This procedure is a common method to repair many of the standard keyless entry remotes for GM vehicles. Many standard GM vehicles use a similar keyless entry remote, as shown in the photo. Some premium vehicles such as the Corvette and Cadillac use a different style of keyless remotes. The most common problem with these remotes is the battery holder becomes loose over time from being dropped. The repair is pretty simple, but some soldering experience is helpful.
Warning: A hot soldering iron can cause additional damage to the remote’s circuit board. Limit the amount of contact with the solder iron and any electrical components. If you have never soldered before, this should not be your first project to try. In addition, soldering irons are hot. Use them with extreme caution in a well ventilated area.
- Soldering station
- Rosin core solder (lead-free)
- Disordering pump (optional)
- Small screwdriver
- Voltmeter or multimeter
Steps to Repair the GM Keyless Entry Remote
Step 1: Use a small screwdriver to pry open the keyless entry remote case. Start at the bottom of the case opposite the key ring and work it open until the case separates into two halves.
Step 2: Note the position and orientation of the circuit board and rubber button grommet.
Step 3: Inspect the circuit board. If the battery holder detached from the circuit board it is the main issue. Look at the battery holder pins to see if they are still firmly soldered into the circuit board. If the pins to the battery holder look OK, it is possible that the battery may be dead.
Broken remote circuit board in need of repair
Step 4: Check the battery using a voltmeter or digital multimeter. Most GM keyless entry remotes use a CR 2032 battery which provides 3 volts DC. Verify the battery voltage. It will be printed on top of the battery. Set the voltmeter or multimeter to read DC voltage and place the red (+) lead on top of the battery and the black (-) lead on bottom.
Step 5: If the battery holder is loose it will need re-soldering. Remove excess solder by heating the solder and immediately removing the hot liquid solder using a disordering vacuum pump.
Soldering the damaged GM keyless remote
Step 6: The battery connects with 2 pins and a center pad at the back. Set the 2 side pins in the soldering holes in the circuit board. Set the soldering iron tip to 450 degrees F. Clean and tin the hot soldering iron tip with some solder. Quickly push the soldering iron tip through the hole from the bottom of the board. At the same time, push some fresh solder through the top and allow it to flow through the hole. Do not hold the hot iron on the board very long or you will damage the printed circuit board.
Step 7: Repeat Step 6 with the other side leg of the battery holder.
Step 8: Tin the soldering iron tip. Quickly place the soldering iron tip between the back plate of the battery holder and the matching solder pad on the circuit board. Place the new solder into the gap and allow it to flow into the opening.
Step 9: Verify that the soldered joints are solid and put the keyless entry remote back together.
Step 10: Test the repaired keyless entry remote on the vehicle