0284 – Power Door Locks, Awareness, Safety, Security and Self-Defense

Well, my beast is in the shop and I’m feeling a bit yuppieish cruising around town in the Lexus SUV loaner. Not my typical ride, but any port in a storm, right. In addition to mission the pure gargantuan size of my Excursion, the rumble of the 7.3 and the disgusted look of Smart car drivers (yes, I could put a Smart Car in the back of my truck), I miss my good ole antique power locks with a remote fob. I’m sure that there is a way to program this vehicle so that the locks provide me more safety and security, but as things stand, they are a down right liability. Today we are going to talk about how we can use the locks on our vehicles to stay a bit safer.


The 02′ Ford Excursion and it’s Awesome Door Locks

I love my truck for lots of reasons and one of them is the functional nature of the door locks.  The 2002 is ten years old yet the technology is particularly handy even when compared to today’s vehicles.  Lets take a look at why.

Key Fob

Nothing super special here.  A key fob with three buttons.  Lock, unlock and alarm.  Today there are key fobs out there that have a lot more buttons and more functionality, but this is all I need.

  • Lock – Press 1 time to lock all doors
  • Unlock (1 press) – Press 1 time to unlock the driver’s door only
  • Unlock (2 presses) – Press 2 times to unlock ALL Doors
  • Alarm – Press 1 time to activate horn and lights, press again to deactivate horn and lights

Auto Lock Feature

This is the least exciting feature, but it is nice to have as a backup to me manually locking the doors of the vehicle.

Door Lock Keypad

An awesome feature.  I assume that the patent has run out on the keypad idea, yet other manufactures haven’t picked it up.  CRAZY.  It is so simple to use the keypad to enter and exit the vehicle and there are three scenarios where the entry option is priceless.

  1. The Lock Out
  2. The Beach
  3. Road Trips

The 2011 Lexus and it’s Annoying if not Unsafe Locks

My neighbors must think I am a complete jack ass.  I easily spent 20 minutes locking, unlocking, walking up to and away from and around this strange car in the driveway.  First of all, its a Lexus.  Second of all the beeping is crazy.  Well, here is what I found out.

Auto Unlock Outside the Vehicle

On approach when the key fob is in your pocket, the vehicle senses your approach and unlocks the driver’s door when you make physical contact with the door handle.  The three remaining doors and the hatch back remain locked.

The fob works the same way when you approach from the passenger side.  Not so bad so far.

When the rear of the vehicle is approached, the rear gate is unlocked on contact along with ALL the other doors of the vehicle.  I’m assuming you see that same issue I do.

Auto Lock

I have no issue with this feature and in fact, I think it is a step better than the Excursion.  Put it in drive and it locks.  Could be improved but again, great back up.

Auto Unlock Inside the Vehicle

Put it in park and it unlocks.  Uh, no.  This could be a problem.

  • Parking
  • Drive through teller
  • Accident
Over all, I am not a fan of all the fancy features:
  • Most are not going to take the initiative to reprogram or even understand a vehicle with a complex system like this
  • The lock system might be even more important on a Lexus than an 02′ Excursion.
  • The more complex, the more issues when there is a failure.

My Key Fob Follies

I take vehicle security seriously.  I don’t care if somebody steals my truck, but I do care very deeply if somebody steals my truck with my kids in it or even gains access to the interior of the vehicle while my children occupy that vehicle.  Consequences are much too serious to allow the possibility.

Same in my home.

So here is how I handle keeping my vehicle secure during the mounting and dismounting of the vehicle.

  1. Depress twice to unlock all doors
  2. Open door
  3. Press once to lock all doors
  4. Stuff Kid #1 into seat.
  5. Close door
  6. Depress once to lock all doors
  7. Move to door #2
  8. Depress twice to unlock all doors
  9. Open door
  10. Press once to lock all doors
  11. Stuff Kid #2 into seat.
  12. Close door
  13. Depress once to lock all doors
  14. Move to rear gate
  15. Press twice to unlock all doors
  16. Open Gate
  17. Press once to lock all doors
  18. Load groceries or whatever
  19. Close Gate
  20. Press lock once to lock all doors
  21. Move to driver door
  22. Press once to open driver’s door
  23. Get in
  24. Lock it
  25. Drive.


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