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I have decided that I will always buy cars that have some sort of manual key for starting the car, and NEVER buy one that only uses an electronic key.  Here’s why:

My rental car

When on a business trip, my rental car, a Nissan Altima, failed to start when I was parked inside the hotel garage.  It was obvious that it was NOT a dead battery or an engine problem.  I had just moved the car into the parking space 30 seconds prior, and had to re-start the car in order to move it slightly to make room for someone else to park.  And it wouldn’t start…

The offending electronic key…

I needed to get to the airport, so luckily the rental car office was walkable from my hotel.  I suggested that they just replace the battery in the electronic key, but they had to go through all of their policies and procedures.  I told them to just give me another car, which they did, and I went on my way.  But what would have happened if I were out on a highway somewhere in the dead of night, or showing property to people when this happened?  I always want a back-up manual key from now on…

Have any of you had similar experiences with electronic keys?  Or maybe you have some horror stories about cars when you were doing your real estate job…please share them with me.

-Rich