2018 Toyota Avalon steering wheel and dashboard

Troubleshooting Toyota Keyless Ignition Problems

The Toyota smart key system with push button start makes it easy to get up and go without rummaging around for keys lost in the bottom of a pocket or purse. While these features save a bunch of time overall, occasionally there can be a few mishaps. Find the 5 most common reasons your Toyota push button start feature isn’t working below so you can get back in the driver’s seat and on your way.

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5 Common Reasons Your Toyota Push Button Start Isn’t Working

2018 Toyota Avalon Hybrid engine start stop button

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Forgotten Key

If you left your vehicle unlocked and hopped inside to find that your push button start didn’t work, it’s possible that you forgot to bring your key fob with you. It can be easy to do with a Toyota smart key that allows you to keep your keys tucked away. If this is the case, your Toyota dashboard will likely display a key not detected message. Simply grab your keys and try again.

Brake Pedal Isn’t Pressed

If you are confident that your smart key fob is inside the vehicle and has enough juice, but your push button start still isn’t working, it could be because you weren’t pressing the brake pedal or were pressing it too gently. Make sure your foot is firmly pressing the brake pedal and try again.

Weak Key Fob Battery

One of the most common causes of a push button start malfunction is a weak key fob battery. If you believe that this may be the case for you, hold the key fob as close to the push button start as you can while going through the motions of turning your vehicle on. This should help your weak key fob signal reach a little further, so your Toyota can detect it. Make sure to change the battery in your Toyota smart key as soon as possible before it completely dies, and this trick no longer works.

Weak Engine Battery

If your dashboard warning lights all come on after pressing the push button start but your engine remains off, it’s possible that your engine battery is weak or dead. If that is the case, you will need to have your Toyota jumped or towed so you can get to the nearest Toyota service center for battery repair or replacement.

Smart Key Deactivated

Most Toyota models equipped with smart keys have a deactivation switch that can turn off the key’s functionality. If you accidentally pressed this switch, your Toyota smart key will no longer function. Most of the deactivation switches are located below the steering wheel at the base of the instrument panel. Try switching it back into position to see if that solves the problem.

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