A Keyless Ignition System, or a SmartKey, is an electronic method of granting access to both entry and engine control of a vehicle. In 1995, Siemens started implementing the SmartKey. It was a device available to Mercedes-Benz models only. Over the years, this has evolved and smart keys are now present in vehicles of all makes, models and varying price points.
How does the system work?
The keyless ignition is a passive RFID system, which means that the vehicle sends a code to the ignition chip from its computer. The ignition chip receives the message and, if it recognizes the code, will give the operator full access to the vehicle.
Simply put, as long as your SmartKey fob is inside your vehicle with you when you press the start button or flip the start switch, the engine should start and the car should become drivable.
Not all systems are the same.
While Keyless Ignition Systems generally work the same way, they may be set up differently, depending on the make or model you are driving. The most common set up is the push button. However, some manufacturers use switches that must be flipped or rotated.
The early 2000's were when the very first Keyless Ignition Systems were allowed in the United States.
Use Precaution with Keyless Ignition Systems
There are a few concerns with SmartKey operated vehicles that owners using them should be aware of. For example, there are instances of drivers not shutting off the engine before leaving the vehicle. Another example would be the rare occasions when drivers have shut off their vehicle without putting it in park first. However, these instances have more to do with human error than a breakdown in the keyless system itself.
Technical glitches and lost keys.
Electronics can malfunction and sometimes need to be replaced. Also, if you lose your car key, you cannot just simply get a new key made up. Your vehicle has a specific code that it recognizes to start the engine and this code is embedded in your specific SmartKey. In either case, a company like Cheap Lock & Key could help you get around these sort of problems.
Knowing about a company such as Cheap Lock & Key is a good idea when you operate a Keyless Ignition System vehicle. Call us at (813) 545-5462 and we can help you out if your key fob is damaged or lost. Generally, we can replace your key fob at a lower fee than a dealership would charge.