Keyless ignition systems, also known as smart keys, consist of a device referred to as a key fob (FOB) that replaces the traditional metal keys function. When you attempt to start the car, electronic verification is done of the correct device, usually by turning a rotary switch or pushing a button.
If you leave the car running accidently or intentionally, danger can arise. The engine can still continue to idle, even when you take the key fob with you. If you park your car in a closed-in garage that is attached to your home, the idling engine can cause carbon monoxide fumes to enter into your living area, potentially harming people in your home. These keyless ignition cars are too easy for thieves to break into as well. Therefore, if you want to protect your car or your belongings in it from being stolen, or if you find you keep forgetting to turn the engine off, it’s time to take action.
Ways to Use your Keyless Ignition Safely
There really isn’t an easy solution when you own a keyless ignition car to remember to turn it off short of taping a sticky note on the dashboard. There are some basic safety steps you can follow which include:
- Ensuring your car is in ‘park’ before you shut the propulsion system down.
- Ensuring you shut the propulsion system down.
- Apply your car’s parking brake.
- Ensure you know how to operate your car properly by checking the driver’s manual.
The good news is, there are already keyless ignition cars that notify you if you leave the car running. You are alerted by either a chirp of the horn or an external chime when you walk away with the FOB and leave the engine idling. Even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has known about this particular issue for a while now, they have not put any rules related to the issue in place. They did, however, try to make the audible alert system mandatory, but not without a great deal of objection from automakers who proposed the sound would be too annoying and loud.
If you are looking to buy a keyless ignition car, you might want to check into one that already has the safety features built right in. For example, in 2015, some models had features for safety such as Ford Motor Company that included a feature that when the car was left idling, it would automatically kill the ignition. Another important thing you should have is adequate auto insurance, since you will need coverage in the event your keyless ignition car is in fact damaged or stolen.