After searching the forum yesterday for help with my broken access card - i found the numerous threads littered about quite confusing to interpret and draw conclusion from (i.e. there wasn't ONE definitive thread)
So after having a great day today where i managed to get my own access card fixed for free (saving me £200+ & sticking two-fingers up a Renaults awful pricing structure) - I wanted to share my own experience - in view to helping others who come across the same awful situation.. .
* - Blank access cards are readily available from
or other internet suppliers - but these CAN NOT
be re-programmed - so do not buy no matter what the seller says. I spoke to a contact who provides a digital clocking service & other associated criminal acts and he confirmed this is a dead-end (if it could be done I think he would have offered his services eh?). Even if you buy a blank card – Renault will not touch it with a barge-pole (& why would they when they can sell you a new one for £80+vat)
After driving home from work without a problem - i found i could not lock the car. Upon inspecting the access card i could hear the rattle of a small broken part inside. With the help of this forum - this was most likely the micro switch for the locking button having broken away from the circuit board (which it was)
I found myself with three options at this stage:
Either take the card to Renault and pay for a new card and re-programming (Quoted £160+vat)
Send card off to Renault Laguna Key Card Repair Keycard
for professional repair at a great price (£25 plus P&P). *Personally I couldn’t afford to wait for the turnaround (although next day delivery can be purchased)
Attempt a DIY fix job (with the potential to screw-up the card completely & further require a tow/pick-up lift to take the car to my Renault garage)
I personally chose option 2 and this is how it worked:
With a scalpel or stanley knife (with brand new blade) carefully cut around the side edges of the card - the blade will find the join line no problem. Be careful with your fingers here - i wrapped my holding hand inside a jumper for protection.
It'll take a good number of cuts to get the blade through the side edges - be patient. Once through - work on the corners (harder). I personally found the card (although plastic) to be quite flexible & strong - it can take a reasonable amount of force when attempting to prise apart. When you can open all edges and corners - you'll find that there are also a number of joins around the bottom middle portion of the card. These need to be cut apart also but you will need a scalpel blade instead due to the thickness of a stanley knife handle getting in the way. Once done - the card should prise apart into two parts (Figure 1).
It was clear the locking micro switch had broken from the board and required re-soldering in place. This should be done by someone proficient in soldering (in my case an electrical repair technician). As well as being very fiddly - if you’re not careful the soldering iron will simply melt the component or damage the circuit board beyond repair – if you’re not confident in your skills stay away!
If you look underneath the micro switch you will see the contacts that need to be aligned to the board. To find the right orientation of the switch on the board – hold it in place from above with a scalpel – apply pressure (activating the switch) and see if the LED glows. If not - simply rotate the switch around 90 degrees and repeat till successful.
If you’re not successful at all - introduce a new battery and check underneath the micro switch for any solder keeping the switch from sitting fully flat on the board (remove if any). A little trial and error may be needed to get the LED glowing. If nothing happens at all - possible fault with the micro switch itself (send to Renault Laguna Key Card Repair Keycard
for pro repair)
Bingo! Hopefully you’ve got it working!
Whilst the card is open - you might as well place extra solder to the other micro switch(s) to strengthen them too (you don’t want to be doing this malarkey again do you?)
All you need to do now is super glue the halves back together (some shaving of the plastic joins may be required to get a neat fit & definitely check the card fits tightly into the car slot first before joining – minimal error allowed so this needs to be a tight fit)
**With the amount of force put on these small buttons over a long period of time with the poor amount of solder used at the factory - it’s no wonder they frequently break. I was skeptical of this key system as soon as I got my Laguna – it seems to be nothing more than a gimmicky money-maker IMO - hence why I’ve spent time posting this info – hope it helps y’all save some pennies! Happy Soldering!