A lot of people have been telling me that I should add RFID to my engine start button project. That’s exactly what I did. I’m using an Arduino Nano connected to a RC522 RFID reader/writer. When the Nano recognizes a scanned RFID tag, it sends a code via serial to the ATMega328 that controls the ignition/accessories/starter motor. When the ATMega328 receives the code, it enables the engine start functionality. If no RFID tag is scanned or if an incorrect tag is scanned, pressing the engine start button will not start the engine.
Here are some photos that I took while everything is wired-up in my car.
Here’s the best low-cost way to put a fully functional engine start button in your car! Absolutely no key needed to start your car! Just press the button and go!
You may have seen others put engine start buttons in their cars, but they still had to use a key! It’s like, “really, guys? You’re adding a step to starting your car“! You definitely don’t want to be like those idiots. You, you’re much smarter than those hook-it-straight-to-the-starter guys. You know there’s gotta be a better way… and there is!
Continue reading How to Install a Start Button
The first place that I was going to install the button was in the larger hole cover that covers the hole in the dash where accessory switches go, but were not used. However, I found a better location while solving the steering lock issue. The key cylinder also operates the steering lock, but if I’m not going to use the key to start the car, the steering lock just inconveniences me. I had to remove it.
After adding the relay module and start button, as well as making some changes to the code, I wired my test circuit up to CRX to see if it could actually work. Video below…
I recently purchased a 4 channel relay module and a start button from a Mazda 3. The relay module cost me $8.49(USD) from Sain Store on Amazon.com. The Mazda 3 start button cost $25.00 off ebay.
I wrote a program for the Arduino, and put together a test circuit to see if it would work. I used LEDs to show the functions. I wrote 6 different versions of the code until I finally came up with one that worked exactly how I wanted. I’m not a programmer, so this code is rather sloppy, and I’m sure there’s a much better way to do this, but, hey, it works.
I’ll post the code later, after I make the final version.
I recently test drove a ’14 Honda Civic, and I really liked some of the new features that Honda has added to their vehicles. The start button intrigued me. It used to be that the S2000 was the only vehicle that Honda decided to have an engine start button on, but now it seems that has spread to their other vehicle lineups.
I wanted to put that same start button functionality on my ’91 Honda CRX. I’ve seen other people install S2000 start buttons in their Civics, but all the button did was activate the starter motor. It didn’t control the ignition or accessories. They still had to use the key for that. What’s the point of installing the button, then? It just adds an extra step to starting the vehicle!
Now, I know that you can by complete start button kits that add all the proper functionality, but they usually cost upward of $200(USD). I had the idea to make my own setup for much less, and I could use any button I like! At the heart of this project is the Arduino. The Arduino contains a Atmel AtMega328 micro controller that I will program to operate the vehicle’s accessories, ignition, and starter.
Stay tuned for updates as the project progresses.