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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
When is the last time you tried to use your Spare FOB? Is it still working?

My 2018 only came with one FOB, so I had to buy a second, which I programmed to the bike and then tucked away (with the FOBs battery removed). Today I tested it, and even with a new battery, it won't work. It hasn't been used in at least a year, probably more. I got an email from another 2018 owner who has experienced the same problem. I'm not sure if storing it without the battery in it caused it to lose its memory, but that's a possibility.

So now I'm wondering if the second FOB isn't used for a long period of time, is the Smart ECU somehow removing it as active or erasing it. You guys might want to test your second FOB if you haven't used it in a while and make sure it still works correctly. It would be no fun to be in a situation where you need it and have it not work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re-registering my spare FOB fixed the issue. Now I'm starting to wonder if the issue isn't in the Smart ECU, but in the FOB itself. Since the Bike's ID is stored in the FOB, maybe the FOB memory is losing its stored memory, especially if the battery is removed or gets low.

It might be a good idea to just periodically test your spare FOB.
 

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Re-registering my spare FOB fixed the issue. Now I'm starting to wonder if the issue isn't in the Smart ECU, but in the FOB itself. Since the Bike's ID is stored in the FOB, maybe the FOB memory is losing its stored memory, especially if the battery is removed or gets low.

It might be a good idea to just periodically test your spare FOB.
I keep my battery in mine, but keep it turned off. I normally store it in the saddle bag in case I lose my fob on a trip. (I keep a physical key hidden on the bike so I can open the saddle bag). Nice to know about the FOB possibly being lost in action if store without the battery. Thanks Fred!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I keep my battery in mine, but keep it turned off. I normally store it in the saddle bag in case I lose my fob on a trip. (I keep a physical key hidden on the bike so I can open the saddle bag). Nice to know about the FOB possibly being lost in action if store without the battery. Thanks Fred!
You may want to go test it and see if it still really works.
 

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My spare FOB has always had a battery in it and turned on, my wife usually has it in her jacket. I don't take it with me if I'm riding solo, unless on a multi-day trip but then I just turn it off and put it in the trunk. I've never removed the battery but do carry a spare.
 

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I also keep mine in the left saddlebag turned off. After Fred’s comment I had to go test it and it was fine.
I also keep a spare battery under the non locking storage lid. When the main fob battery dies I change all three.
 

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I keep mine in the safe with the battery in it. I just checked mine and it worked fine. The fob has been in the safe for 3+ years.
 

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I may be the original trouble maker here! My USA 2018 came with its FOB and I purchased another the day I picked it up from dealer. I kept both FOBs with battery installed and qould just grab whichever one was handy when I rode. One day, after installing a new Garmin Zumo XT I attempted to start the bike for a test run and the FOB did not activate the bike, but when I turned the ignition knob the FOB would blink 3 blinks. That happened to be the FOB I had purchsed, not the original. The Service Manual had an exhaustive trouble shooting, but no help. Fred had stated, if it were he, he would attempt a re-pairing of the errant FOB. I chickened-out, fearing that such re-pairing would assign a malfunctioning FOB to another of only 4 available memories in the smart key system. I purchased a third FOB and put the errant one away.

Today, that third FOB failed as I prepared for a ride in the EXACT SAME situation. The bike was off, The FOB was off, I had the Garmin out of its cradle on the seat. I manually turned the Garmin on, then I attempted to use the FOB and NO JOY. Again the ignition knob made the FOB blink three times.

I alerted Fred, hoping he may have heard of a safe cure. But, being too curious, I decided to re-pair todays failed FOB. SUCCESS! So, I got the previously fialed FOB and attempted a re-pair with it and SUCCESS again. Was the Garmin involved or just a coincidence? I will not turn it on before starting the bike again. I will get fresh coin cells for all 3 FOBs soon.

prs
 

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I keep my battery in mine, but keep it turned off. I normally store it in the saddle bag in case I lose my fob on a trip. (I keep a physical key hidden on the bike so I can open the saddle bag). Nice to know about the FOB possibly being lost in action if store without the battery. Thanks Fred!
If you're turning your fob off to save the battery, only the proximity-transmission function is turned off, The fob itself is not completely off.
 

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FYI, I just checked my spare FOB that has been stored in my saddlebag for the last four years without a battery in it, and it works just fine. I'm curious if others had turned their fobs off before removing the battery and storing it.
 

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Re-registering my spare FOB fixed the issue. Now I'm starting to wonder if the issue isn't in the Smart ECU, but in the FOB itself. Since the Bike's ID is stored in the FOB, maybe the FOB memory is losing its stored memory, especially if the battery is removed or gets low.

It might be a good idea to just periodically test your spare FOB.
FOB or Smart Key module????? One thing in my previous experience leads me to suspect corruption of the Smart Key module "handshake" data. I did not test this time, but previouly I discovered that the numeric code associated with the specific key was also ineffective for the emergency start procedure. The code associated with the good key was still effective. That "seems" to me to indicate the problem may well be corrupt data in the onboard module. If someone else finds this problem, see if you can verify if that FOB's numeric code is still valid for emergency start.

prs
 
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I turned off my spare FOB, then removed battery, 3 years ago. Kept it stored in bike. Took it out today, put battery in it, turned it on, and it worked just fine. Also keep a spare battery stored with spare FOB - it still registered 3.2V after sitting in bike for 3 years. Good to know that the Duracell 2032 retains its charge while not used.

Also - checked battery in my primary FOB. It was a year old, voltage had dropped from 3.25V to 2.8V after using it for one year. FOB (with 2.8V) had been working fine, but changed the battery for peace of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So far I've been unable to duplicate the problem after re-registering the spare FOB. So I guess I still don't know what really happened to cause it to stop working. I did notice Honda updated the part number for the Smart ECU in newer model years. I also found an error in the service manual that says the system won't let you close the trunk or saddlebag with the FOB inside unless you close it 6 times in a row. If the FOB is on, it will indeed let you close it inside one of the compartments on my 2018.
 
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