Unlock your Car Remotely Through a Cell Phone: Urban Legend or Fact?

We’ve all heard the story: Someone locks his car keys and remote car opener inside his vehicle, and can’t get back in. He does have a second remote car opener at home, so he calls up his home, where his wife/roommate/whatever answers. He asks the housemate to hold the second remote up to the phone and activate it – and it unlocks the door.

Now is this true? Check out the video below to find out.

[Via TechEblog]





19 Responses to Unlock your Car Remotely Through a Cell Phone: Urban Legend or Fact?

  1. I have a different questions. How does a person "accidentally" lock the door of a car without the remote leaving the remote and keys inside the car?

    On my 2006 Honda Accord it is impossible to accidentally do this. To lock my door from the outside I either use the keys or the remote or …. intentionally push the door lock down and hold the door handle up while closing the door.

    • You just answered your own question:

      You intentionally lock the door manually as in your second example, but forget you haven't already put the keys in your pocket. Your keys are now locked in the car.

      It's suprisingly easy to forget.

  2. I have a different questions. How does a person “accidentally” lock the door of a car without the remote leaving the remote and keys inside the car?

    On my 2006 Honda Accord it is impossible to accidentally do this. To lock my door from the outside I either use the keys or the remote or …. intentionally push the door lock down and hold the door handle up while closing the door.

    • You just answered your own question:

      You intentionally lock the door manually as in your second example, but forget you haven’t already put the keys in your pocket. Your keys are now locked in the car.

      It’s suprisingly easy to forget.

    • You just answered your own question:

      You intentionally lock the door manually as in your second example, but forget you haven’t already put the keys in your pocket. Your keys are now locked in the car.

      It’s suprisingly easy to forget.

  3. These guys aren't very smart are they? Basic engineering says "You can't transmit a radio signal over an auditory channel". In other word, the cell phone sends sound from point to point. The car remote is a non-auditory wireless signal.

    • They are smart. That's EXACTLY what the guy actually said in the video.

      The reason they made this is because of something else they said in the video, which you'd have caught and understood if you were a little smarter yourself:

      They had a lot of requests for it to be featured. So they featured it. It's called listening to your audience, which is what successful shows like MythBusters do to remain successful.

      What is it about Sunday that melts usually clever geeks' brains?

      • No, that is exactly not what the guy said in the video. The guy said that voice frequencies and remote frequencies are in completely different range. He said nothing about the fact that a cell phone transmits sounds (vibrations) and a car remote uses radio waves (electromagnetic energy). The frequencies ARE different, but that isn't the primary reason why they are completely incompatible.

    • Obviously you can't, what did you expect? For them to read out the fan request, turn to the camera and say "That's impossible, myth busted" and roll the credits?

      Anyone who says those guys aren't smart obviously hasn't seen the show. The breadth of their collective skill sets and knowledge is really impressive to watch in action.

  4. These guys aren’t very smart are they? Basic engineering says “You can’t transmit a radio signal over an auditory channel”. In other word, the cell phone sends sound from point to point. The car remote is a non-auditory wireless signal.

    • They are smart. That’s EXACTLY what the guy actually said in the video.

      The reason they made this is because of something else they said in the video, which you’d have caught and understood if you were a little smarter yourself:

      They had a lot of requests for it to be featured. So they featured it. It’s called listening to your audience, which is what successful shows like MythBusters do to remain successful.

      What is it about Sunday that melts usually clever geeks’ brains?

      • No, that is exactly not what the guy said in the video. The guy said that voice frequencies and remote frequencies are in completely different range. He said nothing about the fact that a cell phone transmits sounds (vibrations) and a car remote uses radio waves (electromagnetic energy). The frequencies ARE different, but that isn’t the primary reason why they are completely incompatible.

    • Obviously you can’t, what did you expect? For them to read out the fan request, turn to the camera and say “That’s impossible, myth busted” and roll the credits?

      Anyone who says those guys aren’t smart obviously hasn’t seen the show. The breadth of their collective skill sets and knowledge is really impressive to watch in action.

  5. Old answering machines had remotes that let you play your messages from any phone. They looked a little like a car lock remote. You would hold them up to the phone and they would generate tones carried over the telephone voice band.

    Maybe this got stuck in their brains next to the car key.

    Either way, this shows that J.Q. Public just doesn't understand technology. At all.

  6. Old answering machines had remotes that let you play your messages from any phone. They looked a little like a car lock remote. You would hold them up to the phone and they would generate tones carried over the telephone voice band.

    Maybe this got stuck in their brains next to the car key.

    Either way, this shows that J.Q. Public just doesn’t understand technology. At all.