made-by-monkeys2

Good ideas with bad execution, or good execution of what should be bad ideas - an analysis of inferior, off-beat or malfunctioning products, and how other people's failures can help us design better stuff.

Keyless Entry Fob Sports Crappy Solder Job

 

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I live in a part of the world where I used to dread the frigid days when I had to deal with the nasty inconvenience of frozen car door locks on my 1995 VW Jetta. Solution: Hair dryer and a long extension cord. That is until the lock barrel finally corroded and fell out two years ago. (Really.)

Given my run-ins with mechanical locks, I am especially leery of electronic locking systems.

You might be too, after reading:

Digital Home Design Line Editor Maury Wright’s teardown and analysis of a failed keyless entry system for a 2005 Dodge. 

He describes in detail a lousy solder job on the battery clip (photo above) and goes through a step-by-step analysis of his repair efforts, thereby avoiding the cost of a $150 to $200 replacement key.

I’ve heard about the small budgets that design engineers have to deal with on some of these features, but that’s no excuse for a shoddy manufacturing job.

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1 Comment

  1. January 30, 2009 11:14

    But it’s even worse, because these systems have been broken recently:
    http://bork.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/pub/ccc/25c3/video_h264_720x576/25c3-3030-en-messing_around_with_garage_doors.mp4
    (Video from a talk at 25C3. It says it’s about garage doors but it’s a continuation of their earlier research with electronic car keys.)

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