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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently completed installing a 1994 900 Turbo convertible alarm system in my '91 SPG and had posted this on Saabnet; figured I'd put ithere.

The '91 was NOT prewired for it (I had been told yes, and no.....) but overall, the job was fairly straight forward, requiring several donor parts, and several lengths of new wiring. These instructions should work for any car with central locks, but do make note, my main intent was to get SAAB-issued keyless entry in my car. Whether the alarm was fully functional was not a priority for me. The instructions are specific to a 1991 hatchback, but looking at the Bentley manual, installation would be VERY similar on cars dating back to 1985, pending a few wire color changes.

1) Remove the alarm brain setup from under the rear seat. It is a bracket, held to the crossmember with 2 screws. Take the whole bracket, everything attached to it, and cut as much wiring as you can in the process. There are a 10-pin, 8-pin and 2 pin connection to the whole bracket apparatus. Keep those plugs in tact, and cut the donor cars harness a few inches past the plug, leaving you a pigtail to solder to. This isn't 100% necessary, but I wanted to be able to unplug the whole alarm setup if need be. There will also be a "headphone jack" looking plug in the alarm brain with a black wire. This goes to the glass break sensor on the steering column. I unplugged it and left it. It is not part of my new setup. Also remove the dash LED with wiring, and the console power lock switch, with as much wiring as you can get.

2) Under the hood, remove the pin-switch mounted to the radiator support on the passengers side, and the alarm siren mounted down behind the passengers headlight.

3) Remove the center console and knee bolster from your car. Locate the central lock relay pack on top of the air duct going to the passengers footwell. Unplug the connection, remove the relay pack, remove the bracket which held the relay pack to the duct. Using a small flathead screwdriver remove all 6 of the electrical connections from the plastic housing. Insert the screwdriver from the plug-side on the top, then bottom of the connector, then give a tug on the wire. It should pull out. Leave all 6 wires hanging. We'll get to that later. (NOTE: On the black plastic plug, you can see the pin numbers molded into the plug).

4) Remove drivers door panel, and remove the power lock actuator. It has 3 wires. Replace the actuator with one removed from the donor cars drivers door. It has 2 wires. The 3 wire actuator is simply a switch that sends a lock/unlock signal to the central lock relay pack, which in turn activates the actuator at the passengers door and rear hatch. The 3 wire actuator is NOT a motor, and is incapable of physically moving the lock linkage. You need the 2 wire actuator from the donor car. Install it. For wiring, remove the 2 wires on the actuator by releasing a tab on the plug, and plug them into the 3-wire receptacle in the door harness as shown on the Twinsaabs site (FixMySaab.com --> C900 -> Interior -> Adding keyless entry).

WIRING IT ALL UP

There are 4 plugs that need to be addressed. An 8-pin plug on the central lock relay pack which is mounted to the bracket you removed, a 2-pin plug with large yellow/red wires, then an 8-pin and 10-pin plug which the cars harness tied into.

1) For the 2-pin harness I simply left it unplugged. This is an alarm-driven starter solenoid cutoff which one of the 2 cube relays does. I didn't want bother with this function. Leave it alone. If you want this function you are on your own to figure it out.

2) On the alarm brain assembly, there is a central lock relay pack controller mounted to the aluminum bracket (black rectangular piece). Unplug the 8 wire connector, and in the same manner as above, use a small flathead screwdriver to remove pins 7 (VIOLET) and 8 (BROWN/WHITE). Cut them off, tape them up....what have you. They are not needed. Locate the 6 dangling wires that USED TO go to your original central lock relay pack which you removed earlier. Take the YELLOW, and splice it into the BROWN/WHITE. Take the GREEN/WHITE, and splice it to the VIOLET. There will now be 3 wires spliced together. One goes to the passengers door lock actuator. One goes to the rear hatch lock actuator, and the green/white & yellow you spliced in, will now trigger the 2-wire drivers door lock actuator. Take these newly spliced VOILET and BROWN/WHITE wires, and plug them into holes 7 and 8 on the central lock relay pack plug. Look at the physical electrical plug before insertion and you will see 2 little metal tabs. You flattened them to allow the pins to be removed. Prop them back upward with the screwdriver so they will catch when inserted into the plastic plug. The alarm tells the relay pack to lock/unlock, and the relay pack now triggers your actuators through the cars original harness. At this point you should still have a green (constant power), and black (ground) wire hanging from the original 6 dangling wires.

3) Onto the 8-pin connector that was originally tied into the donor cars harness........
Pin 1 = Blue -> Splice to the green dangling wire that went to your original central lock relay.
Pin 2 = Black-> Splice to the Black (GND) dangling wire that went to your original central lock relay.
Pin 3 = Blue-> Run new wire to drivers speaker, tie to Blue LED wire.
Pin 4 = Yellow->Run under the hood to passengers headlight location for siren.
Pin 5 = Red-> Run a wire from here to an ignition-switched power location.
Pin 6 = Brown->Run under the hood to passengers headlight location for siren.
Pin 7 = Violet-> Run new wire to drivers speaker, tie to Voilet LED wire.
Pin 8 = Gray-> Runs to an interior time-delay relay under the back seat for turning on interior lights.

4) Onto the 10-pin connector that was originally tied into the donor cars harness......
Pin 1 = Blue/White - Run wire to the back of the directional switch plug; splice to Blue/White there.
Pin 2 = Red/White - Run wire to the back of the directional switch plug; splice to Red/White there.
Pin 3 = Violet - Not used...you took care of this with pin 7 and on the lock relay.
Pin 4 = Brown/White - Not used...you took care of this with pin 8 and on the lock relay.
Pin 5 = Yellow - Run up under the center console to the rear ashtray area.
Pin 6 = Green - Run up under the center console to the rear ashtray area.
Pin 7 = Black - Run up under the center console to the rear ashtray area.
Pin 8 = Gray/White - Not used; is for a rear seat alarm switch.
Pin 9 = Black/White - Not used; is for an alarm service switch under pass. seat.
Pin 10 = Red/White - Not used; is for an alarm service switch under pass. seat.

DOOR LOCK SWITCH - Make a squre hole in the top of the center console by the rear ashtray for mounting the switch. Splice the 3 wires you ran back there to the pigtail of the plug you removed from the donor car. The donor plug has 5 wires. 3 tie to the alarm, 1 is ground, 1 is illumination of the switch.

LED - Wire up the LED accordingly; polarity of the wires DOES matter, so keep blue to blue, voilet to violet, and install the LED in your drivers side speaker by drilling a small hole and mounting using the plastic bushing on the LED (or take the whole speaker from the donor car).

SIREN - Run the brown wire from the alarm to one connection on the hood switch. From the other side of the hood switch, run one wire to a grounded location, and one wire to the BLACK wire of the siren. Run the yellow from the alarm straight to the yellow of the siren, and mount it down under the passengers headlight (I used the bolt which holds the lower headlight mounting bracket to the radiator support).

At this point, your alarm should be powered, the remotes should work, the center lock button on the console should be functional, and when the doors, and hood are closed, you will get lock actuation, a siren chirp, and flashing of the directoinals when you activate, and deactivate the alarm using the key fob.

The only car wiring that you really get into "modifying" are the 6 wires that originally went to the central locking relay. To remove the alarm in case of any issue, these 6 wires would need to be tied back to the central lock relay.

Once it is all wired up, I used several large zip-ties to secure the whole apparatus to the passengers floor air duct, where the original central lock controller was. I considered moving it all under the rear seat, but I would have had to "Extend" the 6 original wires, and run all of my new wires back to the dash area anyway, so I opted to dash-installation of the alarm.

Feel free to ask any questions, or request pics; its still fresh in my mind. This job COULD be done with just the alarm and the 2 white plug connections to the alarm, but having the SAAB car harness to follow from the Bentley manual helps tremendously. I also found that the factory 10A fuse for the power locks is insufficient. Originally the locks would POWER 2 lock actuators; the rear hatch and the passengers door. The action of locking/unlocking the drivers door was done with turning the key. When you put the motorized actuator in the drivers door, you are now powering 3 motors instead of 2; 50% more current, so I put in a 15A fuse, which seems to help.



 

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Dang, I just was looking to do exactly this. Thanks for the great writeup! It's planned for my '80 900 turbo. Wiring colors, etc may be pretty different but I may be able to figure it out. Also installing central locking at the same time since it is not present. Should be a neat imrprvement!
 

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Great write up, didn't see this when it first went up. Stickied.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dang, I just was looking to do exactly this. Thanks for the great writeup! It's planned for my '80 900 turbo. Wiring colors, etc may be pretty different but I may be able to figure it out. Also installing central locking at the same time since it is not present. Should be a neat imrprvement!
Its daunting to begin with, but once you sit down with a cup of coffee, study the diagrams, and look at whats in the car, it becomes clearer.

I am actually in the process of taking the whole apparatus out of my car. I installed behind the knee bolster, because that's where the central lock relay pack is located, and since the alarm and relay pack are closely tied together, I wanted to keep the install fairly basic.

I gutted the interior of my SPG, and will be putting it under the rear seat where the original alarm would have gone; basically rewiring everything again, but running all of the wires up through the harness that runs along the shifter tunnel, under the console, and peeks out under the rear seat.

The biggest obstacle will be "extending" the power lock harness. My plan is to find some donor plugs, and make a big long harness that will plug in where the central lock originally did, and run all 8 wires to under the rear seat, where I can eventually tie it all together.

Something that did end up not working, was the chirp of locking and unlocking. On a '94 CE I had, the chirp happened all the time when locking and unlocking and it worked flawlessly. The donor car is a '94 and the way I have it all hooked up, it only chirps if the hood is popped, and if the hood is popped, the alarm goes off a few seconds later. If I shut the hood, the alarm arms itself and works, but the chirp goes away. The alarm horn is tied in line with the hood switch, so I'm trying to find a work-around for that.
 

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YEAH!! I love that chirp! I recently replaced the alarm horn in my '94 CE and the chirp started happening whenever the car was locked or unlocked. Before, apparently the alarm horn was broken and it never worked.

In the '80 900 turbo I was planning to install the central locking with keyless entry, but REALLY want that chirp. I was thinking about installing the entire alarm system to get it, but let me know if you can figure out how to make it work without the alarm. Such a rewarding feature.
 

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Thank you for the awesome writeup! I'm deleting the system from my 1993 CE, and the diagrams and description will be a HUGE help. On my car, the fob is long gone (toast) and there are some other quirks with locking/unlocking, and such is causing fuel cut/no start, which is a major PIA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am about 1/2 way through relocating the alarm to where it is originally found on convertibles; under the rear seat. I will put pics up shortly.

I would STRONGLY recommend anyone wanting to do this, to follow my lead. I originally stuffed it behind the knee bolster, as the 8-wire plug for the central lock relay is right there, and all other wires pretty well converge there; siren, dash LED, power, etc. I also wanted it out of there, because to troublehsoot or access the fuse would mean pulling the bolster and that's a hassle.

I started by gutting the interior down to metal; no seats, no carpet, no knee bolster. I found some wire that contained (12) 16-gauge wires all in one bundle and ran it from up under the dash, down along the shifter shaft, under the console, and all the way to the rear seat area. On the firewall-side, I soldered a male 8-pin connector that mimics how the central lock relay would plug in (the plug under any 900/9000 seat works....the car-side, not the seat-side). That used 6 of the 12 wires. On the rear-seat side, I soldered on an 8-pin female plug identical to what is originally under the dash, that plugs into the central lock relay. For the other 6 wires, I soldered another general use plug in and documented the wiring color / pin numbers on the dash-side (like one that connects the radio cage to the car harness).

These 6 wires are, 2 for the siren, 2 for the alarm LED, and blue/white & red/white that tie into the directionals on the column to make the lights blink when you lock and unlock. These 6 wires converge under the dash, and I soldered them to the mating plug (again...the other side of the radio cage / car harness).

As it sits, I have 12 wires from the dash to the rear seat. 6 are simply an 8' long extension of the original central lock plug. The other 6 are for added bits of the alarm. I will need to run another 2 or 3 wires back for power, ground, and switched power, then another 3 wires back forward from the alarm, to the central lock switch in the console.

Its a lot of extra work, but with the interior out its a snap. Its basically extending ALL aspects of the alarm to under the rear seat, then doing the splicing there.

...............whew.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Done. For some reason, I lost the "chirp" function, but will debug tomorrow and figure it out. Some pics of the whole apparatus.

Alarm "bundle". This is the alarm brain, central locking relay, relay for flashers, and relay for the fuel pump cutout. Keep it as a bundle. Its nicely packaged, and feeds out to the car with an 8 pin and 10-pin SAAB connector. Use them and march forward.


Lock/unlock switch located in the center console. I put a 4-wire connector on it for ease of install. The other 2 wires are for the light bulb in it. Those will tie to similar wires on the lock packet harness next to it.


Harness to move the alarm from under the dash, to under the rear seat.


Firewall-side of the harness. There is an 8-pin SAAB plug (only uses 6 wires though), and a 6-pin plug that I stumbled upon. The SAAB plug will plug into where the central lock harness goes. They both connect to the wiring; a large 12-conductor bundle that I stumbled across.


The alarm-side of this harness. It runs to an 8-pin plug that matches the original central lock relay. I could plug the harness in on the firewall-side, and plug the central lock relay in here, and the car would work exactly as built. Its simply an extension of the original harness.


Speaks for itself. The "extension" harness, plugged in, and tied into the 8-pin and 10-pin plugs that are in the alarm "bundle". It would have been easier to simply go from the OEM central lock wiring, straight to the alarm wiring, but I wanted the "extension" feature as well, so its a bit muddled. The two unconnected wires are for switched 12V (purple) and for tying into the time-delay relay that would keep the interior lights on when the car is unlocked. I'll dig into that later. The switched 12V disables the alarm when the car is on. Its fed with a constant 12V, and that allows you to lock/unlock the car. Feeding a switched 12V to it as well, makes the difference between those two pins 0V (12V on one side, 12V on the other) and with no potential difference in voltage, the alarm won't power. Brilliant. I am going to steal switched 12V from the relay/fuse box under the rear seat; just needed my meter to find it and didn't have it handy.


Everything plugged in.


The whole shebang. With this (and a powered drivers-side lock actuator), you can add an alarm to your C900.


OEM setup of the central lock relay mounted on top of the passengers side lower ducting.


OEM harness unplugged, and the additional 6-pin connector run and waiting. 2 wires for the siren and hood switch. 2 wires for the dash LED in the drivers side speaker, 2 wires that tie into the white/blue and red/blue wires on the directional switch. This is what triggers the parking lights to flash when you lock and unlock the car.


The harness I built, plugged into the OEM central lock relay harness, and the 6-pin harness that feeds the siren, LED and directionals. This runs down behind the ductwork, and runs with the harness of the car, along the shifter linkage and exhaust tunnel as seen below.


Gray wiring is the 12-wire "nervous system" of the alarm. Tucked into the OEM location along the tunnel of the car.


Running up along the tunnel, and under the e-brake cables over toward the ABS controller location.


Alarm mounted on the passengers side with clearance for the rear seat bracket movement.


Small gray wire in the bundle is for the lock/unlock switch in the center console; its run from the alarm, back foward toward the shifter and pokes out for access when the console is installed.
 

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REMOTE LOCKING IN '91 CONVERTIBLE (different than above)

I just linked up the alarm to the central locking in my '91 900 SE (convertible). I tried to follow your directions originally, but found that the '91 convertible had a different setup than every other year. Apparently they did come with a remote, but it operated the alarm ONLY. Central locking was completely separate. in '92, they linked the two systems. The wiring diagrams for the two different years are facing each other in the Bentley Manual. Actually pretty easy to modify the '91 to link to central locking. Here's the basics:

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE '91 CONVERTIBLE:

1. The central locking and burglar alarm are two separate systems. Need to be linked for the remote to work both (whereas in '92+ convertibles, they are linked).

2. Central locking brains, alarm brains, and remotes are exactly the same ones that are used on the '92+ convertibles, but their wiring is slightly different. No need to buy a different harness or connectors though - you can make the changes easily yourself.

3. In the '91 vert, the central locking is controlled by the key, so the drivers side door lock actuator is not a motor - it just sends a signal to the rest to lock or unlock. The actual locking of the drivers side door is done with the key too, hence no need for a motor. This is why it is necessary to swap in a passenger side door lock actuator to get it to lock and unlock with the remote.

4. There are some other differences in the two systems (additional security functions), but if you only want remote locking and unlocking, I would not worry about them.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR LINKING CENTRAL LOCKING AND BURGLAR ALARM:

1. Pull out your kick panel and free up your central locking computer which is clipped to the passenger side HVAC duct. Pull out your rear seat and free up the existing alarm box. If it is not there, follow Adam's original instructions on installation located above.

2. Remove your drivers side door panel and remove the door lock actuator from inside the door frame.

3. Open your Bentley Manual to the Burglar Alarm wiring diagrams. On the '92+ convertible page, look at the two wires that connect the alarm brain to the central locking brain. Run two wires from the passenger footwell to the underseat area.

4. You will have to clip two wires in the central locking computer harness and reconnect them to different wires. First, clip the green/white wire (pin 2 in the central lock brain), and run a wire extension from the harness to pin 12 in the alarm brain. There is no wire there in the alarm brain harness, but you will see three holes in the connector where wires could be (they are present in the '92+ connector). The hole in the corner is pin 12. Strip the end of your wire that you just ran, twist it so it is sharp, and stick it through the hole in the harness (you may have to pull it through with needle nose pliers to be sure it's all the way through) until it is flush with the other pins.

5. Now go back to your central locking brain and clip the yellow/white wire in pin 1. Run a wire extension from the harness side of that wire back to the alarm brain, strip the end, and stick it through pin 11 (just above pin 12), pull it through the same way that you did with pin 12 so it is flush with the other pins. Now plug the harness back in, making sure that the new wires align with the holes. You may have to push them from behind to make sure they go all the way in. Tape or tie off these wires to the rest of the harness to secure them so they don't accidentally pull free.

6. Go back to your central locking brain and find the free end of the green/white wire. Use a t-connector to clip it to the brown/white wire in pin 8.

7. Find the free end of the yellow/white wire and clip it to the violet wire that goes to pin 12.

8. Now try your remote. It should lock and unlock the doors as it arms and disarms the alarm. If not, check your wiring again, or maybe replace your remote battery. Also note, the remote and alarm brain need to have matching chips - you can tell because they have the exact same numbers on the chips themselves. If not, they will not work.

9. Reassemble your kick panel, back seat, and drivers door and enjoy your remote locking!
 

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REMOTE KEYLESS ENTRY ON VERY EARLY c900:

Installed Remote Keyless Entry on my '80 900t today! The '80 came with no central locking or wiring for it at all - all manual. And the passenger side was always stuck - had to unlock from the inside, which becomes pretty annoying with a baby to load when you're in a hurry. So decided on central locking with keyless entry. Wanted to keep it all Saab - so I salvaged a central locking setup from a '93 hatch and an alarm system from various '92+ convertibles. Installation was pretty straight forward:

Parts Needed: Central locking computer, two PASSENGER SIDE door lock actuators, one trunk lock actuator, alarm remote and brain WITH MATCHING CHIPS, alarm and central locking wiring harness/connectors from a '92+ convertible (91 can possibly be used, but needs some modification), alarm siren, alarm hood switch, alarm deactivation switch, 2 relay ports that come as part of the wiring harness, lots of different colored wiring.

Process: I needed to drill out two holes in each door to bolt down the door lock actuators. I measured the hole locations on a '92 convertible and copied it.



Once drilled, I attached the actuator arm to the hook at the bottom of the door lock pull (existing - you just have to pop the hook out and slide the actuator arm through and pop it back into place) - just hard to reach. Then bolted down the actuator and ran the wires through the door and into the cabin.





The trunk was more complicated. Had to fashion a mounting bracket for the actuator out of some metal strapping, then popped off the lock arm and hooked in the actuator arm - similar to the door actuators, then ran the wires through the hatch, into the car, and down along the door sill, and under the dash to the location where it all hooks up the central locking computer.



Using the wiring diagram on page 371-39 of the Bentley Manual, I wired the central lock computer. These are all the same for any c900 with central locking as far as I can tell - only the wiring harness itself changed. With all this wired in the same way as the '92+ convertibles, you can no longer activate central locking by unlocking the drivers side door. It has to be by the remote.

Next, wired the alarm. Before anything, I went through the entire diagram and identified the stuff I really needed and stuff I didn't need. I wasn't too concerned with most of the fancy alarm components, so I opted out of the starter lockout (the larger of the two relays), the dash LED, cabin lock/unlock switch, glass-break sensor, and interior lighting components. I did decide to install the corner lights blinking relay, hood switch, siren, and alarm deactivation button. I just wired in the stuff I wanted, and taped off the stuff I didn't. For power, I connected to the always-live memory power wire that goes into the stereo (so I didn't have to run that through the firewall). The deactivation switch, I mounted in the center console under the interior light switch. The corner light relay I wired to the emergency flashers switch. Only ran two wires through the firewall - one for the siren and one for the hood switch. I ran it all under the dash above the HVAC duct above the pass-side footwell. It stuffed right in with plenty of space.




Turned out really sweet! Now the remote locks and unlocks both doors and the hatch, with the chirp and flashing hazards.

 

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Seeing as Adam and Sam seem to be the alarm gurus... what is the method to "program" alarm remotes? I thought I read something a while back about the main alarm computer having a spare chip in it and you can put it in another remote? I have no idea what I'm talking about.

CE #437: I bought from Adam in 2012, and has had a fully functioning, chirping, flashing alarm since I bought it. It has two remotes but they're a bit worn out and you have to push really hard on the button to get the red light to come on on the remote and transmit the signal.

CE #38: The newbie in the garage; I haven't even lifted the back seat yet to check the fuses, but I found two beautiful transmitters in the seat-back pocket. Great condition, and both light up with a gentle press of their buttons but the car doesn't respond at all. I'm going to do my best to get the alarm working on this car too but if I wanted to swap one of these near-perfect remotes to #437, is that possible?
 

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Our remotes are not programmable. They work with a chipset. The chipsets come in groups of 3—one goes in the alarm and one each in the two remotes (if you are lucky enough to have 2).

The chip in the alarm and in the remote need to match from the factory. BMW's with similar Alpine systems were programmable. Some people get confused because of that.

If you have a crappy remote for your other car with a chip that matches the one in the car's alarm, you can swop it into the "pretty" remote and it should work.

Your alarm box on #38 may be disconnected. Or possibly the remotes you found were replacements without the matching chips for the Alarm in the car.
 

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Thanks! I spent the evening fiddling around with the alarm components. The 12v power wire with the 5amp fuse holder in-line was ripped out of the harness connector and the pin was broken. I stripped the wire and held it in the terminal and hit the fob buttons. The car locked and unlocked and the lights flashed, but no chirp.

I swapped #437's alarm into #38 and everything worked, but still no chirp. Didn't really troubleshoot any further than confirm the siren is indeed behind the front headlight and plugged in.

I played around with swapping the chipsets between remotes too and confirmed I can use one of the nice remotes on #437 and both cars each have three matching chips.

I'm working on getting a new alarm harness so I can replace that broken pin on #38.

 

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Brett, sounds like you're on the right track. I'd check wiring and consider replacing the chirp bullhorn most likely located around the passenger headlight or fender well. I've found those often go bad.

Also, though annoying, your worn remotes might work better if you squeeze them with one hand while pressing the button with the other. This helps the fading battery contact. The one I installed in the '80 won't do anything if I just press the button, and it took a few batteries before I realized I could just squeeze it and it would work fine. At least until I find a better remote.
 
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