You may have seen somewhere on the Internet, received an email message or be told by a helpful friend that should you leave your keys in your car or lock yourself out that there is a quick and easy way to enter your car using your cell phone. The message online may be something like this;
“Use your cell phone to call someone who has access to your car remote. Hold your cell phone about a foot from the car door and have the person who you called on the phone put your remote near the phone (the one they are using) and push the “unlock” button. Your car door will unlock.”
While this may sound like a handy way to get back into your car quickly and easily (better than banging your cell phone in frustration against your car window for example) it’s actually not true. In simple terms, the type of signal used to open your car using your Remote Key Entry is not able to be transmitted through a cell phone. Rumors abound on the internet that in some cases it worked on this person or that person’s car, however, they didn’t realize that the second remote device were still in range of their car. In most cars the signal can be transmitted in newer cars for up to 300 feet.
Discovery Channel took this idea for a test drive of their own on “Mythbusters.” After several different tries (and a rather involved scientific explanation) the Mythbusters found that there was no magic button that could open locked car doors.
But don’t just take the experts word for it. After trying it myself on several different makes and models, using different cell phone carriers none of the cars I tried to “test drive” never even got running. So my suggestion, carry an extra key.
So, if you lock your car keys out it looks like you have to depend on the old fashioned method of getting in by calling for help from a friend, neighbor, a car dealership and sometimes AAA can help, depending on the type of car and keyless entry that you have.
The good news is; that sometime in the future your cell phone may be able to do this. Right now OnStar has an app available. This is a Google enhanced app that can start your car, turn on the lights or activate the horn as well as remind you of general maintenance your car may need using your iPhone, Droid, or BlackBerry Storm. Soon OnStar will have this application available to new 2011 Chevrolet, Cadillac, Buick and GMC vehicles. Now if I could just find my cell phone!