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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Both of my key fobs won't work on my '01 MDX, and after months of having to manually lock/unlock, it's starting to drive me nuts. It initially worked when I inherited the car, but one day it just stopped altogether.

I've changed the batteries, as well as the keyless entry module (the thing labeled #38385-S3M-A01 behind the glove box). Admittedly, I bought a used keyless module, but I don't think I got a dud. I've also tried reprogramming it, but the issue is that the red light on the key fob doesn't even light up. Alarm works fine, as so do the locking-switches.

After digging around this past weekend, I noticed that the electrical connector circled in yellow in the pic below had a bit of gunk on it. I unplugged it, and noticed that the connection points had some sort of brown'ish grease (almost looked like spilled soda). It's not in this pic, which was taken after I cleaned it up a little. Interestingly, all the other connectors were clean, and none of the fuses on the pictured box were blown. For some reference, this box is located on the passenger side of the car, just under the glove box near the door.

Is the grease residue a symptom of something, like a corroded wire? Is it possible that it's preventing my key fob from communicating with the car? It also happens to be the connector responsible for the door locks, which stopped working once I unplugged this connector. What I'd like to do is to take apart this whole box and look on the inside for more of the residue, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea. Let me know what you all think!
 

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Just curios if you reprogramed your remotes? Here is procedure for your vehicle. That goo ...would just be a electrical grease most likley from the factory, should not be an issue.


Step-by-Step How To Programming Instructions:
  1. ENTER the vehicle and CLOSE all doors. (Each of the following steps must be completed within five seconds of one another. If you take longer than five seconds between steps or make a mistake, you must start the entire procedure over.)
  2. INSERT the key into the Ignition, HOLD one remote in your left hand with additional remotes close by.
  3. PERFORM each of the next three (3) steps in order, then repeat all three (3) steps two (2) more times for a total of three (3) times each.
  4. TURN the Ignition to the ON position, marked “II” on the Ignition.
  5. PRESS the LOCK button on the remote for approximately 1 second. (Say “Mississippi”)
  6. TURN the Ignition to the OFF position, marked “I” on the Ignition. (REPEAT Steps 4-6 three (3) times)
  7. TURN the Ignition switch to the ON position, marked “II” on the Ignition.
  8. PRESS the LOCK button on the same remote. The door locks should cycle indicating the vehicle has ENTERED Programming Mode.
  9. PRESS the LOCK button again on the same remote. The door locks should cycle again indicating the vehicle has successfully PROGRAMMED that remote.
  10. For programming additional remotes to your vehicle, REPEAT Step 9 with each additional remote one after another. Step 9 must be completed within ten (10) seconds for each additional remote. You may program up to three (3) remotes to your vehicle.
  11. TURN the ignition to OFF.
  12. Test all remotes. Programming is now complete.
  13. After successful programming, if your remote has a TRUNK RELEASE Button — you will need to hold that button down for 5-10 seconds for that function to begin operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've tried reprogramming it, but it doesn't help. I'll take Thunderpigeon's advice and see if it's the remote fobs. Doesn't it feel unlikely that both would fail at once?

My sister also owns an Acura that's one year newer. If it's the same key I'm going to see if I can program her key to my car (since I know her's works).
 

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That's a good idea trying to program another remote, if that works you can buy new remotes on eBay for a few bucks. I replaced mine when I bought the mdx in 2016 as they were worn out and ugly, have been using these Chinese replica remotes since with no issues.
 
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