How to replace a 2000 Astra car key battery

My car key remote went flat.

This is a major pain when one is used to the joys of remote key locking. Having to go to the door with the keyhole every time and fumble to get the key into it — bleuch.

I assumed that like most things in the world of cars, I’d have to take the key to a dealer and get some kind of specialist to open it up and replace it with a non-standard Holden battery not generally available to the public, all costing a small fortune of course.

I shouldn’t be so cynical.

A little Googling found the solution (with various steps in a couple of different places, so I’m compiling it all here for future reference). It was as simple as:

1. Carefully wedge open the key with a screwdriver

2. Ease out the old battery, and put in a new one (watch battery type CR3032)

3. Put the key back together

4. Resync the key with the car, by turning the key in the ignition (so the lights, radio etc comes on; no need to actually start the car) and press the button on the key. The locks will trigger.


By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

16 replies on “How to replace a 2000 Astra car key battery”

Surely it’s easier to go to the car’s dealership and pay the hundred dollars or so? ;-)

I think most car key remotes should be like that- my BA Falcon XR6’s remote is simple enough! Open the case, replace the battery (should be simple enough to find at Dick Smith’s), and Bob’s your uncle (he might not be, I don’t know!). Don’t even need to do any of that synching glomp- did it just now, and it worked just like that!!

On a different topic, I was listening to MTR1377 at 8 this morning, as I have been these last few weeks to listen to Andrew Bolt and Sam Newman (love ’em), and who do I hear!? Good to hear you on there, and agreed with you on most of what you had to say! Looks like you even got Bolt to agree with on a few things! So, last week you were in ‘The Australian’, which I read daily, today you were on MTR1377, which I’ve been listening to for the last few weeks! Don’t tell me you’ve lined up an interview with Bill O’Reilly next week- it’d sure be interesting seeing you in the “No-Spin Zone”!

What did we do before Google? Honestly, you would have been down at the dealer paying $45 + GST for that little service!

Both my post-2000 Toyotas have instructions on how to replace the remote control batteries in their drivers’ handbooks – no Google necessary. Sometimes it really does pay to RTFM.

I just looked at my in-laws Toyota Corolla key and it seemed pretty obvious to me. I did need a very small phillips screwdriver, but other that that it was approx 15.00 at DSE and away we went. Now I have a very new Toyota Camry and a few days a go I dropped the keys and battery holder sprang open, so now I know where that one is as well… Just hope I can remember it in 5 years.

Changing the Astra battery always seemed pretty obvious to me (there’s a lot to place the screwdriver and gently twist/rotate it). Though did have to refer to the manual on how to resync it. Though the problem was when I opened one to find one of the clips broken so the battery wouldn’t stay in place. So I ended up stuffing a tiny bit of paper in there that I folded about a dozen times into a small square. That worked so well that it’s now the more reliable one of the two key remotes. The other one is now starting to lose sync every now and then but I can’t find any broken plastic bits, so maybe it’s just time to replace the battery in that one.

Adrian, if you want to pay me $100 (or tell you what, I’ll give you a 20% discount) to replace your car key battery, let me know!

Vas, heh, you know it never even occurred to me to check the manual. I’m obviously so attuned to life online that I reach for Google rather than RTFM :-)

I’ve never had a car with fancy features like remote locking, airbags or until 3 years ago, a fifth gear! However, ‘him indoors’ does and I wish we had come across this at Christmas, would have saved him a trip to the awful dealership near us! It never occurred to either of us to look online in case we killed the key completely!

Replacing batteries is fairly simple, replacing the remote is an expensive excercise, for a Ford it’s about $160.00, so if you see an old one somewhere grab it, most cars can have multiple remotes (up to 8 in a Falcon) so the car will “learn” a new one if the correct procedure (see owners handbook) is followed.

Just one extra thing. I followed the instructions and did the picture guide thing and one thing is missing from the instructions.

There is a small loose rectangular piece of black plastic with gold points on one side of the key part when you slide it out. Its marked Phillips 0A. That is the identity chip for the key and it drops out really easily. If the car wont start after you replace the battery, you’ve dropped that somewhere so go and find it. Thanks to Bob from the NRMA Canberra for knowing this and fixing my problem in 5 minutes flat 8)



I wonder if you could help with another problem I’m having with my Astra key?

When I press the release button for metal piece to flick out, it stays depressed, so that when the key is inserted in the ignition the rest of the fob dangles around at right angles!

Is there anything you can recommend?


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