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So I had an issue the other day with my 5 month old eclipse cross. I went out to the car and it unlocked with the smart key but wouldn't start even with the fob right up against the start button. When I exited the car the fob no longer worked and the mirrors didn't fold in. Called roadside assistance who jumped it and fired right up. Took it next day to dealership who told me it had a P0014 exhaust vvt error as a stored code and that could keep it from starting but that the battery tested good. Where it went from typical to absurd was he commented that I had a lot of things plugged into the usb and aux port (I have an echo auto, and 2 usb c chargers plugged in there, only android auto plugged in when failure happened). He tells me he has seen times where someone had a lot of things plugged into their ports and that sometime interferes with the smart key. I mention that sounds completely insane and if such an issue happens like that with a brand new car they should recall it. Has anyone heard of this being an issue?
 

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Are you saying that the car wouldn't even crank? My guess would be a loose battery connection before anything to do with the valve timing. The USB theory is ... um, how do I phrase this delicately? ... bull$h!t. I have my Phone in one USB port running Android Auto, the other holds a thumb drive with a library of podcasts (Car Talk, if you must know) and my aux socket powers a dash cam. I've never had an issue with the key fob. I mean, unless you have something that is transmitting identical radio frequencies at a higher power than the fob, I'm not sure how it would affect the power systems.

The P0014 error can be common. If your car runs well and you don't get any visual error codes on the dash, then I could see it throwing the code from a cold start where the timing is just a fraction of a degree out of spec to store the code before the cold, thick oil gets to the valve train.
 

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Smart cards, such as carpark or building access cards with chips inside can mess with the KOS system. I had an owner with an Triton complain of concerns with the car saying that the KOS key was in the car even though it was in his pocket. Everytime the car came in it was fine, but most other days it would play up.

Turn out that he takes his smartcard out of the car to go to work when he leaves the car with us, but on this occasion he decided to pop in as it was playing up as he was passing by, and he left the card in the console by the key reader. We saw this and managed to recreate the fault everytime, but fixed it by putting the smartcard in the glovebox.

Happy but embarrased customer..
 
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