Is a Keyless Push-Button Ignition More Reliable?

Vehicle starting systems have evolved significantly since their inception. When automobiles were initially introduced, you had to manually crank the engine over with a handle on the front of your engine compartment. The next phase involved a lock and key system where an electric starter motor would turn the engine over to get it running. This ignition system has been in use for many decades, with modifications and design changes along the way for reliability and security.

Recent ignition developments

Within the past two decades, security systems have evolved to the point where only one specific chip in close proximity will allow the engine to start. Microchip technology has allowed the next step of automotive development for ignition systems: keyless push-button ignition. In this style of ignition, the key only needs to be on the user’s person or in close proximity to the ignition in order for the engine to be able to start. The driver presses a push-button ignition button, and the starter motor receives power to turn the engine over.

Is keyless more reliable?

Keyless push-button ignition systems are secure, only being able to be started by someone who possesses the key fob. There is a programmed chip inside the fob that is recognized by the vehicle when it is close enough. A battery is required, however, and if the battery dies, some systems are unable to initialize. That means you could be in possession of your key fob for your keyless push-button ignition and your car still wouldn’t start.

While keyless push-button ignition systems are very secure, a keyed ignition system will only fail if the key shaft is broken. Keys for vehicles with a security chip in the head of the key do not require a battery and will likely never fail.

Keyed ignition systems are more reliable for operation, though not to say that keyless push-button ignitions are of poor design. They offer enhanced security and are on the way to rivaling the mechanical reliability of a keyed ignition.


Next Step

Schedule Oil Change

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Oil Change. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Oil Change reviews

Excellent Rating

(21,699)

Rating Summary
20,382
845
179
87
206
20,382
845
179
87
206

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Volkswagen Passat - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
Matt always does a great job. Very professional. I look forward to my next appointment.... A++++++
Ford Expedition - Oil Change - Hampton, Virginia
I am so please to have Matt work on my vehicle, he is very friendly and personable, and always does a great job.

Greg

22 years of experience
37 reviews
Greg
22 years of experience
Audi A3 - Oil Change - Queen Creek, Arizona
Job well done! Greg was on time and professional. He treated my vehicle with care. He completed the job smoothly and so far so good. First time using Your mechanic and it was a pleasant experience. I will be looking into them again. Thanks Greg!
Ford Explorer - Oil Change - Scottsdale, Arizona
Greg was very friendly and professional. Communication was great, he let me know what he was doing. He went above and beyond to make sure everything was running smoothly. I would 100% recommend Greg!

LAVELL

27 years of experience
93 reviews
LAVELL
27 years of experience
Buick Encore - Oil Change - Oakland, California
Another home run! Really appreciate the flexibility regarding my service appointment. Due to my work schedule I desperately needed a late appointment. So grateful my car is receiving top shelf professional service. Replaced a oil pan drain plug that was seriously damaged and stripped by a competitor that will NEVER get my business again! All services were quickly completed. Thank you so much for another great experience with my.... Your Mechanic Lavell 5 ⭐️ Service consistently.

Brian

23 years of experience
483 reviews
Brian
23 years of experience
Porsche 911 - Oil Change - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Brian is extremely knowledgeable and very personable and has taken very good care on my 911. I would recommend Brian to any one who has mechanical car challenges. I would recommend Brian to all My friends and family

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Electronic Ignition Pickup
If your car has an electronic distributor ignition system and the engine stalls or car does not start, you may have to replace the ignition pickup.
How to Replace a Key Fob Battery
Key fobs allow easy access to your car. Once the key fob battery is weak or dead you'll lose your fob's ability to control remote functions.
How to Troubleshoot a Car That Won't Turn Off
If your car won't turn off, inspect the power relay, idle speed, ignition timing, and spark plugs. Using premium fuel may help but isn't a solution.

Related questions

My car dies while driving and now it won't even crank. The lights still come on though.

There seems to be a combination of problems going on with your vehicle. First thing to address is whether you want to keep the aftermarket remote start. If not, the ignition switch system needs to be restored. Bypassing the remote...

ECM might need to be reprogrammed.

The message "start disabled" is telling me that the car is not allowing the car to start due to a security system fault. There are 2 likely causes for your issue. The first is a faulty transponder in your key....

Car not starting due to security code.

Hi there. This comes up frequently on this vehicle. The two most common problems that I have found that cause this is either a failure in the passlock sensor in the ignition lock cylinder, or the body control module has...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com