DISCLAIMER: I have no specific knowledge of car remotes nor the short or long term effects of coating them in a rubberized substance, and the consequences could be dire (void warranty, damage, remote-freak-out, etc). This post represents steps I took for my own remote. They may not work for you and may have unintended consequences, so if you decide to try something like this it is at your own risk!!!
We recently purchased a new vehicle (2012 Toyota Sienna), and I found that whenever I had my key chain in my pocket (which is always), I would regularly activate different, random remote buttons on the fob. Some mornings I would go out and find the car unlocked (when I knew I had locked it), other times I’d find one (or both) of the side doors slid open.
I’ve had car remotes on my key chain for decades, and while on some rare occasions (like climbing under the sink to fix plumbing) I might incidentally have activated the remote, it was only once every great while (e.g. every year or two).
But with the Sienna remote it happened multiple times a week, sometimes multiple times a day. Something as simple as getting up out of a chair or even just putting my keys in my pocket would result in an unexpected (beep) followed by a slow (and, seemingly, mocking) mechanical response from the van.
I searched the Web and also solicited advice in related forums, but the universal feedback I got was ‘take your keys out of your pocket when you get home’. Er, yeah, gee, I had never thought of that (rolls eyes). The lone helpful suggestion I got was to try to find a silicone cover for the remote. I searched online for one, with the thought being that adding some thickness around the remote such that the buttons were a bit more inset would reduce the frequency of unintended activation.
Unfortunately, while there are plenty of places that sell covers for Sienna remotes, none that I could find sold one with our particular button configuration. However, I still liked the idea of somehow reducing the sensitivity of the remote with some type of rubberized coating.
It occurred to me that a potential solution was to use Plasti-Dip. I’ve used the black version in the past for coating tool handles, and I even dipped a USB drive into it to block the blinking LED it had that bothered us in the car (it holds music and plugs into a port on the dash of our other vehicle).
I searched online and found that they also made a clear version. I could picture in my head that dipping the remote in Plasti-Dip a couple of times would create a thicker protective rubberized coating that might reduce incidental button presses.
I’ll stop here and refer to the disclaimer at the top of this article. Although I consider myself a handy guy,