Volkswagen and Audi Dead Key Fob Help

Getting into Your Volkswagen or Audi

Retrieving the mechanical key

There are three general styles of key fobs in use with Volkswagen and Audi VW / Audi Key Fobmodels. With the older style shown to the right, press the chrome button on the back of the key fob (remote control or ‘clicker’) to release the spring-loaded mechanical key, which remains attached to the key fob.

Audi, VW Advanced KeyNewer Volkswagen and Audi models use what they called an Advanced Key, shown here. The mechanical key is separated from the fob (or remote control or ‘clicker’) by pressing the button on the back side of the fob, shown with the arrow, while pulling on the same key ring end.


Audi introduced a third Advanced Key fob style in 2016 that for some reason requires pushing Audi Key Fob 2two buttons at the same time. They are on either side of the key ring end, as shown. Push them both while pulling the key ring out to retrieve the mechanical key.

Getting Inside

On some models, the lock cylinder (keyhole) at the back of the door handle will be visible. If so, simply use the key blade to unlock the door.


VW /Audi Keyhole CoverIf the keyhole at the back of the driver’s door handle is hidden, press the key blade about a half inch straight up in the hole on the underside of the keyhole cover (a). If you are in the dark, you may need to feel for the hole. This action will loosen the cover and pulling on the door handle will allow you to remove it. Yes, you must remove a piece of the car. Use the mechanical key in the now-exposed lock to unlock the driver’s door.

Starting Your Volkswagen or Audi

Audi SlotEarly Audi models use a slot in the dashboard but do not use a Start/Stop button. The fob itself is pushed to start or stop the car. If the key fob battery is dead, the vehicle will already recognize the fob when inserted.

Audi and Volkswagen models that use the Start/Stop button and have a slot in the dashboard, as shown, insert the fob into the dashboard slot and press it to start while depressing the brake pedal as if the fob were the Start/Stop button. The actual Start/Stop ignition button is disabled.

Radiating KeyIn models that do not feature a slot for the fob, look for the symbol of a key with lines radiating from it, as shown. It will be to the right of the steering column on the dashboard (Audi) or on the right side of the steering column itself (VW).

In the latest Audi Q7, the symbol is just in front of the center console storage area. Touch the tip or the back of the fob to the symbol – or in the case of Q7 simply drop the fob on the symbol – and press the Start/Stop button while depressing the brake pedal, all at the same time.

Audi A5 Q5 start markIn 2018, the mark is moved to the driver’s side cup holder in the Audi A5 and Q5. The mark is smaller and shaded and so a bit difficult to see. As with the Q7, the key fob can be dropped into the cup holder, and starting the car becomes a one hand (and one foot) operation. Press the Start/Stop button while stepping on the brake. It took two tries to before the key fob was recognized in our test car, but it did work.

Note: If you have made an attempt to start the vehicle without success, there may be residual pressure in the brake system and a new warning light may appear (left) or text Engine Start Operation Indicatormessage to Step on the Brake. Press the brake pedal very, very hard when trying to start the vehicle again to be sure that the release switch behind the pedal is engaged. Check out this page for more!

Click here for video help with VW and Audi models and key fobs.


* Keep these instructions with you in our Dead Key FOB App.  Search “Dead Key FOB” at your device’s store or click here.

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