Once upon a time, being able to start a car with an ignition key was seen as revolutionary. Ironically, in the 21st century, automobile manufacturers are working toward making the ignition key obsolete. A vehicle owner who doesn’t already have a keyless ignition probably will someday. Starter motors are still essential for getting the engine running. Car Repair in Port Orchard WA is available when problems develop.

The Earliest Cars

Early cars started with a hand crank or a pull cord because they did not have a starter motor. This was not only inconvenient, but could cause an injury if the engine jerked or backfired while starting. The crank also required a certain amount of strength to operate.

The Advent of Starter Motors

Starter motors were prevalent by the 1920s, but the driver had to insert a key and then press a starter button located somewhere in the vehicle. The combination ignition key and starter switch we know today was the invention of Chrysler engineers in the 1940s.

Starter motors don’t last forever. Sometimes they quit working suddenly, but in other cases, the vehicle owner gets some warning before the starter fails altogether. Mechanics providing Car Repair in Port Orchard WA often replace a worn-out starter with a rebuilt model so the customer can save money.

Ignition Keys and Keyless Ignition

Since the advent of the ignition key, vehicles have commonly been designed so that this key also opens the doors and the trunk. Many models, however, had separate keys for those purposes.

Keyless entry is standard in most new vehicles now, and transponder ignition keys contain a computer chip that helps prevent car theft. Each key is programmed to start only one specific automobile, and the vehicle won’t start without the key communicating with the automotive computer.

A keyless ignition starts the car with the push of a button. A small computerized device known as a key fob is needed for the button to work. It doesn’t have to be taken out of a pocket or wallet, however. The button shuts the car off as well. Automotive technicians with a garage such as LK’s Auto Repair can repair and replace starters in old and new vehicle models.