Start The Car With A Wave Of Your Hand

[Jair2K4] likes his RFID almost as much as he likes his chaw. Ever since his car was stolen he’s had to start it using a screwdriver. Obviously this is not a good way to leave things so he decided to convert his starter to read an RFID tag. He installed an RFID transponder he picked up on eBay, wiring it to the ignition switch. He’s removed the clutch-check sensor and wired a rocker switch to enable the RFID reader. We presume the rocker switch will eventually be used to shut the car off as well.

While most would have purchased a key-chain RFID tag, [Jair2k4] went far beyond that and had the tag implanted in his hand. This is an honor usually reserved for pets and until he adds RFID functionality to the door locks maybe a key fob would have been a better answer. But, to each his own. See his short demonstration video after the break.


74 thoughts on “Start The Car With A Wave Of Your Hand

  1. A suggestion for a quick and easy way to protect your car from being stolen, by being driven away.

    Look up in the owners manual where the fuse for the electric fuel pump is.

    Pull the fuse and put it in a safe place.

    When the fuel pump doesn’t run, there is no gas going to the engine.

    When you want to run, put the fuse back in the same location and you’re good to go.

    If you want to make it a permanent feature, wire in a hidden switch (between the fuse and the fuel pump) to interrupt the flow of electricity to the fuel pump.

  2. I won’t go for the “Handshake protocol” puns so painfully presenting themselves in this post.

    My wife’s new Toyota Rav has no key,just an RFID pendant, which means that anybody can drive so long as she’s in the car, you don’t actually unlock it (it’s unlocked when you get near) etc. Very handy…haven’t scanned it yet to see how easy it is to clone.

  3. @Eddie, a better way on some cars (ok so far the only one i know this works on easily is a land rover defender) disconect the earth on the starter motor, u can try for hours and the thing wont start…. ok thinking about it that would probs only work with a Defender as u can open the hatch thats under the front middle seat and just pull the plug on the starter.

  4. @Eddie, possibly a more convenient way is running a relay for the fuel pump, with a switch hooked up somewhere hard to find in the cabin.

    Like your fuse idea, it stops the car running (though I find it runs for a couple of seconds, then stalls out) – but it’s more convenient, so more likely to be used every time you exit the car.

    Saved my car once already. Unfortunately, by saved, I mean smashed window, smashed steering lock, smashed ignition barrel, and me hearing the car start and then stall as I was coming out the door with something hard.

    Another way to do it involves cutting power to the car’s ECU.


  5. @Eddie, you obviously dont know defenders, its actually easier to disconnect the starter than it is to take the fuse box cover off, and can also all be done from inside the cab

  6. RFID tags are in animals and completely safe, however I do think it would have been much cooler in the steering wheel. You would just need to make sure it only turns the starter motor while the enginer is not running, otherwise the starter motor would run while your hand is on the wheel…

  7. Is it normal to want to shake his hand while you have a RFID cloner hidden on your person and then watch the abject terror on his face as you start his car with an RFID emulator and a small RF amp?

  8. RFID tag..implanted in your hand? Yeaah, you go right ahead. One day Google is going to have your daily activity on a map. But what dedication — you have a RING for your WIFE, and a SURGICAL IMPLANT for your CAR!


  9. This was covered when Amal Graafstra’s article was posted a few years back, he used his implant to start his motorcycle. Also, the government would have a damn hard time tracking a chip with a 4 inch read range, and mythbusters proved nothing will happen to the chip or the implantee when left in an MRI machine for 10 minutes straight. Also for the bible idiots, this doesnt fit your “sign of the devil” in any way shape or form.

  10. If it isn’t key generator passive rfid he just made the car easier to steal.

    If he had such rfid on the car to begin with he wouldn’t of had it stolen, most cars have it now.

  11. You say RFID makes it easier to steal unless it is fully encrypted and not the Mifare classic etc… etc… However, most car thieves are dumb as f8ck and would not be good at the whole RFID cloning thing… Just my opinion of course…

  12. @Chris is right.
    Car thieves simply don’t care to spend the time messing with whatever fancy auth system you have, regardless of encryption.

    Their main goal is to steal cars, not hack encryption. If your car isn’t immediately vulnerable to their standard attacks (screwdriver in ignition, etc.), they will move on to the hundreds of other cars nearby that ARE immediately vulnerable.
    Your car windows might get smashed in frustration, but that’s better than losing an entire car.

  13. Look guys, i’ll explain this… I live 20 miles from a big city… out here are…. people of lesser intelligence when it comes to electronics. No one in this entire area even know what RFID technology is.
    Let the government track me… they’re going to have some buff as CIA guy constantly following me with a reader 2 inches from my hand… a little obvious no?

    Mark of the beast = crap

    Yes my Zuk is a 1991 hunk of crap. But I love that car and have modded the piss out of it. It’s getting a V6 and another 3 inches of lift on top of the 2 it already has. It maybe be a suzuki sidekick, but its going to be the hottest Sidekick in central washington.

    Oh, and to those of you just saying this post is stupid… at least give a valid reason as to why you thin that it is instead of mindlessly throwing out a few words and then moving on to the next post you are going to flame….

    Just my 2 cents.

  14. I like the idea a lot. I do think it seems a bit inconvenient to have to swipe your hand to the lower left area of the car after hitting a switch. This is coming from a natural lefty.

    A somewhat more hackish location could have involved hollowing a section on the steering wheel and installing the antenna in it. Then move the switch down near the pedals so it can be triggered with a foot. That allows you to get into the car, put your hand on the wheel and tap the switch to start with your foot. Nothing seems more natural.

    There are switches designed to withstand that kind of mechanical stress (being stepped on all the time) – they use them to start golf carts.

  15. I don’t like the idea of an implant, but I do love the hack. Well done. I have an idea though. Could you power the RFID reader from the brake lights? It would eliminate the switch. You’d only be able to start the car if you had your foot on the brake, which is probably where you’d have your foot anyway.

    I used to have a 94 Zuk. It was sweet. 3″ lift, winch. I cut the arse end out of it and made it into a little pickup truck. Then I took the exhaust and rerouted it up through the bed, sorta straight up and down like a tractor trailer.

    I have a 99 now and it’s trash. The Tracker 2s are nowhere near as good as the first generation Tracker/Sidekicks.

  16. Thought I`d comment, as I also have an rfid implant (which was done myself). I did a lot of research into the safety aspect before hand, and the device I implanted has FDA approval (although for bicep implanation rather than in a hand).

    It’s perfectly safe for MRI scans, it’s so small and has such a tiny amount of metal it isn’t going to move or get pulled out etc. It doesn’t generate radiation, it modulates the signal sent by the reader (which you would be exposed to holding a tag in your hand), and there are far greater electromagnetic waves around us that haven’t been shown to cause harm.

    As for tracking, they are very small and work at 125Khz which means they have a very short range. The reader has to be within a few cm’s of the chip to read it, so you couldn’t just walk into a room and get scanned. They also feature encryption which can be used if desired. Also, how would anyone know you had an implant to be able to scan you?

    The implants have been used in animals for over a decade and have not been found to cause harm. If a risk does come to light the chip is very quick and easy to remove.

    It’s not for everyone, and I have my own reasons for doing it – some people think i`m mad, others are fascinated by it, either way it’s an interesting talking point :-)

  17. Hi Gareth,

    It sounds like you have a VeriChip. Have you found any low cost OEM style reader hardware you can use to integrate into a project like this that works with your VeriChip?

    Also, did you actually get yours implanted in the bicep? That could be a little awkward when trying to use it with DIY projects.

  18. I’ve seen one DIY reader built that can handle it, but I was hoping there was more out there by now. It’s not that difficult of an air interface, it’s just no real manufacturer can license it. It’ll probably never happen because VeriChip’s value is not in their chips it’s in their applications.

    Still, I was just putting the probe out there to see if anyone had heard of an equipment manufacturer that had been able to obtain license. Or, alternatively, has anyone been able to hack a VeriChip reader to get TTL/RS232 serial data out of it (or has even bothered trying)?

  19. He should have had the RFID set in a ring instead, and not tell people he did, that way he’d have it always with him and nobody would be the wiser.

    alternatively he could have bought one of those swipe fingerprint readers and used that instead.

    Personally I think anybody that implants an RFID should be put in a mental institution immediately.

  20. @Gareth
    Yes they do cause tumors in a percentage of animals I read, that’s just not put out there much, it’s better to not get that into the media too much they decided since they want everybody’s pet chipped and that would not help the cause.

  21. @Whatnot
    Mental institution? Really? You sound like the church condemning Galileo. Honestly, what’s wrong with people using a functional implant for their own purposes? Would you say the same thing of someone using a hip replacement or pacemaker? Chances are you’re a government conspiracy nutjob… in which case there’s no way to have a straightforward conversation with you.

    As for the cancer thing, there are mitigating factors, including the fact that us DIYers are not using glass tags approved for implantation and thus do not have the antimigration coating on them, which I believe is the cause of these cancerous cells found around the implant sites of elderly test rats:

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