It has been determined that the car parked in my shared driveway is interfering with 2 other condos. The garage door company is sure it is coming from my car which has been parked there for years. When I remove my car from the area everyone is able to use their remote. Hynundai has never heard of this and doesn’t know what to tell me. Anyone have a solution?

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    Some vehicles have a device which can emulate a garage door opener after "learning" the pattern used by the real door openers. I suppose if this built-in door opener shorted out so it was transmitting continuously it could cause the type of interference being reported. Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 20:42
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    Ask the garage door companies why they are sure it is your vehicle. Did they actually use some kind of receiver to confirm it was your vehicle? If so they can probably narrow down where in the vehicle is emitting the noise. If not, then they can say they are sure. Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:40
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    There also may be another interferer that is reducing the range to the level that your car becomes a problem. For me, I had to use old-style incandescent bulbs in the garage door opener -- with LED light bulbs, the range was only about 10 ft.
    – Justin
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 21:18
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    I don't think this has been pointed out yet, just so you know, garage door openers operate in the ISM band, which means they get to use those frequencies without a license, but in return must accept any interference and must not pose interference to anything else. So unless your car is really malfunctioning, this is a whole lot of not your problem. However, of course it might be in your interest "politically" to try and resolve this issue anyway. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 16:47
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    Get a $20 RTL SDR dongle (they cover all common garage door frequencies) and a laptop (some can allegedly work with tablets) and see what you find. If willing to suffer the lost of state, disconnect the battery of the car being blamed. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 18:14

6 Answers 6


This may be caused by the air pressure sensors in your tires (TPMS). They operate at 315 MHz. Some garage door opener remotes operate at 315 MHz. If that's the case the troubleshooting procedures outlined above will not work because the sensors have their own internal battery. Although I would try disconnecting the battery first just because it's so easy to do and will rule out anything involved with the car electronics. If that doesn't do it then you can try removing the tires from the vehicle and get them far enough away from the garage door and see if that solves it. One tire might have a rogue sensor causing the problem.

I would also ask you neighbors to try new batteries in their remote so it sends out a stronger signal.

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    That's a good point. One way to troubleshoot around the TMPS is a little strange, but valid. Surround the tire with aluminum foil or a wire mesh screen, to block the signals. If my answer, including the battery disconnect, does not focus the source, yours is likely the correct answer.
    – fred_dot_u
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 17:00
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    If you're in the US, you can find out what frequency the garage door opener uses by finding the FCC ID on the remote, and looking it up in the FCC database. Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 17:58
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    In the US at least, the 315 MHz band can be used UNLICENSED for short-range communications such as TPMS modules. There are strict power output limits on these devices that prevent the signal from propagating more than a few feet from the source. I find the idea that these very low power TPMS devices, which also will "sleep" after a few minutes of sitting still, can interfere with garage door openers which are going to be well out of range to be pretty farfetched. The door openers, however, could be defective, which would not surprise me.
    – jwh20
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 14:03
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    Amazing knowledge, Goose !
    – Fattie
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 16:55
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    Most TPMS sensors also have motion sensors and they only transmit when the car is in motion to save battery power. Furthermore, they only transmit information once a minute or if they sense a pressure change. This is a neat idea, and somewhat plausible, but I don't really think it would be enough to disable a garage door for as long as the car is parked there.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 17:02

You could check if there is a local amateur radio club or a hackerspace nearby. This sounds like an interesting problem, and those places usually have the equipment to check for radio interference and people that could be interested to help.

To find a local club, check these sites:

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    Of course, ask very nicely. If you ask for help from one of these groups, you are hoping that someone wants to track down your problem for fun. Which is not unlikely, but also not guaranteed. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 14:52
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    The good news is, my experience with the types of hobbyists who frequent these groups is that tracking down a random unknown interference issue is exactly their idea of fun! If the OP was in my neighborhood, I'd be over there tonight.
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 15:59

If you are able to generate a consistent test sequence, you should be able to narrow down the problem, making it easier to solve.

Have a neighbor use the remote and with your car in place, it should fail to work. Confirm by moving the car away that it returns the remote to operation, then return the car and confirm failure.

Locate your fuse box and remove one fuse. With the car turned off, this should generally affect nothing in the vehicle. If the fuse you remove is connected to a clock-type component, it may show incorrect time when replaced. With the fuse removed, have the neighbor test the remote. Replace the removed fuse and move to the next one.

Repeat the above until the removed fuse allows the neighbor's remote to operate properly.

The fuse box will have a label with fuse designations. You can then present this information to the repair facility for an easier solution.

Today's automobiles (what year is yours?) have plenty of sophisticated electronics within. It is likely there are FCC regulations regarding interference with other devices that cover a problem with your vehicle. If one of these components has had a failure in shielding or otherwise is transmitting a broad spectrum radio frequency, it would certainly violate the FCC regulations. This applies only to USA motor vehicles and FCC references.

Stretching the concept a bit, if you disconnect all the available fuses and the problem remains, consider to disconnect the main battery cable (ground wire) from the battery. This should definitely allow the remote to operate. If not, there is a remote possibility that you have a concealed transmitter on your vehicle, perhaps a tracking device that is generating excessive radio frequencies, causing this problem.

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    i would disconnect the battery first
    – jsotola
    Commented Jan 26, 2020 at 3:48
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    Be sure to read your manual prior to testing - some vehicles have anti-theft systems in the radio equipment that will prevent it from working if disconnected from power for an extended period of time.
    – Tyzoid
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 0:26
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    @Fattie - No, I think jsotola is recommending disconnecting the battery as a first step in "this" testing, because if the garage door opener still doesn't work when the battery is disconnected, then there is no sense in mucking about with removing and replacing 30 or so fuses!
    – Glen Yates
    Commented Jan 27, 2020 at 20:18

Had and still have the same problem where the remotes refuse to work unless directly underneath the opener. Sears refuses to fix, but acknowledged that the problem is caused by rf interference with their 315 mhz frequency use by motion sensors, etc... They insist that the frequncy change was mandated by the FCC.

They will not post the possibility of rf interference with their openers on a web site or any advertisement. They will not post it in their stores, and they do not advise their sales people. Both Sears and Chamberlain also will not and have not put this information in any instruction manual, nor do they have any fix.

I took off and threw out a motion sensor on my light and initially fixed the problem. This past month I recently installed a water fountain bird bath with six small LED lights in a front garden, which I found again shut down my remotes AND my home links in my cars. I was able to isolate the problem directly to the LED lights (NOT the transformer for the fountain, and not the water pump)! After refusing to assist, Sears advised that Chamberlain makes their garage door openers.

I contacted Chamberlain, and they also said the interference is caused by RF interference, with no explanation as to why they do not advise the consumer in any publication with their openers. Chamberlain blamed the water fountain manufacturer, and suggested that I call them and have them fix their manufatcturing defect! . Both Sears and Chamberlain refused to fix, refused top assist, and suggested that I throw out the birdbath. I have spoken to several techs about LED lighting, including Sears' own technician, all whom who have never heard of any interference caused by LED lights.

You can find out what is interfering with your remotes by either disconnecting anything with a remote or motion sensor, or by turning off a circuit breaker one at a time until you find which circuit has the problem. You would then find anything on the circuit which causes the problem. OR... you can take it back to Sears or wherever you bought the Chamberlain, and buy a different brand.

According to Genie, they only have rf interference with openers installed close to major airports, and they in fact manufacture DUAL FREQUENCY equipment to defeat this problem, on the rare occasion that it occurs.

I am ripping out my Craftsman and switching to a Genie which operates at 390 mhz.


I'd assume the condo association doesn't have the power to demand you park elsewhere or relinquish your vehicle. They need to install different openers at the association's expense.

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    "I'd assume the condo association doesn't have the power to demand you park elsewhere or relinquish your vehicle" - you'd be surprised what Home Owners Associations can do. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 0:04
  • While I have never seen a car interfere with garage door openers, I've seen that happen with LED bulbs. I recently installed a NEXX WiFi/remote garage door opener on my Genie Pro garage door opener. The Nexx unit uses a sensor mounted on the door to detect whether the door is closed or open. The LED bulb in my garage door opener interfered with this transmission and replacing with an incandescent bulb fixed the issue. Could there be some electrical component in the car with a transformer stuck open and that is emitting RF waves causing this issue ?
    – Vasuvius
    Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 18:35
  • @HannoverFist They may believe they have authority, but a lot of RF stuff is regulated exclusively by the FCC. As in the Federal regulations preempt any state or local regulation and even private contracts (like a HOA). That'd probably be a question for Law. But law on OP's side or not, being on friendly terms on with the neighbors makes life far more pleasant.
    – derobert
    Commented Jan 30, 2020 at 19:25

Garage door openers can be finicky things. Our garage door opener works usually pretty well. But every so often, it will refuse to open when you hit the car transmitter from outside and even the outside mounted wireless keypad. And sometimes it will even refuse to close from outside. The only thing I've found is that it seems to happen most often when its a bit colder and humid/damp/rain.

The car in the shared driveway is a big hunk of metal and glass that could easily interfere with a RF signal, especially one like a garage remote. Does your car by any chance have a heated front window (the type which is a heating element deposited all over your windshield). That could easily block the signal.

As for the suggestion that your car is continuously sending remote signals....those in car remote learning systems typically have lights that blink when the remote is transmitting.

Honestly, I think the best solution is to make sure the batteries in the remote are fresh, and swap out the garage door opener with another brand.

  • "The car in the shared driveway is a big hunk of metal and glass that could easily interfere with a RF signal" Nope. Also you didn't read the question with sufficient care, the interference is being experienced by the neighbours, the path doesn't go through the location of the car being blamed, otherwise they'd be complaining that the car was parked in a way that blocked driving into their garage. Commented Jan 28, 2020 at 18:19

It's theoretically possible (but pretty unlikely) that your car is reflecting the signal in such a way that it could cancel out the original signal.

315MHz has a wavelength of about 1 meter (3 foot). If the distance from opener to the sensor is (for example) a whole number of wave lengths, and the distance from the opener to your car and then to the sensor is half a wave length more than a whole number, then the echo will arrive out of phase with the original signal and cancel it.

The test for this would be to move the opener a foot or so closer to your car or the sensor, but not both. Really, it's only likely to be noticed if your neighbour always stands in the same place.

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