Disadvantages of Push Button Start In Cars

Let’s take a look at the pros and especially the disadvantages of push button start in cars. And maybe learn a thing or two about how we take such simple convenience for granted.

Opening On The Disadvantages of Push Button Start In Cars

If you happen to buy a car with a start button, chances are you’ve been offered a way to start it without plugging a traditional key into the ignition slot. By definition, this keyless entry system allows the driver to leave the key in his pocket when unlocking, locking, and starting the vehicle.

The key is identified through one of the antennas in the bodywork and a radio pulse transmitter in the housing. Depending on the system, the vehicle will automatically unlock when a button or sensor is pressed on the door handle or the trunk is opened. Vehicles are equipped with a push start button and smart key system with a spare mechanical key, usually in the form of a spare key blade provided with the vehicle.

Advantages of Push Button Start In Cars

Hands-free operation

Your hands are busy with grocery shopping or carrying stacks of office files and nothing beats the ability to simply tap a button with any part of your body to open a lock-up car. As long as you are within range of the vehicle, the doors and trunk will be ready for access. Some cars like the Nissan X-Trail even allow you to open the tailgate by placing your foot under the rear bumper.

More layers of security

You feel safer knowing that a unique code is required to start your car (meaning cars are less likely to be stolen!). In vehicles with a car starter, the vehicle will recognize the electronic key to enable driving and the use of electrical accessories. The transponder needs to be authorized using a code that the vehicle’s computer looks for. Only when the code is found will the car start or unlock. Some systems also use computer encoder microchips.

push button start in cars
The push start features allow for more layers of security. (Photo: VMarin)

Auto lock feature

Admit it, there are times when you have to walk back to the parking lot just because you can’t remember if you locked your car or not. In some vehicles, there is a system where, after parking, one can simply walk. After a certain distance, the car will automatically lock, just like when you press the lock button on the door or the key. It’s asking how likely you are to lock a person’s car.

Disadvantages of Push Button Start In Cars


Surely the price of the keyless smart key with a push-button start is included in the price. However, as with any electronic component, it will wear out over time until you have to replace the entire smart key or repair the entire system. It can be an expensive purchase just to be able to restart your car.

The engine does not start

Normally, you start the car keyless by pressing the push button while holding the brake. However, sometimes the car will not start even if you did it right. When this happens, you may get an on-screen message saying “No keys detected” when you press the start button. The truth is that this is a common but minor problem that you can easily fix. Below are 3 ways to solve the push start button not detected problem.

Check the battery of the key fob

Your engine will refuse to start when the signal from your smart key is not read. This happens when the key’s battery is weak or damaged. So replace the weak or damaged battery if you have a replacement battery and start the car again.

Press the button with the key

You can also start the car with the smart key by pressing the start button. Just press the button on the back of the key while you press the brake and the engine will respond. This works on many Toyota and some other brands.

Use your push start button and smart key like a traditional key

Sometimes the engine won’t start even if the smart key is not at fault. When this happens, try ejecting the starter button cover; insert your smart key into the hole, if appropriate; and start the car the same way you would start a car with the push start button.

While this option may not work with all vehicles, it does work with many Mercedes-Benz models and some other cars. If this works for your car, you still need the attention of a professional to check and fix the problem. If you drive a push-button Honda, you may have to press the start button three or more times before the vehicle can start. Many Honda owners, especially the 2016 HRV, have confirmed that this works for them.

The engine does not turn off

Sometimes you’ll notice your car’s system conflicts about whether the car is in parking mode or not. While one sign indicates you’re in the park, other states are different. This is a systemic bug that can frustrate owners of keyless cars with push-button start. This is because the car’s engine will not stop when you press the button.

So what do you do? Check the car’s gear lever. Pay attention to a broken cable or a misaligned part. If you can’t fix this on your own, call a professional.

Smart keys can be hacked and thieves are getting smarter

Any skilled hacker can read the signal from your remote if found within range. After the hacker reads the code, it can be transferred to another smart key that can be used to access your car.

So how do you avoid this?

Many car owners with push button start are not aware that you can turn off the remote control without the key when getting out of the car. By pressing just two buttons, you prevent your vehicle from being approached from the outside. Doing this will also help with smart key battery management.

push start button hack
Smart keys with the push start button can be hacked and thieves are getting smarter. (Photo: Car Throttle)

Learn how to temporarily disable the smart lock by following the steps below:

  • Hold the key fob tightly.
  • Hold the lock button for about 2-5 seconds.
  • Then press the unlock button twice.
  • You will notice a red light pop up on the fob. This indicates that you have temporarily turned off the car’s remote control signal.
  • When you’re ready to re-enter the vehicle, simply press the unlock button and the vehicle will let you in.

Lead to an environmental hazard

If your car has push-button technology and it’s very noisy, you might leave the engine running and think you’ve turned it off.

This can happen if you are new to technology or you are in a hurry to get out of the car. Remember that many factors listed above can lead to push button start failure. Therefore, you should always turn off your vehicle before leaving the cabin. When you leave the engine running, it only takes a few minutes before your surroundings are engulfed in carbon monoxide due to the exhaust from the car’s silencer.

You know how dangerous this situation can be. So pay attention to the state of the engine when stopping the car.

If you use several models of Ford, Honda, Toyota, Nissan, you will have less of this problem. This is because some of these cars have an audible alarm feature that can sound or chirp to alert you that it is still working. However, if you have a Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, or Volkswagen vehicle, note that they do not sound the alarm, so you should notice the engine condition when stopped.

Wrapping Up On The Disadvantages of Push Button Start In Cars

If given the chance, you may still want to drive without the key despite the disadvantages of push button start in cars and go through all the necessary steps to keep it safe, dry, and clean. For more car part notices and maintenance tips, follow Car From Japan today.