noob question about keyless entry & ignition

Discussion in 'Motoring' started by Jules, Apr 30, 2016.

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  1. Jules

    Jules
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    I'm awaiting delivery of my new Fiesta Titanium X with keyless entry, and having never used a vehicle with this technology before I'm quite curious as to how it works and how secure it really is.

    So here's a couple of questions for you if you don't mind.

    1) How close to the car does the fob need to be before the doors will open? (There's an unlock button on the door handle). I'm curious as to whether parking the car on the drive would leave it vulnerable to thieves with the fob only a few feet away inside the house.

    2) How long should the battery in the fob last?... and is it wise to carry a spare?

    With a traditional key, you can at least unlock the car doors even if key's battery is flat (although you won't be able to start the engine if the key is coded to the car). It seams like a potential problem in future cold winter months when the battery in the fob might be on the way out.
     
  2. Smiffy 2

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    I don't know about the system fitted to the Ford, but with the Nissan system you have to be within about a foot or two for it to work. Any further away than this and it won't operate. Therefore nobody should be able to open your doors if the car is parked on the drive despite your keys being in the house.

    Also, with the Nissan keyfob, there is a little catch on the back of it that allows you to withdraw a "proper" key to open the door should the battery fail. I would be very surprised if the Ford key doesn't have the same kind of thing.
    There is still a traditional lock fitted to the drivers door to enable you to do this.
    Battery life is pretty good, although having said that we have recently had a few "new" Qashqai owners have to come in and have their batteries changed much earlier than usual (the system has been around for quite a few years but maybe there is more drain on the system with all the electrical stuff the newer cars have).

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. maxwell

    maxwell
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    Don't know about Ford but my with my BMW you have to be within 3 feet and everything else regarding entry/starting is as the above post, there is also a key slot in mine so that if the key battery should die you can put the full key in and it is used as non keyless to start the car.
    Just for info the key battery does not die completely but once it drops below a set voltage it will not operate the comfort/keyless mode.
    I would be very surprised is there is no similar failsafe option on the Ford
     
  4. DVD-Man

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    1m from the antennas for key detection, when it comes get a friend to try the passenger door when the car is locked and you have the key on the other side, the passenger door won't open.

    Dash may tell you low key battery, easy changed and I think I had 1 change in 5 years
     
  5. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    If it's the same keyfob as the keyless go ones then there's a proper metal key hidden inside the keyfob.
     
  6. nvingo

    nvingo
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    I'm not sure of newest systems, but certainly the typical engine immobiliser with transponder key, the transponder doesn't get power from a battery. Just like a micro-chip tagged pet, the transponder replies when a radio signal requests the code from it - like a crystal radio can run an earphone without any obvious source of power.
    That is entirely separate from the transmitter for central locking which is powered from a coin cell, even if the one fob houses both devices.
     
  7. Smiffy 2

    Smiffy 2
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    Is correct. Forgot to mention that!!
     
  8. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    Both our cars have keyless, Renault and Nissan.
    The Renault system is infinitely better than the Nissan because it automatically locks the car when you walk away.
    You walk away, within about 4-5 feet you get a 'beep' and indicator flash to tell you it's locked.
    Having to manually lock the Nissan by pressing the button on the door seems very antiquated after that and it's easy to forget to do it if you've been using the Renault for a while.
    With regard to battery life, you get plenty of warning on both that the battery is getting low.
    We just make sure we always have CR2032 batteries in the house.
     
  9. silent ninja

    silent ninja
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    I'm weary of these systems. I've seen videos like the one below where thieves amplify the signal using some type of deflector, and use it to open your car. Also there are compact devices like this where you can be followed by a thief in a supermarket, whilst his buddy in the car park receives the boosted signal and enters your car. Once inside, the ODB port can be used to drive the car away.

    WATCH: The moment a car is stolen without keys overnight - Independent.ie
     
  10. outoftheknow

    outoftheknow
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    True but the circumstances are very specific and thieves that will set themselves up to steal
    keyless cars will have moved on from stealing remote locking cars (similar signal
    Shenanigans) and keyed cars before that. Modern cars they also need to bypass the immobiliser signal as well.

    Security systems can all be bypassed - the effort required will match the object as will thieves enthusiasm for bothering to try.

    Unless you simply don't own a car it may be stolen.

    The video shows something that will occur very occasionally and is an insured event. Compare it to thieves getting into Fords in the 70s and 80s and you shouldn't really worry about it the way that is intimated we all should here. IMHO.
     
  11. ruffage

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    My Ford Kuga is keyless, and has never given me any issues. Works about 1m away. Although I'm looking to swap it for a used mk7 Golf GTI which may not have keyless, and I'm worried I might miss it.
     
  12. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    Precisely.
    If you 'reject' the tech of keyless or remote locking in general, do you go back to manual locking?
    So your car can be opened with a coat-hanger?
     
  13. djcla

    djcla
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    on my 2012 focus I has previously you couldn't lock the car wit keyless entry only open it which I found a little piointless tbh. Unless I missed something obvious and was doing it wrong all the time I owned it LOL. On my golf there is a sensor to open and lock each side of the door handle.
     
  14. djcla

    djcla
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    the Mk7 golf GTD has winter pack ad keyless entry as standard I believe from late 2015 if that helps. I don't think I could survive without it now im used to it.
     
  15. ruffage

    ruffage
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    From what I've read all mk7's built from Oct 2015 have keyless fitted as standard now. It would be a nice to have but Performance Pack is a higher priority for me. I'm constantly looking, and now wifey is frowning on the tornado red which limits it further. :\
     
  16. Sloppy Bob

    Sloppy Bob
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    Keyless Go is good, keyless entry doesn't really bother me.
     
  17. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    Sure you weren't missing a little button on the exterior door handles that lock the car?
    You'd be amazed how many people miss that use the remote to lock.
     
  18. djcla

    djcla
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    can you imaging after 3 years of not realizing there was a little button, I do hope I didn't miss it :)
     
  19. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    How were you opening the car?
    On my Nissan, you use the wee button on the door handle to unlock and lock.
    Keys stay in your pocket.
     
  20. dmpzsn

    dmpzsn
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    On the citroen c4 there are two specific points on the door handle you have to touch to lock/unlock the car.
    Dave
     
  21. ruffage

    ruffage
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    On my Ford handle you just give it a yank. It has a button for locking too. Double press for double lock and yank quickly to check it.
     
  22. djcla

    djcla
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    Just used to open, the sensor was on the outside of door handles. I'm 90% certain there was nothing on the inside on handle.
     
  23. DVD-Man

    DVD-Man
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    I'd post a picture of the handle but the new version of the app just errors everyone I choose one.
     
  24. djcla

    djcla
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  25. un1eash

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    Our old Juke and Swift Sport had the little buttons on the handle, cant say I miss it to be honest.
     
  26. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    That black square on the handle is a button, isn't it?
    I've never come across a keyless car that unlocked and locked simply by approaching or walking away from the car.
    I'm not saying they don't exist, just never come across one.
    Our cars it's:

    Captur - unlock car by pressing button on door handle / lock car by simply walking away
    Juke - unlock and lock car by pressing button on door handle

    Our Hyundai IX35 also followed the same procedure as the Juke.
     
  27. un1eash

    un1eash
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    The black bit is a sensor for locking the car on fords. They unlock by you simply pulling on the door handle as there's a sensor built in, to lock you press your finger against the black part.
    It works the same as BMW's comfort access.
     
  28. FZR400RRSP

    FZR400RRSP
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    Cool, so you are pressing a button 'of sorts' to lock it.
     
  29. djcla

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    LOL I wish I'd realised that in my 3 years of ownership, what a muppet
     
  30. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    The keyless entry system use an un-powered emitter not unlike contactless payment systems. Multiple transceivers are built into the car, so it knows where the key fob is relative to the car. The RF field generated when you activate the car system powers the keyfob, so even if the battery goes flat, the fob will still work as keyless, it just won't work to manually unlock the car or boot.

    They are actually quite hard to hack - although nothing is impossible! I doubt your average car thief would bother unless it was quite an expensive car - or they were stealing cars on an industrial level.
     

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