Key Fob Protector? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 11-02-2018, 12:38 AM Thread Starter
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Key Fob Protector?

My 2018 PHEV came with the smart key option. It works great, but the buttons are not recessed on the key fob and three or four times a week, I hear the horn honking in alarm mode in the garage, or I return to find the doors locked when I know I didn't deliberately lock them. I'm pretty sure that this happens when my wallet or something else in my pocket accidentally presses against the buttons on the key fob. I didn't have this problem to nearly this extent (although it sometimes happened) with my previous car, but that car had a recessed "panic button" on the key fob.


Has anyone found a good way to deal with this problem? I've seen some after market plastic protectors that you can slide over a key fob, some of which recess the buttons more than others, but I haven't found any good ones that claim to fit the Niro's smart key. Does anyone know of a key fob protector that will fit and make it less likely for the buttons to become accidentally pressed?
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 04:22 PM
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I wish someone had answered your post, because I have the same problem. If you find a good plastic, silicone or other type of protector/holder that works on the Niro's smart fob, please post it here! My Niro replaced a Honda CR-V that had recessed buttons on the fob, so this continued problem is annoying. Thanks!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 05:01 PM
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I have mine in a silicon protector that. i snagged on ebay. I don't have too much problem with the alarm being activated when the keys are inside my pocket. I usually carry them in my front pocket with my wallet. But I will also say that i put my keys into one of those keysmart holders.




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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-24-2018, 05:29 PM
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This one is also from eBay - got one in Black also. Not much of a recess to the buttons - but had Panic alert happen once or twice before I bought - none since. Worth the 2 or 3 bucks I think.

YMMV.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-02-2019, 01:33 AM
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I just ordered a silicone one from Amazon, there are several different ones available. I will add info when it arrives and yes, I ordered it to cover that too sensitive panic button.

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 10:34 AM
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I have a faraday protector fro an outfit in Calif. called Silent Pocket, which will block the signal when the fob is in and protector is closed .. and it does a nice job of protecting the fob as well
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-02-2019, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
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Problem solved!


I tried a silicone key fob protector. My wife ordered mine from somewhere far away as a Christmas present for me, but I recently observed that they were in abundant supply on the counter at the local Kia dealer's Parts window. It helped a tiny bit, but I was still getting the car alarm going off every time that I had the keys in my pocket and I sat down in just the wrong way.


OK, I've got a bit of Tom Sawyer going on: on any given day, in addition to my key fob and a few other keys, and a wallet, possibly a cell phone, I've probably got a pocket knife, maybe a ball of string, some loose change, a shopping list, perhaps a pen, various other odds and ends in my pockets, and that increases the chance that if I move in just the wrong way, something's going to press on the alarm button on the key fob and set off the car alarm.



My first solution was to stop wearing blue jeans and instead, favor pants that have extra pockets. I can put my key fob in a dedicated pocket that has nothing else in it. That works well, but it kind of limits my wardrobe.



Today I found a better solution. This might not be better for everyone though. Some people actually appreciate the idea that they can push that button and set off their car alarm. You can sort of do that with the solution I found today, but it probably wouldn't work in an emergency. But it probably would work if you were just wanting to use this feature in a parking garage so that you could find your car.


I happened upon this solution by trying to do something else: I wanted to test the battery in my key fob. Page 4-7 of my owner's manual describes how to open the key fob to replace the battery. (The description is too short on details, but I eventually figured it out). It turned out that my battery was fine, but while I had the key fob apart, I noticed that I could remove the circuit board and this exposed the under-side of the buttons, including the one that always sets off the car alarm by accident. There are a couple of plastic tabs that hold the buttons in, and you can work them loose with a fingernail. There's a piece of plastic that lies between the bottom of the button and the circuit board, that remains in place even after you've removed the button for the car alarm.


After removing the button, reassembling the case, and reinstalling the key fob protector that I received as a gift, you'd never know anything had changed. But when I push on the key fob protector for the alarm button, I can't make the alarm go off. If I really want the alarm, I can pull off the protector and push on the plastic where the button used to be, and with a little persistence, the alarm will go off. I can still double push on the door lock button which causes the car to beep once, rather than incessantly the way the alarm button does (that's a handy feature when you've forgotten where you parked).



Hope this info helps any others who maybe fall a little bit into that Tom Sawyer category.

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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 01:10 AM
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Thanks for exploring and coming up with a fix! The silicone fob cover is handling it for me so far, but if I change purses and start triggering it again, I will know what to do.

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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasmith View Post
There's a piece of plastic that lies between the bottom of the button and the circuit board, that remains in place even after you've removed the button for the car alarm.
It appears that your solution now has a button missing from the fob. Good enough if you are using a protector, but ugly if not. Anyway, I happened to have the fob right in front of me while reading your post, and finally decided to do something about it myself. I've set off the panic button from pants interference perhaps 6 times in a year of ownership and have wanted to fix it for that long! Even once is too much.

Dead easy to take apart, no manual needed. Looking at the buttons from the inside, there is a bit of space between the buttons and the case on all four sides. Took a paper clip, snipped off about an eighth of an inch, and slid it into that space. Just one piece turned out to be enough to stop it from activating and it still looks OEM. Can be reversed in a couple of seconds should you sell the car. Took about three minutes, most of it thinking.

You could also remove the button and snip off the plunger (scissor or probably pliers will do) for also an OEM look, but this can't be reversed.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 05-10-2019, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
It appears that your solution now has a button missing from the fob. Good enough if you are using a protector, but ugly if not. Anyway, I happened to have the fob right in front of me while reading your post, and finally decided to do something about it myself. I've set off the panic button from pants interference perhaps 6 times in a year of ownership and have wanted to fix it for that long! Even once is too much.

Dead easy to take apart, no manual needed. Looking at the buttons from the inside, there is a bit of space between the buttons and the case on all four sides. Took a paper clip, snipped off about an eighth of an inch, and slid it into that space. Just one piece turned out to be enough to stop it from activating and it still looks OEM. Can be reversed in a couple of seconds should you sell the car. Took about three minutes, most of it thinking.

You could also remove the button and snip off the plunger (scissor or probably pliers will do) for also an OEM look, but this can't be reversed.

Sounds like a good alternative solution. Might be safer to use something that isn't electrically conductive though, in case it falls into the circuit board area?



I put the removed button in a safe place and plan to reinstall it when I someday sell the car. Hoping that will be a long time from now though.


I was setting mine off six times a week, and I tend to wear baggy pants. Apparently I tend to harbor more of a menagerie of treasures in my pockets than the average bear.

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