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Indicators Flash 9x

When you click unlock on the keyfob, does your indicators flash 9 times very quickly?

Modification Details




Fortwo 450 and Roadster Information ONLY

If the indicators flash 9 times it means there is a fault with the key.
It can be 1 of 2 faults, 1 is OK, the other isn't good.

The OK Fault

If you press unlock on the key and the indicators flash 9 times, the doors open and you can
start the car then the battery in the keyfob is running low and should be
replaced straight away.

The Bad Fault

If you press unlock on the key and the indicators flash 9 times but the doors don't unlock
then you have problems. Even if you get in through the boot and open the doors, the
immobiliser will not be disabled so the car won't start.

The only way to fix this fault is to start the car with your spare key and take the car to a smart
dealer or a smart specialist. They will either recode the car to the old key or code a new one.

What If I Only Have 1 Key?

Then you are an idiot for not getting a second key. The smart system can have
4 keys coded to it and the car comes from the factory with 2 keys as standard.

My Spare Key Does The Same That's Why I Used The Other One!

Then you only have yourself to blame, you waiting too long. Now you'll
have to trailer your car to your nearest smart dealer and have it sorted.

What If I Live Hundreds Of Miles Away From A Dealer?

You'll have to have it trailered hundreds of miles, simple.

What If I Don't Have A Smart Dealer In My Country?

You'd better find someone with a TAN code calculator and an MB-Star machine or
your car isn't moving. Shouldn't have bought a car in a country with no dealer backup.

Is There Any Way To Disable The Immobiliser?

I wouldn't put it here even if you could but anyway, it can't be done.

Is There A Sequence Of Button Presses I Can Do?

No there isn't.

Can I Recode the Old Key?

Sometimes you can use the old key, sometimes not, it depends on why it failed.



451 Fortwo Info ONLY

So far, the only reason for the 9 indicator flashes on this model is a low battery in the key fob.
Change the battery inside your keyfob and you should be good to go.

If you have a US smart fortwo, the 9 flashes will also combine with excessive chirping from the alarm.

The reason that the 451 keys don't have the same desyncing issues as the 450 and Roadster is that
they have 2 totally different types of immobiliser. The 450 and Roadster immobiliser is deactivated by the
keyfob whereas the 451 has a more conventional RFID chip and a reader aerial around the ignition barrel.

Why Does The Key Go Out Of Sync?

There are plenty of rumours. Faulty immobilser coding, faulty rolling code generation, key
damaged, battery flat for too long inside the key, buttons pressed whilst not near the car.

None of them really hold much truth from what I can see. I think the issue is with lead free solder.

Companies started using lead free solder many years ago to please enviromentalists. The problem is, lead free
solder isn't very good. Firstly it cracks due to it being far more rigid than lead solder. This is no good as keys
can take quite a knock over their lifetime. A crack causes a poor connection and everything goes wrong.

Secondly is a problem called "tin whiskers". It was these hair-like growths from the solder that
originally caused lead solder to be made. The addition of lead stops these growths from occurring.



I have highlighted a few but if you look closely, you'll see many more. It only takes 1 tin whisker to grow
and touch another component to create a short circuit and put the key out of sync when a button is pressed.

Preventative Measures

Every year, I'd recommend brushing the component face of the key PCB with a dry toothbrush.
This will break any tin whisker growth. Blow the circuit board clean before closing the key back up.

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