QC#19 - Car Hero Keybox

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The King of Random
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Dodge a potentially embarrassing situation and emerge a car hero instead, with a homemade car key-box. Saving you time, money, and maybe your pride as well.

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Project Inspired By: Parenting nightmares, and the frustration and embarrassment of being locked out of the car when I desperately needed to get in quickly.


This video is only for entertainment purposes. If you rely on the information portrayed in this video, you assume the responsibility for the results. While having a set of backup keys on your vehicle will help you greatly in times of need, it also opens the risk of having your vehicle stolen by anyone who could potentially find your secret key box, so make sure it's very well hidden in a place no one is likely to find them. Have fun, but always think ahead, and remember that every project you try is at YOUR OWN RISK.

Project History & More Info:

I’ve had a couple of instances where I’ve shown up to my vehicle after work unable to find my keys when I needed them. In addition, our small children have somehow found ways to lock themselves in the van with the keys still inside on a few different occasions. Once was out in the cold while we were sledding, and loading up to go home. Another time was while renting a vehicle, while we were loading up our luggage. It seems our kids have the uncanny ability to press exactly the wrong buttons at exactly the worst times. But I suppose that’s just the nature of kids in general.

To open vehicles, we’ve tried a number of lock-picking techniques, tried using coat-hangers to fetch the keys, tried breaking windows, and calling a locksmith. One time we even had to call the fire department, who were all set to tear the door off, but luckily our child stumbled on the right button and unlocked the door just minutes before they did.

Chances are you’ve experienced something similar, so in this project, my goal was to make a simple little device that would provide a backup set of keys in an emergency situation, and avoid all the embarrassment, cost, and inconvenience of either locking yourself out of your vehicle, or the panic of trying to rescue a small child locked inside.

The Car Hero key box was my simple low-cost solution, and after saving my hide multiple times, I couldn’t be much happier with how it’s worked out and am happy to present it as a viable option.

In earlier prototypes, I noticed that the key fob would get dirty and rust over time, which would kill the battery or the electronics. To prevent that from happening, I added the weather resistant container, so now when you need the keys, they’re perfectly clean, dry, and as good as new.

Some people may argue that having a fully functional set of keys on your vehicle will make it easy for someone to steal. While that is exactly true, ask yourself how practical that concern really is. Not only would a potential thief have no idea there is even a spare key on the vehicle at all, but if they tried looking for one, they’d be hard pressed to find it.

The functionality of the key box was further confirmed when my wife was hit 2 weeks ago on the freeway traveling full highway speed, which spun the van to an abrupt halt, and ended up totaling the van as a complete write-off. The van was taken in for assessments, wherein the mechanics ripped apart the vehicle assessing damage and the cost to fix or replace it. During these severe conditions of impact, jolting, and mechanics inspecting the rear of the vehicle, the key box impressively was still attached to the vehicle, and was never discovered by the mechanics.

Based on these results, I have full confidence that if hidden well, your key box will never be discovered, and will withstand nearly any road condition it could be subjected to.

So rather than having to break a window, call a locksmith, or try to coax your child into pressing the unlock button from inside, I recommend taking a quick preventative step by installing a spare set of keys, in a place no one is likely to find them.

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  QC#19 - Car Hero Keybox