Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking
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Thread: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

  1. #1
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    I haven't found a thread that combines all these issues; perhaps others have similar collected problems.

    Over eighteen months ago both my key fobs stopped working. I didn't try to fix the issue; having been locked out once with the 'engine disabled' message; I'm happy the immobiliser and alarm circuitry are dormant. Only a specific, agressively self-hating flagellant would attempt to steal a P38. I think it's because, as the fob or receiver system failed when it was unlocked, I am using the car permanently in the non-immobilised, non-alarmed state. No problem so far, except for two, possibly-related issues:

    1) I can lock the car with just the blade from outside and then start the car through the open window with the same blade so it's not immobilised. I'm fine with that, but shouldn't locking the car with the key immobilise the car and set the alarm? That's what the manual says. Something must have stopped working. What I don't want to do is start poking around and inadvertently 'fix' this issue, thus re-activating the immobiliser with all the potential problems that may create. The question is then: how did this happen and how can I retain this status?

    2) I have the random central locking isue: out of nowhere the central locking opens and closes, usually reverting to a working state. I can open the driver's door and start the car but not open the other doors or open the hatch; the doors won't open from either inside or outside the car; I think they're super-locked. The question is then what causes the random central locking behaviour and is it a good idea to snip the orange/pink wires inside the door to disable the super-locking? There are posts on this under 'disable super lock'. Searches seem to indicate this is one of the door locks but as I said in (1) I don't want to fix that and find it re-activates the immobiliser. Once I've found the issue with the random locking I plan to fit an after-market remote central locking kit that just activates the central locking via an actuator solenoid.

    Thanks to all in advance!

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  3. #2
    JUNIOR ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    You have a failed microswitch in the drivers door latch, and another one that is failing causing the random dancing locks. Ignoring it gives a far greater chance of it locking itself than replacing the faulty latch and having it work as it should. See the sticky on testing latches and replace the faulty one before it really locks you out. Once it does with a failed microswitch you will not be able to enter the EKA.
    97 4.0SE
    98 4.0 Police spec
    and a number of others I maintain for the owners.

  4. #3
    SOPHOMORE ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Disabling superlock is easy, but must be done on all 4 doors. There's two motors inside the locks. Big one does the lock-unlock, and the small one drives the super lock mechanism, which disconnects linkages from the locking mechanism.

    Step 1: Make sure all doors are not super locked.
    Step 2: Disconnect wiring that drives the super lock motor.

    This way the car cannot super lock !! Note: super lock & immobiliser are separate functions, i.e. if immobiliser is disabled, then super lock will not normally prevent starting through an open window.

    Random lock-unlock is failing microswitches, so replace them before you get issues.

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  6. #4
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Thanks for the replies, Richard and PWood.

    Those door latches are expensive.

    Which specific part inside the latch is usually the part that fails, and is it practical to repair the latches rather than replace them?

    Is it the tiny microswitches themselves or the wiring or solder joints inside that small circuit board within the latch that are likely to be the failure point? I can't find too much out about these considering they seem to be regular fail point. On my Subaru Outback, all four actuators failed after ten years.

    Thanks again.

  7. #5
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    In my case it was the micro switch that was engaged by a lever for the door locks. The micro switches are like small buttons with a rubber cover. Once the rubber cover fails and tears off the micro switch is done. You can’t but just this part, you have to buy the entire latch. If cost is a concern get a used latch, take it apart and inspect the microswitches. Use Marty’s micro switch test in the sticky thread to help with this.

    Research from the forms indicate the motors sometimes fails but I don’t have any experience with it.

  8. #6
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Today I was taking a 90 YO out for lunch so I removed the passenger's door card and just unplugged the plug to the lock so he wouldn't get super locked inside.

    Now I will follow that truth table to test all the latches and make the necessary repairs but what I'm really interested in doing is permanently preventing the immobiliser system from ever being activated, so it can't wake up one day and strand me; I just want to operate the central locking from an after market remote kit OR the key in the door. Does anyone know how to do this?

    With the usual thanks in advance.

  9. #7
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    I may have a solution for you. I have installed a 3rd party remote onto my P38.

    It unlocks and locks the doors.

    What you need to understand is it is a workaround for the not having the factory fob. It will NOT take the vehicle out of "engine disable" mode if this happens. You still will need the EKA code for this. If you do not have the EKA code I do not recommend you doing this.

    The 3rd party remote has a control box that fits inside the door. It sends an electronic signal to the sill lock motor to go up or down. When you are using this fob you are tricking the BeCM to think someone from inside has locked the doors by pushing down the sill lock. It will lock all the locks.

    Because it locks the doors by the sill lock it does not turn on the alarm. Meaning the side turn lights don't flash and the red light on the dash does not turn on. I don't know if it does not turn on the immobilizer but since the immobilizer is part of the alarm system and it is not turned on when the car is locked from the inside I think it does not turn on the immobilizer. Again, this is my theory and I could be wrong.

    I installed this last May and it has worked. I did have an issue with it this past November but that was because of my installation. The 3rd party remote's control box needs power and has to be grounded. I had spliced into separate wires going into the door outstation for this. My soldering was not exactly professional and it started what I believe arcing. This gave the BeCM some funky signals and I had to use the EKA code to take it out of engine disable mode. I later ran the power all the way to the battery and then ran the ground to the body and all is good now.

    The 3rd party fobs are very cheap on ebay. I got mine for around $10

    Also, I you already have the door card off it's really not to hard to take the superlock out of the latch. Taking apart the latch the first time is a little scary but once you study it and see out it fits together it's not that bad.

    PM me if you want more info.

  10. #8
    FRESHMAN ROVER stevesal's Avatar
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    Oh how we all have to deal with these issues, great to read we are not alone.

    My 2001 4 litre machine has the common non working fobs, and had the highly erratic operating door locking and unlocking.

    I replaced the drivers door (RHD down in Australia) and had the clip which connects the button arm to key actuated arm dissintergrate. I did not have time to get a spare so I pulled the rod through the hole in the key arm and tied it in place with fine wire around the arm and wrapped into the groove in the rod on the arm. It continues to work ok, but I have a hidden string to pop up the button for internal acces still in place. Yes I know this will activate the alarm, but I can pop the bonnet etc to deal with any issues the rod falls off.... hopefully.

    This seems to be working fine, and I am sure the alarm is on and immobilised by key locking.

    I like the idea of the new fob and reciever over riding the original, however does the original reciever not also send a signal to BECM ? I will need to look into this more before I take the risk.

    Other than my last point of just musing, I am not finding any downside on key locking- assuming I have overcome the weak spot on the connection clip. Am I wishful thinking ?

  11. #9
    SENIOR ROVER Bolt's Avatar
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    I haven't found a thread that combines all these issues; perhaps others have similar collected problems.

    Over eighteen months ago both my key fobs stopped working. I didn't try to fix the issue; having been locked out once with the 'engine disabled' message; I'm happy the immobiliser and alarm circuitry are dormant. Only a specific, agressively self-hating flagellant would attempt to steal a P38. I think it's because, as the fob or receiver system failed when it was unlocked, I am using the car permanently in the non-immobilised, non-alarmed state. No problem so far, except for two, possibly-related issues:

    1) I can lock the car with just the blade from outside and then start the car through the open window with the same blade so it's not immobilised. I'm fine with that, but shouldn't locking the car with the key immobilise the car and set the alarm? That's what the manual says. Something must have stopped working. What I don't want to do is start poking around and inadvertently 'fix' this issue, thus re-activating the immobiliser with all the potential problems that may create. The question is then: how did this happen and how can I retain this status?

    2) I have the random central locking isue: out of nowhere the central locking opens and closes, usually reverting to a working state. I can open the driver's door and start the car but not open the other doors or open the hatch; the doors won't open from either inside or outside the car; I think they're super-locked. The question is then what causes the random central locking behaviour and is it a good idea to snip the orange/pink wires inside the door to disable the super-locking? There are posts on this under 'disable super lock'. Searches seem to indicate this is one of the door locks but as I said in (1) I don't want to fix that and find it re-activates the immobiliser. Once I've found the issue with the random locking I plan to fit an after-market remote central locking kit that just activates the central locking via an actuator solenoid.

    Thanks to all in advance!

    OK,
    First: What year, and engine type...Bosch or Gems.
    You are in luck for the type of owner you seem to be if you have a Gems set up as you can buy a Mobi-Lize from a bloke down there which will eliminate immobilization permanently. THERE IS NO WAY KNOWN to totally defeat the alarm and immobilizer system.
    So far, you have simply been very very lucky, but you are playing with a hand grenade sans pin...... Just a matter of time and it will lock down, lock you out, immobilise, and with duff microswitches, you will be stuck.

    If you have a Bosch, Fix the latches, fix the fobs, sync them, and be a happy chappie!
    NO way to defeat the Bosch immobiliser.
    Cheers!
    1952 Austin Champ (Hawaii)
    1953 Austin Champ (Australia)
    1985 Classic w/ Tdi300 (Australia)
    1999 4.6 HSE, White Gold "Stitch" (Wife's Daily Driver) Sold to a new enthusiast!
    2002 4.6 HSE, White "Bolt" Hawaii Daily driver (Stored in the shed for now)
    2002 4.6 HSE Borrego Yellow "Digby" West Coast cruiser and official Boat Car.
    On springs, but not for long!

  12. #10
    SENIOR ROVER Bolt's Avatar
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    "I like the idea of the new fob and reciever over riding the original, however does the original reciever not also send a signal to BECM ? I will need to look into this more before I take the risk.

    Other than my last point of just musing, I am not finding any downside on key locking- assuming I have overcome the weak spot on the connection clip. Am I wishful thinking ?"


    Very wishful....You have a Bosch, most likely, so yes, the BECM is very much involved. With bad latch switches as well, it is a matter of time till something plays up.

    Search, you will find an truly exhaustive thread on after market door lock install....It has all been done before.......But, in my opinion, not worth the trouble. If the existing system is cared for, it will not let you down,
    1952 Austin Champ (Hawaii)
    1953 Austin Champ (Australia)
    1985 Classic w/ Tdi300 (Australia)
    1999 4.6 HSE, White Gold "Stitch" (Wife's Daily Driver) Sold to a new enthusiast!
    2002 4.6 HSE, White "Bolt" Hawaii Daily driver (Stored in the shed for now)
    2002 4.6 HSE Borrego Yellow "Digby" West Coast cruiser and official Boat Car.
    On springs, but not for long!

  13. #11
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Thanks to Bolt and everyone.

    After the fobs stopped working, I removed one of the blades and welded it to a one dollar coin. That's my key. You owners in the USA can't do THAT, can you? I've had that key for nearly two years.

    How can that key can start the car without the fob? Mine's a 2000 Bosch (I thought I had that in my signature by the way) which has passive immobilisation which seems to require the key, so I don't know how it manages to work. But it has been for two years.

    Is it logical to think that the fobs stopped working because the door microswitches failed?

    This weekend I will trace the faults with the door locks; I've bought microswitches already in case I can repair them myself. If that fails I'll buy new or refurbished latches.

    Both my fobs seem to work, in that the red LEDs light as they should. Now I hope they will work on the car after I solve the lock issue.

    Tom
    Vehicle is a 2000 Vogue.

  14. #12
    SENIOR ROVER Bolt's Avatar
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Have you tried to sync the fobs?
    They probably stopped working when you last changed the battery, or it went flat.....Removing power from BECM will do it every time.

    The fobs in late models do a sync procedure when you start the car. There is an extra coil in the ignition lock barrel for this.....
    This does not effect the immobiliser at all. (and it does not to seem to work all the time)
    To sync: close all doors, insert key with fob with good batteries into door lock. Lock door, and hold in lock position whilst pressing lock button for a few seconds. Now unlock, and whilst holding in this position press button for unlock and hold for a few seconds.
    if the fob is good, and the switch involved is ok, you should now have a working fob.
    If not, proceed with switch repair.
    1952 Austin Champ (Hawaii)
    1953 Austin Champ (Australia)
    1985 Classic w/ Tdi300 (Australia)
    1999 4.6 HSE, White Gold "Stitch" (Wife's Daily Driver) Sold to a new enthusiast!
    2002 4.6 HSE, White "Bolt" Hawaii Daily driver (Stored in the shed for now)
    2002 4.6 HSE Borrego Yellow "Digby" West Coast cruiser and official Boat Car.
    On springs, but not for long!

  15. #13
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Well it was 40 degrees all weekend here, so I went surfing down the coast.

    That's what normal people do; I actually worked on my car. I know no-one will believe that.

    Here's the status and what I've learned from everyone in this community so far. A massive thanks for everyone's input.

    1) The driver's lock had two failed microswitches. I will order a new MGF lock.
    2) The fob is really just a convenience, but one I want to have.
    3) My passive synching on the barrel to the fob is not working but that seems like a common fault.
    4) I can't synch the key in the lock using Bolt's method because the microswitches in the lock are faulty.
    5) The lock needs to work in order to be able to enter the EKA. Once fixed, can the EKA proceedure be tested on a functioning, non-immobilised car?
    6) I cut the white, key switch wire on the driver's side lock. The dancing, random lock/unlock has stopped. If I never lock it with either the key or the fob, then I'm not vulnerable to the 'engine disabled' message resulting from the locked car.
    7) I'm still very vulnerable to lockout for other reasons: a flat battery etc. If I can't fix the fobs or receiver, I can always use the EKA proceedure to get in, presuming it works with the new lock.

    Eight) I can still fit an after-market actuator, fitted to one of the front door sill buttons, giving me my preferred option of making the car think it's been locked from the inside, and not immobilsed or alarmed.
    Vehicle is a 2000 Vogue.

  16. #14
    FRESHMAN ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Thanks to all.

    I still haven't fitted my new MGF lock; to order and fit this is now my highest priority so I can test and enter the EKA if needed and try to synch both my fobs. The synch proceedure did not work as the key micro switch is faulty; I cut the white wire in the meantime so it wouldn't lock me out. The random dancing locks stopped too. I'll report back.

    But in the meantime I went ahead and fitted my third party remote; it works perfectly; it operates the motor inside the driver's door (RHD) which in turn operates all the other doors. The theory is to be able to lock the car when needed but not alarm or immobilise it. The strange thing is I cut the pink wire to the super lock on each door but the super locking is still working on the other three doors. How can that be? When I operate the central locking from the driver's door, the other three doors super lock. When I operate the central locking from the passenger's door, the back doors super lock. Have I missed something really obvious?

    Thanks from Tom
    Vehicle is a 2000 Vogue.

  17. #15
    JUNIOR ROVER
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    Re: Non-working fobs, immobiliser and rando central locking

    Have you worked out what superlock is? It isn't normal locking, it is a secondary motor in each latch that prevents the door from being unlocked by anything other than the locking motor. So it will only superlock wqhen you tell it to (by giving two presses on the fob or turning the key to lock twice in quick succession) and there is a 15 second delay between locking and superlock kicking in. So if you want to superlock (and I always do, have done every time I've locked it in the 8 years I've owned it and never had a problem), you press the fob lock button twice, it locks immediately, give 3 flashes of the indicator (not just one for normal locking) and 15 seconds later you hear the superlock motors engage. I'd have got the system working correctly as intended before confusing the system with an third party add ons.
    97 4.0SE
    98 4.0 Police spec
    and a number of others I maintain for the owners.

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