How to unlock and start a Volkswagen with dead key FOB?

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Parts, Tips and Tricks on Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 3:20 pm
orange vw tiguan parked outside a restaurant

Unlocking and Starting Your Volkswagen with a Dead FOB

Keyless entry and ignition are super great features. However, if your key FOB isn’t working for whatever reason, then the prospect of not being able to start or open your car is a scary one. But don’t worry, Volkswagen thought of this. They’ve included ways to make sure that you can always unlock and start your vehicle, even if your FOB’s battery is dead.

Here’s how to unlock and start a Volkswagen with a dead key FOB.

Order a New FOB or FOB Battery

Manually unlocking car door with keysUnlocking a Keyless Entry Volkswagen with a Dead FOB

Each Volkswagen FOB has a manual key inserted into it. Each door handle has a small cover that hides a manual lock. Here’s how to find both and unlock your Volkswagen:

  • At the top of the FOB, on the right side will be a black switch with grooves in it. Push/pull it towards the right side of the FOB.
  • The solid black chunk on the top left of the FOB will pop up.
  • Pull the protrusion out. This is the manual key.
  • Locate door handle. Notice the small piece/cover to the right of the handle where the manual lock is on other vehicles.
  • Look on the underside of the cover. There will be a small notch.
  • Insert manual key from dead FOB into notch.
  • Use key to pop off cover.
  • Unlock car manually.

Starting a Keyless Ignition Volkswagen with a Dead FOB

Volkwagen FOBs have a backup contact senor that, when placed in the correct spot, will verify the key and allow you to start the vehicle. Here’s how to find that spot and start your Volkswagen:

  • If you attempt to start car like usual, a prompt will appear on instrument cluster saying “Key not detected. Hold key next to marked surface.”
  • On the steering column, right below the wiper lever, there is a small indentation with a FOB-shaped icon and a signal icon above it.
  • Press your dead key FOB flat against the indentation.
  • Your gauges/instrument cluster should now appear as they usually would.
  • You can now start vehicle like normal.

Still Need Help?

Give our service center a ring. We’d be happy to diagnose the problem and fix it for you. Make sure to check our service specials to make sure you’re getting the best prices.

3 Responses to “How to unlock and start a Volkswagen with dead key FOB?”

  1. Francine Tuckman says:

    Hi.Battery has died on the key fob so I used the key but I cant lock the car with the key.????

  2. sam says:

    battery died on my 2012 VW Jettar tdi ,car wont start getting error message ( key not in range)
    can you help
    Thank you

  3. sandro bighinati says:

    good morning. I’m in panic. Yesterday I parked the car (Tiguan 4 motion 2010 diesel automatic gear transmission) in front of the supermarket. I put into PARKING and applied the handbrake.
    On the way back, when I tried to start the car, the ignition key no longer turned, as if I tried to turn the inignation key when the gear position is in D or R.
    Currently the gear still in position “P” (Because NOWAY to remove , and is currently in the supermarket parking, with the handbrake engaged.
    Best regards

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