Remote Central Locking - Feature Explained
In this Feature Explained article, we’ll present the most detailed analysis of the remote central locking feature in your car. We’ll list out the pros and cons, explain how it works, provide the typical cost of getting the remote central locking feature from the aftermarket and its repair and replacement costs. Based on this analysis, you can decide the importance of this feature for your car ownership experience.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Remote Central Locking?
The pros, or advantages, of a remote central locking system in a car are:
- It lets the driver lock or unlock the car without walking up to the car
- If the car also has anti-theft alarm, then it can reduce the risk of a theft
- Along with the auto door lock/unlock, it can almost completely automate locking and unlocking the doors while driving
- Some central locking kits also roll up your car’s windows when you lock the car with the remote
Remote central locking systems have the following shortcomings or problems:
- One more piece of electronic means one more potential breaking point
- Risk of getting remote locked inside the car if car has auto-door lock
- With the anti-theft alarm, it’s required to unlock the car with the remote to disarm the siren even if you have the original key
What Is A Remote Central Locking?
Cars have had a remote central locking system for a few decades now. What once used to be a luxury feature is now a mainstream feature, as it’s available with at least the higher variants of all cars — even hatchbacks as affordable as the Alto 800.
A car with a remote central locking system allows the driver to lock or unlock all of the car's doors at once, either with a remote or by locking or unlocking the driver’s door. Some cars have a separate button on the dashboard or on the driver’s door to lock or unlock all doors of the car. Hence, the remote central locking feature not only adds to the convenience, but also ensures your car and the contents inside them are safe and secure.
Most remote central locking systems have an audible alarm that rings loud if you unlock the car without disarming the alarm with the remote. While the thieves these days also have equally advanced pieces of tech, this one extra layer of security at least slightly lowers the probability of vehicle theft.
How Does A Remote Central Locking Work?
The remote central locking feature works on the basis of key codes and radio frequency waves. A simple way to explain how a remote central locking system works is that the car key is like a transmitter and the car is like a receiver. Whenever the key transmits a signal to the car to lock or unlock the doors, the car does it. But the car only does what the remote tells it to do — if — the codes on the receiver and transmitter match the frequency. That’s why, usually, different remotes, even from the same manufacturer, operate on different frequencies.
Most remote central locking systems can turn the immobiliser in your car on or off. The immobiliser is a safety feature in engines that stops the car from being stolen by turning off the engine when there’s an attempted break-in.
How Expensive Is It To Repair Or Replace The Remote Central Locking System?
The cost of repairing or replacing the remote central locking feature depends on the make and model of the car. Replacing a remote central locking system typically costs between Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 7,000 on mass-market cars. So, if the remote central locking system in your car breaks down, we recommend repairing them if possible as replacements are quite expensive. If your car didn’t come with the remote central locking feature, then you could get one from the aftermarket.
What Is The Cost Of An Aftermarket Remote Central Locking System?
Aftermarket remote central locking system cost around Rs. 3,000. There are several brands to choose from. However, we recommend getting a remote central locking system from a reputed brand like Nippon, Autocop or Blackcat. Expect to pay a few hundred bucks as additional fee for installing an aftermarket remote central locking system in your car.
How Easy Or Complex Is It To Install A Remote Central Locking System?
Installing remote central locking is best left to professional hands as it involves tinkering with the car’s locks and electrical system. Wiring a remote central locking incorrectly can fry your car’s fuse or even the car’s electronics.
What Cars Get A Remote Central Locking From The Factory?
In India, most cars from the A-segment (Alto, Kwid) and above get central locking at least in their higher variants. If you’re in the market to buy a reasonably loaded car, then you’ll most likely get central locking from the factory.
Verdict - Should I Get An Aftermarket Remote Central Locking System?
Since most cars from the A-segment and above come with remote central locking as standard in at least their top variants these days, the chances are you will not require an aftermarket remote central locking. However, if you buy a lower variant of an entry-level car such as the Alto, S-Presso or Kwid, you won’t get a remote central locking. In such cases, we recommend checking with your car’s dealer if they can add the accessory for you to minimise the risk of invalidating your warranty. For out of warranty vehicles, this is not a problem and
However, before you check out an aftermarket remote central locking system, we suggest you ask your authorised service centre if they can do the job in-house. Thus, the chances of your car’s warranty becoming void become next to none.
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