Santa Monica Locksmith | How to Install a Keyless Entry System? A Step-by-Step Guide
Santa Monica Locksmith | How to Install a Keyless Entry System? A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Install a Keyless Entry System? A Step-by-Step Guide

A keyless entry system is a modern technology that allows you to unlock your doors without the conventional key. Instead, these systems use a variety of methods such as keypads, smartphones, or even biometric scans to grant access. By following this installation guide, you can easily learn how to install a keyless entry system in your home or business.

Key benefits of installing a keyless entry system include:

  • Enhanced Security: Traditional keys can be copied or get lost, posing a security risk. Keyless systems require specific information or credentials to operate, providing a higher level of security.
  • Convenience: Forget the hassle of fumbling with keys, especially when carrying items or in a hurry. Keyless systems offer quick and easy access.
  • Customization: You can set temporary codes for guests or service providers and change them as needed, offering flexibility in managing access.
  • Remote Management: Many keyless entry systems can connect to smart home devices allowing you to lock and unlock your doors remotely.

By embracing this technology, you not only simplify your life but also invest in the safety and functionality of your property. This guide will walk you through each step of the process so that you can confidently secure your space with a keyless entry system.

Types of Keyless Entry Systems

When it comes to enhancing the security and convenience of your property, choosing the right keyless entry system plays a pivotal role. Essentially, there are two major types of keyless entry door systems: smart locks and keypads.

Smart Locks

Smart locks are advanced devices that use Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or Z-Wave technology to lock and unlock doors. This allows you to control access remotely using a smartphone app, eliminating the need for physical keys.


  • Remote access capability allows for high convenience and flexibility.
  • Some models offer features like voice command compatibility, visitor log tracking, and auto-locking.


  • Dependence on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity can be a potential weak point.
  • More expensive than traditional locks and keypads.


Keypads, on the other hand, use a numerical code for access. You punch in your unique code on the keypad to unlock the door.


  • Easy to use and install.
  • Less expensive compared to smart locks.


  • Limited features compared to smart locks.
  • Risk of code being observed by others during entry.

The choice between smart locks and keypads depends on your individual needs, budget, and comfort with technology. For tech-savvy individuals who value remote access capabilities and additional features, smart locks could be an ideal choice. However, if your preference leans towards simplicity, ease of use, and affordability, then keypads might be more suitable.

Remember that choosing the appropriate keyless entry system is not only about convenience but also about ensuring the highest level of security for your property. By understanding the pros and cons of each type, you can make an informed decision that best suits your specific needs.

Planning and Preparation for Installation

Before installing a keyless entry system, it’s important to plan and prepare accordingly. This involves understanding your property’s requirements, assessing its suitability, and gathering the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you need to do:

1. Assessing Your Property’s Suitability

When considering a keyless entry system, start by:

  • Examining Door Compatibility: Check if your current door setup can accommodate a keyless entry system without extensive modifications.
  • Identifying Power Source: Determine how the system will be powered, whether it’s battery-operated or requires connection to your home’s power grid.
  • Evaluating Environmental Factors: Consider the climate and weather conditions your keyless entry system will face. It should withstand extreme temperatures, rain, or snow.

2. Understanding Installation Requirements

Installation requires precision and attention to detail. Here are some steps to prepare:

  • Read Manufacturer Instructions: Every keyless entry system comes with its own set of instructions. Review these thoroughly before starting.
  • Gather Necessary Tools: Typically, you need a screwdriver, but some systems may require additional tools like a drill or a hammer.
  • Prepare the Work Area: Clear the space around your door to provide an unobstructed work environment.

3. Essential Tools and Materials for the Job

To successfully install a keyless entry system, you will need:

  • A compatible keyless entry lockset
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips and flat-head)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil for marking
  • Drill with bits (if required for new holes)
  • Hammer (for chiseling out areas for strike plates)

4. Hiring a Certified Installer

While DIY installation is possible, hiring a professional ensures that your system is installed correctly and functioning optimally.

Advantages of Hiring a Professional

A certified installer brings several benefits:

  • Expertise: They possess the knowledge to handle unexpected issues during installation.
  • Time Efficiency: Professionals can complete the job quickly due to their experience.
  • Warranty Preservation: Some warranties may be voided if the system is not professionally installed.

Tips for Finding a Reliable Installer

To find a reputable keyless entry system installer, consider these tips:

  • Ask for Recommendations: Reach out to friends or family who have had similar systems installed for referrals.
  • Search Online: Utilize search engines using keywords such as “certified installer” or “find a keyless entry installer” to locate service providers in your area.
  • Verify Credentials: Ensure that any potential installer is certified and has experience with your particular brand or type of keyless entry system.
  • Read Customer Reviews: Websites such as Yelp or Google Business offer insights through customer experiences with specific installers.

Remember, taking time in this planning stage sets the foundation for a successful installation. Proper evaluation of property needs, thorough preparation, and consideration of professional assistance contribute significantly towards achieving an efficient and secure keyless entry setup for your home or business.

1. Removing the Old Deadbolt and Door Knob

When you decide to upgrade your home security with a keyless entry system, the first thing you need to do is remove the old deadbolt and door knob. This may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and careful steps, you can do it without any issues. Here’s how:

Tools you’ll need:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Phillips-head screwdriver

Steps to remove the old hardware:

  • Locate and remove screws on the interior side of the door knob Start by examining the interior side of your door knob. You should see screws holding the knob in place. If there’s a trim plate covering the screws, gently pry it off first.
  • Unscrew and separate the door knob Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen and remove these screws. Once they’re loose, pull both sides of the door knob straight out from the door.
  • Expose and remove the deadbolt assembly For the deadbolt lock, there are likely screws on the interior faceplate as well. Remove these screws, and carefully take out both the interior and exterior parts of the deadbolt.
  • Take out latch mechanisms Now that you have removed both the door knob and deadbolt, focus on the latch mechanisms inside your door—they are usually secured with two additional screws.
  • Slide out latches Unscrew these screws, then slide out both latches—the one from where your door knob was and another from your deadbolt.

By following these steps, you’ve successfully removed the old hardware without any complications.

Now let’s move on to understanding your door’s specifications before installing the new keyless entry system.

2. Determining the Backset of Your Door

The backseat is an important measurement that determines where your new lock will sit in relation to the edge of the door. This measurement affects both the appearance and functionality of the lock. Here’s how you can measure the backset:

  • Extend a tape measure from the edge of your door to the center of your existing doorknob hole or deadbolt hole.
  • Note down the measurement.
  • Standard backset dimensions are usually either 2 3/8 inches or 2 3/4 inches.

Knowing the backset measurement ensures that your new keyless entry system will be compatible with your door.

3. Installing the New Deadbolt and Keypad

Installing a new deadbolt is not just an upgrade—it’s a way to enhance security and bring peace of mind. Follow these steps to install it correctly:

  • Positioning the new deadbolt:
  • Place the new deadbolt into its designated hole on the edge of your door.
  • Make sure any wiring required for smart features passes under this component without getting pinched or damaged.
  • Securing the deadbolt:
  • Use the provided screws to fasten the deadbolt in place.
  • Ensure it fits snugly without being overly tightened, as this might affect its smooth operation.
  • Aligning the keypad:
  • On the exterior side of your door, align your keypad with the deadbolt.
  • If there are any wires that need to be connected according to the manufacturer’s instructions, do so carefully.
  • Attaching the exterior plate:
  • Thread any wires through the holes in the exterior plate.
  • Securely attach the plate to complete the installation of the deadbolt and keypad.

Proper alignment during installation not only ensures smooth functioning but also adds a stylish touch to your entrance.

4. Programming Your Access Code

The key advantage of a keyless entry system is the ability to have your own personalized access code. Here’s how you can program it:

  • Follow the instructions in your keyless entry system’s manual: Different systems have different programming methods, so it’s essential to refer to the manual specific to your model.
  • Choose a secure and memorable code: Avoid using simple or easily guessable combinations like ‘1234’ or birthdays.
  • Enter program mode: This is usually done by pressing a designated button on the keypad or following a specific sequence of actions.
  • Input your desired access code: Follow the instructions provided in the user manual to enter your preferred code.

After setting up your personalized access code, test it several times to ensure it works correctly before proceeding.

5. Installing the New Door Knob and Strike Plates

Upgrading from a traditional doorknob to a new one not only improves security but also adds a touch of modernity to your home. Here’s how you can install it:

  • Inserting the new doorknob latch:
  • Slide the new latch into the slot where the old latch mechanism used to be.
  • Make sure it fits properly and aligns with the door frame.
  • Screwing it in securely:
  • Use the screws provided with the new doorknob to attach it firmly to the door.
  • Ensure that the alignment is precise for smooth operation.
  • Fitting and fastening strike plates:
  • Place the strike plates into their respective positions on the door frame.
  • Use longer screws (if provided) to fasten them securely, ensuring they go deep into the framing material for added strength.

By completing these installation steps accurately, you’ll have a new door knob that not only looks great but also provides enhanced security.

6. Testing the Door and Lock Mechanism

Once you’ve finished installing the keyless entry system, it’s crucial to test everything to ensure it’s working correctly:

  • Closing the door: Shut the door and check if it latches smoothly without any resistance.
  • Testing the keypad: Enter your programmed access code on the keypad and observe if the deadbolt engages and disengages smoothly.

If you notice any issues during testing, such as difficulty in closing the door or problems with the keypad, go back and review the previous steps to identify any misalignments or errors in installation.

By following these steps carefully and making sure each component is installed correctly, you’re creating a solid foundation for reliable home security. This sets the stage for future phases of enhancing your property’s defenses through technological upgrades like keyless entry systems.

2. Determining the Backset of Your Door

Understanding the backset of your door is a critical step in installing a keyless entry system. This measurement is essential for the proper fit and function of your new hardware, ensuring that the lock and knob align with the pre-existing holes in your door.

What Is a Backset?

The backset is the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the hole where the deadbolt is installed. There are typically two standard backset dimensions:

  • 2 ⅜ inches: Commonly used in residential constructions.
  • 2 ¾ inches: More frequently seen in commercial settings.

Why Is It Important?

Selecting a keyless entry system that matches your door’s backset ensures:

  • Smooth operation: A mismatch can lead to difficulties in turning the lock.
  • Security: A properly fitted deadbolt will be more resistant to tampering.
  • Aesthetics: Correct alignment means no unsightly gaps or overhangs.

How to Measure Your Door’s Backset Accurately

To determine the backset of your door, you will need a tape measure or ruler. Here are the steps:

  • Open your door to access its edge fully.
  • Place your measuring tool so it extends horizontally from the edge of the door.
  • Measure from the edge to the center of the hole where your current deadbolt is seated.

Remember, accuracy is key — even a small miscalculation can result in buying incompatible hardware.

Once you have this measurement, you can proceed confidently, knowing that you can select a keyless entry system designed to fit your specific requirements. With this detail settled, you’re ready to move on to removing old hardware and setting up new components, which will include steps like installing a new deadbolt and ensuring the wiring under the deadbolt is correctly placed. The next stage involves aligning your keypad precisely for user convenience, followed by programming a secure access code. You’ll then focus on tasks such as installing a new door knob and installing strike plates, concluding with a thorough test door and lock to verify successful installation.

By following these methodical steps, each component works cohesively, creating an efficient and reliable keyless entry system tailored for your home or business environment.

3. Installing the New Deadbolt and Keypad

After you remove the old deadbolt and door knob, your next task is to install the new deadbolt. This is a crucial step in setting up your keyless entry system.

Start by sliding the new deadbolt into the hole at the edge of your door. Make sure it’s positioned correctly with the keyed cylinder facing outside and the thumb turned inside. Tighten it securely using screws and a screwdriver, but avoid over-tightening as this could cause malfunctions.

Remember: Ensure that any wiring connected to your new deadbolt passes under it without any issues. This is critical for the proper functioning of your keyless entry system.

Next, you’ll need to align the keypad properly on your door for easy user interaction. Look for pre-drilled holes in your door where you can mount the keypad—this will vary depending on whether your door swings to the right or left.

Here are some steps to guide you:

  • Align the outside part of the lock on the exterior of your door. Route any wires through their respective holes.
  • Based on your door’s backset, position the mounting plate over the wire and onto the interior of the door.
  • Securely tighten screws through each of the mounting plate holes into their corresponding holes in the lock.
  • Attach any remaining components, like an interior cover or thumb latch, by aligning them with their respective holes and tightening screws as necessary.

A word of caution: Incorrect alignment might make it difficult for users to interact with the keypad. Hence, take additional care during this step.

To recap, installing a new deadbolt involves removing your old deadbolt and door knob, determining the backset of your door, ensuring all wiring is correctly placed under the deadbolt, and properly aligning your keypad for easy usage. With these steps completed successfully, you’re well on your way to having a fully functional keyless entry system.

4. Programming Your Access Code

After installing the new deadbolt and aligning the keypad, you’re ready to program your access code. This step is critical as it ensures that only authorized individuals have access to your property. Here’s how to set up your keyless entry system with a secure code:

  • Refer to the Manufacturer’s Manual: Start by reading the instructions specific to your keyless entry model. Manufacturers often have a default code that you need to enter before programming your personal code.
  • Enter Programming Mode: Typically, you’ll press a designated button or sequence of buttons to enter programming mode. The keypad may flash or beep to indicate that it is in the right mode.
  • Input Your New Code: Choose a code that is easy for you to remember but hard for others to guess. Avoid obvious combinations like “1234” or “0000”.
  • Confirm Your New Code: After inputting, you’ll likely need to re-enter the code to confirm it. Some systems may require you to press an additional button, such as “#” or “*,” to finalize the process.
  • Test the Code: Ensure your new access code works by locking and then unlocking the door with it.

Best Practices for Choosing a Secure Code:

  • Avoid Personal Information: Do not use birthdays, anniversaries, or other personal data that can be easily found or guessed.
  • Mix Numbers: Use a random mix of numbers for increased security.
  • Regular Updates: Change your code periodically, especially if you’ve shared it with others outside of your household.
  • Keep It Confidential: Only share your access code with trusted individuals.

Remember, if you make a mistake while programming, refer back to the manual; most systems allow you to reset and start over.

By securing your keyless entry system with a strong access code, you enhance the safety of your property without sacrificing convenience. Next, you will install the new door knob and strike plates, ensuring that your security measures are both robust and user-friendly.

5. Installing the New Door Knob and Strike Plates

After successfully programming your access code, the next step in the process is to install the new door knob. This piece of hardware plays an essential role in your keyless entry system as it allows you to manually open and lock your door if need be.

Step 1: Install the Door Knob

  • Remove the latch from your new door knob set.
  • Insert it into the hole on the edge of your door, making sure that the curved side of the latch bolt faces in the direction that your door closes.
  • Secure this with screws provided in your package.

Step 2: Attach the Exterior and Interior Door Knob

  • Position the exterior part of your door knob (the side with the keypad or keyhole) through the holes in the latch assembly.
  • Guide it carefully so that no wires are trapped or pinched during installation.
  • Take the interior part of your door knob and align it with the mounting studs of the exterior piece.
  • Ensure that any necessary wiring for your keyless system passes through to this side without any issues.
  • Once everything is aligned correctly, secure both pieces together using long mounting screws.
  • Tighten these until they are snug but avoid over-tightening as this could damage the hardware or impede its functionality.

Step 3: Install Strike Plates

  • Position strike plates over the hole in your door frame where they will receive the latch and deadbolt.
  • Use a pencil to mark screw holes.
  • Make pilot holes using a small drill bit to guide screws directly into place without splitting wood in your door frame.
  • Once you’ve made pilot holes, secure strike plates with screws provided.

Remember to ensure everything is well-aligned during installation. Misalignment can cause unnecessary strain on hardware and may result in difficulties when trying to lock and unlock your door.

Having completed this section on installing the new door knob and strike plates, we’re nearing the end of our keyless entry system setup. You are one step closer to enjoying the convenience and security that this technology offers. Now, let’s move on to the final stage – testing the door and lock mechanism.

Testing the Door and Lock Mechanism

After you’ve completed the installation steps—removing the old deadbolt and door knob, determining the backset of your door, installing the new deadbolt with wiring under it, aligning the keypad properly, programming your access code, and installing the new door knob along with strike plates—it’s time to test your door and lock to ensure everything operates as it should. Here’s how to effectively test your keyless entry system:

Step 1: Manual Check

  • Door Movement: Open and close the door several times to check for smooth movement. Ensure there is no sticking or resistance.
  • Deadbolt Alignment: Turn the deadbolt with the thumb turn inside. The bolt should slide easily into the hole in the strike plate without scraping.

Step 2: Electronic Functionality

  • Keypad Response: Enter your access code to verify that the keypad registers input and unlocks the door.
  • Lock Mechanism: With the door open, activate the lock via keypad and ensure that the deadbolt extends and retracts without issue.

Step 3: Security Features

  • Check for any gaps around the strike plate that might compromise security.
  • Confirm that when locked, the door is secure and cannot be pushed open.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

  • Unresponsive Keypad: Check battery installation or look for loose wiring if applicable.
  • Misaligned Deadbolt: Adjust strike plates for proper alignment or re-examine backset measurements.
  • Sticking Deadbolt: Lubricate moving parts if necessary. Double-check installation for any obstructions.

By methodically testing each aspect of your new keyless entry system, you ensure its reliability and effectiveness. Address issues promptly; small adjustments can make a significant difference in operation.

Remember that routine checks are part of maintaining a keyless entry system’s long-term performance. If you encounter complex issues during testing or subsequent use, seeking professional assistance is advisable to prevent compromising your property’s security.

Ensuring Longevity and Troubleshooting Tips

A keyless entry system promises ease and security, yet requires careful maintenance to keep it functioning optimally. Regular upkeep can help prevent frequent issues that can be frustrating and time-consuming.

Maintenance Practices for Optimal Condition

  • Regular Cleaning: Wipe off dust and grime from the keypad or touchscreen regularly. Ensure the lock is dry to prevent damage from moisture.
  • Battery Check: Replace batteries regularly, even if you don’t see a low battery warning. An unexpected dead battery could leave you locked out.
  • Software Updates: If your system is smart-enabled, keep the software updated for smooth operation and enhanced security features.

Common Problems and Solutions

Often, you may encounter typical problems with your keyless entry system. These solutions can guide you to troubleshoot your keyless entry system effectively:

  • Code Doesn’t Work: Double-check the code. If it doesn’t work, try resetting or reprogramming the code.
  • Door Doesn’t Lock/Unlock: Check for debris in the lock mechanism or replace the batteries if low.
  • System Doesn’t Respond: Check for power supply issues or software glitches. Resetting or rebooting might fix this issue.

However, not all problems can be fixed with simple troubleshooting steps.

When to Seek Professional Assistance

Professional help should be sought when:

  • The system consistently fails despite troubleshooting steps.
  • There’s physical damage to the lock mechanism.
  • The software experiences unresolvable glitches.

It can be tempting to try and fix complex issues yourself, but it could lead to more significant problems down the line. Professionals have specific tools and expertise to handle such situations efficiently and safely.

Cost of Installing a Keyless Entry System

When considering the cost of installing a keyless entry system, several factors can influence the final price. These include the type of system chosen, the complexity of the installation, and any additional features or services.

Factors Affecting Installation Cost

  • Type of System: Smart locks typically cost more than keypad systems due to their advanced features.
  • Brand and Quality: High-end brands may offer more robust systems at a higher price point.
  • Installation Complexity: Doors that require additional modifications for the system to fit properly will lead to higher labor costs.
  • Additional Features: Added security features such as biometric scanners can increase costs.
  • Labor: Hiring a professional installer will add to the cost, with rates varying by region and expertise.

Average Cost Range

Market research indicates an average cost range for installing a keyless entry system:

  • DIY Installation: Typically incurs only the cost of the system itself, ranging from $100 to $300 on average.
  • Professional Installation: Labor costs add an average of $50 to $200, depending on job complexity and duration.

Cost-Saving Strategies

To keep expenses manageable while upgrading to keyless entry technology, consider these strategies:

  • Sales and Discounts: Purchase your keyless entry system during sales or use store discounts to reduce upfront costs.
  • Quote Comparison: Obtain multiple installation quotes to ensure competitive pricing.
  • Package Deals: Some vendors offer discounts when purchasing the product together with installation services.

Embracing keyless entry technology is an investment in convenience and security. By understanding the associated costs and employing savvy shopping strategies, you can make this upgrade without breaking the bank. Remember that the right balance between quality and affordability ensures long-term satisfaction with your keyless entry system.


Keyless entry systems represent a significant advancement in security and convenience for residential and commercial properties. By embracing this technology, you gain control over access to your space, which can offer peace of mind and a sense of modernity that traditional keys simply cannot match. The benefits of keyless entry systems are numerous:

  • Enhanced Security: Customizable access codes, the ability to change them as needed, and features like lockout after multiple incorrect attempts deter unauthorized entry.
  • Ease of Use: No more fumbling for keys or worrying about copies being made without your permission; keyless systems simplify entering and exiting.
  • Remote Access: Many systems integrate with smart home technology, allowing you to unlock your door from anywhere with an internet connection.
  • User Tracking: Keep tabs on who enters and exits your property, which is valuable for both home and business owners looking to monitor access.

By installing a keyless entry system in your home or business, you take a step towards modernizing your property’s entry mechanisms and improving both its functionality and security profile. You equip yourself with the tools to manage who can enter your space, when they can do so, and ensure that your property remains secure at all times.

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