TechTalk Keyless Entry

Published on March 18th, 2023 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


Is Keyless Entry, Exit And Ignition The Best Option

Soon, the keyless entry and button ignition will be replaced by a fingerprint scanner.

If you happen to have purchased a car within the past few years, chances are you were given a way to start it without a traditional key to insert into the ignition slot.

This keyless entry system, by definition, allows the driver to keep the key fob pocketed when unlocking, locking, and starting the vehicle.

Keyless Entry

It means that the smart key is identified via one of several antennas in the car’s bodywork and a radio pulse generator in the key housing. Depending on the system, the vehicle is automatically unlocked when a button or sensor on the door handle or rear boot release is pressed.

Vehicles with a smart-key system have a mechanical backup, usually in the form of a spare key blade supplied with the vehicle.

Keyless Entry

Pioneered by Siemens in 1995 and introduced by Mercedes-Benz under the name “Key-less Go” in 1998, manufacturers around the world which are in favor of convenience have already transitioned towards keyless car transponders in the last decade.

Even the humble compact locally produced city commuter car has key-less entry and push button ignition in showrooms for a few years already.

However, we have some reservations about this ever evolving easy entry and ignition system. All car manufacturers say that the keyless systems make it difficult for cars to be stolen.

But, with computerized controls, hackers have already developed new ways to steal your car and it is getting easier by the year.

Keyless Entry

Key programming tools and chips can be found online, and may only be purchased by authorized dealers and mechanics.

If these tools end up in the wrong hands, they could easily reprogram a blank key fob to your car’s transponder code, or even hack into the car’s electronic systems to operate the vehicle.

This is very scary as many people leave important documents and even the house keys in the ‘safe and secure’ car.

Then there is the high cost of duplication when you lose your key-fob. With local assembled cars it can cost as much as RM800.00 for a duplicate and for an imported car like an Alfa Giulia it will cost you about RM5,500 just for a duplicate key-fob.

Exotic supercars, lets not even think about the asking prices. With my 30-year-old Mazda and Nissan, a duplicate key costs under RM15.00 and the door alarm transponder that goes (tick tock) costs anywhere between RM30.00 to RM50.00 for a duplicate.

In the end, while convenience is always a plus, buyers of such vehicles should be aware of the quirks of having such a feature.

Common sense always prevails when it comes to safety, such as parking in a secure and well-lit area. Given the chance, I would still go and accept the keyless system and push-start ignition, because I would treat it as a regular car key anyway, not leaving it in places I shouldn’t, and taking all the necessary steps to keep it secure and safe without leaving important items in the car.

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