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maxwell smart

Help! Smart Key in Washer

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Yesterday my wife found the Smart key in the washer. It was in one of my two sons' pocket (she's not sure which one). The Smart key doesn't work anymore even with new battery. Do anyone know if it can be repaired or how much it is to replace and re-program the circuit board inside the key?

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Remove battery. Soak it well in distilled water for 30 minutes, changing water once. Shake dry, then place in a warm <150F oven for about 30 minutes. Let cool, then install battery and try it. This usually works for cameras and other electronic devices, so should work for the key. The distilled water flushes any minerals and left over detergent and leaves no residue when dried.Be vary careful not to get the oven too hot.Alternatively you can wait for the key to thoroughly dry and try it again.

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Well I supose it's too late but don't press the buttons till you rinse and dry it.Any residue or water will short it out destroying it.It can't be repaired, sorry.MB will be glad to charge you a couple hundred for replacement.Try what kwaldron said. If it don't work forget it. You still have the other one, right?Cheap solution.You can take the key off the fob. You need both to start the car.Leave the working fob always in the car hidden somewhere. Then whoever drives only has to carry their own key and know where the fob is hidden.Use the alternate method to lock the car from the inside.To unlock you will always have to use the key in the back door.Good luckRetired RCAF

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I did that very thing too...about a month ago.Went to get in my car and suddenly realized I had washed my jeans with the BIG smart key in the pocket. I ran to the washing machine which had just finished the final spin dry cycle. :o Immediately pryed open the key case...blotted out what I could with a Kleenex tissue then let it dry unassembled in front of the heat register overnight.The darn thing still works perfectly....could not believe it!I did hear that a new one is $230.00 or some other totally crazy $$$E.B.

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I did hear that a new one is $230.00 or some other totally crazy $$$E.B.

Thats pretty close maybe a bit more and on top of that you have to wait for the new set to arrive from Germany and then the dealer has to program them to the car.There were may threads about this a couple years ago. People were not happy.Retired RCAF

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It's too late. My wife didn't tell me until I try to unlock the door today. There is a standard circuit board inside the key casing. I don't know if you can just replace that, re-program it and reuse the key.

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It's too late. My wife didn't tell me until I try to unlock the door today. There is a standard circuit board inside the key casing. I don't know if you can just replace that, re-program it and reuse the key.

That would be so nice and smart-user friendly but somebody would not get as much money from you. I think you'll have to know someone in the business to get that done and I don't really think it can be fixed easily.You're not the first this has happened to and I don't remember a happy ending but I've only been on the forums for a couple years. Someone else might know more.Retired RCAF

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In addition to the other steps - you can try rinsing it out with 99% isoproponal - it will flush out residual moisture and dries quick with out heat. You could also pack it in silica gel - but that won't de-grunge it.Try it again after a few days - you might have to change the battery. Heck I even washed a pager one time - didn't discover it until the dryer when thump thump - a good dry out and it still worked fine and it was on when it went in.Cheers,Cameron

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You also could spray it with MolySlip COMBAT, an excellent spray that removes corrosion and brought my 1989 Peugeot's BOSCH MOTRONIC ECU back to life when it was drowned in water......

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The washing is similar to what happens when it was manufactured. First suggestion should fix it. I used to service electronic equipment and I have put misbehaving dirty disk drives, laser drives, motherboards etc. through the dish washer. Alone of course and let them go through the drying cycle. I have even recovered data on disk drives this way after they have been through a fire. Remove the battery, look for any corrosion, usually green, if none strong mix of dawn dish soap in as hot a water as your hands can stand. swish around vigorously, rinse with more clear hot water, place on a pad of paper towel, still hot, blot top with more paper towel, place in oven at 150 for 15 min. let cool and try. good luck. I got a couple of keys off ebay uk. The key portion is a standard MB key available at a good lock shop.

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On a side note, I remember from a few years ago that someone was installing a two way Viper alarm system and they were trying to get it programmed to unlock the doors and disable the immobilzer. I think they were able to unlock the doors but they couldn't disable the immobilzer. Does anyone remember who this was and whether or not they were successful?

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Well a member recently got his car alarm integrated with the doors and it all works - here is the thread -

integrated alarm

Really worked well when I saw it.

Mean while - did the key wind up working once clean?

Cheers,

Cameron

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I spray a bucket load of electronic contact cleaner on the circuit, waited a few hours for it to dry (my son drove the Smart to see his girlfriend anyway) and put in a new battery. When my son came back I try the key and it works. Saved my son a couple hundred of dollars. What a relief. Thanks everybody for all the advice.

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