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Old 08-14-2016, 01:31 PM   #1
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Dropped the Car Key

Ok, maybe not a boating issue but it might help you someday.

My wife was going up the ramp from the dock, tripped, grabbed for the railing, saved herself but the car key in her hand did an Olympic dive for the water. It was on one of those float things. It was a remote key fob and it was hanging from the float. Although the float was on the surface, the key was hanging from it completely submerged in salt water.

I went to the boat, got the boat hook and fished it out. It was submerged for about 3 minutes. I shook it dry as I could and then tried it. It was totally brain dead as expected. Here's what I did, with low expectations but it worked!

1. Remove battery and dry the key as thoroughly as possible by shaking and wiping with paper towel. Discard the battery.
2. Place the key on top of a cable TV box (which is warm) and leave it there for 2 or 3 days.
3. Thoroughly spray the key with Corrosion-X or the like getting the spray into all the crevices you can.
4. Dry thoroughly after 10 minutes by shaking and paper towel.
5. Place it back on the cable box for a day or so.
6. Install a new battery
7. Try using the key.
8. If it doesn't work, go to the internet and search programming the key for your car's year and model. Follow the programming instructions carefully.

My key works perfectly again! YMMV
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:16 PM   #2
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Prior planning by adding the float saved you a bigger headache. We do this now also.
You got lucky with the fob. Thanks for the hint.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:22 PM   #3
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On my VW, I swamped a key and after recovery and drying, the fob buttons were dead dead dead. Too wet and for too long. But the key itself still worked fine to open the door and start the engine.
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Old 08-14-2016, 02:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
On my VW, I swamped a key and after recovery and drying, the fob buttons were dead dead dead. Too wet and for too long. But the key itself still worked fine to open the door and start the engine.
Interesting as mine is a VW too. Try giving a good soak with an anti corrosion spray then try the technique above. You might revive it. I did need to reprogram but that's easy.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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What we do in cases like that is to wash the device with freshwater to get the salt out of it and then flood it with rubbing alcohol. That helps get the water to evaporate quickly. then low heat for a few hours and spray with CRC 656 or equivalent. Have saved a few marine starters and alternators with this approach. Won't save a smart phone though.
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:24 PM   #6
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Nowadays, you need to do whatever you can to recover the key fob. The old days of getting a new key made for like $5 are long over. The fob for our Passat is something like $169!
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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If you belong to AAA, there is a well kept secret; they will reimburse up to $100 towards the purchase of a replacement key. Used it once when I deep sixed a BMW key--$265!
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:42 PM   #8
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folks down from us use a leaf catcher for a pool. I guess when you drop a pair of $600 sunglasses you get inventive.
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Old 08-14-2016, 05:55 PM   #9
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If you belong to AAA, there is a well kept secret; they will reimburse up to $100 towards the purchase of a replacement key. Used it once when I deep sixed a BMW key--$265!

Thanks for the heads up. I'm filing that information away for possible future use. $179 spent on my wife's replacement fob key.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:27 PM   #10
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Since the day I dropped my car keys down the gap between elevator car and floor,to the bottom of the elevator shaft, I never cross water or any other risk area with keys, or anything else of value, in hand. They go in a pocket. The elevator mechanic call out fee to retrieve them was $300, over 10 years ago.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:39 PM   #11
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Since the day I dropped my car keys down the gap between elevator car and floor,to the bottom of the elevator shaft, I never cross water or any other risk area with keys, or anything else of value, in hand. They go in a pocket. The elevator mechanic call out fee to retrieve them was $300, over 10 years ago.
That's the best plan and one I try to follow. I hate when my wife tries to hand me something when I'm on the dock and she's on the boat or vice versa.
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Old 08-15-2016, 12:47 PM   #12
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A couple weeks ago my son dropped my truck keys in the aft cockpit. He didn't think much of it until he watched them slide across the cockpit, through the scupper, and into the water. Yeah, the fob is not the expensive part. The chipped key is problem.
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Old 10-14-2017, 09:26 PM   #13
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Well my scuppers work .Today I was twisting my wedding ring because it was tight on my finger . I pulled it off my finger and dropped it . It was out the scupper in two seconds. I've had it for 44 years .
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Old 10-14-2017, 10:54 PM   #14
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Mine fell off a couple of times after being put on a diuretic BP pill. I bought a useful thing called a rin wrapper that covers it, protects it and prevents my losing it again which would sadden me dearly.( I bought the clear one)

Ring Wrapper - The World's Best Ring Protector
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:33 PM   #15
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Huh. Around the boat or doing yard work I usually take mine off so I don't scratch it, or have it slide off if my hands are wet, or snag it when I'm wedging my hands into tight spots around the engines. Safety thing.
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Old 10-14-2017, 11:38 PM   #16
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hmason View Post
Ok, maybe not a boating issue but it might help you someday.
It was a sign.
Your boat is telling you that don't need a car when you live (for real) on a boat.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pack Mule View Post
Well my scuppers work .Today I was twisting my wedding ring because it was tight on my finger . I pulled it off my finger and dropped it . It was out the scupper in two seconds. I've had it for 44 years .
I find that heartbreaking. So sorry for you.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:50 AM   #19
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Ugh Pack Mule...
That kind of thing is real sad. Sorry it happened.
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Old 10-15-2017, 12:53 AM   #20
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Well my scuppers work .Today I was twisting my wedding ring because it was tight on my finger . I pulled it off my finger and dropped it . It was out the scupper in two seconds. I've had it for 44 years .
Any chance of a diver finding it where it happened?
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