Cars, Keys and Behaviour Consulting: a Story of Surprising Similarity

Cars, Keys and Behaviour Consulting: a Story of Surprising Similarity

Late last year my car had a terminal meltdown and died. It was sudden and unexpected. A brief period of mourning was followed by the swift adoption of another forever car. We've had a bit of time to get to know each other, find our way, and settle in to our new life. There are a few quirks to get used to. One of them is the proximity key. This is a new trait that I am not used to living with. Jonty's car has a proximity key, so I am aware of their existence. Mine does not behave in the same way as his. My car randomly - seemingly; I had not identified the antecedent - makes a three-beep horn noise when locking the door. Most annoying. Maladaptive and undesirable. I mean, WTF? There's also another quirk involving door handle buttons and only locking one door vs. all the doors. 

Yesterday the new car had a short visit to the car doctor, for a couple of checks and tweaks. Whilst it was there I asked for the key to be checked, given it's got a behaviour problem. 

Well, it turns out that the key is behaving exactly as it's supposed to and these behaviours are completely normal for a proximity key of this type. The antecedent for the annoying beep thing is an open window. Who knew? And as for the locking doors thing, if I want all the doors to lock I need to push the button on the key, not the one on the door handle.

Anyway, my point is: same species, different breed. There is no training, or mechanical magic that will make these two keys behave in the exact same way. They are different keys. I need to adapt my expectations and learn to use the key in front of me. And if I don't want my car to disturb the neighbours, I need to put in a management strategy and ensure the windows are closed first. 


Back to blog