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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday, I accidentally hit the panic button on my fob TWICE. Although being only the second and third time it’s happened since I’ve had the car (mid-Nov), I was done: I had to find a solution. The fob was in my pocket both times, and the earlier instance happened around 5:45AM when I was getting ready for work: I’m sure the neighbors were thrilled. Also, like pretty much everyone else, I have never accidentally triggered the panic button on any other car, and I’ve never needed to use it.

It took a little while to figure out what to do, but the solution is pretty solid, and technically it’s reversible, but would require superglue.

1. Take off the fob cover. Use the key to turn the battery cover anti clockwise, and remove cover and battery.

2. Using a flat head screwdriver, push gently down the side of the fob from the open side against one of the edges of the panic button. The face of the fob is a solid rubber piece that runs from over the top all the way to the bottom of panic. The Alfa script is a separate piece. The side of the large rubber piece should begin to push away from the front of the fob. There’s no glue or anything holding it in, so grab it and slowly begin to lift it away from the fob.

3. You’ll begin to see some green plastic pieces underneath. These have nubs on them that slot into rubber guides underneath. Slowly pull up on the rubber face of the buttons to pop the green nubs out of their rubber guides. There’s one for each button; 5 total. Don’t go too far!

4. I stopped once all 5 green nubs were released. This means the rubber buttons are still connected to the fob at the top. I was afraid if I pulled it off completely I’d never get it back on again.

5. Using a small knife, slowly and methodically work your way around the green piece and underneath it to separate it from the rubber. There are four holes in the green piece where the rubber pokes through for added strength, but it’s also glued down. If you’re careful, gentle, and patient, you can work your way around and under the green piece without damaging the face of the button in any way: I was successful in this endeavor (fortunately: I would never have forgiven myself if I had destroyed the face).



6. I don’t think it’s possible to preserve the rubber nubs that poke through the green piece since they’re glued in too. I did attempt to cut around them, but the smaller holes are REALLY small, so I gave up. I focused on running the blade of the knife against the green piece to separate the rubber from it, then using a sawing motion to cut off the rubber nubs. The sharper your knife, the easier this will be.

7. Eventually you’ll remove the green piece. Be patient. Mine came off very cleanly, and the back of the rubber button is pretty smooth.



8. You’re not done yet. Now the hard part. You need to pop the green nubs back into the black rubber guides below, working top to bottom. I used a bobby-pin to push against the side of the rubber guide at the bottom where there’s a small notch to create a sort of oval shaped opening. Then push down on the rubber button so the green nub goes into the hole, and sort of rotate the bobby-pin to get the rubber around the hole to catch on the nub. It’s tough to explain, and takes a lot of trial and error, but once you get the first one, the others go much quicker. Also take note that the green nubs have two flat sides: the trick is to get one end (non-flat) popped all the way into the rubber guide: from there, you can work it a few times to get the entire nub in.

9. Once all 4 remaining green nubs have been inserted into their rubber guides below, you’re home free. Slot the sides of the front rubber down into the fob, then re-assemble (battery, battery cover, key, fob cover).

10. Final result? My panic button looks perfectly normal. But if you press it, there’s a lack of feedback: empty space under the button. Basically, unusable. But that was my goal. Mission accomplished. And assuming I can keep track of that little green piece for the next few years, I could superglue it back on to restore the button functionality. Chances of that? 0.00
 

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Possibly the most useful tip I've read here so far. Thank you for taking the plunge. I was oh so close to doing surgery on my key the other day when this happened for like the 15th time in 6 months. Now I see how simple it will be and will do this asap. Never in the time I've owned cars with these types of key/fobs have I ever wanted this feature, and never before have I set it off.
 

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I had one time activated the remote start while my key fob was in pocket, the Giulia in the garage, and I am shoveling driveway after snow. I wish the remote start is programed as a two button thing instead of one button x2 thing ... If I got enough of accidental activation of panic button I might just nip the green nipple off with a nail cuter, it will be non reversible but it will be quick :)
 

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Thanks for your detailed instructions Roo.

I read this post a while back and finally today I decided to plunge.

For anyone trying it just read his instructions word for word. Altho I did just clip off the green nub instead of cutting whole green thing off. Putting back the final nubs was not easy but occurred just as he said.

Thanks man. The occasional panic button setoff is bearable but I definitely prefer the peace of mind with it disabled.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for your detailed instructions Roo.

I read this post a while back and finally today I decided to plunge.

For anyone trying it just read his instructions word for word. Altho I did just clip off the green nub instead of cutting whole green thing off. Putting back the final nubs was not easy but occurred just as he said.

Thanks man. The occasional panic button setoff is bearable but I definitely prefer the peace of mind with it disabled.


Thanks for the kind words, @Kaevman. I hadn’t considered just snipping off the green nub: definitely a faster and safer (no risk of accidentally slicing through the rubber) option. Probably not reversible, but then again, the chances of me keeping track of the piece I removed and actually putting it back on before resale (like 4-5 years from now) are practically zero. Not to mention the fact that the next owner would probably appreciate the “mod”
 

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Thanks for the kind words, @Kaevman . I hadn’t considered just snipping off the green nub: definitely a faster and safer (no risk of accidentally slicing through the rubber) option. Probably not reversible, but then again, the chances of me keeping track of the piece I removed and actually putting it back on before resale (like 4-5 years from now) are practically zero. Not to mention the fact that the next owner would probably appreciate the “mod”
Maybe instead of completely removing the nub just trim it back a little to reduce the chance of a false panic and still have the panic functionality.
 

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That's a good idea.

Also u don't actually have to pull out the green nubs except the panic one. This removes the difficult part of putting the nubs back on.

So basically, just pop off the rubber starting between the logo and panic, lift off the panic nub, snip it, then tuck everything back
 

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Looking at your pictures I'm wondering that if instead of removing the rubber completely it might be better to trim a little off the nub to shorten it. That might make the button less sensitive but still usable. Filing it down with a nail file or sandpaper to take off a fraction of a millimeter might work. I may give it a try once all my neighbors are out of bed and awake, lol.

Edit: I see xgapx already thought of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great input from everyone! Not popping out all the other buttons will save you the headache of trying to get them back in again, and the idea of trimming down the nub to effectively reduce sensitivity is genius.

Thankfully I’m still quite happy with my own approach, otherwise I’d regret going all out! But these are good options for others to consider to mitigate the issue.
 

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Thanks for the writeup--this has been killing me for the last two months. I just did this, but I just pulled off the bottom most button and snipped the little green nubbin under the PANIC button. Took 3 minutes max. Now I never have to worry about the dreaded 5:30AM neighbor cattle call.
 
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Did they change the key fob design? I see the photos of the rubber peeled back revealing the green nubbin actuators but my key fobs are all hard plastic and I don’t see any way to peel anything back? I’m just curious though, never had an errant panic activation...
 

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Did they change the key fob design? I see the photos of the rubber peeled back revealing the green nubbin actuators but my key fobs are all hard plastic and I don’t see any way to peel anything back? I’m just curious though, never had an errant panic activation...
No, you have the same one we all do. The rubber can be peeled back between the PANIC button and the Alfa Romeo logo if you use a thin blunt object. I used a collar stay and it peeled the button back perfectly.
 

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Just wanted to say thanks!

I am new here (2018 Ti Lusso, Montecarlo Blue on Black) and while I love the car I was literally setting off the panic button every other day (inc. early one Sunday morning digging for something else in the basket where the keys live). This was a 5 min fix - you are a sanity saver!
 

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Great input from everyone! Not popping out all the other buttons will save you the headache of trying to get them back in again, and the idea of trimming down the nub to effectively reduce sensitivity is genius.

Thankfully I’m still quite happy with my own approach, otherwise I’d regret going all out! But these are good options for others to consider to mitigate the issue.
Might be another little test you could do to further your expertise, lol, just trim the nub that you have slightly, then reinstall it where it was, I doubt you need super glue as it sits in a pocket so it won’t be able to move.

Great write up and thanks for sharing, I will remember this when/if a customer asks about reducing sensitivity.
 
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Just want to let people know that trimming the nub (I sanded it a bit) works. It doesn't take much. I just wanted to make it less sensitive, but sanding it down about 10% disabled it entirely. That's fine with me. Also, a tiny bit of lubricant on the rubber cover makes it go back together much easier.
 

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I wanted to add to this thread. After reading it a few times and contemplating my willingness; I finally "modded" my fob as well. Here are the steps I took:

1) Removed back
2) Removed battery
3) inserted dull knife (butter) between "Panic" rubber segment and above chrome strip (above the Afla Romeo script)
4) Once gently opened enough to expose the nub for the panic button I used a pair of nail clippers and cut off a portion of the nub.
5) reinserted the rubber section back together.

This took me 2 mins tops

the Panic button still works but it needs more deliberate pushing rather than just a quick visual glance like before:p
 

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Being fairly tall (6-4), I drive with the seat all the way back and the steering wheel set pretty low. Being old with a bad knee, I have to sit into the car and rotate into the seat. And I always carry my car key or fob in my left front pocket. With that combination, I'm always rubbing against the door pillar with my left hip as I get in, and the frequent panic button betrayal is a royal pain in the patoot.

Oh, and I'm lazy.

So I followed the above instructions to the point of lifting the rubber fob cover only as far as the panic button. I used a small sharp pair of dikes (diagonal or wire cutters) to snip off the large green nub. Just for overkill, I piped some superglue gel around the panic button mechanism itself, to prevent it from being depressed.

Voila! Works fine! No more unintended panic alarms...
 
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