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What is a key fob, anyway?

What is a key fob, anyway?
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A key fob is a small remote device that allows you to control a keyless system. With a key fob, you don’t need an actual key to get into your car. The key fob uses radio frequencies to communicate with your car and control it. The jingling of keys becomes a sound of the past if you have this handy device.

It turns out, there’s a lot you can do with this convenient piece of technology. Here are some secret uses for your car key fob that you may not have known before.

Start your car remotely with your key fob

Start your car remotely with your key fob
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In some cars, your car key fob can remote start your vehicle on chilly mornings. Just look for the remote engine start button often labelled with a circular arrow, Consumer Reports says.

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Use your fob to lower your windows

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

Fold in your mirrors with your key fob

Fold in your mirrors with your key fob
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If you’ve manoeuvred 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.

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Unlock your boot with your fob

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

Start your car with your key fob

Start your car with your key fob
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Keyless ignition systems are becoming more common. 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 in your car.

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Use your fob to stay safe at night

Use your fob to stay safe at night
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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.

Prevent home break-ins with your key fob

Prevent home break-ins with your key fob
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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 and save your home from a break-in.

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Use the fob to unlock your car

Use the fob to unlock your car
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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. Good to know.

Adjust your seat with your fob

Adjust your seat with your fob
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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.

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