The Push Button Start & Its Discontents

My nemesis…

On New Year’s Eve, I purchased my first Honda Accord.  Shopping for a car in the midst of the Great Global Supply Chain Issues is a very simple process. 

(Side Note:  As someone who has worked in supply chain for my entire career, it’s very funny to hear people bandying about the words “supply chain.”  Before this, most people basically said “huh?” and changed the subject when I brought up what I do at parties.  But now you know that if you ever want to buy something with a computer chip in it again, you better be nice to me and my kind.)

But back to the car.  At the Honda Dealer, there were only three Accords available—all slightly used, all looking brand new.  My choices were the red one, the white one, or the black one.

I chose the black one.

See—simple.

I couldn’t be happier with this car—except for the Push Button Start.

I’ve been driving for nearly 25 years.  I’ve entered a car, slide the key into the ignition and turned it on at least 10,000 times without issue. 

No more.

Now I enter the car, press the break with my foot and push the button.

I can’t get used to this.

Where do I put my keys?  (For those who haven’t had the pleasure of this non-advancement, the key needs to be in proximity of the car or it won’t start.) 

Do I put the keys in my purse?  Then I won’t forget them, but if I need to get into my house (which I often do after getting out of the car) then I have to dig around to find them.  I also need them to lock the doors after I get out of the car.

Do I put them in the cupholder?  This keeps them handy when I’m getting out, but I have forgotten them multiple times.  Yes, the car chirps at you when this happens, but it’s still annoying.

You know a great place for car keys?  The ignition. 

You always know where they are, they’re close at hand, and you can’t put the car in park without removing them.

Oh, yes.

For those of you who think I’m just whining (admittedly, I am), I have discovered through personal experience that you can turn off the ignition, open the door, and start to get out of the car WHEN IT IS STILL IN DRIVE.

What could go wrong?

But the last straw came yesterday morning.  I got into the car, pushed the button, and a new warning light came on – “KEY FOB BATTERY LOW.”

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Just when I was starting to make my peace with the Push Button Start, I find out that I need to replace the battery in my key. 

So I spent yesterday afternoon looking up You Tube videos of how to take my key apart and find the battery.  Then I figured out what battery I needed, and drove all over town (hoping the car would start every time) until I finally found the required batteries at CVS. 

Curious as to what would’ve happened if the battery had gone truly dead, I looked it up on the Car and Driver website, where they assured me:

Keyless ignition systems allow you to start your engine even when your key fob’s battery is dead. The easiest way to unlock your car in such cases is to contact your manufacturer through their emergency service center. You can reach out to your carmaker via a phone call or on the brand’s mobile app.

I pity the poor Honda Customer Service representative who answers if I ever have to make such a call.

Readers, with Push Button Starts—am I alone here?

Is this really an improvement?

Anyone?

5 thoughts on “The Push Button Start & Its Discontents

  1. I still have a car with a keyed ignition thankfully. My OH has a pushbutton thingy on his Nissan Juke, so far he’s coping, but I’ll let him know about the battery issue!

  2. ‘The easiest way to unlock your car in such cases is to contact your manufacturer through their emergency service center.’

    No, the easiest way to start a car is to have an ignition key.

    I think the problem was that people put other keys on their car key ring, which creates a weight that seems to have damaged steering columns over time. But I agree, you just don’t feel cool having to start your car with your foot on the pedal like it’s a fairground dodgem car.

    What kind of parties do you go to where they ask you about supply chain issues?

Leave a Reply