Van Found Running without keys in ignition

I had a weird experience this morning - my van was found with the lights on and running in the driveway this morning. No key in the ignition. The ignition was in the lock position. I bought it used last February - nothing like this has happened before. The only thing I can come up with is that it might have a remote start that I’m not aware of and someone managed to start it. We have had incidents were kids would drive around during the night opening garage doors with remoted. What do you think?

There must be a remote starter system installed. How it got triggered is anybodys guess. I would have it disabled if it was my vehicle. Hopefully it won’t be much trouble to do that.

Thank you! I’ll have to have it looked at. Being a female, I know enough to get by thanks to my grandfather, but not enough for stuff like this. I hope it also isn’t too expensive to disable a remote starter system.

What year is your Venture?

I had an 85 Buick Skyhawk that would allow me to take the key out after it was running. It would sometimes allow me to turn the ignition without a key. I bought it used, so it might have been hot-wired under previous ownership. See what happens when you turn the ignition switch without a key. See if the key will come out after it is started. If these tests are negative, it will be time to look for a remote starter.


A vehicle that old could have a defective or broken ignition switch. Try what I suggested and let us know if the car will start without a key or if the key will come out after it is started.

I’ll have it looked at tomorrow. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge with me. One other question, if it starts on it’s own with a remote start or however otherwise, is it possible to be shifted into gear and driven (stolen)?

Theoretically, no, the steering and shift remain locked…It sounds like someone in your neighborhood has a “remote” that is keyed to your remote starter…

Locate a specialty shop that installs these devices and have them locate and pull the fuse to disable it. It should not take them more than a few minutes…

I will certainly do that. Thank you.