Turning on the car....please settle a bet btwn myself and my boyfriend

Okay, here’s a question that I would love to settle once and for all with my boyfriend. I hope I can write it so it is understandable here…

Here is the common scenerio that happens btwn myself and boyfriend. Me first. The question lays in the whole movement/action of turning the ignition key on when starting the car.

When I drive, I simply put the key in the ignition and turn it totally over so that the engine starts right away. The actual turning of the ignition is one swift movement. Viola! Car goes on.

Now my boyfriend does it differently. He turns the ignition partially and waits till the dinging noise stops (a total of like three seconds or so) then proceeds to finish the ignition movement. He says it is better to do it this way.

Both ways turns on the car. I have turned my car(s) on the same way for years, with no problem with my way of starting the car. I have never met anyone who starts their car like my boyfriend does his. He says it is better for the car to do it his way. He mentions it everytime he rides with me and I told him that I would ask the car experts here.

Does anyone else start their car like my boyfriend? Is either one of our ways better than the other?

We both await the answers and I know they shall be entertaining. Thanks all!!!

Just one quick movement,
twist and go.

That’s all that’s needed, anything more is o.c.d.

( it’d be interesting to hear his reasoning on this one. )

He turns the key to the “on” position and waits a bit. What happens while he waits is the fuel pump get power and you might be able to hear a hum way in the back of the car. Also the ABS brakes go thru a quick function test to be sure all braking systems are OK. This may also be heard as some clicking and buzzing. Then he starts the car.

Your way is fine, his way is also fine. The same stuff is happening when you quickly turn the key, you just don’t hear it because of the noise from the starting motor. The only advantage to his method is you might notice a burned out indicator light bulb doing it his way.

This is one of those needless issues that has no right answer and therefore no winner and no loser. Your way is fine, and doesn’t harm the car in anyway at all. His way is fine too. If you start the car your way, and he starts it his and nobody comments on the other’s technique you can live happily ever after.

If one or both of you can’t let this go, then find other partners because this kind of issue will divide you over time.

Either way is fine but does he give a reason his is better? If not then I would give you the win in this “keyed up” bet simply for lack of a good reason/alibi/bs story etc.

Your boyfriend might be related to a truck driver who passed down this habit.

When starting a semi, you turn the key to the “on” position and wait for all the gauges to register before you start the engine. This gives the fuel pump time to pressurize the fuel lines.

Similarly, in some small, mainly Japanese-designed cars, when the fuel level gets low, the system can lose pressure while it is parked. When this happens, if you do it your way, the starter spends a little extra time turning as the fuel system builds pressure so the engine can successfully run. I have noticed with my Civic, when the fuel level gets low, it takes a little longer to start the car, so I have gotten in the habit of turning the key to the “on” position and waiting for the fuel pump to shut off before I start the car.

Chances are, your Cavalier doesn’t have this issue, and you can just start it up as you have been without doing any harm. However, if you notice it taking a second or two longer to start when the fuel gets low, you might consider letting the fuel system pressurize before you start the car. It might help your starter last a little longer.

In this day and age, the computer is not going to let you make a mistake in this respect by starting your car either way. Congratulate each other on being right, kiss and make up.

Some cars start better after the fuel pump has had a second or two to build up pressure. Some cars resist starting until the second try…

I was really surprised at my blazer, I give the key a short click and it starts and disengages automatically. No timing necessary like one previous car, a 73 nova, if you did a quick click start no start, hold the key too long it sounded painful, are all cars like this these days?
In response to your question as long as it starts, who cares, I can’t see better or worse but after being married so long sometimes you just have to smile and say yes dear and ignore everything else.

Does your BF have a diesel ???

If it starts right away, it can’t be wrong. It also is ok to do it the other way. What isn’t righter is to care too much about it. The football game is so much more important and should get a higher priority. I watched 15 minutes of it.

Okay–First of all thank all of you so far who have taken the time to answer. BF and I are both sitting here discussing the answers…his reasoning for starting the car after the beep of the car is because he says the company put it there for a reason (the ding)and it gives a head start for the cars’ electronics. And he believes it doesnt harm the car to start it the other way and it might save on wear and tear to do it the way he does.
That is his reasoning…and now he is now questioning the way I start my car the way I do and I have told him that the way I start my car is the way the car was designed to be started. I have also told him that everybody I have ever met has started their car the way I do mine. He states that I have no proof as to how the car was designed and that he insists that the ding at the turn of the ignition halfway thru the motion was put in there for a reason.He also believes my way is harmless to the car… Now that I have his full explaination, I await to hear if anyone has anything to add.

Most of us were assuming that your BF’s starting routine was based on some technical knowledge, i.e., allowing the fuel pump to pressurize the fuel injection system. And, if his starting routine was based on allowing the fuel pump to pressurize the system, then his routine would have some validity.

On the other hand, now that we can see that his starting routine is actually based on hearsay, old wives’ tales, assumption, or…who knows what…it is safe to say that his starting routine is wrong. It is also safe to say that he is someone who will not readily admit a mistake, even when confronted with reasonable evidence that he is wrong. I have to tell you that this does not bode well for the longevity of your relationship.

Ignore my earlier post, just saw the chevy cavalier tag. Definitely not a diesel : )

I come from an Aviation background so i’ll just throw in that fuel-injected light aircraft are started in a similar fashion. For a cold start, the fuel pump (boost pump) has to run briefly to prime the cylinders with raw fuel to aid in starting. For a hot start, it is to purge vapors out of the fuel lines which would otherwise keep the fuel manifold from getting fuel.

Imagine if you had to start your car this way!

This is easy to solve. Replace your car with one of the many that have push-button start. With those, you have no control. The computer decides when to engage the starter and when to stop it.

The only reason for the “ding” is to let you know the chime is working. It has no relationship to the car being “ready to start”. Girl right - guy wrong, he loses.

The only real problem now is going to be the relationship - IF - youall do any more debating ( arguing ? ) over this subject.

As we’ve disscussed, it’s no real issue at all.


He says no more to you about your method and just allows you to do it your way.

AND, you say no more to him about his way and simple allow him to do it his way.

both of you just bite the bullet and leave well enough alone. ( agree to disagree )

I don’t bring it up. I don’t care really, I just thought it could be put to rest here… It just ends up being discussed when it is brought up by him. Thanks for all the help guys!

Healthy debate is not always a bad sign for a relationship. Being unable to disagree would be a bad sign.

Step one: insert key
Step two: turn key, with no hesitation between step one and step two
Step three: engage gear and drive away, without sitting there idling to warm up the car

I saw your BF’s answer about electronics, but I have to wonder if he once rode around in a diesel car. I grew up with diesels and have a lot of old habits that I inherited by accident when I started driving (like a compulsion for an engine block heater and doing a delayed ignition sequence). I now do a one-turn start, like you. It took years to break the habit and really, if there is no harm in it, then it’s no problem.