"Key battery needs replacing" message on dash won't go away

"Key battery needs replacing" message on dash won't go away

I replaced the battery in my key, but the message will not leave my instrument panel.

Tesla 800 number tech told me to lock and unlock the doors for the message to go away, but this did not work.

Any suggestions? (Just thought of a reboot while writing this.)

nipper2 | February 12, 2017

did you check the battery in the second key

nipper2 | February 12, 2017

did you check the battery in the second key

nipper2 | February 12, 2017

did you check the battery in the second key

nipper2 | February 12, 2017

did you check the battery in the second key

Bighorn | February 12, 2017

Have you had a recent service? I had an inexperienced ranger create this problem when he coded the keys incorrectly.

nipper2 | February 12, 2017


nipper2 | February 12, 2017

sorry one of those days

djmichaelmayhem | February 12, 2017

I had to reboot the main screen when I changed my batery, after reboot, was normal.

stevenmaifert | February 12, 2017

I had the same problem a year ago. After putting fresh batteries in both keys, the nag persisted. Had to make a trip to the service center to get it cleared.

Tesltoronto | February 12, 2017

I went to the service centre and it got cleared. They said that they just replaced the battery in my key. I misunderstood the message as the main battery issue the word "Key" threw me off!

dogfishbird | February 12, 2017

More than likely the battery is the culprit. I had this exact same message. I had to replace my battery three times before it went away. My theory is that these batteries sit on shelves in grocery stores or warehouses for years before being used, and just go bad.

kevin | February 12, 2017

Batteries should be date coded.

rxlawdude | February 12, 2017

Be careful buying them on Amazon. Major problem with counterfeits.

Rocky_H | February 13, 2017

I had this problem recently. I got the low key fob battery warning, replaced the batteries in both of my key fobs, and the warning still wouldn't go away. Left the key fobs at home and drove only with the app, and the message was still there. Never could figure out how to get it to go away or which key fob was giving the low battery warning. Then one day, I had gotten to work, and when I came back out that night, nothing would work. No remote connectivity either. Tesla Roadside Assistance couldn't connect to the car either. Wi-fi hotspot next to the car wouldn't connect either. The car had to sit for a couple days until the Service Ranger got there. I brought both key fobs with me when the Service Ranger and I went to the car, and the other one that apparently wasn't quite dead woke the car up. He replaced both batteries again, and it all seemed to work. Still kind of a mystery.

tylerhen | February 13, 2017

Last year I continued to get this message on the dash even after replacing the key fob battery. After chatting with a service center, I believe they told me to hold in the top(roof) of the key fob to reset the battery indicator. It was a while ago, but I believe that is what fixed it for me.

flight505 | February 13, 2017

Okay, I'll try holding in the top of the key fob. The idea of getting stranded means I need to quit driving my Tesla until this is fixed.

Rocky_H | February 14, 2017

@flight505, I usually wouldn't sweat the "getting stranded" too much. When I talked with roadside assistance, they were going to call an Uber to take me home. My wife was on her way back through town, though, so I didn't need that. I'm not sure how much the car not starting is related to the fob battery thing. When my key fob battery finally stopped working that morning, I just didn't want to bother going back into the house to get the other one, so I just drove to work using the mobile app. Don't really know why connectivity stopped working during the day then.

murphyS90D | February 14, 2017

Pressing and holding the top button on the fob activates Summon. It seems unlikely they would use that to fix the fob battery warning unless it also has to be plugged in for it to work.

vwalser | January 10, 2018

I've changed both batteries in the key fobs and the message on the dash will not go away. I even rebooted the car twice, still nothing.... Very frustrating!

pnajar | January 10, 2018

You might test the battery with a volt meter to make sure it a bad battery problem

bill | January 10, 2018

My 2016 Model S 90 D has been burning through batteries. Since I took delivery December 30, 2016 I have had the car in the SC several times to be told the Key Fob batteries were dead and replaced with new ones. I replaced one two weeks ago from one fresh in a unopened package and measured the voltage before I installed it. I still had issues on several occasions where I had to wave the key fob around and try touch every handle on evey door until eventually the car unlocked.

It was in the SC again today and they gave me two bran new FOBS. Less then 2 hours later when I returned to the car from shopping it happened again.

I keep the FOB in a pocket by itself and my phone and wallet is on the other side of my body so I know it is not interference from other things in my pockets.

Why can't Tesla get Blue Tooth working to unlock the car using the phone. You can do it with WIFI but there are times when there is no WIFI.

SO | January 11, 2018

@bill - hopefully the Bluetooth functionality available in the Model 3 will make it to the S/X.

Bighorn | January 11, 2018

Has the car “seen” both fobs with fresh batteries?

Rocky_H | January 11, 2018

@vwalser, Quote: “I've changed both batteries in the key fobs and the message on the dash will not go away. I even rebooted the car twice, still nothing.... Very frustrating!”

Ah, the very same thing happened to me. I had been hanging onto spare batteries for about a year and a half, ready to change them when they got low. Apparently the batteries were so old they were dead. Tesla service ranger came, because the car was stuck at work and had coincidentally decided to stop responding to remote connections. He changed the batteries in the remotes, and it worked fine. I felt kind of stupid, but apparently newer batteries that were actually good solved the problem.

2015P90DI | January 11, 2018

I had the same problem. Called Tesla. When one goes dead, you have to replace both batteries. Silly. But that's the process. So need to change the battery in the second key fob and take it out to the car so it recognizes it and the message should go away.

WATTGAS | January 11, 2018

Like Bill, my Dec 2016 S90D has been quickly draining new key fob batteries in the last few months. Took it to the SC yesterday and picked it up today. They replaced both fobs and also the module that communicates with the fobs.

Dan3 | May 21, 2018

Locking and then unlocking the car with both key fobs cleared the message for me.

jaketherake | June 3, 2018

thank you

john | June 7, 2018

@bill: My 2016 90D had the same symptom, but they went away when I had bent the two, metal contact points in the key fob that hug the outer rim of the battery inward. The problem is gone for now. I agree completely with having bluetooth smartphone access, why carry a key fob? (except when valet parking)

R.pause | August 5, 2018

I had the same problem on a fresh battery. The battery tests good with 2.99V. I couldn’t clear the message until I took the battery out of the problem fob, then re-inserted it. Now it’s happy.

My hypothesis is that when the fob gets a squirrelly reading from its battery, it sets a flag on the fob itself, and the car simply reports that the flag has been set. The fob resets itself when the battery is removed, and the message in the car goes away. I think all this talk about bad batteries is wrong and the real problem is a bad contact between the fob and it’s battery.

Jeremy.Le.Kahn | October 21, 2018

Just adding my experience: Changed one, still had it on the screen. Changed both, went to the car with both, and it went away. Good luck all - frustrating! But solved for me

rthayerjr | November 29, 2018

I wish the correct answer would float to the top. Been three months of this warning. After changing batteries bring BOTH keys into the car and it will go away. As of today service does not know this fix. Waited 26 mins on hold for them to not be able to fix the issue.

Firaz | November 29, 2018

This is slightly off topic but results in similar symptoms. I had the key fob of my other car in the same pocket, which seems to have caused the car to think there was no key fob nearby, and would not start (it was a rental, so I only had one key fob and no phone app connectivity) had to press the to top of the key fob enough times for the car to lock, unlock, and finally detect it. Thought batteries were low, but everything went back to normal when I removed the other key fob.

murphyS90D | November 30, 2018

When the car transmitted its "who is there" request both fobs answered at the same time and the car received garbage so it did nothing.

brivel | December 15, 2018

Fixed!!!! Need to replace both batteries and bring both batteries to the car. Unlock the doors with both and then the message disappears.

brivel | December 15, 2018

Previous comment. Meant both key fobs to the car.

PrescottRichard | December 15, 2018

That’s good info brivel.

james_chen70 | December 28, 2018

I ended up having to change batteries to both keys. The new batteries are fine, checked by using a Volt meter. Turns out the message is for both keys. Once battery changed in both keys, the message went away. Hope this helps others. For a while, I was battling with one key - after changing battery for one key, the message would not go away.

randydibb | January 9, 2019

Oddly enough, I got this message the day before mobile was to be here. He said it's tough sometimes.

He stood about 40' away with one key. I got into the car with the other key, closed the door, cleared the PIN like I was going to drive, then put it in park, got out and locked the door. I walked to him and stayed. He walked up the car and did the same thing and it cleared.

jon | February 17, 2019

Having just experienced this, the key (haha) to solving the problem seems to be this: the car remembers which key fob has a bad battery, and it won’t clear until that particular key fob has a new battery in it. I have two fobs, one of which I carry, and the other of which resides in the bottom of my wife’s purse. Since we travel together often, both keys are in the car, so when the indicator comes on it could be for either fob, but you don’t know which one it is. Thus, you only have a 50% chance of fixing the problem by changing one fob, and the perception arises that you have to change both of them when in fact you only have to change the correct one.

llavek44 | March 12, 2019

I didn't have this problem before until I called in for S/C to order and program another fob. The current one has fresh batt. Then upon pro

llavek44 | March 12, 2019

... gramming the new fob it appeared and have it since. The tech tried everything (replacing both fobs' batteries) to no avail.

KeithBecky5 | March 22, 2019

Had same issues as everyone else. After putting 3 new batteries in my fob, after reading this thread, replaced batteries in both fobs. Walked out to car with both fobs and it unlocked, but message didn’t go away. THEN pressed top button on both fobs and held it and message cleared. Not sure if pressing the buttons had anything to do with it, maybe I was just a bit impatient, but it worked!

RenEnergy | June 20, 2019

Had same issue present yesterday. Resolved by opening/closing the frunk, pressing/holding the frunk button for 5 seconds. The message cleared!

Not certain, but thought it may be related to fact that I accidently pressed the frunk button a couple of days ago, the frunk didn't open and no warning light, did a visual but never checked to ensure it was properly latched. Today I completed the procedure above and it cleared. Idonknow,, just an observation. YMMV

Sefar | June 21, 2019

#metoo. I think R.pause nailed it, the fob gets wonky and sends a flag. My batteries had been replaced at annual service but taking them out and replacing cleared the issue.

cdaltd | November 21, 2019

replaced both batteries then after that with both keys go inside the car & keep both keys near the top and then everything will be fine!