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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #10
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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My original thought was to encircle the activating plunger to stop the button from moving with a cut zip tie. But I realized that even the smallest one I had would be too big. I also had a paper clip on my desk which meant I didn't have to take a few steps out to the garage to dig up a zip tie. When I cut my first piece of paper clip with the idea of putting a piece on all four sides, it immediately rolled into the space between the button and the case and worked like that with just one piece. At that point I was finished.

No possibility of circuit board issues. There is a thick piece of silicon between the buttons and the circuit board. But a similar sized piece of plastic (say a cut zip tie about an eighth of an inch long) would work equally well and save a thousandth of a gram!
 

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I found the perfect solution for the panic button.


If you open up the case and remove the circuit board and the white rubber cover, you can access the plastic buttons. I removed the bottom one that is for the panic. on the underside of the bottom, there are three prongs. two on the outside that are used for aligning and the middle one that presses the button on the circuit board. I got a piece of thicker cardboard and cut two small squares and a slot down the middle of the square. The pieces of cardboard fit perfectly around the two outside prong. When you put it back together the pieces of cardboard take up all the slack movement for the key so it won't depress or at least not very easily. You can't tell the difference between it and the smart key before.. just the panic button is that much harder to press.
 

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I'm not sure if this would help or not, haven't tried it yet. But with the silicone key covers, could we cut the PANIC button cover off with a knife? That would at least make it recessed... Going to order one and try it!
 

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The problem with the panic button is that its the one closest to a keyring loop. So if you attach the smartkey to anything, it has a tendancy to press the pannic buton when in your pocket. I don't think that cutting away a silicon cover would make a difference as it's not your hand that is pressing the button but the another object.
 

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The problem with the panic button is that its the one closest to a keyring loop. So if you attach the smartkey to anything, it has a tendancy to press the pannic buton when in your pocket. I don't think that cutting away a silicon cover would make a difference as it's not your hand that is pressing the button but the another object.
You might be right, but I’m trying anyway; I figure it’s better than nothing or at least worth a try.
I got the silicone key fob protector a while ago, but unfortunately my brand new Niro got hit, and just got it back from the shop last night.
It might make it recessed enough to make a difference!
 

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I am pretty sure they say that a picture is worth a thousand words so I installed the mod to my spare set of keys and this time photographed the steps and annotated them. Hope this helps as it is a proper working actual fix for the issue.
 

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it probably voids the warranty. i popped the smart key open and carefully removed the panic horn button. then filed a tiny bit off the "pin" that pushes on switch. works pretty good so far.
a much bigger problem i found was the release button for the "metal key" protrudes just a little from the case. causing a very easy ejection of the case from the key part. i carry the key (because it is so heavy) hooked to my belt loop, and twice found just the key part on my belt loop! simple solution. i applied a small amount of epoxy around the release button. making it harder to contact button. i have a silicone protector case. that seemed to make this problem worse. with the epoxy around button, no more unwanted release of the smart key part.
 
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