Who was the genius who came up with the idea of a STOP/START button instead of using an ignition key? I would NEVER buy a car that had one of those. In a panic situation, you really need a mechanical way of shutting things down. I have to wonder how many deaths from the Toyota problems would have occurred if the cars had regular ignition keys.
I assume that if in a UA situation, many owners will rapidly push the STOP button, instead of holding it for a few seconds (which will kill the engine). Then, the owners will blame Toyota for a problem that was caused in part by them. On Nissan cars equipped with that button, the engine will cut off sooner. Still, I am not sure what happens if you accidentally touch the button while driving. Anyway, I suppose drivers are somehow enamored by the idea of not having to take the key fob out in order to unlock or drive the car. Therefore, the manufacturers make these STOP/START buttons.
Maybe it is a windows thing, Isn’t Microsoft trying to work it’s way into cars? Like windows if you want to shut down you hit the start button.
I don’t believe that anyone considered unintended acceleration when they put ignition buttons in street cars. It was probably a way to differentiate a luxury car from others in more recent years. Or possibly to mimic race cars if it’s a sportier car.
Never say never. These start/stop buttons are spreading like wildfire. Maybe all this bad publicity will stem the tide.
Not sure who the genius was, but it is part of making cars a “high tech” appliance. Something that runs and you don’t need to pay attention to maintaining it. Another step in the direction of “I have no clue how to open my hood and check the oil” mentality.
So what happens when this high tech push button start car is 10+ years old, out of tune and you push the start button? If it doesn’t start, does the car wait 5 seconds and try again? Does the driver have to push the start button a second time? Seems like a fine idea for a new car, but what’s going to happen when these cars are old and one step away from the salvage yard?
It’s tough enough when we get questions “my ---- car won’t start” now. With the push button jobs we’ll have to go through; "you pushed the start button and what happened, what noises, any clicks? It is hard enough to decifer “cranks, turns over, starts but won’t run, cranks but won’t turn over, turns over but won’t crank” as it is. This isn’t going to be pretty.
Didn’t push button starters predate keyed ignition switches? Some of the oldest cars I have ridden in had both a key and a starter button.
I think it is meant to influence the driver’s perception of the car as high tech. Some are easily influenced by gadgets.
I always thought a modern automobile was a car that didn’t have the starter on the floorboard. My dad’s 1939 Chevrolet had the starter on the floor. When he traded it for a 1947 Dodge, the starter was a pushbutton on the dashboard. When the 1947 Dodge was traded for a 1949 Dodge, the starter was activated by twisting the ignition key to the start position and releasing it when the engine fired. It seems that now we are going back the other direction. In a couple of years, some manufacturer will introduce a car that has the starter pedal on the floor.
Oh man, the images that conjures up. I couldn’t begin imagine the kinds of posts we’d get about that on here.
And I thought a modern car was one that did not need to be started with a Hand crank, and wheels not made from WOOD!
“So what happens when this high tech push button start car is 10+ years old, out of tune and you push the start button?”
It’s time to buy a new car!
Seriously, if only for a moment, key-operated ignitions are mechanical devices that are more likely to be abused than a push button. My wife and kids seem to have a contest to see how much weight they can put on the key ring. I told them that this would just wear out the mechanism faster, and they cut the weight down. A push button ignition, while still mechanical, isn’t subject to that kind of abuse. Once the ignition is broke, you can’t start it and have to be towed whether it is a push button or twist-key type.
So if the Proximity Sensor goes bad are you now stranded? Brilliant! I am sure the dealer can name there price for a new one.
The hand crank isn’t a bad idea. My Dad’s 1939 had an emergency hand crank. I’ve seen him start the car with the crank–it was called “twisting its tail”. Maybe this beats jumper cables. In those days some cars were positive ground and some were negative ground. You didn’t have to worry about polarity with a hand crank. Of course, if you didn’t hold the crank the right way and the engine kicked back, you might have a broken arm. However, breaking an arm is better than burning your eyes with battery acid.
My rotator cuff tendons just ache just looking at the crank !
Anybody else start the car with your left foot? Or am I crazy?
If that comment is addressed to me, what stops the dealer from naming his price for a key-type ignition?
On the other hand, I can pull the ignition cylinder from my car in under 5 minutes, a new one will cost me $40 + $5 to rekey it. Spare keys cost me $3 at the hardware store. I’ve never had to replace a cylinder.
These electrical things? Not sure how to replace it if it goes bad, though it shouldn’t be brutal. I do not like having only indirect control over the ignition like DoctorPinto, though. And I certainly do not like the idea of $100+ “keys”.
We still have a Ford 2N tractor in the family with a crank start. Almost 70 years old and works like a charm.
And coil springs…
I don’t know about the hand crank making a comeback, but those 30-inch wheels will soon be all the rage. We’re nearly there now.