How Key Fobs Work

If you remember having to fumble with your car keys while also holding onto your grocery bags and wrangling your toddler in order to unlock your car in the store parking lot, then you can appreciate the level of convenience that car key fobs offer. Our team at Eastway Lock & Key, Inc. has the right tools and experience to program your key fob and address any issues that you may be experiencing with it, but we also find that many people are confused about how these clever devices work. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how key fobs are programmed and how they operate in order to shed some light on the matter.

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The first question that we often hear about how key fobs work is how they signal to the door to lock/unlock. The answer is that they use short-range radio signals–the fob transmits a pattern or radio waves to a receiver on the door, and when that signal is received it triggers the locking mechanism. Another question that we hear is how are key fobs able to affect specific doors, but not others–that is, why does clicking your key fob only unlock your car instead of all the cars on the lot? The answer is that each fob is programmed to match a particular door (or sometimes a set or doors), transmitting a unique radio frequency that only the paired receiver will respond to. This technology is known as radio frequency identification (RFID), and it is used in many other applications as well.

We hope that this article has been informative, and we encourage you to give us a call if you are experiencing any difficulties with your key fob.