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European Auto Source
View Poll Results: Key or Starter Button? Which Do You Prefer?
No- Give me my car keys back. 9 20.00%
Yes- Out with keys, in with the starter button. 36 80.00%
Voters: 45. You may not vote on this poll

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      04-15-2007, 07:22 PM   #1
Brookside
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BMW's Start/Stop Button. A Good Thing or Fad?

1) No. I hate the button. Give me my keys back.
2) Yes. No more keys.


Goodbye Car Keys.



Car Keys Could Go the Way of Tail Fins


Are we about to lose our car keys for good?

Some automobile manufacturers are offering up a replacement.

They can be found on about 55 cars and trucks, including luxury models from Audi, BMW and Mercedes, and on Nissan’s inexpensive Versa as part of a $700 “convenience package.” Push-button starters have also become standard on hybrid-electric vehicles, like the Toyota Prius.

James D. Farley, the chief of North American marketing at Toyota, said that he has been fretting about whether to build all future models with push-button starters.

“What keeps me awake?” he asked recently. “Car keys.”

Push-button starters are a retro feature, dating back to the industry’s toddler years. In 1913, the Locomobile became one of the first cars to use one. Carmakers also started using keys around that time, after ignitions (and car theft) were invented.

Today’s keyless models use a fob — the small remote control device that most modern cars use to lock and unlock doors — but it performs the additional duty of sending a signal to the ignition. For the car to start, the fob has to be somewhere near the dashboard, perhaps stowed in a cup holder.

A driver then just needs to put a foot on the brake, and push the button. The engine comes to life, or, in the case of hybrids, the word “ready” lights up on the dashboard. Turning off the car happens the same way: gearshift in park, foot on the brake, finger on the button.

Not everyone is quite ready to give up keys. Honda decided not to offer a push-button starter on its newest MDX model, sold by its Acura luxury division. The cost of installing sensors to operate the ignition, said its chief engineer, Frank Paluch, was more than Honda thought even well-heeled customers would be willing to pay.

But that may change as other car companies shift to push-buttons, sending car keys to the same bin now filled with window cranks and whitewall tires.




Link to Complete Story:http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/14/au...es&oref=slogin
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      04-16-2007, 06:33 AM   #2
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I've had a couple loaners from BMW with the push button start.
It's easy to master- put the fob in the slot, depress the brake and push the starter button. Nothing to it.
But it feels awkward- the fob going into the slot is very unassuring.."is it in there, do I push it in further?"
Bottom line...I hope this is a fad that goes away-give me my keys back!
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      04-16-2007, 08:14 AM   #3
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I've never tried a push-button start, but I understand that Merc and other brands (Lexus?) don't require that the fob be inserted into a slot. Seems that the button requires a two-step process (at least in the BMW example), whereas the standard key is a one-motion affair. Were it just a matter of getting in and pushing a button, I'd be in favor. Also, what if you only want the elecricity on with no engine? What do you do then?
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      04-16-2007, 08:19 AM   #4
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I'm guessing ; but I think once the fob is in you can use the electric functions.
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      04-16-2007, 08:56 AM   #5
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I'm a fan of the starter button, but then I have a bit of a road racing background, so that's probably where it comes from. I agree with you, spud. I like the non-slot approach. Another option might be the fob itself becoming the button; insert fob, then push it past a detent to start the car.
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      04-16-2007, 10:44 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
I'm guessing ; but I think once the fob is in you can use the electric functions.
Makes sense. I guess if the battery in the fob fails (in 10 or 15 years) you're SOL...

They could also have made it so that you insert the fob, which would engage the battery, dash lights, fule pump, etc. and then push the fob to start the engine. Not as sexy as the button, but it would be a one-step process.

But inserting the fob and pushing it is probably, for marketing purposes, too similar to inserting a key and turning it.

We are shockingly simple creatures, aren't we...
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      04-16-2007, 01:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest View Post

We are shockingly simple creatures, aren't we...

Yes, and the older we get the more we like things to be routine...unfortunately.
:biggrin:
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      08-15-2007, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest View Post
I've never tried a push-button start, but I understand that Merc and other brands (Lexus?) don't require that the fob be inserted into a slot. Seems that the button requires a two-step process (at least in the BMW example), whereas the standard key is a one-motion affair. Were it just a matter of getting in and pushing a button, I'd be in favor. Also, what if you only want the elecricity on with no engine? What do you do then?
The way it works in Corvettes isn't too bad... The fob just has to be within 5 feet of the car and it'll start. So you can have it in your pocket and get in and start the car.
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      08-15-2007, 01:02 AM   #9
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I like the idea of push button starting too, but I didn't like the feel of putting the big fat fob in the dash in the 335xi I test drove. I prefered the Mercedes Benz I drove that had a Keyless Go SmartCard remote that fit in your wallet and you didn't have to take out. The Keyless Go was all RFID activated, so there was no need for a battery in the remote SmartCard
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      08-15-2007, 02:51 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spudwest View Post
Makes sense. I guess if the battery in the fob fails (in 10 or 15 years) you're SOL...
I'm pretty sure it has a rechargeable battery and it charges when it is inserted if I remember correctly. I don't have the manual anymore. The 2 step process is a pain imo, but I guess it keeps the fob charged.

btw I voted for the key. Young guy, but just old school like that. Makes me feel more connected to the car. Don't know why, it just does.
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      08-15-2007, 06:33 AM   #11
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I don't mind the push button, but it's not a feature either.
I'm perfectly happy with using a key.

If I have to have the push button, it's the two step procedure that would bother me the most.

The one thing that I do like about it, is having just the fob to carry in my pocket.
I really don't like the BMW integrated fob/key with the key sticking out like a bayonet.
The unit that I had on my old Passat with the folding key blade was excellent.
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      08-15-2007, 07:26 AM   #12
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I despise the stupid start button. We drove a few 3er's lately, and I was befuddled by why BMW would jump on the bandwagon: why add another motion to start and stop your car? Stick fob in hole, push, push start button. How is this any more intelligent than "stick key in ignition and twist?"

I suppose the true keyless (or shall we say, fobless?) system that BMW offers as an option wouldn't be too terribly bad.

I dunno, though, just give me a key. +1 to the VAG-style integrated plip/folding key, +/-0 to the fobless system, -1 to anything with a start button and the need to insert a separate fob.
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      08-15-2007, 07:45 PM   #13
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I hate carrying any keys around. The sooner everything moves to voice or DNA, the better IMO. I can't wait until the day that my front door will be opened because it knows who I am, not because of a piece of metal I carry around.
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      08-15-2007, 07:57 PM   #14
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No keys. I'd rather get in the car, bush a button, and go.
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      08-15-2007, 10:34 PM   #15
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I dont like the whole key fob process, but absolutely love comfort access. If it werent for comfort access, I'm sure it would be a pain and in that case I would prefer keys.
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      08-15-2007, 10:56 PM   #16
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As the owner of an E90 it has grown on me, but I rather have a key w/ remote. Have we become so lazy we can no longer turn a key?
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      08-19-2007, 10:04 PM   #17
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What happens when you leave the Hot Wheels-lookin' thing in the car?

Cody
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      08-20-2007, 03:04 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tijuana View Post
I hate carrying any keys around. The sooner everything moves to voice or DNA, the better IMO. I can't wait until the day that my front door will be opened because it knows who I am, not because of a piece of metal I carry around.
I hope I'm not the only one not looking forward to these days, but I guess it's just a sad matter of time. Soon we will be so isolated from everything. I love feeling connected to the car. I love the 'thunk' of bmw's doors, although that doesn't apply to the 7. But I'm about 60 years away from ever being interested in driving a car like that.
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      08-20-2007, 07:21 AM   #19
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+1 Maximus. Personally, I don't need all the futz on modern cars. I don't like sunroofs, and on a coupe, who needs power windows? Auto climate control? Naah, I think I can manage myself.

If the intake and exhaust sound good (as they should) I rarely even use the stereo, so junk that, too.

A/C, though, that is one thing I like. It gets so hot and humid here in the US.
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