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[Solved] Key fob malfunction


Topic starter

2012 Jeep Compass.  Recently my headlights come on when I unlock my door with my key fob.  Also while the car is not being used the headlights come on for a couple of minutes and then go off.  This happens periodically  for no reason.  When I take the battery out of the fob this stops the problem.  I have put a new battery in the car and in the key fob.  If I don't drive the car ( i'm retired) for a few days, with the battery in the key fob, my batter goes dead.  Can you help.

Guy F Bartlett

6 Answers
Posted by: @gfbartlett

It really hasn't helped anyway.

That's just the nature of trying to fix cars over the internet.

I think it's time to take your car in.


Sounds like a malfunction in the receiver or computer. Try doing a system reset.

disconnect the negative battery terminal (being careful not to let it touch anything else). Press and hold the brake for 10 seconds or so and then hook everything back up. (note: you may lose various settings like radio stations, seat position, etc.)


Posted by: @gfbartlett

Recently my headlights come on when I unlock my door with my key fob.

so do mine, but that's a normal function. It's configurable in the DIC.

My lights always came on but would go off and stay off. Now they come on periodically during the night all by themselves. I will try your suggestion to reset my computer. Thank you,



OK, I followed you instructions here. Now my key fob doesn't work at all, so I fixed something with the car. Is there a way to reset the key fob. The good thing is my car battery doesn't drain at all even after a couple of days. So it has to be something involving the key fob. ( I have a new battery in the key fob)  The good thing is that the fob only locks and unlocks the doors so I guess I can live with that.  It just would be nice if everything worked Smile  

I'm a little bit stupid.....heheh I put the battery back in the key fob upside down. The key fob now works but I still have the same problem. Nothing changed. I guess the reset didn't work. One more thing. In the past when everything was working correctly, the rear parking lights would come on when I opened the door with the key fob. Now they don't. Just the headlights and they stay on unless I lock the doors again.  I'm a bit frustrated so I think I will leave it alone again.  If you can think of anything else, please let me know.

I found this on line following up on your instructions......

2- Disconnect the negative terminal from the battery using a wrench or a socket that fits, you should leave it unplugged for approximately 5-10 minutes.

3- Once the time has passed you should now turn the headlights “on” and “off” twice to drain the Engine Control Module from any remaining power.

4- Now plug back in the negative terminal and your Jeep ECM should now be reset.

I'm going to try it this way. Can't hurt.

this accomplishes the exact same thing

Your instructions were correct but I didn't turn everything off the first time ( radio, air cond, fan). It appears to be working correctly now. Fingers crossed.

havings things turned on would just drain the residual power faster

Ah, that's why they told me to turn the headlights on and off a couple of times to drain the residual power before connecting the negative again.  This is all new to me, so I am still learning. Thanks for all your help. I would have been no where if you hadn't helped me. Smile

Just a follow up. I now have the second key fob working which hasn't worked in years. Everything is like new, just from resetting the car's computer. Thank you Sir!

That's great news. Thanks for reporting back.


Which battery goes dead?

Do you have a second key fob and if so, does your vehicle respond normally to it?

The battery in my car goes dead after a few days because the headlights keep coming on for no reason all the time even when the car is just parked. This is my second key fob. The first one stopped working over a year ago. The horn would beep until I took the battery out of it. I can't seem to get any type of answer from Jeep.  Otherwise the car works fine if I just use the key and not the fob to unlock.  I just have to leave the batteries out of each key fob.  Any ideas?

I thought it was solved but I am back where I started. Except both key fobs work now but the lights keep coming on when it is parked and everything is off. The batter drains a bit each night.

The only additional info that I found was as I mentioned to you in my last post was that some people who have experienced this similar problem discovered that it was due to a faulty headlight relay switch. Did you ever check this? It may not be the answer but it would be worth trying.


sounds like a bad remote

I bought a brand new remote and new battery and had it all programed and the same thing happens. It doesn't make any sense to me. I guess I will just use the key and no remote.


I have searched online for an answer to why your headlights turn on and off randomly by themselves when the car ignition is off. I have zero expertise in this area, just trying to help and learn something new. If the advice given by @mmj does not solve the problem I have read several suggestions that advise checking for a faulty headlight relay switch. 

I tried resetting the car computer but now my key fob doesn't work. But at least my lights don't come on for no reason. So it has to be something to do with the key fob.

Topic starter

I thought it was fixed, but now my lights come on at night and daybriefly, go out, come on, putting a drain on my battery.  If I take the batteries out of the key fobs it doesn't seem to happen.  I have disconnected the negative battery cable, let it sit for 20 minutes and then reconnected it.  Any idea why the key fobs are causing this problem?

When adding additional information or a followup to an existing topic please add it as a response to the original rather than making a new post. This keeps all information about the problem together. Thank you. (Topics merged.)

Sorry, I don't know how to use this site very well.

It might help to check out the forum rules and the READ THIS FIRST - Forum Guide topics near the top of the main page.

This is too complicated. I thought I was going to be able to ask Scotty directly. I won't use this site anymore. It really hasn't helped anyway.

Scotty cannot possibly answer every topic directly. He selects a few every day to answer personally, the others are responded to by the community. You can try emailing Scotty directly if you like, instructions are in the FAQ.