Whatever Is Going on in This Video of Starting a Car From the Door Handle, It's Weird

Illustration for article titled Whatever Is Going on in This Video of Starting a Car From the Door Handle, It's Weird

I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what’s going on in this video, or why. All I know for sure is it’s been making the rounds on Facebook and it’s oddly simple. It’s just a video of someone attempting to open a car door with a key, and that key, from the outside of the car, starts the engine. That’s it!


But that’s all it needs to be just strange enough to get hundreds of thousands of people watching and asking the same question: what’s going on here?

Here’s the video, in case you’ve not seen it:

Sure, it’s not exactly Citizen Kane, but you get the idea. It’s just a Toyota, a key, and some noise. I mean, it could very easily have been faked, with the audio of the engine cranking added in later, for some baffling reason, or someone with a remote-start fob cranking the engine at the right time.

But, let’s just say we believe it’s genuine, and all we have to go on is the video’s description in Facebook:

Customer states car tries to start when unlocking door

...and that’s pretty much exactly what we see happen.

Based on the minimal activity and dialog in the clip, it seems that the woman who owns the car has only just noticed that this was happening, as she states she normally does not lock or unlock the car with the key, instead using her keyless-entry fob.

My guess here is the fob’s battery died, so she had to try opening or locking the car with the key, and then found the car tries to start when using the key to unlock it.

That’s weird, right? I know that with modern cars having complicated electronic nervous systems, it’s possible that the signals from the lock turning are somehow mistakenly triggering the starter motor, somehow.


But unless the car had been modified or altered or messed with in some way, how would this happen? What’s going on?

And is it a bad thing, really? I mean, why not get the car started as you turn the key in the lock, then plop down in your already idling car? Unless it’s some kind of hoax, which I’m not ruling out.


Anyway, I’m inviting you to speculate. Have at it!

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)



My money is on badly installed remote starter.