Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Ignition Key: When To Let Go

The woes of a Push Button Start era

Have you ever been to an event and as soon as someone finds out what occupation you're in, they ask you for your advice on related things? Doctors get asked questions about ailments, IT techs answer questions about computer problems, etc. It's no different for us as technicians. Usually they're questions about a noise or problem with the car. 

One time, I was at a networking event and chatted with a girl who worked in IT. She was a new driver and I asked about her driving experience. She mentioned overall it was good, but she didn't know when to let go of the ignition key when she turned her dad's car on. Our chat was something like this:
Me: Pardon?
Her: After the car turns on, how do you know when to let go of the key?
She explained that her driving school instructor had a push button start car so she never used a physical key... until she got in her dad's car. She turned the key forward to start the car but didn't know when to let go. 
I learned to drive in the old school days when we had to stick the key in the ignition to start the engine. For those of you who have ever kept the key forward after the engine starts, you'll know the sound I'm talking about... it gets the same reaction out of me as nails on a chalkboard. If you continue to hold the key forward after the engine starts, you'll risk damaging the starter and/or flywheel. You won't have the same problem with a push button start since it's all electronically controlled.
As the 'push button start' feature becomes more commonplace in today's cars, we'll have a whole generation of drivers who may never start a car with the key. *Sigh* I'm getting old...