Don't touch those buttons.
November 16, 2016 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get a cover or case for my key fob (2016 Subaru) so that I won't accidentally press the keys when the key fob is in my pocket?

The car has keyless entry, so 99% of the time, I don't actually need to press a button at all. I'm willing to go through the trouble of taking off the cover/case for the 1% of the time when I actually want to press a button.

I've looked online but most covers explicitly have cut outs so you can still press the buttons. I want the opposite of that. I want to make it an unresponsive rock in my pocket (except for proximity to the car).
posted by ethidda to Shopping (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, and ideally, it would have as small a footprint as possible, so that it doesn't bulk up the pocket.
posted by ethidda at 3:41 PM on November 16, 2016

I have a similar problem—actually, worse: I regularly drive two vehicles with keyless entry and if I cram both the fobs into my pocket, they end up pressing each others' buttons... I was setting off the panic alarm on the Durango or opening the hatch of the Outback every other day.

I never came up with a good solution to actually putting them into my pocket and instead started hanging the fobs on one of my belt loops using this gadget. I had previously been using one of the same company's S-Biners (#2 size) but found that the fobs would occasionally fall off. I see they have a locking version of that now.
posted by kindall at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2016

I use heat shrink tubing over my Honda's key fob to keep myself from inadvertently setting off its ill-placed panic button. The heat required to shrink the tube to fit will not damage the fob (unless you use a blow torch or something similarly inappropriate). Once covered, the fob's buttons can still be pushed, it just takes more effort.

When it's time to change the batteries on the fob, you'll have to cut off the covering but as it comes in a multi-foot length, it's unlikely you will run out in the time you own this car (for example, I'm still whittling away on the original length of tubing I purchased 18 years ago to protect this fob).
posted by jamaro at 4:01 PM on November 16, 2016 [5 favorites]

If you can't find something this would be a good application for a low temperature hobby thermoplastic like InstaMorph. Mold either a sleeve or a cap over the buttons; hold on with an elastic or magnets if you can't get it to friction fit. Wrap your device with tape or wax paper so the plastic doesn't stick to your fob.
posted by Mitheral at 4:09 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used to hit the panic button on my Corolla fob about once a week putting it in my pocket. I pried out the rubber button cover (maybe I opened the case to get to it? I forget). The switch uncderneath the softkey is still there, so I can push the button if I point my finger and jab it through the opening in the casing, but I have not hit it by accident since.
posted by aimedwander at 4:29 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

For my chipkey I keep it separate from my other keys, so it doesn't get wedged in a way where another key would press a button. I put it on a leather fob so it's easy to pull out of my pocket.
posted by rhizome at 4:36 PM on November 16, 2016

You're lucky having keyless. The regular key for my 2017 Subaru is so big it's like having a steak knife in my jeans pocket at all times, and it ends up stabbing me in the thigh, groin, belly, etc. Dealer says they can't retrofit the keyless option either - they actually suggested I trade the 2 month old car in and get one with keyless. Not quite worth the trouble but close.
posted by w0mbat at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Along the same lines as the InstaMorph, you can get a packet of Sugru and make a ridge or cage or other raised surface around the buttons, around the entire fob, etc. It's sold in little packets at my neighborhood hardware store.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 5:18 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I also have two fobs and have Ask'ed before about this.

Eventually I bought waxed thread, needles, and a piece of heavy leather, and I sewed a little leather bootie for my fob that was tripping many times per day. It works 100% and has aged gently but...I wish there was a better answer.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:25 PM on November 16, 2016

A rigid cover made of Instamorph would be big, though. I made one out of sheet styrene that I heated and formed, but after a few months it cracked. I bought Kydex but never had the never to cook it in the kitchen oven.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:27 PM on November 16, 2016

If you've got a public library close by that has a 3d printer, which is pretty likely where you are, you could possibly 3D print a little case for it. Multiple ways to go about this, including scanning the key itself and then using the file to create a case. Check with librarian, they should have a clue about the best way to give it a try.

Honestly, though, sugru or thermoplastic will be faster/easier.
posted by griffey at 6:46 PM on November 16, 2016

For two cars I've owned with panic buttons, it was far more satisfying to open up the fob and cut the actual button off of the fob's motherboard.

This may void your fob warranty.
posted by Hatashran at 8:12 PM on November 16, 2016

3rd'ing Sugru. I went with blue.
posted by at at 9:13 PM on November 16, 2016

I've been carrying my keys on my belt for years using one of these, which avoids that problem.
posted by davcoo at 6:28 AM on November 17, 2016

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