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How to Start a VW with Keyless Entry if the Fob or Battery is Dead

Modern vehicles have come a long way from the days of simple mechanical keys. Keyless entry systems have become the norm, adding convenience and style to our daily drives.

However, with this advancement comes a new challenge: what do you do if your car’s battery or the battery in your key fob dies? There isn’t a classic key slot for manual ignition in many Volkswagen (VW) models with keyless entry.

This guide will demystify this situation and explain how to start your Volkswagen when faced with a dead fob or car battery.

When Both Your Car Battery and Fob Battery Are Dead

Imagine you’re in a hurry or stuck in an unfamiliar place, and you reach for your key fob only to find it unresponsive. Panic might set in if you don’t know what to do next. Here’s what you need to understand:

Car Battery Power: If your car’s battery is completely dead, it won’t have the power to recognize your key fob’s signal. Therefore, even if your key fob is fully functional, your car won’t start.

Dead Key Fob: On the other hand, if your key fob’s battery is dead, it may not transmit the signal needed to start your car, even if it is in good shape.

In either case, a typical Volkswagen with keyless entry doesn’t provide a classic key slot as a backup option.

So, what can you do?

The Emergency Starting Option

Volkswagen vehicles with keyless entry have an emergency starting option that doesn’t require a functional key fob or a fully charged car battery. Here’s how to use it:

Locate the Ignition Sensor: Instead of a traditional key slot, look for the ignition sensor. It’s typically located on the steering column, near the key slot in cars with classic ignition systems.

Position the Key Fob: Place your key fob directly over the ignition sensor. Ensure it’s as close to the sensor as possible.

Start the Engine: Once the key fob is positioned correctly, the ignition sensor will detect it, even if the fob’s battery is dead or the car battery is drained. You can now start your Volkswagen’s engine as you would under normal circumstances.

This emergency starting option provides a practical solution when you have a dead key fob or car battery. It ensures you’re not stranded and can return to the road without needing a traditional key.


While the advancement of keyless entry systems has brought convenience and modernity to our driving experience, it’s crucial to understand how to handle unexpected situations like dead key fob batteries or car batteries.

In Volkswagen models with keyless entry, the emergency starting option, using the ignition sensor, is your lifeline when both the key fob and car battery are dead.

Remember that, like any other aspect of your vehicle, staying informed about its features and functionalities is essential for a smooth, stress-free driving experience.

So, the next time you encounter a situation with a dead key fob or car battery, don’t fret; you know exactly what to do to get back on the road.


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