How to Buy a Remote Keyless Entry System

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Remote keyless entry systems can be a great addition to your vehicle. A remote keyless entry system allows you to lock and unlock your car from the outside, using a transmitter rather than a key. This feature is practical and incredibly easy to use, and also makes it a lot easier to lock or unlock your vehicle when it is dark out, or when it is raining.

Many modern vehicles come with remote keyless entry systems built directly into the car. For those that don’t, or for older vehicles, however, you can have a remote keyless entry system installed. This can be a great addition for people who want to improve the features in their car without having to upgrade to a new vehicle.

Not all remote keyless entry systems are the same, so there are a lot of factors that should be considered and addressed when you make the decision to purchase a remote keyless entry system for your vehicle.

Step 1: Choose a single-door or multi-door keyless entry system. A single-door remote keyless entry system will only be able to control the driver’s door. A multi-door system will control all of the doors, and also the trunk. Certain multi-door entry systems allow you to select a single door to lock or unlock.

  • Tip: While multi-door remote keyless entry systems are more helpful and convenient than their counterparts, single-door systems are a little safer.

key remotes with arrow pointing at panic alawm

Step 2: Choose between the standard model and the pager model. A basic model remote keyless entry system will only be able to unlock and lock your car’s doors, and signal the alarm (if equipped) when an unauthorized entry occurs.

  • A pager model entry system transmits information between the transmitter and the car (such as the battery voltage and interior temperature), and usually comes with a panic button and a car locator button.

Step 3: Decide if you need an alarm. Choose between an alarm system, and a system without an alarm. If you have a remote keyless entry system with an alarm installed, then the alarm will sound when one of the doors is forced open, or is opened in any way without the authorized remote keyless entry system transmitter.

A remote keyless entry system without an alarm will not provide this extra security. A remote keyless entry system can also have a panic alarm, which turns on the alarm system when the panic button on the transmitter is pressed.

Step 4: Choose the range of the system transmitter. Different remote keyless entry systems have different ranges, meaning that some can operate further away from your vehicle than others. It costs more money to purchase a transmitter that has farther range, so you should find the range that best suits you, given your routine parking tendencies.

  • Tip: While remote keyless entry transmitters with long ranges increase the practicality of the system, they also have a larger drain on your vehicle’s battery.

Step 5: Select a number of transmitters. It’s always a smart idea to get at least two remote keyless entry transmitters for your vehicle, so that you have a backup transmitter if you lose one. However, if numerous people drive your vehicle, it may be worthwhile to invest in more than two transmitters.

  • Tip: Some remote keyless entry system manufacturers will provide you with multiple transmitters for no additional price, so it’s worth shopping around for the best deal.

Step 6: Compare different manufacturers. There are many different remote keyless entry systems on the market, and it’s important to compare the different manufacturers before purchasing your remote keyless entry system. You should look not only at the prices of each option, but also at the length of the warranties, and reviews for the company.

wire cluster being connected together

Step 7: Have the remote keyless entry system installed by a professional. Remote keyless entry systems require electrical wiring, so they should only be installed by trained, reputable mechanics. If the system falters at any point, you can have the same mechanic inspect it.

As with many aftermarket additions to your vehicle, the more money you spend, the better product you’ll get. When purchasing a remote keyless entry system to help improve your vehicle, the most important thing is to determine which features are important to you, and worth adding to your remote system.


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