Land Rover Freelander Key Buttons stop working and how to fix

We’ve written at length about different types of keys, and how poorly they’ve been designed and manufactured. Freelander keys come out well, compared to a lot of the rubbish on the market from the French manufacturers.

Click here to read what we think of Freelander keys overall. Comparing them to different keys has opened our eyes to the good and bad car keys, on the market.  However, there’s a problem where Freelander key buttons stop working. This article will explain why the problem happens, and the simple way to sort this problem out.

freelander key buttons stop working

Inside the key is a rechargeable battery. It needs to be rechargeable, because to make it water-proof, the key is a sealed unit. However, there are two simple problems that stop the Freelander key buttons stop working.

Freelander key buttons stop working Reason One

In a perfect world, rechargeable batteries would last a lifetime, you’d only ever need one and life would be good. Unfortunately, things aren’t like that. Freelander key buttons stop working because the battery inside stops charging and then discharging.

When you think about your mobile phone, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Even without apple admitting that they slow down the older iPhone, we all know how phone batteries die after a few years. Just like the iPhone series, the batteries can be changed in the keys, but there are a few basic things to check for first.

Symptoms of Freelander key buttons stop working

The problem presents itself in the following way. When you first come to the car, the buttons will not lock or unlock the car. The when the car is started, a small amount of charge goes into the battery from driving the car. Once the key is charged up, it works briefly, but soon runs out of charge.

Another common symptom is that the key dies completely, so even when the car is driven, the key will not charge. This is caused but a different problem, where the metal leg connecting of the battery to the circuit board breaks. This means no charge can go into the key battery.

Can I fix my own Freelander Car key?

All things are possible.  Whether you should have a go at fixing it, depends on your skill with hand tools, and your soldering skills.

Breaking open Freelander Car key

We’ve already made a YouTube video that shows how to open the sealed case. You need a pair of external circlip pliers, they are amazing at opening car keys.

Buy these Key opening pliers on Amazon Click Here

This method is the safest we can find and doesn’t usually involve saws or chisels like in other videos we’ve seen!

Steps to repair you Freelander key.

  1. Remove the emergency key blade from the key.
  2. Find a pair of circlip pliers (shown below). They are normally used to open spring clips. When the handles are squeezed, the jaws open. Therefore, we’ve found they work well when Freelander key buttons stop working.
  3. Insert the jaws of the pliers into the empty hole where the key blade usually sits.
  4. Squeeze the handles together and hopefully, eventually, you will hear a ‘crack’ and the case will split open.
  5. Pull apart the two halves of the case.
  6. Set aside the case. We believe that new case is needed to make the key look better, however the case can be glued back together.
  7. Carefully unclip the black battery support frame from the it the board, so that when you desolder the battery, it will allow the battery to be removed.
  8. Next, you need to de-solder the two battery legs from the circuit board.
freelander key buttons stop working

Circlip pliers are used to open most type of sealed car key


  1.  Be careful doing this. Without wanting to teach anyone how to solder, there is a common mistake we see. If the leg of the battery is pulled away from the electronic circuit too soon, before the solder is fully fluid, the thin, gold electronic ‘track’ is damaged. This ‘track’, or line on the circuit board, connects all the different components on the key and is delicate. If you try and pull the battery away from the board too early, you will damage the key beyond repair.
  2. Once you have the battery terminals hot enough, you can pull the battery and black holder away from the green circuit board. This is a bit tricky because it feels like you need three hands!
  3. Remove the old battery from the plastic battery holder.
  4. Once you have the old battery away from the circuit board, you’ll probably need to remove the excess solder from the two holes, otherwise the new battery legs will not fit through them.
  5. Fit the new battery inside the black battery holder, before soldering it to the board.
  6. WARNING.You must make sure that the holes have all the old solder away from the holes. If you try to poke the legs of the new battery through the holes when they’re not large enough, you’ll either break off the new battery legs, or damage the area around the holes.
  7. Once you have the new battery in place, solder in place and test on the car, before putting it back into the case.
  8. Choose a new case and re-use the old one and make sure the case is firmly shut.
  9. Re-fit the blade
  10. You will not need to programme the key. If you’ve completed the job successfully, it will work automatically.

The key doesn’t work with the new battery-What’s wrong

There are only a few things it can be.

  1. Either, the key was faulty before you removed and refitted the battery.
  2. The gold tracks on the circuit board have been damaged around the area there the battery connects then because the solder wasn’t hot enough.
  3. When you’ve soldered the new one in, there’s a problem with the connection.

Why does my Freelander key look different inside?

If you have a genuine key from Land Rover, then the battery is held within a black support. The reason is to protect the battery legs from being damaged. This works well, with most lasting 5-6 years before the legs are broken. however, if you have a cheap copy key, the batteries are not protected from shock and the legs can break within a short time. Click here to read all about the problems with cheap imitation keys.

Copy keys can still be repaired, but we’d suggest supporting it with some silicone, to stop the battery legs being broken again quickly. Basically, it’s up to you to use some sealant to make your own battery support.

We hope this article helps

Good Luck!

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You can now get your Freelander key repaired by post

You can now get your Freelander key repaired by post