Auto Savant: Picking a Keyless Entry System
Tired of fumbling over your keys for the one that opens your car? Well, you won't have to anymore thanks to today's keyless entry systems. These systems allow you to lock and unlock your vehicle without having to manually do so with your key. Having a keyless entry system is very convenient and a must for most car owners of today. If you vehicle doesn't come with this system, then you can always get it one. There are many types of keyless entry systems in the market today, so consider this your guide to finding the right one for you.
Various types of keyless entry systems
- Remote control lock/ unlock, which is the most common variety.
- Door mounted keypad lock/ unlock
- Proximity detection or
smart keys, which auto-unlock or allow you to push button unlock once you get close enough to the vehicle.
- Smart phone integration, which controls your vehicle's locks remotely with a smart phone.
- GPS remote keyless entry
- Hidden button keyless entry system, which is common on hot rods and custom show vehicles.
- Bluetooth systems that can unlock cars using a cell phone
Of course the safest choice would be the basic remote control lock/ unlock for its practicality and convenience, but you have plenty of other varieties to choose from. If you ultimately go for a system outside the basic, then go for the one that's most accessible to you.
- Multiple remotes
- Control via cell phone or a similar device
- Light flash confirmation
- Horn honk confirmation.
- Remote trunk release
- Remote start
Some keyless entry systems have more than one of these features, so choose one that fits your fancy. The most expensive keyless entry systems are usually the most comprehensive ones, which come with all these features. Majority of these systems provide at least two remotes, so be sure not to settle for single-remote packages.
How to Install your Keyless Entry Control Module
Isn't it troublesome when your keyless entry control module suddenly fails on you? You will have a hard time getting inside your vehicle when you need to. When this happens, you shouldn't just ignore this problem as it could get you into worse problems. It is important that you replace your keyless entry control module as soon as possible to ensure that you will not experience the hassle of getting locked from outside your car. Don't worry about replacement; you can do it within the comforts of your home and in just an hour or two. All you need to do is to follow these steps and get yourself equipped with the right tools.
Difficulty level: Moderate
What you'll need:
- Wire ties
- Double-sided tape
- Electrical tape
- Replacement Keyless Entry Control Module
Step 1: Roll your windows down to ensure that you will not lock yourself or your tools inside the vehicle when you start with the installation process.
Step 2: Select a mounting location inside the passenger compartment. You may choose the one up behind the dashboard, but it should be within 24 inches from the ignition switch wiring harness. This is to allow the connection of the six-pin main wiring harness. Make sure that the location that you will choose will not interfere with the usual flow of operation of your vehicle.
Step 3: Use wire ties or double-sided tape to mount the module under the dash. Make sure that it won't hinder the proper operation of the steering wheel.
Step 4: Ensure that all connections have been made and tested. Strip back two inches of insulation on the wire from the keyless entry, and one inch on the wire you need to connect to. You might want to draw down the wiring diagrams in a notebook to help you remember exactly where the wires went to, as well as their colors.
Step 5: Separate the vehicle wire large enough to fit the other wire through it. Insert the wire from the unit through the hole, and wrap it around one side and then around itself.
Step 6: Wrap the wires using an electrical tape. Make sure to cover the wire about two inches on both sides of the connection. Next, pull the wire that you have just connected alongside the wire you connected it to, and tape them together. Use a wire tie to secure them, and do the same for all connections.
Step 7: Once installed, try it if it works. If not, then go back to the wirings and check if you missed something along the way.
The whole process of installing your new keyless entry control module would take you at least an hour or two, depending on your familiarity and experience working on wirings. If it doesn't work on your first try, you may want to bring your vehicle to your trusted mechanic to have it checked. There might be a problem with the switch or some of the wirings might already be corroded.