Since I had the same issue with both my remotes in 5 years interval I thought this may be a common issue and you may want to know about it (save some money and frustration).
In the above picture you see the PCB inside of the remote (the side away from buttons-facing the battery). Please note, there is a white capacitor (1050J) soldered to the PCB (two pins). In my case one of the soldering joints (the one towards the chip – coincidence maybe) cracked.
The symptoms are intermittent remote operation (sometimes makes contact sometimes doesn’t). Is very difficult to see the crack but if you look carefully (or maybe use a magnifier) you will notice it.
Just touch the pins for no longer than 1-2 seconds with the tip of a soldering station and is good to go for another 10 years.
While you are there clean very well the other side of the PCB (the one facing the buttons) and also lightly clean the backside of the rubber mat (the one with the buttons seen in the picture below).
If you notice the black dot on the back of each button is damaged then is time for a new rubber mat (no need to replace the whole remote).
A stress fracture on either flat lead of the cap indicates poor mounting of the component for the application. The solder joint is an electro-mechanical bond for the leads only --not the body of the component. For added reliability, use a toothpick to apply a bead of epoxy (or superglue) around the cap where it meets the board. That should hold it in place and its easy to remove with the heat from the tip of a soldering iron if required.
Just to underline this one more time, today I received another remote to have a look at it as it was not working and yet again THE SAME ISSUE.
If your remote is not working or is intermittent you need to have a look to the part pictured and re-solder the connections.
If your remote works great no issue , just preventively follow CCC advice above and slightly lift the back side just 1mm off the PCB and put a dab of crazy glue to have it fixed to the board. The part is far to large and heavy for to be held in place just by the two pins considering you toss the keys around all the time.
i looked in my key fob, it's a #2 fob, and the piece your talking about, the piece numbered 1050 J, is missing completly in mine, could it be that my remote is diferent? or it actually did break off? can i get it at radio shack or something? any help will do, thanks