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Key fob issues

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by zack, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. zack

    zack Member

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    I've found that my key fob is almost useless for opening my trunk. I have to actually walk away from the trunk toward the front of the car to get it to unlock. I can't figure out any use for that extra button except activating the homelink (because I'm inside the car when I activate it.)

    The other buttons are useless for locking the car if I'm more than a few feet from the back of the car (the usual direction I'm walking as I leave the vehicle in a lot). I have to get used to standing beside the car to lock it. With my G-Wagon I can walk halfway across the lot and remember to lock the car from there, and it works every time. I can also use my key fob to find the car at the airport if I've been away for a week. Because of the battery issues and trunk space I probably won't be leaving the Tesla at the airport lot, but still, there always comes that time when you walk into a giant lot full of cars and wonder just exactly where you parked, right? The Tesla's extremely short range makes it almost impossible to use the key fob to find the car.

    One more complaint... why are the buttons so darned hard to push? I actually have to hurt my finger to push the buttons sometimes, especially the third one, which is ridiculously hard to push. Combine that with the distance issue, and every time I look at the fob I shake my head in disappointment.
     
  2. benji4

    benji4 Roadster 2.5 #0476

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    I don't find it too hard to push the buttons, but I do find they are not responsive a lot of the time and you have to be right next to the car as zack says. Sometimes I have to push 4 or 5 times to get the car to unlock, for example, and the other day it seemed like it didn't want to work at all.
     
  3. zack

    zack Member

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    I find that I end up squeezing the heck out of them to try to get the car to open or lock... I think that's why they end up hurting my fingers. Compared to my G-wagon's fob, which is super easy to use and works every time.

    When speaking to a technical person at Tesla about this, I was told that the problem is that Lotus's entire steering column (including the very long key and fob) is used in the Roadster. I would tack on "unfortunately."
     
  4. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I think others have complained about the key fob. In terms of the buttons, blame Lotus (or their vender). I think the reception for the signal from the fob is likely poor for the same reason radio reception is poor.
     
  5. zack

    zack Member

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    I wonder if the glider's aluminum box is acting as a Faraday cage? Perhaps we could find a way to move the antennas for the fob signal receiver and FM antenna out of the cage and into the windshield area?
     
  6. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    I think that's normal for the car. You have to be within 5 feet to unlock the car and the trunk. They really should work on this.
     
  7. zack

    zack Member

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    Within five feet of the driver's door, I've found. I often can't get the trunk to open using the fob if I'm standing at the trunk.
     
  8. tennis_trs

    tennis_trs 2010 2.0 Roadster Sport

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    Another post which has a link to an Elise thread (I still haven't looked any closer to see if it might help):
    The Valet Key
     
  9. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    My fob seems to have a bit better range than yours, but you can definitely tell the antenna is in the front of the car because you can stand farther from the front. On a good day I can unlock it from two car lengths away. I say on a good day because it seems mysteriously variable.

    Try to avoid the temptation to push it as hard as you can. I think it just seems like you have to hit it hard, because it often doesn't respond and your natural instinct is to push harder.
     
  10. bolosky

    bolosky Member

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    I have all kind of trouble getting the trunk to open, too, but it's not because of the fob. The same thing happens when I use the button from inside the car. I'll hear the latch click, and the trunk doesn't open. Repeat several times and (usually) it eventually does. Yesterday, it was so bad that I thought I wasn't going to be able to open it at all. I wound up sitting on the trunk lid to try to move things mechanically in the latches, and that did work.

    If you push the button on the fob and you hear a noise from the car, then the problem's in the car, not the fob or antenna.

    I'm curious as to whether others have the same trunk problem as I do, or whether it's something with just my car.
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The fob seems to be one of those "luck of the draw" things like fogging headlights and radio reception. My fob has been great. Usually can open from as much as 30 feet away. There are the odd days though that I have to stand in front of the trunk to make it work.
    Even more oddly the trunk was acting up on the day of the world's biggest event and I had to use the mechanical key that day having to get out of the car for multiple trunk bomb inspections. Two days later -the next time I drove it, it the fob and trunk worked fine.

    Maybe change your battery?
     
  12. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Or try the other key?
     
  13. strider

    strider Active Member

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    I've found pressing with the tip of my thumb helps - if I press w/ the pad of my thumb it feels like most of the force misses the button and I have to press very hard. With the tip I can actually feel the button move so I know I've pressed it. Also, I've found that the double press for the trunk should be SLOW. ie: wait a full "one-mississippi" between presses.
     
  14. SByer

    SByer '08 #383

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    That's one of the advantages of the 1.5 - the trunk press is long instead of double. Which means, for both the doors and the trunk, I just hold the right button down as I'm walking towards the car until something happens. But there are definite nodes to the reception - from directly behind I find I have to reach waaay to the left. It feels like some bizarre diffraction pattern almost.
     
  15. cinergi

    cinergi Active Member

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    While I get reception from the rear of the car, I frequently have to cause the unlock sequence to occur 2-3 times (you can hear it click twice for each attempt).
     
  16. dwegmull

    dwegmull 2013 Model S 85

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    I have given up on opening the trunk remotely. I usually unlock the car as I walk past its side and then use the mechanical key (how retro!) to open the trunk. If I'm getting out of the car and need to get something from the trunk, I just use the release button on the dash.
    I think my biggest gripe the button feel. As an engineer working for a large computer peripheral maker, I am keenly aware of the chalenges faced when designing a switch. I am also spoiled by being surrounded by great example of buttons. One of these days I'm going to pull the electronics out of my spare key and build my own key fob!
    The overall key fob experience is possibly the single most irritating thing about the roadster.
     
  17. zack

    zack Member

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    Yep. When I walk away from my Mercedes I press the lock button, it goes into the fob softly and I hear the reassuring "click!" as the locks go down. When I walk away from my Roadster I press the lock button, look over my shoulder to see if the brake lights flash, they don't, so I return to the driver's side door and press the button again, but now I can't see the lights flash, so I press it again to see if it honks, it doesn't, so I walk to the front of the car, press the button again, ad nauseum. It's ridiculous. R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S.
     
  18. kgb

    kgb Member

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    Since we are taking a survey, I'll chime in:

    The FOB reception is weak compared to other cars, but I find that mine works within 5-10 ft (2-3 meters) from the car. I don't find the buttons hard to push, but the trunk button is so small, it is hard to find at times (when it is in my pocket). I'd like to echo @zack's concern regarding confirmation. When locking the vehicle, I like to be sure that it is, in fact, locked. In bright sunlight (in Houston), I sometimes can't see the flash. So I routinely double press the lock for the sound confirmation. Would be nice if this were a user preference, because I'd like the "chirp" or "honk" confirmation when I lock the vehicle.
     
  19. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    I really don't have a problem with the range of the fob; it's modest but adequate, at least on my car. But I do have some nits:

    • Why do you have to close the trunk to lock the doors?
    • Why do you have to click the trunk button twice (and slowly)?
    • Why isn't the need to click twice documented in the user manual?
    • Why do you have to wait a full second after closing the door or the trunk?
    • More irritatingly, why if you forget to wait that full second does the car start chirping the alarm?

    Yes, these are all pretty minor, but my Infiniti G37 has the same buttons and none of these issues.
     
  20. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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