unlocking and starting car ignition with RFID tag?

edited December 2016 in RFID/NFC
Hey guys its been a while since iv posted. Has anyone other than myself been successful in hacking their car so that they can use their RFID chip instead of keys? Iv been thinking about making a video or something maybe talking about how i did it and giving my thoughts and experiences. I know of people who have installed RFID readers but I might still be the only person who has done it in a way which completely replaces car keys with an implanted tag. would appreciate all sort of feedback thanks!


  • BenBeezy has done it.
  • edited December 2016
    I am going to do it as soon as my tag arrive and i have got some money for the stuff
  • edited December 2016

    @Benbeezy  Hey whats up man! why didnt you tell me you hacked your car?!
  • I made an RFID door unlocker for my car but haven't figured out the ignition yet. An info post on the ignition side would be great @dezie_mm.
  • Every car is going to be different, and working on the ignition system can be a bit dangerous if you mess up.there are a lot of security checks that your car goes through when you stick the key in it, and if you try to bypass them incorrectly you can end up bricking your computer and having to tow it to a dealership to have it re-flashed. There's also the issue of where to put the antenna and how you would code the ignition process. 

    I'm planning on trying it out myself once I have a better microcontroller system built. I'm working on making a shield board that takes care of all of the NFC related stuff that connects to a coax antenna so you can mount the antenna wherever you want and keep the controller somewhere separate under the dash or something.

  • What kind of controller/antenna setups did you guys use for your car setups? I hate the look of an antenna taped to my windshield, so I'm working on fitting it into the side-view mirror instead
  • edited December 2016
    The mirror is a nice idea! I had tough about putting it behind the handle of the driver's door but it may be a little complex and prone to reading issues
  • edited December 2016
    put this together a couple minutes ago! check it out  https://youtu.be/-m5uE3bxkeQ
  • This is one of the project I have gathered some bit but havnt started on, I was thinking about the NFC antenna from a sony mobile ands sticking it to the window. I havn't looked into wether or not thats going to work just yet. I'm planing on using an arduino and have an RC522 reader that Im strugling with. Once Im done with my autonomous mower build I'll be back to this one though.
  • I've made a motorcycle start with xNT. I have the arduino code on my github account I have another thread talking about this already if you want to find it.
  • I made an RFID unlocker by taking apart a spare key fob and wiring the Dangerous things controller through the unlock switch. I hid the body of the build under the dash and the only thing you can see from the outside is the cylindrical antenna velcroed where the dash touches the front window. It was super easy to do.
  • edited December 2016
    @Rocco8620 I've been recently thinking about doing the handle instead of the mirror actually. Turns out that pretty much all of my mirror assembly is solid aluminum, only covered with plastic (I guess it's not a bad thing that it's tougher than I had imagined). My handles, however, are just plastic, as well as the cover plate that goes around it. I'm going to pull it apart over break these next few weeks and see if I can't mount my antenna in the upper portion of that backplate. If it works, I just have to grip the handle to unlock the door, which is way cooler than the mirror anyway.

    @scruffy What are you struggling with? I don't have any experience with that chip, wondering how it compares to the PN532
  • I'm currently talking to a car shop that works with aftermarket parts and they are helping with figuring out the best way to do this. Right now we went from two scanners one for lock one for unlock hardwired into a door lock. And have now started thinking about a small arduino board that sends a signal based on how long you keep the chip in scan range.

    We are also talking about the door handle but I think that may cause some unwanted locking and unlocking.
  • Why the two separate sensors? If you code it right, you could just use the one sensor as a toggle switch. Just put in a delay between reads so it's not constantly flipping while it reads a tag.

    If you put it in the door handle, just have a delay long enough to pull the handle after it unlocks, should only be a few seconds.
  • I wanted to at least have my driver's side door unlockable with my RFID, but my car has manual cable locks. The conversion kit to automatic is too much of a PITA. I did do one lock on our shitty minivan, but my tag implant won't read anymore.
  • @katzevonstich, would something like this actuate your door lock? [Amazon Link]
  • I've been thinking about putting the unlocked module I made,( A relay switch in place of the unlock button on a spare key fob using the dangerous things RFID controller), into the door compartment, between the window and outer part of the door. Would there be any issues with rain seeping into there?
  • I think a lot of this is going to depend on the age of the car, whether it has CANBUS or not.  I have a 2015 Jeep where I added a CANBUS module and cell module so I can remote control it.  Probably wouldn't take a lot to add a reader to this, since basically I'd just have to send a relay closure which causes the bus module to send an unlock command (or anything else).  However it has a physical key-activated lock for the shifter, so I don't know how I'd unlock that electronically.

  • edited December 2016
    @Carterex im not sure if i understand your question but as long as their is no metal between the rfid reader and the fob you should be okay. but the rfid signal will NOT go through a metal surface.
  • The only options you have is through glass (a window panel) or iv seen some where its inside the side mirror. 
  • Just adding my thoughts to this thread.

    I was going to do this project on my old car (but now have a new car where I can do all this by just having the fob in my pocket.) When I was working on this, my plan was to carve a loop into the the inside of the plastic door handle, put the coil in the groove, then fill with resin. You can get a spare handle or two pretty easily from a scrap yard for just a few bucks. I saw a few benefits to this approach:

    1- I could open my door with a hand on the handle, instead of being that guy putting his hand on the mirror or windshield first.
    2- door handles are cheap (at least for my old car.) I didn't have to worry about messing up an expensive mirror housing or dash, and could work on it off of the car with the spares.
    3- door handles are easy to access (again, on my old car.) I reassembled my side mirror before and getting it apart was a bitch. Getting the handle off was just a handful of screws and quick clip.

    As for the implementation, my plan was to use something simple like a digispark, tap into a 12v line with a voltage regulator (see the answer HERE for a cheap option,) and then wire that right to the door unlock button on the inside of the door. I could keep the whole thing in the door, and I drive daily so I didn't have to worry about the battery draining much.
  • It's funny how different cars are.  A heated power mirror for my Jeep is $42 (found this out when I smashed it on a rock wall), but the door handle is over $100.  The mirror is off/on in ten minutes, the door handle is a real pain to get to.

    I like your power plan, and agree that a small device won't put a big hurt on the battery.  But as a precaution, you could use a 12v rechargeable battery pack as the source, and charge it from an ignition-on circuit in the car.  So when the ignition is off, the device is running from the dedicated battery.

  • Where are you getting your handle? I was getting all my parts from a self-serve scrap yard. Bring your own tools, $2 to get in, and when you leave they don't really care what kind of car the handle came from so I'd be surprised if it cost more than a mirror. While you're in there you can pocket some fuses and bulbs to make up for the entry fee if you're cheap. Not to mention going to the yard is a great opportunity to figure out how to take the car apart without risking your own. You can learn from your mistakes on a car nobody cares about.

    Also, mirrors are typically easy to take on/off, but how easy is yours to open? (assuming you'd put the reader on the inside of the mirror.) I know on my old Focus it was a huge pain in the ass to stick something in the mirror housing, between the mirror itself and the housing, and release the clips that held the back on (without breaking them.) I preferred dealing with the 6 torx screws to get the inside of the door off, unplugging the lock and window switches, then moving the insulation foam out of the way and unscrewing the handle. Even though it was tedious and could take a little longer, it was much simpler and harder to fuck up, IMO.

    And that battery is a good idea.
  • Those were prices for new parts.  I didn't check further on used parts, since I think I'd like the mirror location anyway.  To pull the glass out and gain access you just literally pull and it pops off.  On most cars, that would not be the case.

  • Is there any instructions on how you did this? I would really like to do this and have the chip implanted in the webbing between my thumb adn pointer finger.

  • Id be really interested to see how other people have tackled this project, message me if you have an rfid unleck/ignition!

  • Id be really interested to see how other people have tackled this project, message me if you have an rfid unlock/ignition!

  • > @dezie_mm said:
    > Id be really interested to see how other people have tackled this project, message me if you have an rfid unlock/ignition!

    This is how I setup my car to unlock(although this was many years ago, and a pretty old car) https://www.instructables.com/id/RFID-Car-LockUnlock-v10/
  • Welcome to the boards, @thematthewknot. Thanks for the post.

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