Remote Control Key. Hold back of key against designated area

Audi A3 E-tron Forum

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Sep 10, 2018
Got this warning in my 2018 A3 e-tron today, followed by 'See owner's manual.' I could not make the car start, so I hunted through the owner's manual section about the key, and found nothing useful. I Googled the alert message and got several Audi owners writing that this meant their key battery was dead, but I still couldn't find where the 'designated area' is in my car. People with other models all said it was in the Console, but I couldn't find anything there. Finally Googled the alert message with 'A3 e-tron' included and got a page from a manual that I don't have with an illustration of the right side of the steering column, right where you would put a key in any older car ignition. Sure enough, that's where the little radio key icon is! I'm writing this to save you if it happens to you because I wasted almost half an hour figuring out how to start the car so I could go buy 2032 batteries for the keys. Changed the battery and all is good now.
Wish I had seen this a few weeks ago! I had to have the dealer show me that - he said you can test if it’s a dead battery vs key programming issue that way: if you hold the closed key to the east quadrant of the steering console like you’re pretending to insert a key, the key with a dead battery will still permit the car to start. That, plus using the pop out key in the keyhole on the door to unlock/lock the car, makes a key with a dead battery still operable. Seems like a huge advantage and less worry about a dead battery.

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