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Posted on 19 Apr 2019

You probably know that the very first engines were started with a crank handle, while in the latest vehicles a dashboard button does the same job. But what happened in-between? Did you know that cars could be started with a crank handle as late as 1960?


In 1908, the idea of a key inserted into a keyhole in the dashboard featured very early on and can be found in some of the first cars made in Mladá Boleslav. This key, however, was used to connect the electrical circuit, not to start the engine. The driver had to activate this key, manually turn the fuel and oil supply taps, adjust the ignition advance with a steering wheel lever and only then start the car with a crank handle. After stopping, the driver had to half-turn the key to switch the engine off and close the petrol and oil supply taps.


By 2018, today’s ŠKODAs, such as the KODIAQ, feature a state-of-the-art keyless entry-and-start system: the key can remain in the driver´s pocket, and all the driver has to do to start the engine is press the ignition button on the dashboard. The first ŠKODA to offer the KESSY keyless system was the SUPERB in 2010.


CLICK HERE to read the full history of the engine starting systems.

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