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  1. #1
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    Dec 2006
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    Questions about Smart Key system

    My husband and I just purchased our new Camry Hybrid and are both excited about it. However, we are a bit confused about the Smart Key/keyless remote that is included. Any assistance would be most appreciated (I saw the post about how to disable the smart key system):

    1. I know the smart key is cool and all, but is it possible to entirely disable the system and replace it with a traditional entry/ignition key? We both think the key fob/remote is very bulky. My cell phone is not much bigger!

    2. How much of a concern is leaving the key fob within 7 feet of the car? (the manual mentions this). Our driveway is immediately next to our front door. We usually leave our keys near the front door as a matter of habit, but if this is going to unlock the car obviously we don't want to do that.

    3. Have you found that keeping your smart key/wireless remote fob with your cell phone or near other devices (like TV or PC) lessens the battery life of the fob? The manual says not to keep those devices together, but I gotta say that is completely ridiculous -- I carry my keys and my cell phone in my purse, and my husband often carries both in his pockets. Is this a real concern, or just CYA in the manual?

    4. How difficult is it to get a replacement smart key? I saw some info on line about jacked up prices and inconvenience in doing so. I was thinking of going ahead and buying one before we need it, along with replacement batteries.

    TIA

    DMI
    Honolulu

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  3. #2
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    I can only help you with #3. I keep the smart key in my purse next to my cell phone. It's been there since July and hasn't caused a problem with either device.

    I like the smart key and wish the doors to my house had one so I never had to pull out my key.

  4. #3
    Guest

    if you really don't like it...

    #1: The fob has a little key inside it. You can disable the smartkey system (the little button under the steering wheel) and either use the plain "keyless" entry (where you have to make the enormous effort of pushing a button to open the door) or open the driver's side door with just the metal key. If what you're trying to avoid is carrying around the fob, I don't see why you couldn't keep the fob in a cubby (with the smartkey disabled, of course, so nobody could start it) in the car. Then after you open the driver's side door with the key (you'll have to let passengers in by unlocking from the inside), put the fob into the ignition and push Power.

    #2: You can test whether it's a problem by seeing if the car will lock/unlock from the spot you keep your keys, with the door shut. If it will, just get a little metal box of the kind that shields radio waves (an electronics store should be able to help you) and keep your fob near the door in it.

    #3: I keep my fob and my cell phone together on a carabiner. Two years and 45k miles, no problems yet. But to be honest, I hadn't considered that it might not be the best idea.

    #4: I wish I had bought a replacement (spare) before I lost the tiny metal hang-tag thingy that they say is required to get an extra...It fell off when a key chain broke. Now I only have two, and I sure hope they can just put a new battery in when needed. So yes, I'd say buy a spare, but maybe keep the battery isolated (with a plastic insulator or something) so it's not getting wasted over the years.

    How can you not love what the smartkey does? Your hands can be full, but you can still get into the car! Like kbearhome, I wish my house had one, too. Although I guess it would be better if the door just popped open, instead of having to put your hand on the handle. Maybe the next-generation smartkey will do that! (It is a little embarrassing to be too lazy to push a button to unlock a car door.)

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the info, folks. Its not that I don't like the smartkey system -- although admittedly it is a bit weird at first -- its just that I don't want to carry the big fob around. Laziness, I guess.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by DMImakai View Post
    My husband and I just purchased our new Camry Hybrid and are both excited about it. However, we are a bit confused about the Smart Key/keyless remote that is included. Any assistance would be most appreciated (I saw the post about how to disable the smart key system):

    1. I know the smart key is cool and all, but is it possible to entirely disable the system and replace it with a traditional entry/ignition key? We both think the key fob/remote is very bulky. My cell phone is not much bigger!

    2. How much of a concern is leaving the key fob within 7 feet of the car? (the manual mentions this). Our driveway is immediately next to our front door. We usually leave our keys near the front door as a matter of habit, but if this is going to unlock the car obviously we don't want to do that.

    3. Have you found that keeping your smart key/wireless remote fob with your cell phone or near other devices (like TV or PC) lessens the battery life of the fob? The manual says not to keep those devices together, but I gotta say that is completely ridiculous -- I carry my keys and my cell phone in my purse, and my husband often carries both in his pockets. Is this a real concern, or just CYA in the manual?

    4. How difficult is it to get a replacement smart key? I saw some info on line about jacked up prices and inconvenience in doing so. I was thinking of going ahead and buying one before we need it, along with replacement batteries.

    TIA

    DMI
    Honolulu
    The smartkey is the coolest invention for cars since the hybrid but I can see your points. My suggestion is to take out a home equity loan and have a contractor build you a garage with lead sheet lined walls to stop the radio waves from the smartkey possibly travelling to you car not to mention the lead sheets will also stop deadly radiation rays from the planet krypton. I would also stock up on bateries and keep a set at home and in the glove compartment.

  7. #6
    Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMImakai View Post
    2. How much of a concern is leaving the key fob within 7 feet of the car? (the manual mentions this). Our driveway is immediately next to our front door. We usually leave our keys near the front door as a matter of habit, but if this is going to unlock the car obviously we don't want to do that.
    My wife & I just purchased an '06 Prius with Smart Key and very soon afterward, she asked me to disable it. Her main concern was the possibility that she might find herself in a situation where she was alone and returning to the car and find people nearby who made her uncomfortable. Since Smart Key opens all the car doors and enables the ignition simultaneouly,:
    1) people other than the driver have immediate access to the car
    2) A quick-thinking car thief could easily jump in ahead of the driver, push the start button and steal the car.

    Since there are no customizing options for Smart Key besides "On" or "Off," I thought my wife had a valid point.

    Oh and Hybrid Norcal, a lead-lined garage isn't necessary to protect against "deadly radiation rays from the planet krypton." A tin foil beanie should do the job quite nicely

  8. #7

    SmartKey won't open all doors

    figure2, the smartkey only opens all doors if you (the person with the fob in pocket) approach the passenger door or hatchback and put your fingers under the handle there. You might have mistakenly thought it did because you have one fob and wife has the other.

    Try this: enable smartkey, give smartkey to wife, lock all doors. You must not have a fob. If wife is alone, she would be getting in the driver's side door, not passenger, right? So you pretend to be bad guy on other side of car. Have wife use smartkey to open driver's side door by approaching it and placing fingers under the handle. At the same time, you attempt to open any door you like. IT WILL NOT WORK.

    So while your aims to keep wife safe are admirable, they have nothing to do with smartkey's ability. You could even argue that the smartkey would make her safer, not having to fumble around in purse for keys or have keys out already where unseen thieves would be able to grab them. Could even confuse evildoers into thinking she's going to a different car.

  9. #8
    Junior Member
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    Dec 2006
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    hookem-horns, I just tested my Smart Key System and you're right. It worked just like you said. I wish my owner's manual had explained this in more detal.

    I made one additional discovery. I opened the driver's side door and then handed the fob to my wife who was standing outside the car but still close to the door. The car wouldn't start. Smart Key apparently knows if the fob is inside or outside of the car and will only start if the driver brings the car inside.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
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    Nov 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by figure2 View Post
    hookem-horns, I just tested my Smart Key System and you're right. It worked just like you said. I wish my owner's manual had explained this in more detal.

    I made one additional discovery. I opened the driver's side door and then handed the fob to my wife who was standing outside the car but still close to the door. The car wouldn't start. Smart Key apparently knows if the fob is inside or outside of the car and will only start if the driver brings the car inside.
    hence "smart"-key

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Actually, folks, you have a choice

    I love the smart key on my 2006 Prius. I didn't, however, like having to unlock the passenger and rear passenger doors for my wife and kid whenever I opened the driver door.

    I read the manual and followed the instructions on how to change the behavior so that when I unlock the drivers door (by touching it) it also unlocks the other doors. It's configurable. Very cool.

    So not only do you not have to worry about the other doors being unlocked if you don't want them to, you also can configure it so that they will be!

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