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To many people, a car key is just a key. It unlocks the doors, it may control lights, and it is a tool used for starting the vehicle. However, technology and design have progressed to the point that automobile keys are now treated like expensive jewelry. Buy a new Volvo today and your keys will be presented to you in a felt lined box.

Since the 1990s, Volvo has offered nice keys and remotes to accompany their cars. However, the P1 fob was a revolutionary design when it was introduced in 2004. Despite being the entry level platform in Volvo's line up, the S40 and V50 were the beginning of a new era; standard projector beam headlights, the legendary floating waterfall console, and the introduction of new technology which has carried over in later models.

The new key fobs were unique because they were the first Volvo keys to do-away with the conventional cut blade. These purely electronic fobs were quite a conversation starter with passengers. Despite being an easily overlooked component, the fob still deserves praise for its ergonomic Swedish design.

By 2008, Volvo introduce a face lifted interior on their P1 platform, which was accompanied by a new key fob design. Slightly bulkier than its predecessor, the key did have a more elegant appearance and solid structure.


"Key" Features:

  1. Locks the car doors. Using the menu option from the car's center console, you can program whether or not the turn signals flash upon locking the doors.

  2. Unlock the car doors. Again, using the menu option from the car's center console, you can program if all the doors unlock on the first button press, or if the driver's door unlocks first.

  3. Approach lights. This button turns on the parking lights for a set period of time. The time span can be programmed for 30, 60, or 90 seconds through the car's menu.

  4. Unlocks the trunk. Unlike other manufacturers which have a trunk release button, Volvo's trunk button simply unlocks the trunk while the other doors remain locked. This may be useful if you are loading/unloading in a sketchy area, but most people simply unlock the car doors, which unlocks the trunk simultaneously.

  5. Panic button. This button sets off the car alarm. Ideal for locating your car in a crowded parking lot, drawing attention in an emergency situation, or simply to scare away birds which poop on your roof.

  6. Aluminum key blade. A traditional key design which serves multiple purposes. For one, it allows the key to be attached to a standard key ring, but it also serves as a key fob quick release for when you are handing off the keys to a valet or mechanic. This blade can be used to independently lock the glove box and it may also be used to lock/unlock the driver's door in the event that the fob battery dies or the buttons do not function. In automatic cars, this blade is also the recommended tool for flipping the shift-lock-override switch for if the gear selector jams.


Lesser known features of the key:

  1. In some regions, there was a software option which allows the car windows to be rolled down using the key fob. Holding the unlock button for 5 seconds will roll all the windows down. This is a great approach feature for cooling down the car on hot summer days.

  2. For vehicles equipped with power/memory seats, the driver's seat will remember the seat position associated with the key fob used. Upon unlocking and opening the driver's door, the seat will automatically reposition itself to the memory position associated with that fob. This is a useful feature for a car which is shared among multiple people, but a freaky occurrence if you do not know what is happening.

  3. Of course, the major downfall of a purely electronic key, is that none of the buttons will function if the battery dies. It will still start the vehicle, but locking and unlocking will have to be done the old fashioned way.
    The following instructions are for replacing the battery on both versions of the P1 key fobs.


How to replace 2004-2007 key fob battery

Step 1
Remove the aluminum key blade by sliding the release button to the side and pulling the blade straight out.

Step 2
Using a small phillips screw driver, remove the single screw.

Step 3
With the screw removed, pull the two halves of the key apart. These keys us a CR2032 battery.


How to replace 2008-2013 key fob battery

Step 1
Using a small flat head screw driver or bone tool, pry the back of the key fob off. You will then have access to the CR2450 battery.

Earlier Style Remote Transmitter - Part Number 30772202
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Later Style Remote Transmitter - Part Number 31252732
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Remote Transmitter Battery - Part Number CR2450
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Shop Volvo Parts Online Catalog Lifetime Warranty

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Written by :
Michael Hallock

Michael lives in Dahlonega, GA where he works full time as manager of an accounts receivable department. Despite a bachelors in New Media Arts, his true passion is in modifying and maintaining the cars that he and his wife own; Volvo for life. Many in the Volvo community might recognize his screen name, MyNameIdeasWereTaken.

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