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Push button start on a new car

If a car is made with the push button start like the Altima, can you get one that does not have this? I don’t want this feature.

Nope, that’s a feature of the car and its a proximity reader reading the key fob in your pocket.

I don’t get this new feature, for me this is not going to sell me a car. I see it as a better way for someone to steal my car. Am I just going to be stuck with buying a feature I really don’t want? Is there any cars out there that are good cars that don’t make you buy this?

As far as I know Nissan and Toyota are the ones that have it and maybe Lexus.

Ok, thanks. I will go drive a few and start looking…I hate this part. My 97 Toyota has over 200,000 miles on it and it has cost me a bit to fix this past few months. I am determined to keep it going for another 100,000…I might be dreaming here. I still like old roll down windows- I don’t like all these other new must have features.

I see it as a better way for someone to steal my car.

Why? The push button won’t work unless it detects that the transponder key is inside the vehicle. Unless you store the transponder in the glove box, a thief will have a very hard time stealing your car.


I just saw an ad for the Kia Optima today, and it mentioned “push-button start” as one of its features. I would not be surprised if the essentially-identical Hyundai Sonata also has this feature. This seems to be a growing trend–unfortunately.

My '49 Ford had a push-button starter on the dash. :wink:

Is the START/STOP button an improvement over the mechanical switch?

I would argue that it is, yes. For years now most cars have been coming with transponder keys anyway, so the transponder system of the push-start doesn’t add or remove reliability. The start button just replaces the key cylinder with a simple momentary switch. Now you don’t have to worry about a too-heavy key ring wearing out the ignition switch. And you don’t have a complicated mechanical lock/ignition switch combo to deal with when something goes wrong. Instead you just replace what is essentially the same thing as the power switch on your computer. As transponder key systems go, the push-to-start setup is simpler and inherently more reliable.

The perq of not having to ever dig around for your keys while carrying an armful of bags is just an added bonus.

Not sure it makes it easier to steal. We have that feature on our Lexus…Can’t start the car or unlock the door without the fob being in your possession.

My 1948 Dodge had pushbutton start. In 1949, Chrysler went to an off-on-start ignition switch–supposedly a big advancement. Of course, on the 1948 Dodge, you did have to put the key in the ignition switch unlike the way it is done on the pushbutton cars today where the ignition key sends out a signal.

What happens when you lose the Key Fob? I can get new keys made for both my cars at less than $2 each. My wife lost the key fob for her car in about 6 months are we to be stuck with a paper weight in the driveway until we can get to a dealer and spend 30X plus more for a little transponder. Give me mechanical electrical systems any day over these ‘Smart’ electronic systems.

the same thing that happens when you lose the transponder key in just about any modern vehicle. The expense is in the transponder, which is there whether you have push button start or not.

In fact, an advantage of the push button start is that you can stick the key in a pocket and never take it out, which reduces the chance that you’ll put it down somewhere or drop it down a sewer grate.

“What happens when you lose the Key Fob?”

A lot of modern cars now have chips built into the key for security. You can get a new fob or key from the dealer or possibly a locks-smith…in either case it’s NOT going to be cheap.

I see no technical disadvantages, but the public does not seem to be accepting of pushbutton start. It seems to give most people a sense of reduced security.

There’s also the issue of having to turn the engine off in an emergency, like a runaway engine. Personally, I prefer to have a key to turn rather than hold a button in and wait for the engine to turn off.

I don’t think this one is ready for wide acceptance yet. I don’t think it’ll last.

It may not make the car easier to steal, in the conventional fashion, but it makes it a LOT easier to carjack. You get close to the car, the car unlocks itself and all the car jacker has to do is push you into the car and push the button to take off. A little while later, when the carjacker finds a place of solitude, he can take your transponder and push you out of the car.

BTW, the Sentra is a very nice car and does not have this feature. Interestingly the Sentra comes with some very nice features not found on the Altima so I suggest you give it a look if you like Nissans.

I LOVE the push button start on my 2011 Altima and my wife does too, no more fumbling for keys, open the trunk with a touch on the trunk while doors stay locked, open the door(s) with the touch of a button, keys in your pocket or ladies purse. Andy

I don’t see how it could possibly make the car easier to steal.

I DO see how it can make the car less reliable. I’ve never had a key fail to work for me, but electronic gadgets? all the time…

“Passkey” systems were notorious for becoming intermittantly dysfunctional from normal wear and tear. I’m guessing that the pushbutton systems will be more reliable than the old passkey systems.

Re: Keith’s carjacking comment. I wonder if the engine once started will shut off if the pocket transponder gets out of range. I don’t know the answer. I’m hoping someine here does. I’m curious. If not, the carjacking comment is a good thing to be aware of.