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XK8 Key Fobs – A Repair, Sort Of…….


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XK8 key Fobs – A Repair, Sort Of…….

Some thoughts, some ramblings, some ideas and one “sort of” solution about the LJA 2610BA XK8 4 Button key Fob.

I’m sure you all know the scenario. You walk up to the car and press the ‘Unlock’ Button and hey presto, nothing happens. You dance around the car, often hopping on one leg, whilst under your breath reciting ‘Abra Cadabra’ (  or some other words which I can’t possibly repeat here ) pressing and holding the button, waving it around the roof and ‘C’ pillars hoping that waving a virtual magic wand cunningly disguised as a key Fob will actually make it work. The final incantation of ‘Open Sesame ‘ doesn’t work either at which point you give up and return indoors for a stiff drink ( strong coffee, what do you think I meant ? ) whilst you change the batteries for the second time in a week convincing yourself that the recently replaced batteries must have been faulty. Of course they aren’t and you are no further forward other than needing to visit the loo for a comfort break after supping even more coffee. 

I know that you could have opened the door with the key and listened to the countdown of the Alarm about to unleash all hell on me and the rest of the neighbourhood if I fail to get the key in the ignition in time to prevent this happening or even if I do manage to do this in time the Alarm fails to disarm and then both the Alarm and myself enter panic mode, I have a ( irrational ? ) fear of this, perhaps I’m not alone in this or is it just me that’s paranoid ?  Answers to me on a free voucher for the local psychiatrist.

The problem is of course wear on the contact pads of the Rubber Buttons, the solution is to replace the Rubber Pad. I’m talking about the four button one, LJA 2610BA and other similar variants, and here lies the rub. Not that many years ago this type of Fob Case complete with new Rubber Pad were readily available on line for about a fiver, now they all seem to made of that wonderful and oft used classic car material called ‘Unobtanium.’ Over the last few years I have travelled the world, virtually of course, and have found absolutely zero, none, zilch, of these available anywhere so what next ?

 

POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS

Repair Services.

There are plenty of people out there offering repair/refurbishment of your existing Fobs and I assume that this includes repair of the electronics AND replacement of the Rubber Pads and Case. If so where do they obtain these parts ? These services are priced anywhere from £30 to £200, what the difference in prices may indicate I have no idea, but if all you need is the Rubber Pad even the cheapest is a bit steep. Even so if one of these guys are prepared to sell me just the Rubber Pad I may be prepared to pay over the odds to obtain a couple of spares. I haven’t asked any of them so have no idea if any of these repair services would be prepared to do a deal. The other thing I, probably unnecessarily, worry about using a repair service is the reprogramming of the repaired unit. Everyone seems to think that the reprogramming is a simple task that takes just a few minutes of flashing the lights in sequence and this may well be so, but at this point my paranoia rears it’s head again…….

 

Graphite Buttons

Graphite buttons are cheap and readily available. The idea is that you get the right size buttons and then glue them over the worn buttons on your Rubber Pads with some contact adhesive and then the job is done. My worry here is that this may be a one shot only job. If the buttons either don’t stick very well or don’t work for some reason then that’s the end, the contact adhesive will have probably ruined whatever was left of the functionality of your existing buttons, however poor they were they are now a darned sight worse. Consequently I haven’t tried this.

 

Modifying Different Rubber Pads

I thought I may have cracked it with this idea. I bought a 5 Button Rubber Button Pad for Jaguar X S F TYPE XJ XK XF XKR remote smart key. It looked like with a bit of judicial trimming and some fettling it would fit inside my Fob and the key markings and spacing looked pretty much the same, as indeed they are. Unfortunately the finger pad part of the buttons do not protrude through the Fob, they are far too shallow. You could extended the finger pads by gluing some rubber or something similar on top of them but you would lose the markings and I think even then the contact part of the buttons would be far too long so constantly touching the contacts and permanently activating the electronics, this would probably confuse the car as much as me and as for battery life…..  I think this idea could work if we could discover which type of Rubber Pad could be modified, however I have no clue as where to start on this.

 

My Solution

The only solution I can offer right now is using some electrically conductive paint on the contacts of the buttons on the Rubber Pad. The stuff I used is in the pic, other similar products are available and all are easily and cheaply obtainable from well known on line retailers. It’s easy to use. Remove the Rubber Pad from the Fob and clean the contact part of the buttons with Isopropyl Wipes or liquid IPA or similar. Apply a small amount of the “ paint “ to each of the contact buttons and let it dry, make sure it’s totally dry before putting it all back together. I know that you’ll be eager to try and see if it works but be patient !  Whilst you are in the Fob carefully clean the gold contact pads of the PCB, including the battery area, with the IPA stuff or Contact Cleaner, make sure that everything is clean and dry before reassembling it all with new batteries. This repair worked wonderfully on mine, it was like having a brand new Fob, no more dancing around the car like a loony and no more arcane incantations. BUT. ( Why is there always a BUT ? ) This repair worked perfectly for five months and then total failure, not one button worked. Don’t panic, a few minutes work repeating the above procedure followed by a few hours waiting for paint to dry and all is good again. So, far from a real solution or ideal but at least some sort of a cure and if you have to repeat it every few months it’s no big deal.

If you’ve read this far through these ramblings you probably have an interest in this problem, if so I’d be happy to hear your thoughts and ideas,

 

Thanks,

Nige.

 

 

 

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