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Remote Start Warnings: Things to Consider When Purchasing a Push-to-Start Vehicle

The pros and cons of push-to-start vehicles.

Using an actual key to rev your car's engine seems to be a thing of the past.

In recent years, nearly every car manufacturer has started providing buyers with remote-start options, letting users start their cars from outside the vehicle and get things going inside by pushing a button instead of inserting a key.

This undoubtedly a convenient feature, especially during extremely hot or cold conditions. Remote-start vehicles will also alert you when you've accidentally left your engine running after exiting the vehicle and will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time spent in park.

However, push-to-start vehicles do have their drawbacks, and it's essential to recognize the flaws in these models before making a purchase:

  • Push-to-start batteries eventually die. Unlike keys you can insert into your vehicle, push-to-start keys are electronic, meaning they will eventually die. Your car will warn you when the battery is running low, but this is not something you should wait to change. Why? If you're running an errand with a low-key battery, you run the risk of it dying completely away from home.
  • Losing a remote-start key is an expensive mistake. When you buy a remote-start key, most manufacturers will make you purchase two just in case you lose one. This is smart but costly. A new pair of electronic keys can cost vehicle owners over $400—and this price will increase if you need a new key entirely, not just a replacement (which could happen if you lose both of your key sets and not just one). In short, losing a key is no longer a simple $2 mistake. It's so expensive that you may want to invest in some sort of tracking software, like Tile, to add to your keyring.
  • Improper installation could lead to other issues. If a new remote-start mechanism was installed by someone other than the manufacturer, you run the risk of having it installed improperly. This mistake can lead to other problems, such as a premature draining of your vehicle's battery.
  • Thieves can still break into your vehicle. Keyless cars have become safer than ever over the last few years, but that doesn't mean they are foolproof. Thieves and hackers can still find their way into your vehicle via signal relaying, signal jamming, key programming, and code grabbing.
  • Electrical problems. As with all electrical devices, remote start vehicles run the risk of experiencing unforeseen electrical issues at any given moment. While the chances are slim, you always want to be prepared for a situation where your key may not work.


Sinclair Broadcast Group is committed to keeping our viewers accident-free, which is why we initiated the Drive Safe campaign. Steer clear of danger with our monthly tips.

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