Lightning storms and car keys


#1

We just went through a horrendously powerful lightning storm last night, probably 2 hours and very intense including a strike about a 1/2 mile away. Today my car keys (Toyota Corolla) won’t work! Both sets. Plus my wife’s car keys to her 2000 VW Bug. PLUS the electronic, wireless doorbell just kept wringing on its own this morning. Any thoughts on how to reprogram to car keys?


#2

Yet your computer still works, apparently. I wonder if it’s the cars, not the keys that are the problem.


#3

I’d vote that the cars have been shocked, too, and not the keys.

Either way, you’re looking at a dealer trip to get them operational again. It’s even possible the computer is toast, and will require replacement, including then being programmed to the keys. My estimation is in the $1200 arena for each car.

Your home owners insurance may cover this.


#4

When you say the keys won’t work, do you mean the cars won’t start or the remote functions don’t work? If the keys will start the cars you will need to resynchronize the the fob with the car. The owner’s manual will explain how. You might need to do something similar for the doorbell. (usually powering off both the receiver and transmitter) It is a long shot, but wireless doorbells and car remotes work on similar frequencies. (300-400 Mhz) Power off the doorbell transmitter and receiver before trying to synchronize the fobs. It’s also possible there is some local interference that is effecting both. Are your neighbors reporting any similar problems?


#5

Sounds like you got a lightning strike close enough to damage the electronics on both cars. This isn’t unheard of. I was driving on the expressway many years ago and had lighting strike close enough to destroy the FM tuner on my car stereo. It’s possible that the receiver was just damaged, but you may have other problems.

I second the vote that the problem is the cars and not the keys.


#6

Were the cars next to one another inside your garage?

(But even inside a wood structure may not be of benefit.)

Th.is one reason I wish we had aluminum or steel siding.

Hope you can get the problem solved.


#7

The cars were next to each other and the strike did not hit the cars directly, just “in the neighborhood.” The keys are the kind that only open doors/trunks not start the car. The good news is that three days later, all keys to both cars AND the wireless doorbell, all work fine! Perhaps there is a capacitor of some sort that just took time to discharge?!?!


#8

My SIL gave is a few years ago, his old 29 inch TV when he got a projection system. We had a small antenna on the roof and one day we had a close lightning strike. The TV would not work. We unplugged it, and tried it over several days, and finally gave up on it.A couple weeks later, he came over to look at it. He hit the control and it worked perfectly.

Years ago, in the old radio factory, when they came out with MOSFET transistors, we sometimes had a deal where a capacitor would get charged up wrong, and we’d have to turn it off for several hours before it would work. Seems like they had to redesign it. Military radios that don’t work for a few hours can get someone killed.


#9

My suspicion is there was some local radio interference causing the problems you had. It was blocking your low power keyfob signal and causing the doorbell problem also. It may have been coming from a problem in the power grid for your area and the power company found and fixed the trouble.