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Thread: What's the real range of the key fob?

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    What's the real range of the key fob?

    The manual for my 2019 CX-5 says that I shouldn't be able to open the doors or the liftgate using the key fob if I'm more than 0.8m (a little more than 2 1/2 feet) away from the car.

    However, when trying to figure out why my liftgate "mysteriously opens" (as seen in a few other threads here), I managed to open the liftgate using the key fob button from about 10 feet away, which answered my question - the same thing happened with my previous car, albeit with the panic alarm.

    What is the actual "operating distance" of the key fob?

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    Work in Progress sm1ke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
    The manual for my 2019 CX-5 says that I shouldn't be able to open the doors or the liftgate using the key fob if I'm more than 0.8m (a little more than 2 1/2 feet) away from the car.

    However, when trying to figure out why my liftgate "mysteriously opens" (as seen in a few other threads here), I managed to open the liftgate using the key fob button from about 10 feet away, which answered my question - the same thing happened with my previous car, albeit with the panic alarm.

    What is the actual "operating distance" of the key fob?
    What you read in the manual details the range of the proximity sensors to the key fob. Meaning if you are within 0.8m from a sensor, you can press the door lock/unlock button or the liftgate open/close button and it will sense the key fob and operate without needing an input from the fob itself. The manual operation of the key fob has a much longer range - I want to say 15-20 feet with a clear line of sight, but I'm not 100% sure on the exact distance.
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    Registered Member 7eregrine's Avatar

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    Much farther then 15-20 feet. I'd guess at least 30 yards minimum.

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    Harpy Eagle Chocolate's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by That Don Guy View Post
    The manual for my 2019 CX-5 says that I shouldn't be able to open the doors or the liftgate using the key fob if I'm more than 0.8m (a little more than 2 1/2 feet) away from the car.

    However, when trying to figure out why my liftgate "mysteriously opens" (as seen in a few other threads here), I managed to open the liftgate using the key fob button from about 10 feet away, which answered my question - the same thing happened with my previous car, albeit with the panic alarm.

    What is the actual "operating distance" of the key fob?
    Yeah, that can't be right. It would defeat the purpose of a wireless transmitter.

  6. #6
    Registered Member ceric's Avatar

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    In an open parking lot, the fob has an effective range of at least 50 ft using the button.
    I sometimes use the button to locate my car at night and light up the interior.
    2016 Mazda6 iGT + Tech Pkg
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceric View Post
    In an open parking lot, the fob has an effective range of at least 50 ft using the button.
    I sometimes use the button to locate my car at night and light up the interior.
    ^^This^^

    I've opened the hatch from way far away when shopping.

  8. #8
    Registered Member Conrad 16.5's Avatar

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    Try this.

    Find the limits of the fobs transmission capabilities by trial and error. Now once you find the limit and your fob absolutely will not work at that distance, place the fob under your chin and try it again. I know, it's silly but your head will increase the range somehow. I've not tried it for any of my two Mazdas but it worked for my VW, Chevy, and my Pontiac.
    "Don't bother me with facts, Son. I've already made up my mind." -Foghorn Leghorn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad 16.5 View Post
    Try this.

    Find the limits of the fobs transmission capabilities by trial and error. Now once you find the limit and your fob absolutely will not work at that distance, place the fob under your chin and try it again. I know, it's silly but your head will increase the range somehow. I've not tried it for any of my two Mazdas but it worked for my VW, Chevy, and my Pontiac.
    So in order for this to work, do you need to have braces?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Conrad 16.5 View Post
    Try this.

    Find the limits of the fobs transmission capabilities by trial and error. Now once you find the limit and your fob absolutely will not work at that distance, place the fob under your chin and try it again. I know, it's silly but your head will increase the range somehow. I've not tried it for any of my two Mazdas but it worked for my VW, Chevy, and my Pontiac.
    +1 on this comment,
    but also raise your other arm to get a more effective range..sounds silly but it actually works

  11. #11
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    Don't forget to face (stare at) the car! Your skull acts as a parabolic antenna focusing the RF signal and beaming the concentrated signal out your eye sockets toward the target. The effect on your brain-cells is just collateral damage.

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  13. #13
    Registered Member Conrad 16.5's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Avoidin Deer View Post
    So in order for this to work, do you need to have braces?
    Nope, but you'll get better radio reception.
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  14. #14
    Registered Member Conrad 16.5's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by St1ngy View Post
    Don't forget to face (stare at) the car! Your skull acts as a parabolic antenna focusing the RF signal and beaming the concentrated signal out your eye sockets toward the target. The effect on your brain-cells is just collateral damage.
    Don't stare too hard though and make sure you're looking at the right car. I ended up unlocking the car next to mine because I was looking at that car instead of mine.
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