Home > Travel > Yes, Virginia, You Can Lock an Idle Audi

Yes, Virginia, You Can Lock an Idle Audi

While we may not get a lot of snow at this elevation in the Pacific Northwest (about 92 feet, according to my GPS) we do get a lot of frost because it still gets cold (not as cold as interior states because of the ocean winds) and there’s plenty of moisture. That makes for some pretty thick frost some mornings. Of course, most people warm-up their cars in the morning.
 
I found I couldn’t start my car with the valet key and lock it with the key fob (remote). With some simple investigation I found that both Audis and BMWs don’t allow this. Attempting to use the in-door button locks on the inside didn’t lock the driver’s side door and there’s no push-button lock like on older cars – just the red LED. I called my local Audi service center and they didn’t know of any way to do this, so I sent an email to Audi of America and they said I shouldn’t idle the car in the morning because it causes wear on the engine. Wow, maybe I shouldn’t drive it because that causes wear on the engine and on the transmission. They referred me to the manual that only makes mention of this because it consumes gasoline and can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning in ill- or non-ventilated areas like a garage.
 
Not only is it more harmful to run an engine cold (and I mean cold!) it’s also a safety hazard since the windows don’t defrost immediately and a cold enough cabin will cause the moisture in your breath to condense and possibly freeze on the window. Audi agreed and said they considered this in future planning.
 
This morning, however – not satisfied yet that it’s impossible – I tried an "ancient technique": I stuck the laser-cut key from the key fob into the key hole in the door outside and turned it clockwise while the car was running idle. Bingo! The car was locked. The door can’t be opened remotely but you can turn the key counter-clockwise to unlock it while running. I haven’t used an actual key for a car in such a long time it didn’t even occur to me to try until this morning. Apparently my local Audi service center and Audi of America hadn’t thought of this either! This makes me wonder if the same is true on BMWs as well. The local BMW service center also told me BMWs can’t lock when running idle.
 
Perhaps this is more proof that more technology makes us more dumb? Makes you wonder.
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