Learn about your car remote

Car keys can be complicated. Every single day I meet people who purchased a car used from a used car dealer, and they have no idea about the hidden features of their car key. This is especially true for the “Push to Start” cars where the key just needs to be in your pocket.

In many cases, the key you have may not be the exact one for the car. It might be missing the trunk button, or a remote start button. I have seen several where the emergency metal key blade was not even cut so it could not unlock your car if the battery was dead.

Here are some hidden features of your “push to start” key:

  • There is an emergency metal key inside, or it flips out with a push button. It is used to unlock your car if the remote battery is dead, OR if the car battery is dead. Find it and test it before you really need it. Your door lock will only be on the drivers door and it may be hidden so check the owners manual for instructions to reveal it.
  • You can start your car even if the remote battery is dead or missing. How? Look in your owners manual for the emergency start procedure or for the programming slot. Every push to start car has a place where you can put the key so the car can read it directly. On Chevrolets and Fords, it might be in the center console, or under the cup holder. For Nissan, you push the start button with the key. Those are just a few examples.
  • You can lock and unlock your door without touching the key fob! As long as the key fob is with you, you just need to grip your door handle, or in some cases, touch the small button, to lock and unlock one or more doors. Once again, the owners manual explains how this works on your car. Learn how to do this and save wear and tear on your remote.
Push THIS button to lock and unlock your car. You must have your key with you.
Your owners manual will tell your how to reveal your hidden door lock. This picture shows removing the cap and revealing the lock on a Chevrolet Impala.
This picture shows a key slot in the center console of a Chevy Impala. Your car will be different, check the owners manual. Put your key in the slot to start the car if the battery in the key has died or is missing.

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