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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Update: P2.3 release notes suggests there were stability improvements relating to the physical keys, so hopefully nobody will need this guide after this is released later in September 2022:

Stability improvements for issue with unlocking the vehicle with physical key.
It will be difficult to confirm though considering for some cars the first time the issue happened was over a year or in some cases nearly two years after purchase, so it’s best to be prepared.



There's an excellent post on how to properly disconnect both the 12V and the 3.6V TCAM backup battery, which you will need to do under certain circumstances to resolve certain issues (eg car fails to respond to physical keys).

Here it is:


A while ago I posted that the Volvo engineer that did this for me the first time my keys stopped working didn't bother to remove any trim, and neither did I when it happened again.

Unfortunately it happened once again and this time I took photos.

First of all, let me clarify when you will need to do this.

Others have reported this process resolved lack of LTE connectivity, lack of GPS fix and inability to adjust charge rate - I don't know about those, but if you tried everything else, it might be worth trying this too and see if it helps.

What I am certain this process fixes is what happens with my car. Every few months the TCAM gets into a state where it fails to recognise the physical keys. When this happens, touching the handle for keyless entry or pressing the buttons on the keys does nothing, however Phone as Key still works. Since PAK is still a beta feature I keep mine configured but disabled, so I can use it as a backup if I eg loose my keys, or this thing happens.

If this hasn't happened to you yet, I highly recommend that you:
  • Configure PAK even if you don't intend to use it, you may leave it disabled like I do as a backup
  • Always carry the large physical key with the key blade, at least when venturing far from home
  • Carry a wrench in the frunk (#10 for my car, others in the forum reported #11 which is weird, so check)
  • Optionally, carry a jumpstarter in the frunk (eg NOCO GB20/GB40 or equivalent)

Now if your car ever fails to unlock, the first thing you need to check is if the car is actually completely dead due to a discharged 12V battery. The easiest way to do that is to have a look at the red LED in the centre of the dash to check if it's blinking.

- If it's not blinking, your 12V is most likely dead and you need to jumpstart the car, which is easy, just follow the procedure in the manual. I hope you've got a jumpstarter in your frunk!

- If it's blinking then the 12V is just fine, so either your key's battery is dead (unlikely unless you had it for several years, but worth checking if you're at home and have the other key handy), or you have this particular issue with the TCAM.

Assuming you have this issue, then:

- if you have PAK setup and disabled, you can just activate it again. You should then be able to grab the handle to unlock and drive normally, but expect an "eCall service required" pop up and GPS fix loss soon. When it's convenient to do so (eg parked safely, ideally at home) you can spend the 5-10 minutes to fix this by following this process.

- If you don't have PAK configured, but have the key blade with you, you can use the key blade to open the door and you should be able to silence the alarm and drive the car by placing the key in the transponder in the cup holder under the armrest and selecting drive or reverse while depressing the brake pedal as usual. If this doesn't work remove any additional cases/protection etc the key might have and try both sides, if it still doesn't work consider removing the cupholder insert and placing it as far back as possible (see here).

- If you don't have PAK configured and also don't have the key blade with you, then there's not much you or even roadside assistance can do until someone brings the physical key over (which is why I recommend always carrying it with you, when planning to drive far from home).

Anyway back to the process, assuming you've used PAK to unlock the car and you just want to fix the issue so your keys work again.

First you need to disconnect the 12V battery.

To prepare for this:
  • make sure the car is not plugged in
  • pop up the frunk and the rear hatch so it's open before you disconnect the battery
  • close all doors
  • wait for the car to go to sleep (the charge port LED is a useful indicator, wait until it turns off)

When you're ready, follow these steps:

Step 1: Push the centre of these two fasteners in, so you can pull them out. Try not to loose them in the bowels of the engine bay as I often do:

Tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle Hood Automotive tire


Step 2: Don't bother doing the other side, and just raise the flimsy plastic up to reveal the 12V battery, or at least the half that has the negative pole, which is all you need:

Hood Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Motor vehicle


Step 3: Use your wrench to untighten the nut that secures the connector to the battery's pole until you can pull it out and leave it to the side:

Hood Bumper Automotive design Vehicle Car


Now go and check the car is really dead, because if the DC-DC converter was active at the time (unlikely, but it happened to me once), disconnecting the 12V will do nothing other than give you a warning there's a fault with the 12V charging system. Ignore that, the fault is you just disconnected the battery, so connect it again and give it a few minutes before attempting to disconnect it again.

The simplest thing is to keep an eye on the charge port LED and wait for it to turn off, but if you have a multimeter handy you could monitor voltage and wait for it to drop from >13V to <13V.

If you've made it and the car is completely dead, it's now time to disconnect the TCAM battery.

Step 1: Go back to the boot/trunk (whatever it's called in your continent), and just grab the carpet like trim on the left hand side and pull it:
Watch Vehicle Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting


Step 2: There's nothing to break really, it's mostly metal clips clipping on gaps on the bodywork. You'll find the battery tucked underneath the C pillar, you might attempt to disconnect it in place, but I find it easier to just unclip it and remove it to do it: Here's a photo after I unclipped it:

Watch Automotive tire Automotive lighting Vehicle Fixture


Here's a photo of the battery:

Finger Automotive lighting Automotive mirror Automotive tire Gadget


Here's one from the side to see how it clips on the car, the left hand side of the photo is towards the rear of the car, and that's the bit you need to push if you want to remove it from the car.

Hand Finger Gesture Gadget Bumper


If both have been disconnected for a few seconds at the same time then you're done, just reconnect both and check that your keys work again. If they do, great, put everything back the way it was and hopefully it won’t happen again for a few months!

If you are having trouble pushing the battery tab from bellow try this approach instead:

As this might happen again you might want to remount the backup battery to a more accessible location:


Update: @mxs found this video that might help:

Tartan Felidae Snake Baseball cap Scaled reptile
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for doing this! I was reluctant to try this, based on the other thorough text steps, but now I feel like it should be relatively straight forward.
It’s not hard it’s just frustrating to reach the 3.6V battery, especially the first time, as it’s in an awkward place tucked there behind the carpet.

If your car fails to respond to the keys though this five minute DIY turning it off and on again process is probably quicker than even just calling Polestar assistance to report the issue, never mind waiting for someone to arrive.
 

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Thanks, looks good and pretty easy.

So from the pictures I gather the 3.6V cell is encased in plastic casing with a multi-pin connector on the outside?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, looks good and pretty easy.

So from the pictures I gather the 3.6V cell is encased in plastic casing with a multi-pin connector on the outside?
Yeah it’s probably just a cheap 18650 packaged with a simple charger circuitry.

I can’t believe I forgot to take a photo of the connector! I’ll do this next time :/
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Do you have to do anything special to open the hatch lid while the 12V battery is disconnected? I've been assuming that having an issue with the 12V supply would mean nothing would work.
Oh that's a good point, I'll add a note that you need to open the hatch before disconnecting the 12V so it's already open. I'll update the post.

BTW this procedure is specifically for power cycling the TCAM to sort out the couple of known issues that can only be resolved by entirely disconnecting power from it.

If your 12V is dead, you just need to jump start the car. If your 12V is dead AND you had TCAM issues, you'll find out if you still have this issue after you jump start it (eg keys will not work) at which point you could follow this process, but I think in most cases if the 12V has been dead for a while the TCAM backup battery would have drained so there'd be no reason to disconnect that too.
 

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I would suggest a slight variation, but it means you need a multimeter. If the DCDC converter is active, the voltage on the main battery terminals will be greater than 12V (somewhere between 13.8 and 14.4V). So best to check / monitor this before disconnecting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
I would suggest a slight variation, but it means you need a multimeter. If the DCDC converter is active, the voltage on the main battery terminals will be greater than 12V (somewhere between 13.8 and 14.4V). So best to check / monitor this before disconnecting.
Good point - if you're at home or carry one in the car then yeah that'd guarantee you get it right first time, but to be honest in most cases closing the doors and waiting a minute does the trick. I use the charge port LED as an indication the car is asleep, it'll turn off when it does, so that's a good time to disconnect the battery.

I'll update the post again.

BTW I was thinking pulling out fuse 26 under the glovebox instead of disconnecting the 12V battery should do the trick, but frankly it's so annoyingly placed that I decided disconnecting 12V was easier.

Something I might try next time this happens, as for some it might be easier to do this and it means you don't need the wrench.
 

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I got the courage to pop the bonnet and poke around. (love those fasteners, by the way.) I tested the voltage on the 12v and it came back 12.9v, which is good! I'm thinking about putting in a bluetooth battery voltage monitor just for a little peace of mind. Is the positive pole of the battery beneath the frunk storage tub?
 

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I got the courage to pop the bonnet and poke around. (love those fasteners, by the way.) I tested the voltage on the 12v and it came back 12.9v, which is good! I'm thinking about putting in a bluetooth battery voltage monitor just for a little peace of mind. Is the positive pole of the battery beneath the frunk storage tub?
When I tried the 12 volt reset it looked like the positive pole was under the lip of the frunk. Which is also gonna make it a real PIA to jump start if it ever comes to that.
 

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When I tried the 12 volt reset it looked like the positive pole was under the lip of the frunk. Which is also gonna make it a real PIA to jump start if it ever comes to that.
There is a convenient jumping positive terminal extension that's away from the battery, and near the front of the car. You can just remove that little front quadrant cover for jumping, according to the manual. However, to install the battery monitor, the leads might not be long enough to reach from there to the negative terminal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There is a convenient jumping positive terminal extension that's away from the battery, and near the front of the car. You can just remove that little front quadrant cover for jumping, according to the manual. However, to install the battery monitor, the leads might not be long enough to reach from there to the negative terminal.
Any chassis bolt will do for the negative bolt, the jumpstart manual points to one about a foot away so should be doable unless the cords are very short, in which case extending them wouldn’t be a problem.
 

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I can't even try to setup PAK again. Whenever I go into the Privacy settings to enable them, it says I have no internet connection -- which I clearly do based on the icons, and the fact that my streaming services (and GPS) work fine.
 

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Thanks for this simpler method. I had to do this today after only a month of ownership. Now I keep all the tools needed (gloves, 10mm and 2 x screwdriver, trim removal tool) in the "repair kit". Did it all in under 15 min on my first try, but hope this won't be a regular occurrence.
 
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