I recently purchased a new car, and I’m usually a pretty straightforward, base-model shopper. But there was an intriguing difference between base and upgraded models — keyless entry doors. I decided to investigate.
I’m not an auto expert, nor a locksmith, so I went to a local car locksmith in Los Angeles to get what I hoped would be expert advice on keyless entry doors. This is what he shared:
Of course, I knew convenience was supposed to be a big thing. I had seen the commercials of the woman struggling to dig through her purse to locate her keys while another woman passes by her and has her car unlock automatically once she is adjacent to the vehicle.
According to my auto locksmith friend, it really is that convenient. Not having to juggle bags while opening a door, or not having to dig through a bag to find keys is certainly something everyone can benefit from at one time or another.
As another example, he also threw in the rainy day situation and the image of taking down an umbrella while juggling keys and trying to get into a car without getting wet.
While speaking the convenience of keyless car entry, he asked if I had ever been walking through a parking lot at night and had that sense of someone else being close by or a feeling of being followed.
Of course, I had. That, he said, was a prime example of keyless entry is more than convenient. Whether it was a real or perceived, there was no time lost getting into the vehicle once I was alongside it.
Without keys there is also no risk of a key broken in a lock. Ironically, it’s how I met my locksmith friend. It may never have happened to you, but keys wear over time with repeated pressure. When you break a key in a lock and you’re already late for work, it’s not a great start to the day. With a keyless entry, he said, there’s no need to hurry.
My friend also mentioned with the keyless system, there was also less risk of keys being duplicated without my knowledge. He told me a story of a client he’d had once who left his keys with a parking attendant once and then several days later, his car had been stolen.
It turned out the attendant had copied his keys while he was parked and, using the address he found on the car’s ownership papers, was able to steal the car quite easily. Unlike a key easily replicated, a keyless system is more specialized and more difficult to replicate.
Of course, as with regular keys, a keyless entry system still requires caution and care because anyone who has the fob can gain access to your vehicle just as easily as you.
Whether you buy a car with a keyless system or not, it’s possible to have keyless system added. Although there is cost involved, in buying the system and having it installed, you can decide not to go keyless entry and then change your mind.
My friend reminded me if I were to decide to go with a keyless system after, it was best installed by a professional, or at least someone with the essential skills required. Just because you can order a kit online or pick one up in a store, he said, it does not mean it is necessarily easy or failsafe to install.
Whether you chose to go keyless, or still prefer the traditional key method, it’s worth doing some investigating to see which option makes the most sense for you.
Text by: Daniel Fialko