1 Weird Trick to Make Your Car Key Fob Work From Far Away

Here’s a situation that plays out for many drivers. You park your car, walk away from it, and then press the key fob, or remote control device, to lock the doors. However, nothing happens. The doors don’t lock. You try it again and again, but the doors still don’t lock. You end up having to walk right up to the car to get the doors to lock. Is there a way to make your car key fob work from far away? Try this one weird trick, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

What is a car key fob?

Toyota key fob
Toyota Key Fob | Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images

A car key fob is a small remote control device that enables you to lock/unlock a car, start a car, and with some cars, do many other functions. It uses an antenna and radio waves to send commands to your car. 

How do I make my car key fob work from far away?

The solution to this problem is bizarre but amazingly simple. It’s quite a pain to struggle with your car key fob/remote control device, but your troubles will soon be over. To get your key fob to work from far away, just press the key fob to your head. 

Yes, you heard that correctly. Press the key fob to your head. You can also press the remote control device under your chin if you really want to garner some strange looks from other people. Any part of your head or face will do. Just don’t put the key fob in your mouth. 

Why does pressing the car key fob against my head make it work from far away?

Man holding a key fob in front of a Nissan Altima
Man Holding a Key Fob | Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

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Despite the bizarreness of pressing a key fob against your head to make it work from far away, there is a scientific reason behind it. Essentially, you’re turning your head into an antenna.

When you press the car key fob against your head, the waves from it enter your body and increase in amplitude. Up to 60% of the human body consists of water. The water more than doubles the height of the waves that are emitted from the key fob. The waves bounce around inside your body, become stronger, and then shoot off far away.

For a more detailed and amusing explanation, check out this video from YouTube Science Man Kyle Hill:

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Hidden features of car key fobs

In addition to remotely locking and unlocking car doors, your key fob may have some hidden features. In recent years, automakers have added many new features on key fobs. This includes the ability to remotely start your car, lower all of the windows at the same time, and automatically fold the side mirrors.

Some very advanced cars, such as the Tesla Model S and Model X, have key fobs that enable you to “summon” your vehicle. The summon feature is useful when getting the car out of tight parking spots. The driver stands outside of the car, activates the summon feature, and then the car autonomously moves on its own. 

Also, some key fobs have an actual mechanical key inside of them. For cars with a push-button start function, the mechanical key enables drivers to still unlock or unlock the doors if the key fob malfunctions or the car battery runs out of power.

The next time that you park your car, try the key fob to your head trick. By all accounts, this weird method is safe to do. People have been doing it for years, and there are no reported cases of ill effects.

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