2017 Acura RL elusive key fob

Misplaced one of our two key fobs for our 2009 Acura RL and now we notice that the cart starts and runs just fine with the remaining one left behind - which clearly implies that the missing fob is somewhere in the car (despite many very thorough searches in vain). However, we are still able to lock the car - which implies the fob CANNOT be inside the car! That left the possibility that it could be somewhere in the the engine compartment, but there seems to be no such place for it to hide there. I’m thinking that what the world needs is a good “fob-finder” - any ideas?
(BTW my daughter-in-law was on your radio show many years ago - I hope you don’t have a one-answer-per-family rule!)

Are you sure your car needs two fobs to start, lock, etc. that would seem the strangest arrangement ever! Meaning you would need three fobs for two drivers!

No, on ly needs one - but it seems to be starting with zero/none because it starts with the only one we know of is up in the house???

Oh, now I understand. Unfortunately there are lots of nooks and crannies.
When I drop something it usually goes between the seat and the Center consul, then manages to get wedged under the seat track.

But there remains the mystery - if the missing fob is realign in the c ar, one shouldn’t be able to lock the car (the feature which is to prevent you from locking your keys in the car) and I can lock the car!?!?!! This is why I thought you might have fun with it.

Well, I could find it using an RF spectrum analyzer borrowed from work but that doesn’t help you :wink:

I would think the trunk would be a more likely suspect area to search.
Here’s another thought- the receiver differentiates between in the car and outside the car by signal strength. A sufficiently attenuated signal would mimic distance from receiver. So if the FOB was under some thick mat or behind some steel structure (like nestled up against a seat pillar for example), that would sufficiently attenuate the RF signal such that the receiver could be fooled into thinking it was outside the car.

It drives my wife nuts but when something goes missing I always say to go back to the last time you had it, then work forward. That will narrow down the possibilities, then move forward. Your unconscious probably knows so its a matter of pulling the details out and all of a sudden you have a clue. It took me three times searching the garage to find my favorite sqare but on the fourth time there it was.

The other thing is that some of those fobs have a pretty good range so having the one in the house may still be transmitting to the car. Acura misplaced my fob yesterday for a little bit and when they found it, they tested it by transmitting from the shop through the shop door and way out into the parking area to see if it was the right one. Just sayin’ don’t go down the wrong path with false conclusions.

Most of us that have fobs feel your pain. Usually they get put down somewhere while you are juggling some other stuff, and there they sit until you stumble on it accidentally. My mother used to leave her car keys in the freezer a lot, when she brought something into the house that had to be put there quickly.

Please - the point of my submission is NOT the missing fob - but the fact that the car seems happy to run without it - - NB if the fob were in the car one wouldn’t be able to lock it - and one can. - - Hence the mystery.

The owners manual stares that the doors won’t lock if a remote is inside the vehicle and a door is open. This means that while exiting the car the door lock switch on the door panel won’t allow you to lock the doors and possibly locking the remote in the vehicle. I didn’t find anything stating that you can’t lock the doors with a second remote.

With no other remote nearby try to lock the doors with the drivers door open using the switch on the door panel, if the doors won’t lock the remote must be in the vehicle.

As an Acura owner, I can attest to the fact that you cannot lock the door with another remote with a remote inside. Try locking a purse in the back and it won’t do it. How it knows its inside the car and not standing by me outside is anyones guess but probably magic.

It is unclear to me what you mean by “operating” the car without the second key fob. Do you mean that you leave the fob in the house, start the car, drive away, stop the car again at some distant point, and can start it again at that distant point? Very important distinction since the car will stay running regardless of the fob if all you do is return to home base again without shutting the car down. But if you can start it again at a distant point with the fob at home, it almost certainly means the fob is somewhere nearby or there is a malfunction. Maybe Acura has a fob locator that will beep when in close proximity but I doubt it.

Don’t get excited though, once you put a question on here, it’s a free for all.

I believe that you have a TL. The owners manual for the TL reads differently, it states that the door can’t be locked with a remote in the vehicle where for the RL they add “and any door is open”.

There have been complaints about not being able to leave the remote in the vehicle while swimming for example so some vehicles now have ways around this.

This is easy, just put a 3 year child in the car and say " Don’t play with the remote " and if it is in the car it will be found in 10 minutes .


Indeed I can go anywhere, turn it off and come back and restart without the only fob I have now miles away - so “obviously” the missing g fob is in the car - but just as obviously, it’s not in the car because I can lock the car. Hence the mystery

How exactly are you locking the car?

If you have re-useable grocery bags in the car, search all of them.

I have no clue why you can lock the car, but it seems clear the fob is in there somewhere. When I look for something like this (and I do it enough to have a system) I park the car in the shade, outside, open every door, and start systematically searching around, in and under the drivers seat area, then the front passenger seat, etc. with a flashlight. I’ve found a fob under the seat rail, and I found one in the trunk, under the mat, and actually it had slid into the spare tire well and was stuck under the tire.

If you have kids between 4 and maybe 10, show them the other fob and offer them a cash reward if they find it. If you don’t have kids, find someone who does.