A Smart Entry System is used in vehicles and buildings that locks and unlocks the doors by a remote controller or automatically by proximity. To identify the user’s proximity, the system uses a device called a key hob. The key hob transmits signals continuously, and when it is in close range, the vehicle identifies the key hob and unlocks the door. An intelligent building uses the same pattern to identify the critical hob. The Smart entry system issues could happen for the following reasons.
- Battery Faults – both the critical hob and the vehicle.
- Signal Faults – These could happen due to objects that block or absorb the signals, rarely environmental issues.
- Damaged Key Fob – This could happen by exposure to water or chemicals. Electronic circuit defect due to a short circuit, extreme heat, or manufacturing defect.
What is a Smart Entry System?
Smart Entry System is an electronic locking and unlocking system widely used in vehicles and smart buildings. The same technology is used for keyless starting in cars.
This technology was founded in 1981 by Paul Lipschultz, who used infrared signals to communicate between the fob and the vehicle. This technology was suppressed with the European frequency standardization in 1995.
Robert Bosch GmbH (A company) introduced a radio-based system in 1990, and Delphi Automotive developed a system that uses a proximity sensor in 1996 and is now used by many automakers.
Modern innovative entry systems come with many other options, such as opening and closing sliding doors, closing any opened windows and roof, a panic button, a remote keyless ignition system, and also raising or lowering convertible tops.
How does the Smart Entry System Work?
Smart entry system uses a handheld device to lock\unlock doors or lock\unlock automatically by proximity. The lock can be opened when the handheld device, called a key fob, is near (usually within 3 to 30 feet).
When starting vehicles having the key is sufficient to start the car by pressing the start button on the dashboard. In both cases, the user does not physically insert a keyhole key.
The key fob uses radio signals to communicate with the vehicle or the intelligent building computer, and the computer permits the action. Some cars have a “Walk Away Look”, which works when the user is 20-30 feet away.
Common Issues with Smart Entry Systems?
The Smart Entry system works with a signal emitter (Key Fob) and the signal receiver (Vehicle or the lock), which both need electricity to operate.
Most issues with the remote entry system are due to power issues which can be quickly addressed. Usually, key fobs run out of power more often than a vehicle.
Key fobs use a small lithium-ion battery which can be used for about 2-3 years, depending on the usage.
This is a cheap battery widely available. Loss of power from the vehicle end is a serious matter and is mustered separately.
Apart from the power issue, connectivity issues, damaged circuits, and software glitches may also affect the system.
Why is My Smart Entry System Not Working?
Intelligent entry systems can malfunction due to power, connectivity, and software glitches. A damaged vital fob could also cause the Smart Entry System to stop working.
A key Fob can get damaged due to heavy falls, wetness, or incorrect battery replacement. In the case of damage to the Key Fob, the solution will be lengthy as it will involve purchasing a Key Fob and resetting the system, which may require the manufacturer’s help.
Replacing the battery of a Key Fob is much more straightforward and inexpensive. It will be much more complex for intelligent buildings as it may involve many more components, such as Wi-Fi and complex computer systems.
How to Troubleshoot Smart Entry System Problems?
A brilliant entry system is a convenient way to protect the vehicle. In a bright office, it saves money & time. Like any other system, the innovative entry system has its problems. These problems mainly occur due to power, signal, damaged Fobs, and software glitches. Below are some troubleshooting options if the system is not functioning.
- Check the Batteries – First, the Key Fob and the vehicle
- Range of the Key Fob – The distance from the fob to the car should be less than 30 feet. Check the user manual to be specific.
- Avoid Objects that Block the Signals – Move the fob key to align with the receiver.
- Be Updated – Use the software upgrades when available
- Reset the Intelligent Entry System – Check the user manual to be specific.
- Contact the Vehicle Dealer – If none of the above works.
Can Environmental Factors Affect Smart Entry System Performance?
Environmental factors can affect Smart Entry System performance in extreme weather conditions. A heat wave can disrupt radio signals causing faults in communication between the critical fab and the vehicle or the lock.
High and low temperatures affect the key fob and car batteries more than other environmental effects. This can cause frequent disruptions in the Smart Entry System.
A car battery in extremely low temperatures can cause low performance, low capacity issues, and cracks in the storm. Higher temperatures can cause the batteries to produce more current, but it will reduce the battery lifespan dramatically.
The same applies to Lithium-Ion batteries. Low temperatures will reduce the output of the batteries, and high temperatures will cause them to catch on fire or explode.
How to Maintain and Extend the Lifespan of your Smart Entry System?
Though there are no user-serviceable parts in an intelligent entry system, users can take a few steps to properly maintain and prolong the system’s life.
- Keeping the critical fob clean and free of debris.
- Replacing the batteries on time.
- Avoid the Key Fob getting wet.
- Not letting the Key Fob be exposed to extreme temperatures
- Keeping away from RFI devices (Radio Frequency Interferences) and magnets.
- Updating the firmware
- Removing the battery from the key fob when not in use for long.
What Role does the Critical Fob Play in Smart Entry Systems?
In Smart Entry System, the Key Fob is a unit that interacts with the user and thus becomes one of the most essential parts of the system. Regarding vehicles, it is used for a wide range of applications.
In a car, a Key Fob is used for keyless locking\unlocking of doors and keyless starting and even walk away locking.
Apart from the above uses, a Kay Fob can be used as a remote controller for opening and locking doors, remote engine running, closing and opening slid doors, closing any opened windows and roof, using the panic button, and raising or lowering convertible tops.
Smart Entry System upgrades: Are they Worth It?
Everything is evolving. There is no reason why the Smart entry system should not become. It has been growing since 1981. The first generation used infrared to communicate between the key hob, vehicle, or lock.
Going for an upgraded system is excellent as it will make the car, smart office, or home more secure and convenient. Doing it will encourage the manufacturers to add more options and make discoveries. The only downside of this is the cost involved.
Sometimes the locks, doors, and even door frames may need to be altered or replaced in a smart office or a home. Vehicle owners will have to find compatible units that fit the vehicle. Doing a cost-benefit analysis before deciding on an upgrade will be more advisable.
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My name is James, I work as an Automotive Designer with 9 years of experience. I also work as a mechanic and vehicle inspector. I love deciphering complicated car exteriors and interiors and resolving fluid and oil troubles. InstaMotoring.com is here to help you troubleshoot your car with dependable and expert help.