Central Locking Remote Controls Explained

From Ford to Ferrari or MG to Maybach, if you are working on a relatively modern car, it will almost certainly have remote central locking. First introduced in the 1980s, today’s central locking systems are now more intelligent, and provide a wider range of functions.

What Do Central Locking Remotes Control?

In their most basic form, a central locking remote control will allow you to lock and unlock a vehicle’s doors at the single touch of a button. Many modern central locking key fobs also allow the driver to remotely open the car’s tailgate or boot, flash its headlights, or sound its horn. The latter function serves a dual purpose, first to help you find your car in a busy car park, but also to serve as a panic alarm in an emergency situation.

Over the years, different OEMs have experimented with other car key fob functionality. For example, in the early 2000s owners of the Vauxhall Astra Convertible could put the car’s canvas roof up or down at the press of a button on the key fob.

Recently, some manufacturers have also integrated touchscreen functionality into the central locking remote control. This allows the user to get a status report on the car and manage a wider range of functions, such as climate control.

How Does Central Locking Operate?

Today’s central locking systems operate using a radio frequency signal, which has a range of between 5 – 20 metres. In the UK and Europe, manufacturers use the 433 MHz radio frequency, while 315MHz is used in the USA, South America, and Japan.

When the user presses a button on the central locking remote, it sends a rolling encrypted code to the car. If the code is correct, the car’s door lock relay activates the lock actuator inside the door, which opens and closes the lock.

Programming the car’s central locking remote control can either be a manual procedure, which can be completed by consulting the owner’s handbook, or a diagnostic procedure that requires specialist equipment to be plugged into the car’s OBD port.

What Is Keyless Central Locking?

Keyless central locking as we know it today was first introduced by car makers in the early 2000s. A keyless entry remote will automatically activate the car’s door lock relay when it is within a set distance of the vehicle. This means that the user doesn’t need to press a button on the central locking remote.

A keyless entry fob doesn’t usually feature a prominent key, so cars with central locking with keyless entry typically also have a keyless start feature, where the vehicle’s ignition is activated by a push-button.

Where Can I Buy A Replacement Central Locking Remote?

While many central locking remote controls look similar, it’s crucial that independent garages and automotive locksmiths use the correct one. That’s why it is important to buy central locking remote controls from a trusted and experienced specialist, such as Advanced Keys.

All of our central locking remote controls are new and unused with no traces of wear. Our knowledgeable staff, same-day shipping*, and competitive prices make Advanced Keys the best place to buy a central locking remote control.

* Orders paid for by credit or debit card before 15:00 Monday to Thursday, or 12:00 Friday will be posted out on the same day where possible.