didn't know that.


Rich
 

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If you have a cell phone near the FOB it can sometimes cause a problem with interference. I wear one on my belt on the same side as where I carry my FOB. If it rotates around closer to the FOB I have seen a couple of failures. My wife carries both in her purse without a problem - phone in an outside pocket and FOB in the bottom of the purse. So it seems they need to be within a couple of inches to cause a problem. If they are both in the same pocket, good luck.
 

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Any chance you were carrying an iPad with a second generation Apple Pencil attached? I was able to unlock and enter the car but I couldn't start it. No fob detected. This happened to me a few times and I had to put the fob in the special place to start it. Until I found this article:

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205236

Here's the important note about interference:

2. If you're charging your Apple Pencil (2nd generation) with your iPad Pro and your car's keyless entry device (key fob) is nearby, signal interference might prevent you from unlocking your car with your key fob. If this happens, you can simply move your iPad Pro away from the key fob or remove your Apple Pencil from your iPad Pro and store it separately. When Apple Pencil is finished charging, any resulting signal interference will cease.
Now I make sure the pencil is disconnected from my iPad when I take it with me in the Bolt. No more problems starting the car.

Denny
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Huh... It seems like occasional and apparently random FOB failures are nothing to be worried about. This also means folks need to know about the "dead fob" special place. I have a [techie] friend who bought a Bolt a year ago, and he didn't know about this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Did it again this week - had to put it in the pocket. In a pretty wide open area this time, so interference not that likely. But the failure is transient.
 

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I had similar problems with my 2017 Volt and there was a TSB on it that called for replacement of the FOB receiver. In the Volt, it was a small plug-in box that sits behind a panel on the left side of the hatch area. The TSB which called for a replacement receiver with an updated part number, could be replaced by just pulling back a panel and plugging the new one in. I bought the part for about $25 and did it myself even though the car was still under warranty. Never had a problem again after replacing it. Not sure if the TSB applies to the Bolt also, but figured I'd mention it. I know it applied to some cars other than the Volt. TSB 16-NA-396.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I had similar problems with my 2017 Volt and there was a TSB on it that called for replacement of the FOB receiver. In the Volt, it was a small plug-in box that sits behind a panel on the left side of the hatch area. The TSB which called for a replacement receiver with an updated part number, could be replaced by just pulling back a panel and plugging the new one in. I bought the part for about $25 and did it myself even though the car was still under warranty. Never had a problem again after replacing it. Not sure if the TSB applies to the Bolt also, but figured I'd mention it. I know it applied to some cars other than the Volt. TSB 16-NA-396.
Thanks. In my case, 1 of the 2 FOBs works fine, so it's probably not on the car's end.
 

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Thanks. In my case, 1 of the 2 FOBs works fine, so it's probably not on the car's end.
Have you tried thoroughly cleaning the battery contacts inside the fob and on the battery itself? And making sure that the metal springs press firmly against the side/edge of the battery? Poor conductivity between the battery and the fob could easily account for the kind of symptoms you've reported.
 
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