Smart key, pretty dumb

stunet's picture
stunet started the topic in Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 11:12am

From Tech Page One website...

"Recently I acquired a new car, the first in 14 years. It was a Chevrolet Volt, with cutting-edge hybrid technology and a Car of the Year award in 2012, but the agent who sold it to me seemed impressed most of all with its “smart key.” Since I misplace my car keys often, a smart key conjured up visions of something that would come running when called. Sadly, that was not what it was. It was interesting nonetheless: a tiny electronic gizmo that remotely spoke to the car.

This meant that things I had done for my whole life without complaint or even an inkling that they were burdensome were now eliminated. No more tiresome inserting-key-into-ignition-and-turning, for instance. I could simply push a button to start the car if the smart key was nearby. No more fishing around in my bags or unsightly pocket-patting to find the old key fob. Within three feet of the doors, the smart key automatically unlocked the car. “Neat,” I said.

Soon after, I went surfing. I usually take my key with me in my wetsuit. Belatedly it occurred to me: a smart key is not waterproof. What to do? Hide it on my car? That wasn’t feasible, as it meant the car would automatically unlock, even when the key stayed hidden. Call a locksmith to make a door key and hide the smart key inside the car? Nope. Still within three feet. Then I had an epiphany: metal would interrupt the transmitter! I searched at local hardware stores and on the internet, but the lockboxes and magnetic key holders were all plastic. I bought a thick, albeit plastic lockbox. The doors still opened."

Read the rest here: http://techpageone.dell.com/tech-culture/smart-key-pretty-dumb/

50young's picture
50young's picture
50young commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 11:25am

Absolute classic!! Had never thought about this issue.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 11:37am

I've never owned a car with an electronic key so it's not a problem I've encountered.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 11:54am

.

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 12:17pm

stunet wrote:

I've never owned a car with an electronic key so it's not a problem I've encountered.

Wouldn't go well in the leg rope pocket either.
Edit- Forgot to ask how the new car is Stu!

Actually has anyone lost a car key stashed in your leggie...?

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 12:23pm

I don't have a new car Welly. Same old chariot I've had the last few years, the improbably named Hyundai Trajet.

wellymon's picture
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wellymon commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 3:22pm

Haha OOoooppps "From Tech Page One website..."
Silly ol me.

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

brownie48's picture
brownie48's picture
brownie48 commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 9:26pm

One of the key stash padlock companies now sell one encased in metal just for this reason, cant remember the name of it though

wellymon's picture
wellymon's picture
wellymon commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 10:37pm

"Surf Lock"
I've had one for a couple of years, really good, attached to the front springs under the wheel hub, out of sight out of mind.
Surfing, Camping especially when you've had a few too many you always find them, morning or night.
I wouldn't attach them to the tow ball for all too see tho;)

Our brains are too small at the moment to comprehend the reality of what's happening in our forests . We're only just waking up so to speak . The big problem is we think we know everything, we are specks of dust on a timeline and we know nothing .

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Monday, 16 Feb 2015 at 11:29pm

It's called 'passive entry', and you can turn the function off by going through the menus and settings. At least you can on all the cars I have seen with passive entry. The metal casing doesn't work. If someone comes up and touches the handle, it'll open quicker than a Thai ladyboy

asharper001's picture
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asharper001 commented Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 at 7:16am

kaiser wrote: It's called 'passive entry', and you can turn the function off by going through the menus and settings. At least you can on all the cars I have seen with passive entry. The metal casing doesn't work. If someone comes up and touches the handle, it'll open quicker than a Thai ladyboy

Zen, you might look to trade in your Subaru Outback for a Toyota Banchong with keyless entry.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Tuesday, 17 Feb 2015 at 9:49am

Way ahead of you bro;)

1173

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 11:38am

Its an easy thing to get around. Think outside the square. I have a new Jeep Grand Cherokee with every smart key tech there is. It simply won't allow you to leave the key inside and if you use the emergency key the alarm goes off. Its an electronic fob so can't put in wetty or legrope so the only upfront option is to hide key of an $80k car in the bush. I searched hi and low on websites to see how guys got around it without a solution. So I created my own.

Took 15minutes to set up. I'm not going to tell you except to say that your key wrapped in alfoil will override any "keys locked in car protocol" AND the other hint is car horns are positive ground not negative ground. That being they always have power and when you apply the horn button it establishes the earth and therefore the circuit which makes the horn work.

I've already said too much!

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 12:46pm

Spooky, I have the same car. Go to Settings on your interactive screen, then select 'Doors and Locks'. Then untick 'Passive Entry'. This will then only let you in if you push the button on the key.

Lock the key in a keysafe, and Bob's your uncle

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 1:01pm

Hey kalser, yep I know about that but the problem is using the keysafe. I had one originally locked in under the rear out of sight but every time I went to lock/unlock you had to crawl under the bloody car AND every man and his dog saw you putting it there. Its not the safest of practices when surfing places like the Gold Coast for example. Those little Palm Beach punks love watching where you put your keys (one guys watches you while the other guy breaks into your car - Laceys Lane in the worst for this I've experienced.) and keylocks are as good as the nearest bolt cutters.

My keys are locked in the car out of sight, my alarm is on and working and I can go surfing without the worry of 1 guy watching me while the other cuts off my keysafe lock. Its as easy as pie and much safer imo than a keysafe. I asked my insurer about leaving the key in a keysafe on the car and they said if it was visiable and the car was stolen its too bad for me. Not good and a better option was found pretty bloody quickly!

evosurfer's picture
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evosurfer commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 2:01pm

Had the same problem in Hawaii last year smart key what a pain in the bum. I wrapped it in alfoil worked
perfectly hid it under the car no unlocking.
Why would you buy a chev volt what a shit box.

IF im not surfing im racing

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 3:07pm

Would love to know your secret spooky, bearing in mind I'm no autoelectrician. I live on GC and have obviously been far too casual about these things...

I used to have a method that involved my towel, but if they took the towel, they didn't get the key. Unfortunately I lost two towels in two weeks at Currumbin, so that was the end of that. Thought the keysafe was a decent deterrent, but maybe I'm wrong again...

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 3:21pm

Mate if you have a screwdriver, some terminals and a crimp tool its easy. :-)

Mate, your lucky to keep your memories from Currumbin. Nothing stays where you left it.

kaiser's picture
kaiser's picture
kaiser commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 5:55pm

You're like MacGyver!!!

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 6:02pm

Thank fuck the whole world isn't like Currumbin. I hate thieves.

saltman's picture
saltman's picture
saltman commented Wednesday, 18 Feb 2015 at 10:13pm

stunet wrote:

From Tech Page One website...

"Recently I acquired a new car, the first in 14 years. It was a Chevrolet Volt, with cutting-edge hybrid technology and a Car of the Year award in 2012, but the agent who sold it to me seemed impressed most of all with its “smart key.” Since I misplace my car keys often, a smart key conjured up visions of something that would come running when called. Sadly, that was not what it was. It was interesting nonetheless: a tiny electronic gizmo that remotely spoke to the car.

This meant that things I had done for my whole life without complaint or even an inkling that they were burdensome were now eliminated. No more tiresome inserting-key-into-ignition-and-turning, for instance. I could simply push a button to start the car if the smart key was nearby. No more fishing around in my bags or unsightly pocket-patting to find the old key fob. Within three feet of the doors, the smart key automatically unlocked the car. “Neat,” I said.

Soon after, I went surfing. I usually take my key with me in my wetsuit. Belatedly it occurred to me: a smart key is not waterproof. What to do? Hide it on my car? That wasn’t feasible, as it meant the car would automatically unlock, even when the key stayed hidden. Call a locksmith to make a door key and hide the smart key inside the car? Nope. Still within three feet. Then I had an epiphany: metal would interrupt the transmitter! I searched at local hardware stores and on the internet, but the lockboxes and magnetic key holders were all plastic. I bought a thick, albeit plastic lockbox. The doors still opened."

Read the rest here: http://techpageone.dell.com/tech-culture/smart-key-pretty-dumb/


Feel your pain
Bought a new car 2 years ago for the better half
Again the salesman was very proud of the smart gizmo thingy --- I immediately after the test drive - I posed him the surfing question - he looked blank and said it was the first time he had heard it as an issue and was sure there was an answer
my wife looked more annoyed than usual
didn't get an answer
2 years later its status quo

Now its my turn to update and - no smart key for me

drewb's picture
drewb's picture
drewb commented Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 at 12:51pm

Spookypt - I have the same car and it drives me nuts - lock the key on the inside and the alarm screams when you open it....in fact I had all the same problems you had...without a solution.

PLEASE tell me the answer. I think I know, but am not convinced.

spookypt's picture
spookypt's picture
spookypt commented Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 at 12:27pm

Ok PM is on its way.

shaun's picture
shaun's picture
shaun commented Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 at 1:42pm

I thought you couldn't send pm on swellnet?

I'm the scab you keep picking off and is there again the next day.

udo's picture
udo's picture
udo commented Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 at 2:37pm

Drew had his private email up for short time.

spookypt's picture
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spookypt commented Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 at 2:41pm

I've chatted with Drew and given him the info he needs to overcome the problem. I think he was happy with the information provided. :-)

kksurf's picture
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kksurf commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2015 at 6:17am

spookypt I'd love to know too ; )

KK

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Saturday, 19 Dec 2015 at 3:33pm

Yeah, new car keys are a problem, even the older type that I have. Anything with electronics in them is going to screw you around.

Mine is still old enough that you can get a normal key cut which will open the door, nothing more or less, so I lock the doors, open with my cut key, put the proper key in the car, take my key with me.

Works fine, but probably not for my next car. Will have to remember that when I get around to buying a new one.

One day, the wife and kids came with and went for a beach walk while I surfed. Gave them the proper key and took the cut key. Came back before them and opened my car and after a few seconds later the alarm is going off. Nothing could stop it. Luckily a few minutes later they came over the hill and once reasonably close the alarm stopped, so clearly the key has a proximity issue and is ok if it's in the car, but opening with the cut key when the real key is further than 25 metres or so is a problem.

You don't know what you don't know.

Imagine buying a new car (I never do) and saying to the dealer that they have to fix this surfing problem before you will buy it. That should get it sorted quickly

shannon's picture
shannon's picture
shannon commented Thursday, 28 Jan 2016 at 11:26pm

Hoping someone may have some advice on a trip to Hawaii.

First trip over and have heard/read about the high number of car break-ins on the North Shore. Generally I surf with a surf key and leave my electronic ignition key in the car (not ever worried about someone breaking in and using it), but this is a pain with a rental car (needing to get a key cut) and potentially unadvisable (if someone breaks in and the ignition key is available). I use a surf lock when I'm on any interstate trip involving a hire car, but again heard some stories of these being at best a small hurdle for a determined thief, at worst a beacon for potential valuables in the car (resulting in a smashed window). Also read the tip about leaving the car unlocked/windows down, but stuffed if I know what to do with the key in that case.

Luck will play itself out however it will, but no harm in being well advised. I know a lot of people on these forums have spent time over there. If anyone has any tips, they'd be appreciated.

Cheers

crustt's picture
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crustt commented Friday, 29 Jan 2016 at 7:50am

Always travel with items that you could not care less if they were stolen. Go to a hardware, get a key cut.

floyd's picture
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floyd commented Friday, 29 Jan 2016 at 9:11am

These guys have some very interesting ways to hide things .........https://www.instagram.com/cacherteam/

I use a key safe on my car with a old key in it and hide my (smart) keys under a rock or log in a plastic bag ....... never leave anything of value in the car anyway.

Theft of waves is mostly the crime of the coast where I surf.

Drizzle's picture
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Drizzle commented Saturday, 30 Jan 2016 at 3:59am

I've got a smart key on my Corolla and I just put the smart key inside the front suspension coil and it doesn't unlock the car even if u try to open the door.

Japanese make good cars. Give it a try on your vehicle. Also u can get " extra" insurance for your car so if it gets stolen even with the keys your covered.

I can only comprehend coming back from a 4 hour surf to find my $150,000 Audi gone!!!!!

NJCan's picture
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NJCan commented Sunday, 1 Jan 2017 at 7:59am

Has anyone tried this system?

http://www.keyvaletinc.com/Products/KeyFob/

joakse's picture
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joakse commented Wednesday, 19 Jul 2017 at 8:57pm

Ok please anyone! Rehash old forum. Nissan XTrail 2015 with IntelleKey. How are we locking cars and surfing?
- Can't lock the fob in car as doors still open even when locked with the key. So has to go on outside but...
- proximity sensor opens all the doors when close.

Read someone wrapped in Al-foil and put in one of the surf safe locks. Is this seriously what I'm subject to?

Anyone? Really appreciate your thoughts.

joeyjojo's picture
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joeyjojo commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 9:26am

I have a 2015 pathfinder, so ill assume we have the same type of key.
Go to the locksmith and get a wet key cut from the "pull out" version in the remote/fob.
When you go for a surf, lock the door with the original remote/fob. Reopen with your new wet key, then put your original fob in the glovebox and lock with wetly. Close the door and lock with the wet key.
Keep the wet key on you while surfing and reopen the door the old fashioned way when you return.
hope it sort of make s sense; been working well for me the last couple of years!

thermalben's picture
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thermalben commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 9:55am

This is a big issue for me when I travel and use hire cars. Looks like I'll have to pack a bag of Comalco Alfoil inside my board bag.

zenagain's picture
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zenagain commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 10:39am

Brilliant idea, don't know why noone has thought of it before.

http://gear.landrover.com/me/en/discovery/interior/function-technology/l...

1173

joakse's picture
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joakse commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 12:18pm

Hi,
Firstly how good is the Activity Key for the Land Rover. That thing is a gold idea !

JoeyJoJo, how to you stop the fob keeping the car unlocked (due to proximity) when you leave it in the car? Interestingly i wrapped it in Al-foil today and that certainly works.

I'm thinking I might wrap the fob in Al-Foil and put in a surf KeySafe but there is a part of me that says hanging the key off the car in sight just ain't right.

joeyjojo's picture
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joeyjojo commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 1:52pm

hey joakse
try it with your spare pull out key first before going and getting one cut
The locked car doors won't open with the fob inside after you relic with the wetkey: its only if someone manages to break into the car they will be able to get the car started by pressing the "start button"
I've had a play with a couple of options and this works out the best so far for the Nissan!

joeyjojo's picture
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joeyjojo commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 1:52pm

hey joakse
try it with your spare pull out key first before going and getting one cut
The locked car doors won't open with the fob inside after you relic with the wetkey: its only if someone manages to break into the car they will be able to get the car started by pressing the "start button"
I've had a play with a couple of options and this works out the best so far for the Nissan!

joakse's picture
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joakse commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 2:45pm

Hi JoeyjoJo,
I did try that. You're right none of the doors open but the rear door/boot certainly does. Its odd. The only way I seem to get around this is putting the fob in al-foil. Then there is no way in except for to use the key. I suspect I'm just going to get a keysafe and put the fob and all in it. Still have to go in foil though or else the doors, via proximity, still open. Looks like the only place where proximity doesn't reach is the front left wheel arch.

The LandRover activity key looks great at it disables all other fobs left in the vehicle which means even if anyone does get in they can't take the car.. Reckon a few other car manufacturers should be looking at this as it solves everything. Asked a locksmith today and he said I should not have got such a good car : ) Didn't realise XTrails were!

velocityjohnno's picture
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velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 3:48pm

Smart keys are really a step backward, so much annoying surfing compromise for a feature that key fobs and specially cut surf keys can overcome. And simple key/lock never had in the first place. The Landrover solution is about the best of it though - clever design thinking!

Our 2007 car is particularly awesome as it has a separate hidden internal locking drawer, which non electric surf key can open both driver's door and drawer. Just remember to WD40 the outer lock.

Going to a dealer, when they demonstrate the smart key, it's fun to put them in the hypothetical situation of where in the car to stow it so it can't communicate with the onboard computer and stop the car locking. The smart key gets placed right against the back tailgate, nope, still unlocked...

Wrapping in aluminium foil is paranoia I can approve of...

Some words from J Kay to finish:

Future's
Made of
Virtual Insanity
Always
Seem to
Be governed by this love we have
For useless twisting of our new technology...

blow-in-9999's picture
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blow-in-9999 commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 6:20pm

The activity watch seems a step back from Tesla smart watch app or similar.

joeyjojo's picture
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joeyjojo commented Thursday, 20 Jul 2017 at 7:54pm

Try the "vehicle lock" settings on your steering wheel/speedo

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Saturday, 22 Jul 2017 at 12:26pm

That's quite brilliant Zen, and yes, why hasn't anyone else thought of it. If I do buy a new car I'm going to demand something like that.

batfink's picture
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batfink commented Saturday, 22 Jul 2017 at 12:30pm

Couldn't agree more velocityJ, smart keys, solving a problem you never knew you had.

"Goddamn, it's all so hard pressing a button, why can't I have a car where the door just opens when I get close."

Ridiculous. Techno gadgets with no purpose.

Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff commented Saturday, 22 Jul 2017 at 7:54pm

Going back a while before mobile phones were invented I used to have to carry a beeper for my job. Not wanting to miss waves I'd put it in a flat plastic container & seal it with gaffer tape & stick it down my wetty when surfing. No problem.

OK it's a bit primitive but it worked. Has anyone considered this?

And yes I drive a bloody old car that doesn't have a smart key.

Fairy Nuff's picture
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Fairy Nuff commented Saturday, 22 Jul 2017 at 7:55pm

Going back a while before mobile phones were invented I used to have to carry a beeper for my job. Not wanting to miss waves I'd put it in a flat plastic container & seal it with gaffer tape & stick it down my wetty when surfing. No problem.

OK it's a bit primitive but it worked. Has anyone considered this?

And yes I drive a bloody old car that doesn't have a smart key.

Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff's picture
Fairy Nuff commented Saturday, 22 Jul 2017 at 7:55pm

Going back a while before mobile phones were invented I used to have to carry a beeper for my job. Not wanting to miss waves I'd put it in a flat plastic container & seal it with gaffer tape & stick it down my wetty when surfing. No problem.

OK it's a bit primitive but it worked. Has anyone considered this?

And yes I drive a bloody old car that doesn't have a smart key.

Womble123's picture
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Womble123 commented Monday, 24 Jul 2017 at 8:48am

I've just bought a new jeep and despite being told "there is a wetsuit key" no one at the dealership could explain how to leave the fob in the car with the doors locked. Eventually (thanks google) the foil idea was tried. It works! My advice is to get a small tupperware and line it inside with foil so it's reusable. Works well.

chris lyon's picture
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chris lyon commented Friday, 30 Mar 2018 at 7:39pm

This issue is faced quite often while traveling and hiring a car and getting the similar issues.Then the person is left with no other solution except searching for a locksmith nearby.
http://www.lewisvillelocksmith24h.com/