Toyota and Honda's Magical Locks

I have a 2019 Toyota Corolla SE Hatchback and a 2020 Honda Fit. Both have the keyless entry. I always have the key fobs in my pocket when I wash the cars (to make sure the windows are all the way up before I start…); and I have noticed this every time I wash the cars. I know the fobs use radio frequency identification (RFID) so when I am within the specified range to lock/unlock the doors and I am spraying or spritzing the cars to rinse them off, the doors will lock or unlock, and this might happen several times in just the few short seconds that I am spraying the water. I use a metal spray nozzle and I am standing on the ground, so I assume that the water completes some grounding circuit (like table lights that use touch to turn on and off…). Anyone else notice this “feature” and are there other surprises waiting for me to discover?

I am also going to post a second topic as why I consider the Honda to be the Toyota’s “dimwitted” cousin.

It isn’t the water. It is you. You are in the proximity of the car and it unlocks. As you move away, it locks. You move back it unlocks. Take the key out of your pocket and lay it away from the cars as you wash them to test this for yourself.

Our toyota wont unlock until you touch the door handle.

The door handles react to touch, you are activating the locks with the water on the door handles.

■When using a car wash (vehicles with a smart key system)
If the door handle becomes wet while the electronic key is within the effective
range, the door may lock and unlock repeatedly. In that case, follow the following correction procedures to wash the vehicle:
●Place the key in a position 6 ft. (2 m) or more separate from the vehicle
while the vehicle is being washed. (Take care to ensure that the key is not

Read the owners manual. I believe that you can change the door lock behavior of the Fit by reprogramming it. My wife has a 2019 Odyssey and the door locks can be programmed to avoid the behavior you describe.

I want to thank everyone who responded to my posting. Know it’s me completing the circuit that controls the locks on the cars. I just never considered that I could communicate with the car through water. I guess it will not be long before I’ll get an implant to contact my cars without the “magic of water…”

Whenever I’m near my key-fobbed-cars, I always keep the fobs in my pocket (I also have two vehicles that you actually have to put a key in the ignition). Funny story, I was out in the front yard, gabbing with my neighbor, when his wife pulled in the driveway after running some errands. She said she was almost out of gas and asked her husband to take her car down and fill it up. She asked him if he had his key and he reached down and grabbed the side of his leg, over the key fob in his pockets and said he did. I accompany him to the gas station and like any good customer; he shuts the car off and fills the tank. When he gets in (yeah, you know it…), the car will not start. The dash says he needs a key fob. He pulls the key fob out of his pocket only to discover it is the fob to his car, not his wife’s car. So, his wife drives his car down with his key fob to her car…

As a side note, I like to anthropomorphise (attribute human characteristics or behavior to an inanimate object…) my “stuff” and as a matter of fact, I’ve even named my cars. The Toyota is named “You-too-Bad” (license plate starts with UTB), and the Honda is named Eugene (license plate starts with UGN…).

I also posted this as a light-hearted story for all to enjoy and allow you all to “trip” down memory lane remembering cars that you have or have had that acted in some peculiar manner, as if they had their own distinct personality…

Once again, thanks for the quick responses and post your cars strange behaviors…

Common complaint on the newer Porsche Boxster’s and 911’s with the smart key is that when you spray down the front end near the Porsche Badge it opens the front trunk lind if you have the fob in your pocket.

Just think of how simple it would be if the doors were equipped with an actual lock cylinder, and you insert the key and turn it when you want the door to open, and leaning against/touching/washing the door handle did absolutely nothing. Who could imagine such a brilliant system?


Mechanical door locks are 20th century technology, this is equivalent to hiring a security guard to protect your computer. I have seen many cars entered or stolen by inserting a screw driver through the outer door panel to unlock the door.

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Yep. That happened to my wife’s old Intrepid when we lived in an apartment, only the thief in your picture was much better at it. Ours did a lot more damage. I know there are some who long for the old days when things were not nearly as convenient, but personally I enjoy the modern technology. I like not having to fish around for keys, and then not being able to get in the car anyway because a tiny bit of moisture got on the lock and froze overnight.

But then I also like computers and don’t in any way mourn the disappearance of the manual typewriter. :wink:

Once again, thank everybody whose taking the time to share their thoughts and experiences. I hope the folks who are just reading the postings enjoy the comments and learn from our experiences.

I thought I would share some more thoughts on these door locks. I’ve included a photo showing both the Toyota’s and the Honda’s door handles so all can see the “locking mechanisms” used by both manufacturers.

First off, I really like having the fob’d door locks. Even with any and all hassles, I prefer not having to pull out my key ring (the ring has keys for my two other non-fob’d cars, the house keys, the shed keys, some other extraneous keys, and the string of “loyalty cards” so many of us use…) out of my pocket, especially when my arms are full of groceries or it’s raining and my arms are full…

Back to the photo, the top half of the photo is the door handle on my 2019 Toyota. Who remembers the movie “Demolition Man”, when Sylvester Stallone comes out of the bathroom and asks Sandra Bullock what the “three seashells are for…”?

Well, the Toyota does not have seashells, but it does have two grooved lines on the handle (see photo…) which indicates the touch sensor and by touching the grooves, the locking mechanism is activated. To unlock the doors, just grasp the door handle. The car has never gotten confused with my grasping the door handle to unlock the car and my hand being in such close proximity to the locking touch sensor. And as long as Sylvester Stallone does not confuse my grooves for seashells, I’m just fine with that…

As for the Honda, the bottom half of the photo, the door is unlocked by grasping the door handle and as has already been mentioned, wait a second or two, and on a few odd ball occasions, let go of the handle and grasp it a second time… As for locking the door, you have to push the black button on the handle. Wait a minute, did I just say you have to push a mechanical button to lock the door, yeah I did… Who would think that with all the new touchy-feely-sensors available, you would have to push a mechanical button to close a circuit to lock the door.

Now, where is Sylvester Stallone when you need him because this is one “s****y” idea… When the Honda was brand new, still on the lot, and the salesman was demonstration the locking mechanism, he got confused too. It seems so natural to grasp the handle and then press the button with your thumb (who remembers cars use to have “thumb buttons” on all their doors?). When you do that, the Honda gets really confused, are you trying to lock the door or unlock the door… Any case, the seashells are probably a better idea…

Well, keep those ideas coming and hope you all stay safe.

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You impress people with your writing and then you resort to cheap profanity ( not really within Forum rules ) . The movie reference is lost on me because I have never seen the movie.

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Car companies that aren’t paying extra for the non-push button versions. :wink:

I don’t have problems with the button on the door handle of my 2017 Accord. If you don’t like the Fit, sell it. Unless grousing about it is more important, of course.

Volvo-V70, I am sorry that I offended you with my use of the “S” word, but if you Google the referenced movie and preview the movie excerpts (many available on YouTube) you might not have been so offended in my choice of words. Also, google the Taco Bell reference from the movie, I often use that reference…

Jtsanders, of course I enjoy grousing about it, it is so much more fun that singing its praises… Even when I spoke to the dealer about the “delayed” unlocking feature, I was more interested in his rational and wondered what excuses he would make, and his “safety feature” excuse certainly makes the cut…