10 Secret Uses for Your Car Key Fob

If you're only using your car key fob to lock and unlock your car doors, you're tapping just a fraction of its potential.

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Human hand holding a keyless entry device or key fob to open the new car and start the car. focus on the keyless device system and door handle

Start your car remotely

In some cars, your car key fob can remote start your vehicle during chilly days. Just look for the remote engine start button often labeled with a circular arrow, Consumer Reports says.

Our auto experts answer: Are remote car starters bad for your vehicle?

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Abstract car background. Shallow DOF.

Lower your windows

But did you know you can also use your key fob to catch a breeze? HuffPost reports the key fob for many cars now can roll down all windows at once. Try pressing your unlock button twice, holding down the second time until all windows are open.

Psst—this is why your car windows have those little black dots.

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Auto folding mirrors

Fold in your mirrors

If you’ve manoeuvered your car into a tight parking space, your key fob can help make sure your side view mirrors don’t get knocked off when someone else is squeezing by. For cars that don’t do this automatically when they lock, try holding the key fob lock button for ten seconds. Consumer Reports says this feature tends to be available on newer Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks.

Interested in automatic parking assist? Here’s what it was like in our test drive of the GMC Terrain Denali.

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Opened empty car trunk
Khimchenko Klim/Shutterstock

Unlock your trunk

In older cars, you may have had to use a mechanical key to get back in the trunk, but now many newer models have key fobs that allow you to open your back hatch with just the click of a button.

Here’s why you need to start wrapping your car key fob in foil.

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Car Start-Stop Engine Button of a modern car in the interior of the expensive car

Start your car

Keyless ignition systems are becoming more common, with 62 per cent of cars sold in the U.S. last year having this feature, Edmunds reports. Should you choose to go keyless on your next model, your fob can serve as a way to start or stop your car as long as the fob is in the car with you and your foot is on the brake. Just make sure to never leave your key fob—or any of these things—in your car.

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Car fob remote with panic button visible

Stay safe at night

The key fob of almost every car has a “panic” button which will set off your emergency alert systems, helping you find your vehicle in the most crowded parking garage. But if the garage is deserted, setting off this feature can also help ward off would be-criminals, says RepairPal. Here are more car safety features to look out for.

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Close up on car thief hand pulling the handle of a car. Car thief, car theft concept
Daniel Jedzura/Shutterstock

Prevent home break-ins

The attention-grabbing blare of your car’s alarm system can also prevent home break-ins. If your key fob works on your car from within your home, keep it by your nightstand, says RepairPal. If you hear something in the night, hitting the panic button can scare off criminals.

Thought your home was secure? Here are the sneaky ways burglars can break into your house.

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Car smart key is an electronic access and authorization system, Hand holding smart key of car.
Sawat Banyenngam/Shutterstock

Unlock your car

OK, this one may seem obvious… Unless you have a keyless car and a fob with a dead battery. As keyless ignitions become more popular, fewer and fewer cars operate with traditional mechanical keys. The problem here? The fob that unlocks the car by sending computer signals to the vehicle can run out of batteries. Luckily, Toyota says the fobs for its keyless cars also have a mechanical key tucked in them should this be the case. This trick is one of 13 weird car features you might be missing out on.

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Detail of new modern car interior, Focus on seat adjust switch
iMoved Studio/Shutterstock

Adjust your seat

Sharing your car with a gentle giant or someone whose legs just don’t have the same reach as yours? GMC offers some models that allow you to set a “memory” of where you like your seat. Each key fob is assigned a different number, so when you get in the car, it knows who’s driving. From there, you can set your seat preference and go.

Now, check out 10 new car features you didn’t know you needed.

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Togliatti - MARCH 24: TESLA Model S Electric Car with LARTE Design Tuning, on MARCH 24, 2016 in Togliatti, RUSSIA
Andrei Kholmov/Shutterstock

Park in tight spaces

Never again worry about scraping another vehicle. The car key fob for Teslas can be used to park your car in tight spaces, says Business Insider. The driver doesn’t even need to be inside. The “summon” feature will stop when obstacles are detected and even close your garage door for you.

Next, discover 18 car hacks that make driving so much better.

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Originally Published on Reader's Digest

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