Radio remote locking system is now a convenient feature. But it wasn’t always the case. Nowadays, hardly anyone recalls the unwieldy systems where every door had to be unlocked separately.
Even more convenient is the use of remote control to lock your car. All manufacturers offer this solution on their optional accessory list. The accessory retail offers plenty of systems for retrofitting. Also for old used cars, wondering if you didn’t forget to lock the car is no longer an issue thanks to retrofitting options.
Better spend a few bob more
Top quality and rubbish can be found side by side when it comes to radio remote locking system. Shopping cheaply can sooner or later turn into a nasty surprise: you may be denied access to your car or the car can’t be locked. Opting for quality is essential. Consumer information and customer reviews can help you further.
Central locking system
up from £14,59 in the best quality
Which system is preferable?
Modern radio remote locking systems have attained a high technical standard. Even the remote control with button is no longer the cream of the crop. Nowadays, RFID systems are available, automatically unlocking the car on approach, additionally enhancing control comfort of your car.
The system’s complexity is partly reflected in the price. Here too applies: mind the quality and don’t allow yourself to be blinded by all kind of functional promises.
Available are nowadays:
– separate transmitters
– transmitters with integrated key
– transmitters with proximity sensor
– transmitters with proximity sensor and integrated key
Systems with a proximity sensor always have an additional button for unlocking.
Installation of radio remote locking system
Installation of a radio remote locking system requires extensive intervention in the car electronics. The installation should only be attempted by those with the necessary knowledge and skills. Especially handling insulation pliers, crimping pliers and the several plug systems should be mastered. If you are unfamiliar with these procedures, we recommend practising with old cables. A sloppy electric connection can cause serious problems at a later stage.
Radio remote locking system as a retrofit option generally offers the following features:
– Central locking and opening of all car doors
– optional: car boot
– optional: fuel-tank lid (rarely in as a retrofit solution)
– horn signal at opening or locking
– activation impulse of blinkers
– switching on the dipped beam
– separate opening and locking the boot
The user can determine the scope of use of his remote-controlled central locking system. If only part of the optional functions are needed, the wiring of the other functions are not connected.
Installation of a radio remote locking system requires the following tools:
– insulation pliers
– crimping pliers
– tool set
– plastic clip remover
– container for small screws. Tip: have a large magnet at hand
– tie wraps
– installation set
– cordless screwdriver with thin metal drill
Installation of the actuators
- The actuators are installed in the locking mechanism behind the door panelling. Window openers, arm rests and the door panelling are removed. The car window should be fully closed to prevent damage when working in the door.
- The actuators are small electric motors or electro-magnets. Upon activation they pull a wire opening the locking mechanism. The connection consists of a stiff wire, enabling the actuator to perform a pulling as well as a pushing movement.
- The actuator is fixed on the internal door panel with two bolts. Please note: do not mistake it for the external door panel! The internal panel sometimes already has the fitting drilling holes. In most cases, you need to drill them yourself.
- The actuator’s connecting wire is attached to the locking mechanism with two screws, enabling the adjustment of the actuator. Its function should match the required movement of the locking system. The screws can be adjusted accordingly.
- Cables are fed through the flexible cable tunnel between bodywork and interior.
Installing the control unit
- The control unit can be installed everywhere. Its ideal location is under the dashboard. With regard to convenience the central locking’s control unit is most conveniently hidden on the left or the right side in the footwell under the dashboard. The control unit is connected with the wiring of the door and with the power supply of the car. It is generally necessary to branch off a permanent plus cable and an earth cable. The accessory retail offers suitable cable branching modules. Expertise in handling these tools is required. This operation should be previously practiced on an old piece of cable. Suitable cables can be found on the car radio. The red and black cables can easily be branched off for the power supply of the central locking.
- The exact connection of the radio remote locking system with the ignition can be found in the installation manual. Generally the car should automatically lock when driving away. Access from outside, e.g. at a traffic light, is thus reliably prevented. The central locking can only do this if ignition and control unit are adequately connected. An extra switch is necessary for activating and unlocking the internal locking system.
- Several cables need to be fed through the dashboard. A simple trick could help here. A thick, stiff cable is inserted at the top of the dashboard until it comes out at the control unit on the other end. The cables of the control unit are attached with an insulation tape at the end and the cable can be pulled out again, pulling the cables of the control unit neatly through the dashboard.
If everything is connected correctly, the central locking is tested first, checking if the servo-motors actually lock and unlock the doors. As long as the door panelling is not mounted, the screws can be adjusted. While testing, the remote control can be programmed. See the documentation material for the right procedure. Generally, seven manual transmitters can be programmed for the remote control. Additionally programming the control unit is not necessary.
Following errors could occur:
- No function: control unit is not connected. Battery is disconnected. Ignition is switched on. Check polarity and power supply.
- Remote control is clicking but inoperative: key is in the ignition, car door is open, central locking control malfunction or a connection is missing. Remove ignition key, close all doors, check cables.
- Transmitter is inoperative: the transmitter hasn’t been programmed yet or its internal battery is too weak. Program transmitter again (see documentation), replace battery.
- The transmitter function is unsatisfactory: bad reception, battery voltage too low, rewire antenna cable of the control unit, replace battery.
While you’re at it ….
While the door panelling is removed as you are working on the car electronics, this is a suitable occasion to consider installation of electric window operation, door handle lighting, footwell lighting and other comfort features. The clips of the door panelling are not suitable for repeated removal and mounting. Therefore it makes sense to perform all installations simultaneously in order to prevent unnecessary damage of the interior upholstery.
Ultimately, the door panelling and if necessary the dashboard panelling are re-installed.
Other advantages of radio remote locking system
A correctly installed radio remote locking system will not allow locking of the car as long as the key is still in the ignition. This reliably prevents you to lock yourself out of the car.
The steps below are not intended as an installation manual or installation assistant, but merely as a general description serving to clarify the extent of the necessary works and in no way suitable for rash implementation. We explicitly waive all liability for any damage resulting from DIY installation attempts of a central locking system.
Foto: Jakub Krechowicz, Production Perig, nito, Stason4ik, sima, BK foto, Nednapa Sopasuntorn, Pingun / shutterstock.com