Building a remote control into my car

Since about two years I am successfully using a (selfmade) remote control to open the gate to my garage. Now it's time to get rid of the remote and build the circuit right into my car. What I will be doing, is to replace an unused button on the car's dashboard with a working switch that'll trigger my selfmade circuit. The cirucit will be hidden underneath the dashboard. The modification will look as made by the manufacturer.

Here are the parts needed:

  • A car (in my case a VW Polo 6R)
  • A modified version of my remote control circuit
  • A working push-button for the dashboard
  • Two ferrules for connecting the wires of the remote with the push-button
  • Various tools (crimp tool, screwdriver, etc.)
Figure 1
The custom push-button among the others

In order to get a clean modification, the most important part is the button which will be visible to the driver. Luckily, there is a website that sells such buttons which fit perfectly inside the dashboard. This shop is called There you can get buttons for other car models, too (only VW and Audi, though). The button contains two cables: one for connecting its background illumination to the car battery (the button will be illuminated in the same color as the other buttons), and the other for connecting the push-button to the components of your choice.

Figure 2
The button has background illumination, too!

Now, in order to connect those wires, I had to modify my remote control circuit board by removing the original push-button and adding two wires instead, which will then be crimped to the wires of the dashboard button. Additionally I have protected the board against corrosion and short circuits by spraying it with PLASTIK 70 Spray and then wrapping it with insulating tape. After that, the board can be mounted inside the dashboard and connected to the button. This, however, is the most difficult part, as you have to remove many parts of the dashboard in order to get to the wiring. A guide for this procedure can be found here.