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Reliability of Smartkey System with Pushbutton Start

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Reliability of Smartkey System with Pushbutton Start

Old 12-18-2011, 03:44 PM
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Default Reliability of Smartkey System with Pushbutton Start

Best I can tell, smartkey system with pushbutton start has been around a few years, and is coming with some of the new car packages with Camry. Generally for many systems, if smartkey is in pocket or purse, touching the door handle unlocks the door, and foot on the brake and pressing start button simultaneously starts the car. No doubt these systems are extremely convenient, and improve safety by allowing entering car and startup without fumbling for keys; as long as the system works.

Any experiences or feelings out there concerning long term reliability of these smart key / push button start systems?

FOr instance, I have a remote keyless entry (lock/unlock) for a 1998 Camry that quit working around 5 years ago (new battery didn't help), so I have to use the key each time to unlock the door. Concerns are that smartkey system with pushbutton start might share same fate after few years. Smartkey system works based upon several sensors placed at various points in the car to determine the location of the smartkey. An accident requiring replacement of certain portions of the car could require replacement of these sensors as well. Malfunction of sensors for some reason would require repair/replacement.

If smartkey system ceases to function properly, there are some backups for opening the door to the car (smartkey sometimes also has keyless entry included which would allow pressing button on the remote to unlock the door; and then additionally also a small key included). Backup for starting the car in case of declined smartkey battery is in some cases to actually touch smartkey onto start button, but I am not sure how or why this works. If there were other malfuctions with smartkey, there may not be backup system (like a plain old fashioned key) for starting the car.
ANy thoughts or experiences out there regarding long term reliability / maintenance for smarkey system with pushbutton start?

Old 12-18-2011, 05:18 PM
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Convenience is the key word for these features. Many people like the smart key system and if this is what helps sell cars then more of same will coming.

For remote systems the remote key FOB can and does fail often beyond a battery. Smart Keys have a real key for backup. It is smart to have spare Smart Keys some place secure as replacements can be expensive and take time to obtain.

3 seconds to kill the engine is way too long when the driver is in panic mode (not thinking clearly) and this has resulted in fatalities. Am very surprised Toyota did not anticipate this type of panic shut down and reduce the time required (which they are doing now) or had signage near the button as to how to shut the engine off.

Some makes of cars have the ability to automatically adjust a cars features such as power seat, power windows, radio, etc based on individual smart key usage. Ford apparently has one model where the max speed limit can be limited, might have some use for teen teen drivers.

These features may be nice for those sharing a car.

Repairs can mean $$ as the dealer may be the only place to go.

If a person was rich and/or traded their car off before repair issues abounded then Smart Keys would be great. Or it could be just something else that can go wrong.

There is no turning back though in technology. In the future every mechanic will need to be a rocket scientist just to change the oil.
Old 12-22-2011, 11:28 PM
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Thank you, Toyomoho.
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