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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday I saw this message as I was going to turn off the car and it wouldn't let me do so because of this message. It said to press the brake and turn the car on. I did this a few times, still saw this error message but around the 3rd or 4th cycle it eventually worked.

I just got the car a week ago, so I'm thinking the battery in the fob is reasonably strong and should identify itself as present. I've seen this same sort of thing a number of times over the years with my old ICE vehicle where it flashes a key icon red when it can't find the fob, so it's not unheard of.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm guessing the battery inside the fob is somewhat easily replaced by taking the manual key out and prying the two pieces that make up to fob apart? Probably a CR2032 or something similar inside.

Of course it could be something else entirely and probably not the battery. On my old vehicle I'd just ignore it and my fob would work fine for years even with that red icon flashing. On this vehicle it's a bit more critical as it wouldn't let me turn the car off and I had to play with it for a few minutes or so to get it to work so I could power off the Volt.

Any insights would be appreciated, not a huge issue however prefer not to add a few minutes every now and again to get my car turned off.
 

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We've had reports of interference from outside sources with Gen 1. Perhaps you were parked somewhere close to a "jamming" source? Otherwise I would put in a new battery as a cheap test/possible fix.
 

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Fobs are funny things.

We have two for my wife's car.
  • The one she carries has needed one battery replacement since 2003 so that one seems to last about 6 years.
  • The one I carry needs batteries every two years
Could be me, could be the fob.

  • My 2013 Volt has needed batteries in one of it's fobs recently. Again, the one I carry.
  • My Friend's 2011 Nissan came with a dead battery in one of the fobs, he put a new one in and it's still going strong.
I've learned to carry a spare pack of batteries in the glovebox of each of my vehicles to avoid inconvenience.

The other quick test (at least for Gen1) is to get out and walk near the back hatch. If you hear relay clicks your fob is fine. No clicks, weak fob battery.
 

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I've experienced the same issue once. Couldn't turn the Volt off, message displayed, turned the Volt "back on" (even though it wouldn't turn off). Repeat a few times, then all was fine. Kind of weird, but never happened again.

Mystery 1: Why does it think it needs a fob present to turn off?
Mystery 2: Volt powers up normally, so it must see the fob - right?

If it doesn't repeat, no one will ever figure out what is going on.

VIN # B0985
 

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I had one mystery occurance that the car was saying fob not present and it would not start. It displayed a picture of where to drop the fob into the console so it could read an rfid chip or somehow inductively power it?? It allowed it to start then. It did it again when I went to the store after I took the fob out in my hand...so I drove home rather than risk getting the car stuck at the store. From there I used my second fob. After that, nothing-everything worked fine with both fobs.

I will say that I was worried that I would be stuck, but the car did sort itself out after i dropped the fob in the console.
 

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I've experienced the same issue once. Couldn't turn the Volt off, message displayed, turned the Volt "back on" (even though it wouldn't turn off). Repeat a few times, then all was fine. Kind of weird, but never happened again.

Mystery 1: Why does it think it needs a fob present to turn off?
Mystery 2: Volt powers up normally, so it must see the fob - right?

If it doesn't repeat, no one will ever figure out what is going on.

VIN # B0985
Mystery 1: If you really did start the car, and then walk into your house to get something and put the fob down on your kitchen counter before driving away in the car then you can't re-start the car if you shut it off. You would want to drive back to where you left it... the car stays on so you can do this. If you have the fob in your hand, so you know you didn't leave it somewhere, there is probably a way to convince it to shut off anyway, but I am not going to read the owners manual to find out how at this time.

Mystery 2: Answered in my answer to mystery 1. People do stupid stuff like leave the fob after starting the car... the dreaded triple honk is not enough to prevent this.

Bluetooth devices can interfere with the keyfob, at least in my Gen1 they could. I have a Bluetooth receiver I plug headphones into for listening to music (don't have to pull out phone to switch songs or answer calls). If I kept that device in the same pocket as the keyfob the volt would not recognize that the keyfob was present in the car. If I had them in different pockets it didn't cause any interference.

Keith
 

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Yesterday I saw this message as I was going to turn off the car and it wouldn't let me do so because of this message. It said to press the brake and turn the car on. I did this a few times, still saw this error message but around the 3rd or 4th cycle it eventually worked.
Are you sure that the car didn't turn off and just display this message anyway to give you the chance to retrieve the fob? Did you open the driver's door and see the displays stay on?

If the car detects that you have driven off without the fob, it is giving you a chance to restart and go back to get it. If it actually is refusing to shut off without the fob present, you should be able to just press and hold the power button to power down. However if the car is actually off and you press and hold the button, without your foot on the brake, you will put the car into Service Mode where all of the 12 volt electronics are powered on using the 12 volt battery instead of the HV battery.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
We've had reports of interference from outside sources with Gen 1. Perhaps you were parked somewhere close to a "jamming" source? Otherwise I would put in a new battery as a cheap test/possible fix.
I was at Groom Lake, NV driving through with some friends. OK, just joking, I was nowhere near Area 51 (couldn't resist, I like to make bad jokes sometimes). Seriously, thanks for that thought...I don't think so. The rest of the day/night no issues. I will be aware of this going forward as that's interesting to know it's happened to others.

I've read the other posts up to this point and I had the fob with me the whole time, sitting in the car. I got out of the car when I was having troubles, closed the door, saw the display panels still on and decided to press lock on the fob from outside hoping the communication would happen then. Nothing. Got back in, started it and turned it off a few times and like I said in the original post, it worked after a few cycles. No problems after.

I am curious to know from Mike100 where that spot was. I have discovered that in the centerstack near the shifter, there is that long narrow cutout which is PERFECT to place the key fob/keys. I wonder if that's the spot Mike references. My son even said, "Wow, that spot is good for nothing but those keys!". Wonder if that's it.

Dutch is correct, fobs are funny things and I've had similar experiences as Dutch over the years. One question I have, and I think I know if it's like other fobs, is how to get it apart to access the battery. I think you pull the manual key out and just pry the thing open. I hesitate sometimes with stuff like that for fear of being wrong and/or just being rough on it. Any guidance or confirmation would be appreciated.
 

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I've had issues twice with the fob not being recognized, but outside the car with the engine off. Once the car wouldn't let me unlock it by pressing the button or using the fob remote button. The second time it wouldn't let me lock it when getting out after a long drive.

If I recall correctly I used the app on my phone to unlock it. The second time I just gave up on locking it and went into the store. When I returned twenty minutes later it was back to normal.

I've also noticed a message about the fob still in the car when I try to lock it. The fob is always in my back pocket.

I wonder if our issues are related. Sounds like there's an issue with whatever mechanism detects the fob is inside or outside the car.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

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...
I am curious to know from Mike100 where that spot was. I have discovered that in the centerstack near the shifter, there is that long narrow cutout which is PERFECT to place the key fob/keys. I wonder if that's the spot Mike references. My son even said, "Wow, that spot is good for nothing but those keys!". Wonder if that's it.

It isn't there. The graphic display showed the center area of the armrest console area- not the front part, that's for the optional inductive phone charger, but just in the main area of the console storage. it shows a picture with the key fob and an arrow showing you where to drop your keys. At least it was a good way to recover from the glitch.
 

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One question I have, and I think I know if it's like other fobs, is how to get it apart to access the battery. I think you pull the manual key out and just pry the thing open. I hesitate sometimes with stuff like that for fear of being wrong and/or just being rough on it. Any guidance or confirmation would be appreciated.
Page 36 of the 2017 Manual:

Separate the two halves of the
transmitter using a flat tool
inserted into the area near the
key slot. Do not use the
key slot.
 

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Yesterday I saw this message as I was going to turn off the car and it wouldn't let me do so because of this message. It said to press the brake and turn the car on. I did this a few times, still saw this error message but around the 3rd or 4th cycle it eventually worked.

I just got the car a week ago, so I'm thinking the battery in the fob is reasonably strong and should identify itself as present. I've seen this same sort of thing a number of times over the years with my old ICE vehicle where it flashes a key icon red when it can't find the fob, so it's not unheard of.

Has anyone else experienced this? I'm guessing the battery inside the fob is somewhat easily replaced by taking the manual key out and prying the two pieces that make up to fob apart? Probably a CR2032 or something similar inside.

Of course it could be something else entirely and probably not the battery. On my old vehicle I'd just ignore it and my fob would work fine for years even with that red icon flashing. On this vehicle it's a bit more critical as it wouldn't let me turn the car off and I had to play with it for a few minutes or so to get it to work so I could power off the Volt.

Any insights would be appreciated, not a huge issue however prefer not to add a few minutes every now and again to get my car turned off.
I had one mystery occurance that the car was saying fob not present and it would not start. It displayed a picture of where to drop the fob into the console so it could read an rfid chip or somehow inductively power it?? It allowed it to start then. It did it again when I went to the store after I took the fob out in my hand...so I drove home rather than risk getting the car stuck at the store. From there I used my second fob. After that, nothing-everything worked fine with both fobs.

I will say that I was worried that I would be stuck, but the car did sort itself out after i dropped the fob in the console.
I've had issues twice with the fob not being recognized, but outside the car with the engine off. Once the car wouldn't let me unlock it by pressing the button or using the fob remote button. The second time it wouldn't let me lock it when getting out after a long drive.

If I recall correctly I used the app on my phone to unlock it. The second time I just gave up on locking it and went into the store. When I returned twenty minutes later it was back to normal.

I've also noticed a message about the fob still in the car when I try to lock it. The fob is always in my back pocket.

I wonder if our issues are related. Sounds like there's an issue with whatever mechanism detects the fob is inside or outside the car.

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk

I'm curious if the OP has experienced the issue again, and more importantly if found a fix.

My original reply reported a similar problem to the OP's, but I hadn't yet experienced the car refusing to turn off because it couldn't detect the fob until last night.

Same issue, wouldn't turn off until I dropped the fob into the center console compartment, just behind the wireless charger port, as mentioned by @mike100. Then, even though it would turn off, it wouldn't lock when I got out, just as I described above. Neither the button on the door or the fob would lock it. I ended up using the MyChevy app to lock the doors.

When I came back to the car ninety minutes later, everything worked as expected.

I guess I'll try replacing the battery, but it's happened with both fobs. I've never had to replace a fob or remote battery on any car, even after years of ownership, let alone just 10 weeks.

P.S. this YouTube video shows how to get into a gen 2 Volt if your fob is dead, and how to start it. It shows the place in the console to put the fob. FYI, I didn't need to pull out the rubber like the video shows when I put the fob in the console to get it to turn off.

https://youtu.be/k9K3mjXbE-Q

Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hey DA, no it hasn't happened again. When it did happen, I was in a busy strip mall parking lot and my car was near the stores, so maybe there was interference of some sort coming from one of the stores? Thanks for the video, good to know and like the guy said at the end, OnStar should help (as long as you still have it). If it happens to me again, I'll come back to this thread and post.
 

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My situation has not reoccurred either. There was a pretty noisy high voltage inverter prototype running on the other side of a wall 10 feet from the car at the time mine glitched out, but I somewhat dismiss that as it was still acting weird 30 min later at a store I went to on the way home. Maybe it just needed to sync up to one good fob to set the system straight. Seems like more of a software issue than a fob issue once the fob is recognized through the console in close proximity.
 

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I have had this problem twice this week.

I have had this happen twice in the last five days with my two month old Volt. After the first time I replaced the battery. The second time (this morning), it didn't recognize either fob until I put it in the special spot in the console unit. I don't think it's a fob problem (why trouble with both?). I think it may be a receiver problem. If it happens a third time, I'm taking it in.
 

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I have a one month old 2017 volt and this has happened twice. Both times it eventually sorted itself out without putting the fob in the special case, but the 2nd time the alarm went of while attempting it.

Both times were in public places.

Any chance this is a symptom of someone trying to capture the authentication sequences, or using a fob range extender? Some FOB systems have show some vulnerability to those techniques.
 

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I have a bad fob and they say it's not covered under warranty, one fob randomly drops resulting in random messages.
 

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I have a bad fob and they say it's not covered under warranty, one fob randomly drops resulting in random messages.
It IS COVERED under the 3/36 warranty.
 

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I get the missing key fob message about once or twice a week, when starting, even with a new battery in the fob. When this happens, I press the door lock button on the fob, and wa la, the fob is found! I have the 2014 Volt, for what that's worth.
 

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Not a uniquely Volt problem. The times I have had this with other cars, I had to use the metal key for entry. At least those had a key ignition, so wasn't an issue after entry (and in those cases it was radio interference).

You can also try putting the key in the box on the top of the dash. I think this then functions inductively and doesn't go via the RF channel, so should avoid radio interference.
 
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