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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just at the store parking lot, and I noticed that when I tried to lock my car using the key pod (fod - pod...what the heck you call that thing?), nothing happened. I had to open the door, hit the lock power button, then everything locked. I tried to unlock using the pod, and again, nothing happened. I went into the store.

On the way out, I tried my spare key, again nothing happened. This ruled out a battery problem with my original key.

When I was ready to leave, I once again had to unlock the door with my key in the lock. I looked in the owners manual to see if I had to reset something. Nothing in the manual. I then started the engine. While the engine was running I hit the lock and unlock button on the pod. All seemed well.

Has anyone else experienced this problem? This was the first time that this happened to me.

As a single female, I'm worried about the security feature and the door locking features not working and being unreliable. By the way, when everything seemed dead from the fod standpoint, the panic button didn't work either.
 

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I experience this everytime I am in downtown Toronto with any of my DC vehicles- the cause? The CN tower which is a radio transmitter and kills the RKE (remote keyless entry) signal!!

DC had a TSB on their RKE, discussing the RKE failure near radar and radio installations.

Does the remote work now? Are you away from that store???
 

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Well, 'Troubleshooting 101' says that you have likely eliminated one side of the potential problem (the key fob) unless it was a very coincidental, freak, and intermittent problem.

The second area to consider is the other END of the key fob's wireless signal - your vehicle's receiving unit (that detects the key fob's transmitted impulses and acts on them).

Thirdly, there is also the potential of some type of interference between those two systems.

I'd say this is the MOST likely cause, as Sean has proposed. This is commonly known as RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) or EMI (ElectroMagnetic Interference). If this only happens when you are near such high-frequency radio transmitter/electomagnetic source(s), it is probably the cause and is difficult to minimize or eliminate without "shielding" devices that are probably and generally impractical to install on the key fob side of your vehicle controls' signal.

The secondary consideration would be a problem with the vehicle's signal receiving unit, but this is very unlikely if the problem is situational only around sources of probable electronic interference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay - key-fob. Got it. I have a tendency to invent my own language. I take after my late grandfather. He used to call "propane" "profane" and Walmart "walmark" It must be a genetic thing. God rest his wonderful soul.

Anyway, if it was interference, I don't understand why it still wouldn't receive two feet away at a mall parking lot. I would imagine that the transmitting frequency between the FOB and the receiving unit is pretty high, therefore has the characteristics of that RF (LOS, etc) with low power - There are no visible towers in the area. Therefore, at two feet away, the RF should penetrate. Maybe the Chinese were jamming the Kohls department store?

It started working at the store, only after I started the vehicle up. It was almost as if something was restarted in the vehicle.
 

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karenh56 said:
There are no visible towers in the area.
A few years ago they installed a new cellphone transmitter on the roof of the highrise across the street from the 4 Seasons in Toronto. My cellphone reception improved but the remote for the Lincoln Town Car would only work intermittently. It's embarrassing when your customer comes running toward you being chased by 100 groupies and your fiddling with the remote trying to unlock the doors.:eek:
 

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I have not experienced any problems with RFI in my Caliber,
as amateur radio operator I operate radios on board running in the
140mhz,220mhz and 440mhz bands all the time and none have
had any effect on the car/remotes at any time.
I also use my hands free cellfone fairly often with no noticeable
effects.
 

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bigtsr said:
I have not experienced any problems with RFI in my Caliber,
as amateur radio operator I operate radios on board running in the
140mhz,220mhz and 440mhz bands all the time and none have
had any effect on the car/remotes at any time.
I also use my hands free cellfone fairly often with no noticeable
effects.
Cellphones- 800MHz-2Gig (analogue or digital)

RKE- 300 MHz (1m) ranges, digital. RKE freqs "can" be a harmonic of some FM freqs, hence, the interference.

I am interested to hear if the problem is now gone, and if you can repeat the problem, same place, different day perhaps. If it is the RKE unit, for sure, get yea to the dealer for replacement.

Bigstr- Try a few tests if you can- key the mic while using the RKE, see what gives. See if the ham radios walk over any FOB signal.
 

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pacerman said:
Heres a thought, weird as it sounds. I saw on Mythbusters or Daily Planet think it was the latter........that......here goes.........if you hold the fob under your chin, the range of the transmitter is extended, your body acts as an antenna. Something to try if it happens again..........or....something to try if your bored one day.........

http://ezinearticles.com/?Improve-The-Range-Of-Your-Remote-Keyless-Entry-System&id=268916
Here is a better one- use your cellphone to extend the range of the RKE- that is, get locked out? Call home, get them to press the second FOB near the phone, and while you hold your phone to your car, it will unlock!
....








NOT!

http://www.snopes.com/autos/techno/keyless.asp
 

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pacerman said:
Heres a thought, weird as it sounds. I saw on Mythbusters or Daily Planet think it was the latter........that......here goes.........if you hold the fob under your chin, the range of the transmitter is extended, your body acts as an antenna. Something to try if it happens again..........or....something to try if your bored one day.........

http://ezinearticles.com/?Improve-The-Range-Of-Your-Remote-Keyless-Entry-System&id=268916
I've heard of doing that for the remote start in my Accent. I beleive it may even mention using your chin in the docs that came with it.
 

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karenh56 said:
Okay - key-fob. Got it. I have a tendency to invent my own language. I take after my late grandfather. He used to call "propane" "profane" and Walmart "walmark" It must be a genetic thing. God rest his wonderful soul.
Karen, my mom does the same thing.... I don't think we're related, although I *am* originally from Wisconsin. mitsubishi is mitsabooshi. a kiosk is a kee-ah-sock. A quesadilla is ..... well, we just order for mom if we go to a mexican place!! LOL
 

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Queezuhdilluh!! I'm from Montana and apparently we have an accent too LOL. I catch myself saying "fer" and "yer" instead of "for" and "your".. but since I am a professional radio announcer type person, I have to be careful about that kind of stuff.
 

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I can add my 2 cents to this, I was driving a company vehicle in NV with an aftermarket keyless entry system. I ended up on a mountaintop doing a cellular transmitter upgrade and because of the highpowered transmitters on this mountain (there must have have been at least a dozen different providers) my keyless would not work. Not to mention I left with a bit of an upset stomach. I definetly think the the RF exposurel limit was exceeded. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
DodgeGirlKathy said:
Karen, my mom does the same thing.... I don't think we're related, although I *am* originally from Wisconsin. mitsubishi is mitsabooshi. a kiosk is a kee-ah-sock. A quesadilla is ..... well, we just order for mom if we go to a mexican place!! LOL
You made me laugh after a long 10 hour or so day full of frustration. Thanks for the grin Kathy!
 

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i wish i cud just tipe stuff too insted of worrying how its spelt all the tyme, this wud make typin a messij so much kwiker ! ;)
 
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