If your car is equipped with remote keyless entry system, you get a remote control key that can be used to conveniently lock and unlock the vehicle with the push of a button. Is this key fob waterproof?
If your key fob has taken a bath in the soapy water of the washing machine after you forgot to take it out of your pants pocket, water damage is likely, but it may still be possible to save the key fob.
Water resistant, not waterproof
Key fobs have rubber seals which prevents the water from getting to the electronic chip inside. A splash of water or brief exposure to light rain should be fine, but exposure to excessive amount of water like submerging the key in the pool can cause the water to penetrate the seals and damage the chip. Submerging the key in ocean water at the beach can be much more damaging to key fob electronics due to highly conductive nature of salt water.
But my key fob survived water exposure?
If your key fob survived a wash cycle, or a deep bath in the ocean or pool water, it doesn’t make the key fob waterproof, it means you got lucky. Exposure to excessive water increases the risk of water damage, so you shouldn’t make this a habit. Just take the key fob out of your pocket and put it in a dry bag when swimming in the ocean, kayaking, canoeing, rafting, canyoning, and other outdoor activities in which the key fob would otherwise get wet.
What to do if water gets inside the key fob
If your key fob stopping working after exposure to clean tap water or rain, immediately remove the battery and clean the electronic component with paper towel and let it dry fully before putting back the battery.
In case of exposure to salt water, or soapy or dirty water, it is recommended to clean the chip with isopropyl alcohol or electronic cleaner. If the key fob still doesn’t work after cleaning and drying, the chip is probably fried and you will have to buy a new key.