Smart Key and Keyless Entry

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Do you want a car with a smart key or keyless entry? They sound interchangeable. But they are not entirely the same. When you buy a new car or need to list an old one for sale. It’s important to know what you’re buying or selling. And these two terms may come up often if you are buying a newer car.


So, if you’re confused about the difference between a smart key and keyless entry into the car, you’ve come to the right place. Find out everything you need to know about both of these features.

What Is Keyless Entry?

Keyless entry, sometimes also called passive entry, allows you to lock and unlock the car without using a regular key. It also includes not pressing any button for the remote entry. Cars equipped with a keyless entry feature still come with a key. But you do not need to use it.

Old passive entry cars may require you to put the key in the ignition before pressing the Start button to turn on the ignition. But new technology cars have more advanced keyless entry technology that allows you to press the ignition button when the key is still in your pocket.

What Is a Smart Key?

A car’s smart key takes auto technology one step further. It is still keyless entry technology, but it’s a little more advanced, or passive key entry, remote technology.

Your car’s smart keys have a special chip inside the key fob. The car recognizes the chip via a radio pulse generator. The radio pulse travels through your car built-in antennas and allows you to do standard things, for example, lock and unlock doors and start the ignition.

Some advanced models can do more, such as:

  1. Automatic setting adjustments for the last user.
  2. Remembers user preferences such as steering wheel positioning, cabin temperature, music.
  3. Customize other smart key restrictions to preset speeds.

Keyless Entry vs. Smart Key Comparison

So, the differences between a smart key and keyless entry? Both are the technologies that allow you to lock and unlock your car’s door remotely. You can also use both the technologies to remotely start the car, to varying degrees. Furthermore, a smart key can qualify as keyless entry, but not all are the keyless entry fobs are smart keys.

One smart key can allow you for more remote actions than a standard keyless entry fob. With smart keys, you can lock or unlock your car’s doors depending on the proximity of your car without pressing a button.

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