Car Key

Does anyone know: Are the anti-theft car (in my case truck) keys waterproof ?

I always keep mine in a dry bag, but there have been several occasions where I have already closed up the kayak hatch and have been tempted to just put them in my pocket.

I was going to send Ford an e-mail, but thought I would ask here, since I have more faith in my fellow paddlers then some non paddler who has stock answers.

Thanks in advance and cheers,


Waterproof / waterresistant
Well, actually nothing is waterproof, especially given time. Getting past that …

All the antithieft keys I have looked at would be considered “waterproof”. They all seem to be either a electronic component that completes a circuit or miniture circuit themselves fully encased in plastic.

The keys have to be made to be exposed to rain and such during normal use.

BTW: I sure am glad I do not have any of those darn things!!! My mother hid her master so well, no one could find it. Then she kept loosing keys at $55.00 a pop! In most cases the antithieft discount the insurance company gives is way-way less that the cost of one replacement key. They always seemed a pain and pretty foolish to me!

Happy Paddl’n!



Asking the manufacturer certainly would help piece of mind.

Our Ford/Mercury Keys
We have gotten the key itself wet without a problem - I presume you are talking about the anti-theft key that sends out a radio frequency required for the car to start. But not every time we paddle, and not in salt water. If you are keeping it in your PFD, how about putting the key inside a small zip-lock bag then that into your pocket. You could get a basic clip from any place that copies keys to run thru the top of the bag (above the seal) to the clip inside your PFD pocket. It’s not fancy, but the parts are very replaceable.

The remote control is another matter - I don’t even take that in the boat unless it is in a Pelican case inside one of the bulkheads.

I hate it
I have always wired a spare set of keys under the car in case I lost one, but to copy mine it is $70.

As far as I am concerned the new tchnology only complicates simplicity.

My new Wrangler has been back to the dealer more times than I can count.

If I don’t drive it for a week it won’t start. There is a drain on the battery. I just got it back after two days and they said that there is no short and the battery is fine, but there is a factory notice that they just got that says if the vehicle will not be driven for a week or so that the “IOD” fuse should be removed so the computer system won’t drain the battery.

My 87 Chevy pick-up started just fine !


Always a snag
I usually have to query students and guests of mine that are coming on trips or classes to surrender their key fobs. I’ve had a student after a rolling class futilely trying to beep open their car. It never occured to them to use the olde time metal key. If you don’t have that option like I see with a lot of BMW, Volvo & VW keys now w/ electronics built right into the key Aquapac & DryPac make nice small key bags that can get tethered right into your pfd. Remember to have dry hands when you put them in otherwise after a day of padding you’ll wonder why there is a fog bank in the bag. Get a spare metal key on a lanyard for your pfd, would be the safest choice.

See you on the water,


Car keys
Metal car key, house key, dog tags with emergency number on a chain around your neck. 24/7.

Worry about something else.



I Just
use the key and leave the cliker at home. Have a spare key hid in case I lose one in the water.

My VW/audi key is not waterproof
at all! It is one of the big transmitting ones. I throw it in the voyageuer cell phone dry bag.

Try this
you can get just the key made with out the fob so that way you can just unlock the door with your key. Save on getting the expensive part wet. At least for my car you can so I don’t see why others can’t.

you could probably do what I do, have a regular old metal spare made and either wire that under the truck somewhere or carry it ono your pfd. Without the security chip, it probably won’t start the truck, but it will still open the doors. Then, while you’re out on the water you can hide your regular key inside the truck (under floormat, over visor, ashtray, etc) and lock the doors. Get back afterwards, unlock the door with the ‘dumb’ key, get out the ‘smart’ one and drive home.

Don’t put your key in your pfd. I tossed mine in the van after a night paddle last year, pulled the sliding door shut and heard that sickening “kathunk” of the electric locks…

Now my spare key is lanyarded to my deck bag, which stays on deck even when cartopping.

Thanks but Key alone is 75 bucks
Dry bag works for me. If I am local I need the cell phone so that the wife can call me for emergency transport. On the ocean I need it as a back up to the VHF so the cell phone dry bag comes along.

Won’t start after only a week?
I just sold my '00 Wrangler but it sat outdoors for 2 months last summer without being started, then started up like a champ when I came home. Aside from that, sometimes it has sat unused for more than a week at a stretch, including in the winters. The only time it failed to start was after I had a new battery put in, and the battery turned out to be defective.

But I had only a “regular” key and left the anti-theft part to an aftermarket system. I’m going to do the same on a new truck that is on order–I was leaning toward the factory anti-theft system till I found out it relies on a special key. Besides the waterproofing question, I did not like the idea of being in the boonies (possibly in another country) and losing the key and not being able to just give the key code to a local keymaker.

I would call Ford to ask them how waterproof that key is.

Keyless entry
Mine came with it, but it can be installed. I just punch a code on the number pad and the truck unlocks. I can lock the key IN the truck.

The old truck. I had a black liner in the pickup. I used black tape and taped a spare key in an out of the way spot. Pull the tape–there is the key. Worked great and you never knew it was there by looking at it.

what about a Keytrol?
I’m always nervous leaving a spare key taped or attached with magnets. If I was robbing someone, I would probably check the common spare key locations. Keytrol looks interesting and might be a safer alternative.

No need to spend $70
To clarify what the previous poster tried to say, you CAN make a regular copy of your key for the regular price (about a dollar?). The key-copy guy will at first tell you that it can’t be done, so explain what you need. Sure, this copy of the key won’t start the car, but it WILL open the door. Take that spare with you, and leave the electronic key hidden inside the car somewhere.

MIght for a gm the new vw key

– Last Updated: Mar-27-05 9:21 PM EST –

is a bar of metal with the key pattern cut into each side of it. Average pro locksmith shop guys just laugh and say I cannot even think about that.

I'll check it though.

the top and bottom (where most keys have steps) are smooth and straight. The keyed channel is deeply routed into the sides, the the electronics sits on top of that (logically speaking).

Ford keys are similar
A Ford key has “steps” cut into both sides too, but the basic key pattern has not changed since the the time before these new electronic keys came along. In this case, you just have the locksmith use a blank key for an older model. I did that for my company truck, so I could hide a spare underneath just to open the door in case I locked the “real” key in the cab. Hope you have the same luck with your VW.

The company I work for makes 60% of these keys for the big 3, the standard transponder keys are waterproof, the transponder is molded into the plastic head. The intergrated keys (with the remote door unlock transmitter on the key head) are not.


Do not use a magnetic box. They will not be there when you need them. I locked my keys in and said to myself I’ve got a spare and no problem. It was gone I guess it bounced off. I keep my spare tied to string in a remote location on the truck.

JT Central Florida