Introduction

My Subaru's keyless entry buttons weren't working too well, so I decided to replace the battery within it.

This procedure is relatively simple, and the same basic principle can be applied to most other manufacturers' key fobs.

Unscrew the single Phillips screw on the back of the key fob using a #1 Phillips screwdriver. The two black plastic pieces should separate, revealing the control module. Lift out the control module from the rest of the key. The two black plastic pieces should separate, revealing the control module. Lift out the control module from the rest of the key.
  • Unscrew the single Phillips screw on the back of the key fob using a #1 Phillips screwdriver.

  • The two black plastic pieces should separate, revealing the control module. Lift out the control module from the rest of the key.

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There are four plastic retaining clips that hold the control module intact. Starting with the smallest retaining clip, insert the flat end of a spudger in between the black and white plastic pieces of the clip in order to release its hold. Rotate the control module to the next retaining clip, taking care not to accidentally clamp down the previously-released clip. Repeat the same procedure in the previous bullet to release the other two retaining clips.
  • There are four plastic retaining clips that hold the control module intact.

  • Starting with the smallest retaining clip, insert the flat end of a spudger in between the black and white plastic pieces of the clip in order to release its hold.

  • Rotate the control module to the next retaining clip, taking care not to accidentally clamp down the previously-released clip. Repeat the same procedure in the previous bullet to release the other two retaining clips.

    • Once all four clips are released, separate the white plastic piece from the rest of the control module.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.
The CR1620 battery is held in place by metal contacts. Use the pointy end of the spudger to release the battery from the metal contacts. Swap in a new CR1620 battery, and make sure it is securely held in place by the metal contacts. Swap in a new CR1620 battery, and make sure it is securely held in place by the metal contacts.
  • The CR1620 battery is held in place by metal contacts. Use the pointy end of the spudger to release the battery from the metal contacts.

  • Swap in a new CR1620 battery, and make sure it is securely held in place by the metal contacts.

YMMV, because the battery I had to replace was not a CR2025, but a CR1620. Seems like I'm not the only one :)

David Robillard - Reply

Optional: Use the pointy end of the spudger to remove some of the gunk/buildup within the key fob. Insert the control module back into the key fob, making sure all the buttons line up with the holes.
  • Optional: Use the pointy end of the spudger to remove some of the gunk/buildup within the key fob.

  • Insert the control module back into the key fob, making sure all the buttons line up with the holes.

  • Reattach the two halves of the key fob on the side opposite of the key first, then continue until the entire fob is back together in its original state.

    • Don't forget to put back the Phillips screw!

I found a 1616 battery in my "collection" followed the authors directions using micro screw driver for a spludger and the key fob for my 2006 Honda CR-V is again working. I shall buy a couple (or more 1616 batteries tomorrow. Thanks to the author for these instructions.

Charles Stokes - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

14 other people completed this guide.

8 Comments

All fine and good, except the identical looking key fob from my 2010 Outback uses a CR1620 battery. So much for the CR2025s I bought!

janetsutton - Reply

Nice, clear description of the process (which is very simple). My 2010 Outback also uses the CR1620 battery, not the CR2025 the instructions say. I would recommend disassembling your key fob and taking the old battery to the store to compare. You can still drive with the disassembled key fob; you just have to lock/unlock the door manually.

Mark Ray - Reply

Great instructions! However, just like Mark and Janet, my 2010 Legacy keys had a CR1620 battery. Also, there were 4 plastic clips on step 2. Thanks for the guide!

Steve Osgood - Reply

Apparently the instructions have been updated since the above comments, because they now call for the CR1620, which is what I bought, and they work perfectly!

The instructions and photos are very clear, easy to follow, and accurate. I was very pleased to find this site and realize that for about 15 bucks total I could replace the batteries in both our 2010 Outback keys - I had imagined we'd have to get new keys or at the least take them to the dealer for a highly pricey replacement. Thanks, ifixit!!

Gurukarm Khalsa - Reply

Question, I replaced mine but it still doesn't work. do I need to reset the system?

Jessica Fraley - Reply

According to another web page on this topic, it reads: "After the battery is replaced, the transmitter must be synchronized with the remote keyless entry system’s control unit. Press either the LOCK or UNLOCK button six times to synchronize the unit."

12amrider -

Thanks, this worked perfectly for me. No synchronizing needed, maybe because the battery was only out for a few minutes.

Nan Galbraith - Reply

I replaced the battery in the 2012 Outback key but now the car won't do anything. its as if i triggered some system lock up and nothing works even with another key fob. what now?

Randy Dennis - Reply

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