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Ross, Diagnostic and repair technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1183
Experience:  Licensed diagnostic and repair technician
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I cant unlock my Smart car (2003 City Cabrio) using the key

Customer Question

I can't unlock my Smart car (2003 City Cabrio) using the key fob. I have replaced the battery, but this hasn't helped. What can I do to open the car?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Ross replied 4 years ago.

Ross :

Hi my name is Ross, I'm a car technician and I’ll help with your question.

JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : Hi.
Ross :

Is there any chance the car battery could be flat not allowing the central locking to operate ?

JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : My smart car won't unlock. I have replaced the key fob battery but to no avail. Not sure what else to do to unlock the car.
JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : The car battery was dead a few weeks back, but opened using the key fob without any problems.
JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : How could I gain access to the battery when it is passenger side, in the car?
Ross :

You should be able to gain access manually by removing the black plastic plug from the key hole in the passenger side door and using your normal key blade.

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JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : Not sure as it is '03 model.
JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : I think that fix only applies to later Smart models. There was nothing on the passenger side door that was coming off!
Ross :

This one does show up to 2004 but it depended on the country the car was sold in. Bare with me while i take a look at the manuals to find the bypass method for your model.

JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : It will be UK.
Ross :

Ok, you should be able to unlock using the boot lock. Using the key in the boot lock should activate the central locking for all locks. If it doesn't due to a fault or flat battery it will allow manual entry into the boot so you can get access to the front.

JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : I don't fully understand what I have to do to gain access. Open the boot and then what?
Ross :

Using the key in the boot lock should unlock all of the doors.

JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : The doors were opening when the boot was unlocked earlier.
JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : *weren't
JACUSTOMER-mukfgea4- : I'll give it another try but I don't think it will work.
Ross :

It may be because of a flat battery. According to the manual, the boot lock should unlock all of the doors, If the key fob is not working it will need to be re-programmed to the car using diagnostic equipment. If the key is unable to unlock the front doors, you will need to climb through to either charge the battery if that is the cause or plug in the diagnostic system to program the central locking then unlock using the fob. Unfortunately for models without the backup door lock there is no simple way around it.