Electronic key too good for me
Keyless ignition is my pet peeve. I am an idiot. A true dunderhead. A complete maroon. Mom called it right: If my head were not firmly and permanently connected to my shoulders, I would forget it in bed every morning.
The latest manifestation of my dunce-itude occurred just last week. Late for the airport – but thinking I needed a shave and haircut for even a hint of presentability – I dropped by my barber for a buzz cut. I parked, grabbed the keys, then rushed inside hoping Hamid and his straight razor were immediately available.
And I left the car running. Yup, for the entire half hour I was inside, completely out of sight, getting lathered and shorn. The car was an Infiniti G37 Convertible, no cheap sled to just go missing should some misguided miscreant happen along. Making things worse – for me, at least – I had just returned from picking up some brand new Dainese leathers, worth a cool three grand, and my brand-new, three-day-old, topline solid-state-hard-driven Macbook Air was ensconced not nearly as safely as I originally planned in the trunk. As I said, I am a complete lummox.
The reason for this pea-brained move is that the G37, like so many luxury cars, has a start/stop button that requires no key be inserted. As long as the remote key fob is somewhere in the immediate vicinity, the Infiniti will start.
It also means – again, if you are a complete birdbrain like Yours Truly – you can walk away from the car with the engine still running. Oh, if it stalls for some reason or another, it cannot be restarted. But, as I found out, once started, it will happily purr away – keyless – for as long as gas remains in the tank.
Naturally, there’s a reason for my boneheaded behaviour. For one thing, I could blame the Infiniti – the G37’s 3.7-litre V6 is so smooth at idle it’s little wonder I didn’t notice it was running. And, of course, I was in a rush.
But the real reason is that I am now 52 years old. That doesn’t mean I suffer from early-onset Alzheimer’s, but it does mean I am a generation or two early to have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, an affliction that, were I tested for it, would almost certainly see me recruited as the new poster boy.
My coping mechanism – besides hours of exhausting exercise and magically medicinal mojitos – is to focus intently on the big tasks at hand. It does, however, render me, as She-Who-Makes-Lists can attest, with no mind for small details. (I will leave you to imagine the constant joy of a relationship where one is fully ADD’d and the other anal-compulsive.)
That’s why I like cars with traditional keys. If the car is running, I know where the keys are. More importantly, when I shut it off, I know where the keys are. With these newfangled remote thingies, the darn key fob could be anywhere – my pants pocket, my jacket pocket, the ashtray. Damn, it could be all the way in the back seat, having fallen between the cushion and bodywork when I casually tossed it into the console-mounted cup holder. And, as I found out last Monday, it can also mean forgetting about the key so completely that I simply walked away without shutting off the engine.
These damned keyless go thingamabobs are the very bane of my existence. I’ve never quite understood the supposed time savings afforded by not having to insert the key into the ignition switch. Are people really that lazy? Are there really motorists out there so disabled they can’t rotate their wrists the 30 degrees it takes to activate the starter motor? Or is it, as I suspect, that there’s a bunch of automotive electronic engineers who have run out of things to complicate and so are reduced to making the seemingly simple completely confusing?
Anyway, that’s my pet peeve. The real reason for this admittedly long-winded diatribe is that I want to hear your automotive pet peeve. Really, I do. I’m not just saying that. I feel your pain. It can be anything. Don’t be afraid if it sounds silly or childish. I, too, am a total nitwit.
Everybody will benefit. You will get that nit off your chest and I will become a more informed auto writer. Things that I, in my singly focused assessments, would never think of will be brought to my attention. Who knows, maybe even the automakers will finally listen to your plaint. There may even be a prize in it.
In the meantime, just thank the Lord that planes don’t have keyless go ignitions.