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Author Topic: "Smart" Key - Keyless Entry - Working as Intended?  (Read 2248 times)
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rittchard
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« on: April 12, 2011, 05:53:49 PM »

So my dad has been complaining to me that his new Camry has this interesting "feature."  If he forgets to hit the power off button and leaves the car - the engine continues running indefinitely.  Is this the way it is intended to work?

We tried a similar test on my Prius.  Once I left the range of the car, the message "Key not detected" came up and it seemed like the engine shut down, but the main system was still on.  But the car was not driveable.  But when he did the same thing in his car, he could still drive the car, even as the "Key not detected" info was flashing.

The dealer insists it's "working as intended."  Is there perhaps a difference between the Prius and Camry, or is there something wrong with his?  I'm researching but curious.  It seems completely inane (and dangerous) that the car can just keep running indefinitely with no key signal present.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2011, 06:02:45 PM »

My understanding is that this is by design (at least on certain models). There have been lawsuits brought up because owners accidentally left their cars running in the garage and poisoned themselves or others.

I'll test this on our Highlander when I get home. I could have sworn the guy told us the car would shut off if the fob went out of range, but who knows. Maybe some smart keys are smarter than others.
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ibdoomed
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2011, 06:11:58 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on April 12, 2011, 05:53:49 PM

So my dad has been complaining to me that his new Camry has this interesting "feature."  If he forgets to hit the power off button and leaves the car - the engine continues running indefinitely.  Is this the way it is intended to work?

We tried a similar test on my Prius.  Once I left the range of the car, the message "Key not detected" came up and it seemed like the engine shut down, but the main system was still on.  But the car was not driveable.  But when he did the same thing in his car, he could still drive the car, even as the "Key not detected" info was flashing.

The dealer insists it's "working as intended."  Is there perhaps a difference between the Prius and Camry, or is there something wrong with his?  I'm researching but curious.  It seems completely inane (and dangerous) that the car can just keep running indefinitely with no key signal present.


I heard this was a change resulting from batteries is smartkeys dying, which is inevitable. Imagine if you're flying down the highway and the battery dies, the car can't see the key anymore... shutdown? There could be logic involved where it sees the car in motion blah blah blah but it's something you can argue either way.

Personally, I think people need to accept more responsibility and not be babied through life.
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rittchard
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2011, 06:24:39 PM »

Quote from: ibdoomed on April 12, 2011, 06:11:58 PM

Quote from: rittchard on April 12, 2011, 05:53:49 PM

So my dad has been complaining to me that his new Camry has this interesting "feature."  If he forgets to hit the power off button and leaves the car - the engine continues running indefinitely.  Is this the way it is intended to work?

We tried a similar test on my Prius.  Once I left the range of the car, the message "Key not detected" came up and it seemed like the engine shut down, but the main system was still on.  But the car was not driveable.  But when he did the same thing in his car, he could still drive the car, even as the "Key not detected" info was flashing.

The dealer insists it's "working as intended."  Is there perhaps a difference between the Prius and Camry, or is there something wrong with his?  I'm researching but curious.  It seems completely inane (and dangerous) that the car can just keep running indefinitely with no key signal present.


I heard this was a change resulting from batteries is smartkeys dying, which is inevitable. Imagine if you're flying down the highway and the battery dies, the car can't see the key anymore... shutdown? There could be logic involved where it sees the car in motion blah blah blah but it's something you can argue either way.

Ohhh OK that at least makes some sense to me.  Of course now I have to worry that my car will do that lol!!
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Roman
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2011, 06:29:41 PM »

I have the 2010 Corolla and if I walk away the car starts 'beeping' - denoting that the key is no longer in range of the car AND the car is on.
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rittchard
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2011, 06:33:52 PM »

Quote from: Roman on April 12, 2011, 06:29:41 PM

I have the 2010 Corolla and if I walk away the car starts 'beeping' - denoting that the key is no longer in range of the car AND the car is on.


It just seems odd to me - because clearly someone else could just go straight into your car and drive it away.  Or alternatively you may leave it for the day (or days if you are flying) and the engine would just be left running indefinitely.

I never really wanted or liked the "smart key" system in general, though I'm definitely used to it now.  But all this weirdness makes me like it even less.
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ibdoomed
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« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2011, 06:58:03 PM »

Quote from: rittchard on April 12, 2011, 06:33:52 PM

Quote from: Roman on April 12, 2011, 06:29:41 PM

I have the 2010 Corolla and if I walk away the car starts 'beeping' - denoting that the key is no longer in range of the car AND the car is on.


It just seems odd to me - because clearly someone else could just go straight into your car and drive it away.  Or alternatively you may leave it for the day (or days if you are flying) and the engine would just be left running indefinitely.

I never really wanted or liked the "smart key" system in general, though I'm definitely used to it now.  But all this weirdness makes me like it even less.

Meh, you're not old enough to remember the days when we had to crank a shaft to start the engine.
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Roguetad
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« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 07:08:06 PM »

My prius works exactly as you described.  Since it's so quiet just sitting in a parking lot (running 100% electric/battery), I've forgotten to hit the power button.  The car's idiot beeper starts going crazy as soon as I try and step away from the car.  And if I do walk away with the key, it's no longer drivable.  Strange that the camary doesn't work that way. 
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Roman
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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 07:15:04 PM »

For the first 2 weeks or so I admit that there were several times that I put the car in park and got out - only then realizing that I needed to press the start button to turn the car off.
Why? because you forget all about the need for a key and there is nothing 'dangling' there as a reminder.
Odd - but I was able to remember after a few weeks.

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« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 10:41:27 PM »

my Infiniti G37 continues running if i walk away with the keys in my pocket and could be driven away without the keys once it's running.  i don't think that's a bad thing though.  personally, i would find it more annoying if i had to pull my keys out of my pocket and leave them in the car every time that i wanted to step away with the engine running.  for my car, you can at least lock the doors as you walk away so that someone can't just sit down and take off, but i wouldn't be walking away from my car with the doors unlocked or engine running in a place where there's risk of it being stolen anyway.  at least leaving the car running without the keys inside still leaves any would-be thief from being able to restart the car once they've shut it off somewhere..
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Magic
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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2011, 12:33:35 AM »

First of all, I'm a service advisor for a Toyota dealership.

This is normal for the Camry, and also for your Prius. Once you leave the car with the key on you and the car running, it should beep five or six times as a warning once you close the door and walk away as a warning. There is no way to override it.

In theory, when you get out of the car and go to touch the little black square on the handle (or the grooves on the top of the lock cylinder) to lock the car, it will sound a long, constant beep for approx 5 seconds to let you know "hey, I'm still running!". That is, assuming you actually go to lock the car.

I can't recall if it actually locks or not when still running. I'll try it in the morning when I get back to work and double check.
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YellowKing
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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2011, 12:48:33 AM »

It's worth noting that the car can be started even if the fob is completely dead. The ignition can detect the fob even if the battery is dead, but you have to do something like hold down the brake for 30 seconds (the exact sequence probably varies by car).

One other common myth is that if you were running from a murderer and approached your car, all the doors would unlock and the murderer could jump in the car with you. In reality, only the driver side door will unlock. The passenger/back doors will only unlock of a fob is detected on the passenger side of the car. So in that sense, they are pretty smart.  icon_smile
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Magic
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2011, 01:04:33 AM »

With the Toyota Smart Key system, if the key fob battery is "dead" you take the toyota logo on the back of the key and press that against the Start/Stop button for a couple of seconds to start the car.
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Destructor
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 03:17:46 AM »

Quote from: Roman on April 12, 2011, 06:29:41 PM

I have the 2010 Corolla and if I walk away the car starts 'beeping' - denoting that the key is no longer in range of the car AND the car is on.

That's exactly how my Mazda 3 works - it'll beep plenty if the car is in park with the engine running if it can't detect the fob, and beep like mad at you if actually close the door on top of it. But it never shuts down (at least not in the time it takes me to get the mail).

And if the fob ever actually dies, the fob has an old-fashioned key inside of it, as well as a slightly hidden keyhole (covered by a piece of plastic where it usually would be) in the car so I can start the car the 'old-fashioned' way.
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rittchard
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 10:15:44 PM »

Quote from: Magic on April 13, 2011, 12:33:35 AM

This is normal for the Camry, and also for your Prius. Once you leave the car with the key on you and the car running, it should beep five or six times as a warning once you close the door and walk away as a warning. There is no way to override it.

The interesting thing is that's not how it seemed to work in my Prius (2010).  Once I left the "Key Not Detected" came on and it seemed to shut the engine off but leave everything else on.  I may need to test it again, maybe it was so quiet it only seemed like the engine was off. 

In any event, an an engineer it just seems odd to me to replace a working system with a "feature" that does less, and actually creates new, potentially dangerous situations.
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Magic
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« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2011, 01:13:48 AM »

Quote from: rittchard on April 13, 2011, 10:15:44 PM

Quote from: Magic on April 13, 2011, 12:33:35 AM

This is normal for the Camry, and also for your Prius. Once you leave the car with the key on you and the car running, it should beep five or six times as a warning once you close the door and walk away as a warning. There is no way to override it.

The interesting thing is that's not how it seemed to work in my Prius (2010).  Once I left the "Key Not Detected" came on and it seemed to shut the engine off but leave everything else on.  I may need to test it again, maybe it was so quiet it only seemed like the engine was off. 

In any event, an an engineer it just seems odd to me to replace a working system with a "feature" that does less, and actually creates new, potentially dangerous situations.

I tried this with a Camry today and was able to drive away with no keys. Just because the gas engine isn't running with the prius at times (when it runs in EV mode from the hybrid battery pack) doesn't mean that it's un-driveable - with the hybrids, as long as you see the "ready" light on the dash, it's moveable. I didn't have a Prius come by for the four hours I was at work, and was too lazy to trek the quarter mile up the road to the new car showroom to try it on a new car. I'm pretty certain that I've moved a running prius several times sans-key over the last few years, though.

The system is designed around the idea that most people shut off the cars and lock the doors before walking away, giving you the beep as a reminder or going crazy when you attempt to lock it while still running.

Another reason I was given for why it is that way: Let's say it's your wife's car and you are driving. She has her key in her pocket, and is sitting in the passenger seat. Being the chivalrous gentleman that you are,  it's a rainy day and you drop her off right by the entrance to the mall and go and find a parking spot, and she steps out with the key. The car will run until it's powered off.

Engineers overthink things smile

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