Keyless entry systems

When was the last time you used your keys to unlock the car doors? If you’re one of the lucky ones, your car probably has power door locks. Almost all of today’s vehicles come with keyless entry, even the most economical models. Just push a button on the key and voila the doors unlock.

This convenience has been around for some time in the accessories aftermarket and was implemented by manufacturers only after demand surpassed economic viability.

The technology uses infrared signals to transmit and receive commands to interface with the vehicle electrical system. The keyless entry module is what communicates with the electrical devices within the car after you unlock the doors, like interior lights.

We should take a moment to understand how this system works. That is because a simple malfunction might have you and your repairer wasting time and money to fix a small glitch.

Vehicle keyless entry systems must incorporate an interface device that embodies security that authenticates vehicle entry with the vehicle body computer. At times, a communication glitch could have these two computers confused and cause a lock-out. When this occurs, the system must be reset or reprogrammed to operate properly. A simple replacement of the vehicle battery might cause a misalignment between modules and leave you locked out.

All remote keyless entry systems have a programming procedure for the transmitter or key fob. This is for security reasons and must be done with the vehicle in proper reception mode for it to work.

Another important area for concern is the receiver antenna. Located in the windshield or rear glass, the antenna must remain unobstructed to receive the key fob signals. Selecting the wrong type of glass tinting for example, could create a reception problem.

If you are experiencing a problem, the first thing to do is become familiar with the basic operating features. Read the manual and learn how the system is supposed to work. You might find that you may not be holding down a button long enough or have the trunk release programmed wrongly.

You should also learn how to reprogram the fob should the batteries need replacing. A repair shop could charge as much as an hours labour to do this for you