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Discussion Starter #1
Any tips on how to unlock the car with the FOB 100% of the time? In our case it, works a little over half of the time.

Do we need to be in close proximity to the either the front driver or passenger door and rub our wives' purse/hand bag against the handle to unlock the car?

Seems not working 100% of the time defeats the purpose of not having to have the keys in hand to start the ignition since we have to fumble around or wives' purses or bags to get the keys out.
 

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Is the problem just with the doors, does the engine start 100% of the time with the FOB in your pocket?

Does the problem occur when entering either front door, or only one side?

Does the problem occur when both you and your wife walk up to either side of the car at the same time (each of you with a FOB)?

Do both FOBS exhibit the same problem?

From my experience (with another brand), you need to have the FOB in your pocket or purse and be standing very close to either front door. If I stand near the back door, and reach forward to grab the front handle, it will not work.

For security you only want the doors to unlock when you are very close and ready to get in. Otherwise strangers could unlock your doors while you were eating in the kitchen adjacent to the driveway.

Experiment standing in different locations next to the front doors and see if you can find a position that will work reliably.
 

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I have no problem with smart key at all on both my '08 Corolla and RAV4. I replace the FOB battery every 24 to 30 months just for peace of mind measure. Like Rickl wrote, you have to be within vehicle's sensor range for it to work. Which is within touching distance. Just maybe your battery is due for renewal. Even with a new vehicle the battery may be old.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
That's for sure! Also, OP, check the battery in your fob. Try a new one. I can unlock or lock the doors from across the street.
We can too but I'm talking about the keyless/button pressing-less entry. :)

If pressing the button unlocks the car from afar, does that mean the battery is still good?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is the problem just with the doors, does the engine start 100% of the time with the FOB in your pocket?

Does the problem occur when entering either front door, or only one side?

Does the problem occur when both you and your wife walk up to either side of the car at the same time (each of you with a FOB)?

Do both FOBS exhibit the same problem?

From my experience (with another brand), you need to have the FOB in your pocket or purse and be standing very close to either front door. If I stand near the back door, and reach forward to grab the front handle, it will not work.

For security you only want the doors to unlock when you are very close and ready to get in. Otherwise strangers could unlock your doors while you were eating in the kitchen adjacent to the driveway.

Experiment standing in different locations next to the front doors and see if you can find a position that will work reliably.
Yes, the engines start 100% of the time. Unlocking by depressing the button works 100% of the time.
Problem occurs mostly when approaching the front driver side door. Now that you mention it, I guess I have to pass that door before trying to open the rear driver side door.
We usually only carry one Fob at a time because either I drive or she does. If I'm driving, I usually grab my Fob but not sure if she has hers. Will have to ask her the next time I drive.
Will have to check if the results work the same for both Fobs
Good to know. Is the proximity sensor by the external door handle?
I will try to play around and see where I should be waving the Fob at. :)
 

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Yes, the engines start 100% of the time. Unlocking by depressing the button works 100% of the time.
Problem occurs mostly when approaching the front driver side door. Now that you mention it, I guess I have to pass that door before trying to open the rear driver side door.......... .. Is the proximity sensor by the external door handle?
I will try to play around and see where I should be waving the Fob at. :)
My RAV did not have the smart key system, but in my current vehicle, only the front doors have sensors. I cannot unlock the doors when standing outside the rear doors.

How does the FOB respond when unlocking the lift gate?.

Not sure where the sensor is, but I assume it would be behind the front door handles to limit operation to such a precise location that I have experienced
 

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Looks like it's your proximity to car's sensor is the reason.
If you can unlock car from distance, then battery is OK. As I said before, FOB battery life is around 24-30 months. That's the first thing I'd change if FOB operation is in doubt.
 
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My fob also works 100% of the time. I keep it in my front right pocket, with cell phone in my left.

As previously mentioned, you cannot open the back doors with the fob, but you can open the rear gate. I recommend taking it to your dealer and having them play around with it. If there's a sensor or fob problem, they should be able to figure it out. I think I remember seeing a sensor map inside the owners manual, it's a small bubble around each front door and the rear gate. If you are standing behind the front door when trying to open, it may not work - trying approaching the door directly from a 90 degree angle.
 

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I think I remember seeing a sensor map inside the owners manual, it's a small bubble around each front door and the rear gate.
I found the image in the 2016 Hybrid owners manual. I'm not sure what model the OP has, but this should be valid for all models with a smart key system.
 

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To open the rear side door you have to touch the front door handle first.
You can program your fob to open all 4 doors at once.
Would you like the how-to for that?
.
 
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