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BMW 3 Series Start/Stop Button

So a friend of mine has a BMW 3 series sedan. It's nice (awkwardly low seats for someone used to driving a Touareg, though).

It's got a "Start/Stop" button that works after you put your key fob in the little holder.

I joked around today and asked "what happens if you push the button while you're driving down the road?"

So we coasted into a parking spot, car in "Drive," and pushed the button.

The car turned off!

So we tried it again and it turned off again!

My friend is too much of a chicken to try it at 15 MPH despite the fact that the brakes didn't engage or anything.

But what's up with that? I suspect that at some speed it won't just turn the car off while it's still moving, but what gives? Why would it let you turn the car off at 3 or 5 MPH to begin with?

7 Responses to "BMW 3 Series Start/Stop Button"

  1. Why would you not want it to turn the car off? Maybe we should ask Toyota that question.

  2. Um. What happens if you turn the key in your Touareg while driving? It will turn off. So what?

  3. How long is he holding the button down to turn the ignition off?

    BMWs equipped with the Start/Stop button should stop the engine if you hit the button three times (in quick succession) or if you press and hold it down for 2 seconds or more. I'm a bit surprised they don't list this emergency procedure in the owner's manual; they list the manual override for the fuel filler, windows and other items, but not the emergency ignition shutoff. It doesn't appear to be available on their website either, you have to call a dealer to get the information.

    With the whole Toyota debacle, the NTSA needs to standardize the failsafe shutdown procedure for push-to-start ignition systems. Some cars it's press-and-hold for 3 seconds, some 5 seconds...

  4. Hans said on May 18, 2010:

    Um. What happens if you turn the key in your Touareg while driving? It will turn off. So what?

    I may check tomorrow, but memory tells me the key doesn't turn.

    Additionally, a key is not a button. You can more easily bump a button than you can turn a key.

  5. My friend has a recent Touareg which also has a start/stop button. He tried his while driving at speed on the highway. You need to press it twice when travelling at speed to make it turn off the engine. Even when it turns off, it doesn't lock the steering or enable brakes or anything so its quite safe.

    Not sure why they provide the option though 🙂

  6. ...I guess as sorta alluded to in the earlier comments, you might want to be able to turn the engine off if your brakes have failed.

  7. Pushing the button in my audi does turn things off at speed, but you have to hold it down for a few seconds. More annoyingly, you can't -start- the car in drive, which means you have to wait for things to stop, park, then start the engine, then put it back in drive.

    But, um, this is one of those cases of "don't do that".


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