A girly question about this car -

Discussion in 'National | Emerald Club' started by sophiegirl, Feb 8, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    I am renting a car that has a fob - but you push a button to actually start the car. Just girlish curiosity - what is the point of this? Why not just a fob? Or just a button? Or heaven forbid - just a key?

    And I did "search" - in the glove compartment for the manual [​IMG] to see if I could find an answer....but no love there.
     
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  2. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    Imagine yourself walking to the car with both arms filled with grocery bags. The idea of the fob is the car unlocks as you approach. Get in, sit down and press the start button, all the while the fob stays in your pocket/purse/handbag.
     
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  3. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    This is remote start (see VW's Super Bowl commercial for an example!). Other than that particular scenario, I see it most often used in wintery climates to start the car from inside the house/office, allowing it to warm up before you go outside.

    Where did you rent your car?
     
  4. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    Thanks to both of you for courteous responses without any rolled eye smilies - [​IMG]
    Boston.

    But looking at the fob, I can't figure out how it would start the car - there is only a lock, unlock, trunk and panic button. And I DID walk up to the car with my arms full...and it didn't unlock. So (and I know I am looking like a total moron here, but curiousty has really gotten the better of me with this one) how do you make it start the car and unlock the door?

    And - assuming there are other people that are not car savvy who rent cars - who would know any of this stuff without the manual? .
     
  5. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Oh, I see -- it's a remote fob for locks/trunk but an on-dash pushbutton start. I've had that on some of my Nissan rentals. As Jim said, you can leave the key in your pocket, and just press the start button to stop or start the car.

    And at this point I'll say that I'm a "car guy" and I personally find this a pretty useless feature. And too many chances to separate the key from the car ... however, I think many people really do like this.
     
  6. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    It is a Nissan, and thought this was the dumbest thing - now I feel vindicated!
     
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  7. Jim
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    Jim Silver Member

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    I had that on an Altima I rented in November. There is a trick to it so it unlocks as you walk up to the car, I just forget what the heck you have to do.
     
  8. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Just because there are convenient features doesn't mean they are discoverable without a manual!

    If had been paid a nickel for every minute I have spent looking for a trunk release lever in a rental car ... :rolleyes:
     
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  9. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    Or my personal favorite - how to open the gas tank flap. In NJ. Where the attendent is standing there staring at you, thinking.........

    And yours is nice when you pull up in front of the"ritz" and the valet guys are all standing around waiting , thinking.....

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    At least I finally figured out how to tell which side the gas tank is on without getting out of the car! So simple ... yet not so obvious if you don't know!
     
  11. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    OMG - too funny. Last week, I told Mr Sophie he was pulling up on the wrong side, and he asked how I knew. HE had never known...
     
  12. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    Oh no -- is it a men vs women thing? :rolleyes:
     
  13. Personally, I love the remote start (esp on higher end GMs where you can program it to heat the seats, too). However, the push-buttons start isn't anything great.

    My first time in a Chrysler 300 was during the ice storm in VA on Valentine's Day 2007. After my coworker pushed me out of the parking spot at the hotel, we needed to fill the gas before returning it. We looked like idiots trying to get the gas flap open... looking all around the driver's side for a handle, the trunk for an emergency latch (after pulling our suitcases out), etc, since it didn't have the 'finger spot' on the tank flap for you to open. After freezing forever, we realized that you have to just push on it... DUH!
     
  14. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    [quote="tomh009, post: 14301"]Oh no -- is it a men vs women thing? :rolleyes:[/quote]

    Nah, in my case it is just the ONE THING that is consistent across all cars .....it's my one little point of "car expertise".

    Had a similar experience years ago a RDU - pouring rain, at night, and of course it was an non-covered car rental lot. Got to the car and could not find the door handle. After getting completely soaked, slogging back to the office, and enduring the "how stupid are you" look, the attendant brought a flashlight and showed it to me... a flap that was sidewise, next to the window. I don't think that improvement lasted too long...
     
  15. Ugh, how annoying! What kind of car was it??
     
  16. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    Some "features" are convenient if it's on your personal car and you actually know how to work it. But on rental cars, they just become an annoyance. With those keyless start (push button) feature, I'm always afraid that I'll walk away with the "key fob" in my pocket and leave the car running at hotel valets. As for which side the gas filler is on, at least most cars now have a small indicator in the dashboard next to the fuel level to indicate this. Now, trying to figure out how to open the filler door is another story. Japanese (company) cars tend to have a release on the floor near the driver's door. German cars tend to not have release (per say) but lock and unlock with the doors. American cars tend to not have the fuel door locked at all and you press either the front or back part of the filler door to open it.
     
  17. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    Several of the GM 2 doors had this feature - Oldsmobile Cutlass, Chevrolet Lumina, Pontiac Grand Prix.
     
  18. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    Peter, you are truly the nicest guy. FEATURE is not even close to the term i was using that night!
     
  19. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    And while we are complaining about "features" ... why do so many car rental places insist on putting all three car keys and two remotes on one keyring? The extras are of no use, and make the keyring awkward to fit into a pocket etc. [​IMG]
     
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  20. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    The key fob also has a built in chip that allows the start button to work. If you walk away from a running car with the fob in your pocket the car will shut off. Similarly, if you get into the car without a fob the car will not start. Its a safety feature... previously Fords and many other cars had this PATS feature built into the key... if you made a copy of the key without the PATS chip, even though it would work opening your door, it would not start your car. Replacing chipped keys was always an expensive feature, unless you had the foresight to make copies in advance, all it took was a sub-$10 blank purchased on eBay... a few bux at your Home Depot to cut the key, and a few minutes behind the wheel following a simple procedure of starting your car with the original key, shutting it off, placing the other key turning it into the on position several times until YOUR car programmed it with the PATS program. Had it done several times for cars I bought at police auctions.
     
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  21. Whenever this happens, I always take out my Leatherman and cut the metal ring. Avis doesn't really enjoy when I return a car and hand them a handful of loose keys/fobs/keychain, but I hate trying to fit that whole pile in my pocket.


    Not on all cars. We tried this on a Caddy and even at over a mile away, the car didn't shut off. And the second key wasn't in the car either. However, if you shut it off that far away, it definitely won't restart.
     
  22. tomh009
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    Alas, TSA (and other similar organizations) seem to have a particular hate for Leathermans and won't allow them on a flight! :rolleyes:
     
  23. Indiana Delta Diamond
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    I have actually yet to have a rental car that shut off in this fashion.
     
  24. TrueBlueFlyer
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    I should limit my response to a one-time experience I had with a Nissan Maxima rental in Arizona.
     
  25. ssullivan
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    Here's something to watch out for if you end up with a car that has keyless ignition and a fob with a proximity sensor that's required for starting the car. Many National locations hide the extra keys and fobs in the spare tire wheel well in the trunk. I've twice rented a car that had keyless ignition, and the extra fob was in the trunk. The problem with that is that the fob was close enough to the trunk to allow someone to walk up and push the button on the trunk to open it. That was a big concern if I stopped off for dinner on the way back to my hotel from work at a client site, and my computer bag was in the trunk. Additionally, on one of these cars, the extra fob's presence in the trunk was enough to allow someone to push the unlock button on the driver's door, open the car, and start the ignition. I actually tested this by leaving a fob in my hotel room, going out to the car, pushing the unlock button on the door, getting inside, and then starting the ignition.

    So, if you rent a car with this type of ignition, and the key ring doesn't have both fobs on it, be sure to check the spare tire wheel well in the trunk to make sure there's not an extra fob in it. If there is, take it with you as well. I think this is part of the reason I'm seeing more of these cars with both fobs on the same key ring, because it's a huge security issue for both any contents in the car or trunk, as well as the car itself.
     
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