When people think about what’s important to their drive time, they usually think of the big parts of the car – the engine, the tires, the braking system, the suspension, etc. But what most people don’t think of is the car key itself. After all, it’s such a small component that most people take for granted just how big of a part it plays in performance. Toyota of N Charlotte is here to give you the ins and outs of car keys, a little bit of history on them, and tips on how to care for yours!
Toyota of N Charlotte gives a history lesson on car keys
Car keys are an integral part of your car’s performance. Not only do they get things kicking in the engine bay when you turn them in the ignition, but they also lock and unlock your car and open the trunk and cargo hatch. They also have an interesting history; it hasn’t always been as simple as clicking your key fob buttons to unlock the driver’s side door of your N Charlotte Toyota. Here are some highlights:
- The first “modern” key came to fruition in 1949 thanks to Chrysler. It was the first key that used an ignition system that could be started with the simple turn of a key.
- Before that, getting your car up and running wasn’t quite so simple – drivers used a key, but they also had to take numerous other steps like turning a hand crank and pushing a special button that would activate the starter.
- The first double-sided key – or a car key that could be inserted into the ignition either way – was introduced to the market in 1965 by Ford.
- In 1987, Cadillac introduced the Cadillac Allante to the market – this was the first car to offer remote keyless entry as we know it today (where you can hit a button on the key fob instead of inserting the key into the door).
- In 1990, the Lexus LS400 introduced the first laser cut key for added security.
And since then, keys have continued to evolve. Many of our N Charlotte Toyotas offer the Smart Key System, where you can unlock your vehicle with the touch of your finger on the door handle as long as your keys are nearby. And some cars, like Tesla vehicles, can actually be locked, unlocked, and even started via a smartphone app!
Care for your car key with these N Charlotte Toyota tips
Obviously, your car keys plan an important part in starting your car and your vehicle’s performance. So how can you care for it so it lasts for a long time?
- Always have a spare key. You should never rely on just one key – after all, mistakes happen and you could lose it or lock it inside of your car. And don’t keep your spare key inside your car – keep it somewhere else safe!
- Replace the battery in your key fob routinely. You should only have to do so every year or two, and it’s a relatively simple process, but if you’re feeling intimidated then you can have our N Charlotte Toyota dealership give you a hand.
- Check your door locks on a routine basis. If you have a remote keyless entry system, chances are you won’t use the actual key in the lock to unlock and lock your vehicle often. You should check the locks, though – you don’t want them to rust.
Have more questions about car keys? Call Toyota of N Charlotte! We’re open seven days a week at (704) 659-2025.