Ford Keyless Key causing problems locked out

If you have a Ford car, with a keyless fob you leave in your pocket, there’s a good chance you’ll have key trouble. The Ford Keyless key, or ‘smart’ key has a key battery inside.

Gone are the days when you can get away with cheap nasty car key batteries and we see problems every week.

Good news, it’s easy to sort out yourself, without a Ford dealer.

Ford Keyless key

Battery Inside Ford Keyless Key

Your Ford Keyless Key works in tandem with your car.  As you approach your car to use it, the key and car have already checked each other out!

Ford Keyless Key

This is why when you press the button on the dash, the car starts, just like magic. It’s easy to use and everyone loves it.

That’s unless your Ford Keyless key won’t work, and you’re locked out and the car won’t start.  When you understand how everything works, you’ll realise this is normal, there’s no reason to panic.

In the Days before the Ford Keyless Key

In the good old days, there was car lock and a car key. When you put the key in the lock and turned it, something clever happened that let you use the car. The key had a transponder chip inside it, much like the one you have inside a cat or a dog.

The car checked out the chip, making sure it recognised it, and the car engine started. Quick and easy. That was in the olden days.

Then the Ford Keyless key came along.

So fast forward and we still have a transponder chip, but it’s different.

Imagine the car sits there, like an obedient dog, waiting for a call from its owner.

We all know that if you have a pet dog and you’ve been out all day, the moment it hears the key in the door, it’s ready to greet you.

The door opens, and it’s all over you waiting for a stroke and some quality bonding time. This is the same as your car.

When the car is sitting there, imagine it’s a dog. When you approach it, or press the buttons on the Ford Keyless key, then the car should come to life. It’s alert and waiting for the next thing to happen, for you to press the big ‘start button’ so you can go out on a trip.

The problem comes when you have a Ford keyless key that no longer works.

This time when you approach the car, or press the key button, it’s like having a deaf dog. It won’t respond and just sits there doing nothing!

Why is the car ignoring you? One of four reasons.

Ford Keyless Key system is faulty

This is unlikely, but we’ve seen it once. The keys are new, with new key batteries, but they won’t work the remote central locking.

It’s a trip to a Ford specialist I’m afraid and a BIG bill. But that’s the bad news out the way, so let’s not think about big bills.

Ford Keyless Key Problem 1 – Key damage.

This is common, for one of two reasons. Maybe the car key has got wet, which is very bad for this type of key. If it has got wet, then click here to see if you can save it!

Or maybe it’s damaged inside for some other reason. This is hardly surprising. There are tiny delicate components inside, with no protection from the elements.

pic of key damage

We believe it’s a good example of Inferior Component Design and are seeing this throughout the motor trade. Hopefully there’s no key damage which leads us to the most common problem, a flat key battery.

Ford Keyless key Problem 2 – Key Battery low

Ford Keyless key batteries last 12-18 months, so sooner or later you’ll start to get the message that your key battery is low.

If you change it, or get it changed somewhere, then the message should go away.

However if you leave it, or use a really cheap battery, then you’re in for trouble.

Eventually it will stop working and the car will not respond and you’ll get this message, which is bad.

Changing the key battery is very easy as long as you’re careful, and have a good quality battery. Here’s a video we made that shows you how to do it.

However, if you don’t fancy changing it yourself, find a good local car key man Auto Locksmith to do it for you. This is how you find a good auto Locksmith.

When we change them in Lincoln, we charge £10. The owner can come back all the time they have the car and we’ll change it again for free. With this type of Ford keyless key, it’s a good deal! So look out for who else offers this deal.

Ford Keyless Key Problem 3  Flat Car Battery

This catches a few people out sometimes. If the car battery is flat, then it’s never going to respond to the car key. The problem is you won’t be able to tell until you get into the car.

ford keyless key

When you get in, put on the hazard lights and see if the flash. If they do, then the car battery is probably ok, but if they don’t flash, you have no power.

So now you need to get into the car, even though the car key buttons won’t work.

This is easy but we’ll need to cover it in another post. Click here to find out how.


We hope this all makes sense and has been helpful

Thanks for reading our Blog






Ford Fiesta lock won’t turn, help!

If you’re reading this, you’re may be in trouble, wishing you’d got the lock sorted out before now. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Most of us are busy rushing around and, if it still works, it’s good enough. If your Ford Fiesta lock has been getting tricky to turn, eventually it will stop all together. If that’s your problem, we may have the answer at the end of the article.

ford fiesta lock

Ford Fiesta Lock or key?

Most people who call us believe the lock has failed. The problem shows up over a long period of time. At first it catches occasionally, not often, but enough so you know something’s wrong. Over time, owners learn a special trick with the key to get the lock to turn. However, eventually all the wiggling, jiggling and WD-40 in the world won’t turn the lock. 

The Ford Fiesta lock causes the key to wear much quicker than other Ford models. We’re guessing there’s something sharp in the lock, shaving the key, as you can see below.

ford fiesta lock

The lock has parts inside that are moved up and down every time the key is put into the lock. These are call ‘levers’ or ‘tumblers’.


When the key and lock are new, the correct key moves every lever into the right position, so the lock turns. However, when the key blade becomes worn, it no longer moves these levers up and down enough. This is when the lock starts to play up.
Look at these screenshots from a Ford Custom Lock. This has a similar problem and you can read about it here

Worn car key damages Ford fiesta lock.

Sometimes, if the car’s driven until it won’t turn, the worn key may damage the inside of the lock. The levers that are supposed to move freely become burred and develop sharp edges. This in turn, stops them moving, so the problem gets worse.

Will a new key always fix the Ford Fiesta Lock problem?

We see one every month and have done over the last 2-3 years. Every time we’ve cut a fresh key blade, this has fixed the problem of the Ford Fiesta lock not turning. If the lock has some damage, then it will turn, but may feel horrible to use. It may be notchy or just tight.

If the lock is like this after replacing the key blade, then do the right thing and get a new lock for the car. You’ve been given a second chance, and you must sort it out before it fails again.

Why replace the Ford Fiesta Lock if it’s turning?

In most cases, when you get a new key blade, the lock will be perfect, and you’ll have no worries. However, if you do need a new lock, then you have the ‘chicken and egg’ problem.

Replacing Ford Fiesta Lock that won’t turn.

The problem is that to take the faulty lock out of the car, the lock needs to turn to position 1. This means that the lock is turns enough to take the steering lock off, but before the point that brings the lights on. We call this position one. However, if the lock is so worn out that it can’t be turned, even with a new key blade, you have trouble. The lock can’t be removed and then it needs drilling out and replacing, which isn’t much fun.

Can just anyone cut a new Ford Fiesta key blade for me?

This is really important. There are two ways to cut a Ford Fiesta key blade. The professional way is to look at the shape of the key and then work out the key number. What is a key number?

Once you have this number, it can be entered into a computer controlled key machine and reproduced. The key will be as from new, perfect in dimension. This is crucial because it eliminates most of the wear that’s causing the Ford Fiesta lock not to turn. Any good auto Locksmith will be able to do this, or even the Ford dealer. If you need to find a good quality Auto Locksmith, read our guide .

Getting a key blade copied

No, no, no. Don’t do it, no. When you go to a normal key cutting shop, they will trace cut the key, copying it from your worn key. This is stupid, and you’ll simply end up with a new key that’s worn down. It may work for a while, but wont last long. Get it done properly, find a professional.

We hope this has helped. This is a problem that can be fixed easily, and we’d love your comments if you have this problem or had it and got it sorted.

Take Care




Your Car Key Number will save you

Imagine the worst. You’ve lost your car keys and you’ve got somewhere important to be, a meeting, your daughters ballet exam or even just work. Even worse would be a holiday flight, a wedding or even a funeral. We’ve seen every one of these scenarios and there’s nothing worse than hearing someone who’s desperate and in a hurry to get somewhere. When you find yourself in this position, you need all the help you can get. The best help is your car Key Number.

For us to cut a key, we need to know which bits of the key are cut off, to give it the correct shape. Take a standard Ford key, for a 2011 Fiesta. The key is cut as a wavy line, along the length of the key.

car key number

Making a key without knowing the shape is very hard. For a start, for the Ford Fiesta, there are 6000 different combinations that it could be, six thousand different keys!

So, when you lose it, and we need to cut a new one in a hurry, any help we can get cuts down all the guess work. Knowing your Key Number will

  1. Put you in the top 1% of car owners. Most do not know what a key number is
  2. Save you alot of money when you need a new key.

I have my key car key number, where should I keep it safe? Good question. If you lose your car keys, and you keep it in the car, that is locked, that’s not good. It means someone must break into your car to get it, which defeats the point of having it. We recommend keeping a digital record.

What happens if you don’t have a car key number?

Making keys when they’ve been lost is like trying to do a jigsaw puzzle blindfolded. Imagine just a ten-piece jigsaw, but you can’t see it. You just have your hands, fumbling around, trying to make them fit. It’s hard. Making keys without knowing the shape is similar. Getting the right combination of key shape can feel nearly impossible. However, when a key number is available, we’re able to cut a car key blind. It’s as if we can see inside the car lock, without having to take it apart.

With the new key cutting machines on the market, if you have a key number, we can just type it in to a computer, and your key is available in seconds. This is how the dealers can make you a car key without seeing the car. They’ve a record of your key number in a database.

So hopefully now, you understand how important your car key number is.

Where can I find this car key number?

It all depends on what make of car you have. In the good old days, they would stamp the key number onto the lock. This way, if you lost your car keys, you could take a lock out and get the number. But it’s not that easy anymore. Look through our list of manufacturers for a rough guide.

Ford Car key number

Amazingly, they dominate the UK market, but have no central database of car key numbers. When the car is sold, it’s the job of the sales person to write down your car key number and keep it on record at the branch that sold it. However, half the car sales people we talk to haven’t been told what key numbers are.   They don’t know where to find them, or where to record them when the car is sold.

So, the chances of them recording tyour car key number at the point of sale is slim. The other problem Ford have is that over half of new cars go straight to Lease for large companies. This means that the issuing dealer is handling hundreds of cars being sold in a short space of time. So little things like car key numbers can easily be forgotten.

This means if you call your local Ford dealer, it’s unlikely they will have your car key number. The small family run businesses are much better at this than the large, city dealerships.

Ford car key number tag

Ford Car Key Number

The key number is stamped into a small black tag and it looks like it something that can be throw away, a meaningless piece of plastic. Unfortunately, it’s often the only record available. There is another version of a Ford key number and that is a bit of a one-off. The new Ford Ka is based on the Fiat 500 and the keys are based on the Fiat system. The good news is that they supply a real information card and it looks important enough to keep.


Vauxhall Car key number

Vauxhall are excellent at record keeping. They have a central database and if you don’t have your key number, they’ll get it within a few hours. If your car is older than ten years, it can take twenty-four hours, which is still impressive (compared to Ford). They also supply the car key number on a security card from new.  This is normally inside the black wallet that comes with the car. It’s called the security car pass and looks like this.

Citroen and Peugeot Car Key Number

Again, the French are excellent at record keeping. They too can access the database instantly and supply you with the key number. You may already have it, here is what to look for.

car key number

Unfortunately, this can look unimportant and get overlooked, but all the information is here you need.

Fiat Car Key Number

As we’ve said, excellent record keeping from the Italians, (you can see Ford are starting to look bad now). They can access the car key number, although this can take a few days. Here is what you are looking for.

You can see in this photo that the print can rub off! This means that the card can be useless.

Other Manufacturers

With other manufacturers, you don’t get anything like a card with the key number on it, but they do keep excellent records. Toyota, Honda, Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi can access this information quickly to help you. This is how they order keys for you.

Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda Car Key Number

Forget it. Back in 2006 something changed for these manufacturers. In the olden days, certain dealers could get codes easily, however, they stopped that so long ago. Now, the dealerships don’t even see the code. It’s as if this is top secret information. So, it’s no use asking them.

A lottery for you.

As you can see, it can be easy or hard to get a key number from your dealership. It all depends on the make of car you have and how professional and knowledgeable the dealership is. The good news is that if you can’t get a key number, a good Auto Locksmith can get this for you, by picking the lock and working out the shape of your key. It isn’t easy and so you’ll be charged more when you lose your car keys. That’s why we are so keen to get the message out about know where your car key number is.

We hope this has helped. Don’t forget to check out to see if you have your car key number. Then make a digital record, we call this Photokey.

Take Care of those keys




VW Car Key Won’t turn in lock

German cars have a reputation for excellent engineering and reliability. When we see a fifteen-year-old VW Passat, it usually has the original car key and ignition lock. Unfortunately, the newer car keys and locks from VW are not so reliable. We’re starting to see a new fault, and your VW car key won’t turn in the lock, so you can’t drive it. This problem is showing up on cars from 2009 onwards and we’ve seen it up to 2013 models.

Why won’t my VW car key won’t turn in the lock?

It helps to know just a little bit information about locks and keys. The ignition lock on your VW is simple.

vw car key

Ignition lock and key

It’s a small lock, with lots of pieces that move up and down, called tumblers. When the correct key is put into the lock, the tumblers line up and then the key can be turned, simple.

The lock must be held in place, and the big piece of aluminium that does this is called the lock housing. As well as holding the ignition lock in place, it also has electric wires attached to it, and the steering lock. So, the lock is a very simple thing, whereas the lock housing is more complicated and has many functions. Unfortunately, when your VW car key won’t turn in the lock, it’s not obvious which problem you have. It could be the VW lock that’s faulty, or it could be the lock housing.

What do I do about my VW lock problem?

When your VW car key won’t turn in the lock, the first thing to do is to find out whether you have a lock problem, a lock housing problem, or both. Most independent garages will follow the guidelines and simply order both parts. This will solve your problem but is the most expensive solution. For a start, the lock will need to be ordered in, and takes 10-14 days to arrive from Germany. However, the lock housings are available next day. So, if you have a low mileage car and your car lock is ok, you may just need a new lock housing. This would cut your parts bill in half and you could be mobile in a couple of days, instead of two weeks!

How do I test to see if I need a new ignition lock?

This isn’t easy. The only way you’ll know is to take the ignition lock out of the lock housing. To do this you’ll need to remove the plastic housing that covers up the lock housing. This can be a bit of an effort with some VW cars. Once you can get to the lock, you then need to remove it from the housing. This involves turning the lock to the first position and poking a piece if wire into the lock release hole. It’s not simple and you’ll probably find you’ll want a mechanic to do this. Once you get the lock out, carry out the following fault finding.

How do I know if I need a new ignition lock?

When you have your lock out of the car, you need to put your VW car key into the lock and test it. Does the key turn smoothly in the lock? Or, is it notchy and feel like there is some resistance? If the lock turns smoothly, great news, you probably just need the lock housing. These are available from VW or TPS the next day and cost between £90 and £150 plus VAT. If you turn the lock and it grinds, or there is any resistance, you need a new lock and a new housing.

How do I know if I need a new VW Lock housing?

We recommend that the very least you should do is replace the lock housing.

vw car key

Ignition lock housing with lock removed

We’re seeing 2-3 cars every month that are suffering with lock and lock housing problems. The lock housing is normally the faulty part, so it needs to be changed.

Do I need a new VW Car key as well?

The new style of VW car key is terrible quality. Since 2009 they changed the design and they have a problem with the blades becoming loose and snapping away from the key. However, unless you have this problem, we would say that the key will be ok. Even if the key blade is worn, (usually caused by turning the lock when jammed) you’ll just need a new blade, and not a complete key.

If you order the parts from VW or TPS to your VIN number, then your old car key will fit the replacement lock. This means you can still use your old WW car key, saving you the cost of a new key and programming.

The unfortunate thing is because the lock and housing become stiff to turn, this causes the key damage at the hinge. Take a look at this article from last year.

Can I fit my own car lock and lock housing?

We think this is a tricky job. It’s not a weekend DIY project. The lock housing has lots of things attached to it and is held on the car with security bolts. These need to be removed with a hammer and punch, which isn’t that easy. Next, there are lots of things attached to the housing, and these need to be carefully removed.

The new lock housing comes with a warning. You can’t turn the mechanism without the lock in place. What we mean is, don’t mess about with the new lock housing, until you have a lock to put into it. If you do turn the lock housing, it will be scrap and you’ll need a new one! For some reason VW have designed the housing so that if it is tampered with, it locks up and cannot be used. This is good if someone is trying to steal the car, but not much used if your trying to fix it!

Should I try to fix the VW lock and housing myself?

As we’ve said, this is quite an involved job. If you’re confident with cars and tools, you’ll probably have no bother. However, we believe that if there’s any doubt, leave it to the garage. We hope this helps!


How To Find a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith

When disaster strikes, and you lose your car keys, or get locked out, it’s really painful. In the fifteen years we’ve been in business, we’ve met countless people, waiting days and sometimes weeks to get mobile again. It shouldn’t be that difficult to find a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith to help you. We’ve written this article to give you a few pointers on finding a good quality company. For most of you reading this, we’ll be miles from you and can’t help you. However, we hope these pointers will save you time and money and will also help the other local independent Auto Locksmiths around the UK and the world.

Locked out and somewhere to be

A few weeks ago, we took a phone call just as we opened up in the morning. A young man had locked his keys in an Audi A6 and needed them out urgently. Even though he was very close to us, we told him the earliest time we could do was 3pm, later that day. This was simply because we had other emergency work booked in before him. If it had been simple routine work, we could have moved it and bumped him up the list, but it was all important. We gave him the list of other Lincolnshire Auto Locksmiths for him to call, so they could help him.

Next, at around 11am, he visited us at the shop, not realising we were the same company, and explained how important it was to get into the car. He was driving to collect a family member from the airport and they would be waiting. Again, we explained the earliest was 3pm. Lastly, he called us at 1pm, and asked us why we weren’t with him after paying a deposit of £100! Sorry, that wasn’t us, we don’t take deposits. Finally, he asked us to come and we arrived at half two, a little earlier than expected.

He told us that he’d already paid £100 to a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith over the phone,  and we were supposed to be there earlier and wasn’t going to pay again. There was clearly some confusion. After checking the number that he’d called first thing, it was clear he’d spoken to a large national company who quoted £180 to unlock the car and promised to be with him within 90mins, so he paid them the £100 deposit. It wasn’t us and no-one else arrived. Once we’d cleared up the confusion, we opened the car, he happily paid us just £90, and he was on his way. So, lets explain how this happened.

Finding a local car Key Man Auto Locksmith

There are two problems that you’ll come across when looking for a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith. Either you live in the middle of nowhere, and have no choice, or, you are in the middle of a city and have too much choice! Both problems can lead to calling an inexperienced, badly equipped locksmith, that will not have the skills or technology to help you. So, here’s what we recommend.

Don’t Panic!

This is easy to say, but it will save you money if you take some time to do some research of who’s in your area.

We recommend the following.

Call your local car garage.

Hopefully you have a good relationship with whoever looks after your car. The garage will have a number of their local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith. Garages are an amazing source of good contact numbers for keys, air-conditioning, chipped windscreens and car electrics etc. Many garages are one-man-bands and they can’t possibly have the skills and equipment to do it all. Therefore, they have a network of go-to tradesmen to help them. They may give you a number to deal direct, or they may want to sort it out for you.

local Car key man Auto Locksmith

Ask on Facebook.

Most of us are on Facebook and we share our perfect world for everyone to see. But did you know that Facebook is an amazing search engine for getting help? A simple post asking for help is all that’s needed, does anyone know anyone? We have a Facebook page and are messaged every day, asking for help. People don’t like to recommend anyone that may be shoddy or dodgy, so the contacts you get should be good.

Search on Google for a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith.

This is normally the first thing people do, but we rank it in third place. Google is the perfect place to find your local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith, however it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We all love Google, it’s a goldmine of information and contact numbers, but the way advertising works can leave you making a bad choice on who to call. Let me explain.

When you’ve lost your car keys, and need a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith, you’d hope that the perfect, local expert would pop up as first choice. However, we all know this isn’t what happens. Google sells most of the first page to advertisers. These are companies that pay alot of money to get themselves on the first page, in Bold green and they are hoping you’ll click on them. We know this, because we’ve spent thousands of pounds in the past to be up there on the first page.

It is possible that your local expert is there. However, it can be very expensive to advertise, and your local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith will probably be a man in a van, small business, without the funds to pay alot of money to  Google. We’ve been there and any profit you make in a month can quickly get eaten up by Google AdWords.

Who should I choose on Google?

Take a look at a search we did. We looked for ‘locked out of car Lincoln’. This is where we live and and our  business is based, but we don’t advertise using Google Adwords. Therefore we’re not first on the list.

local car key man auto locksmith

First Search Result

The first result that comes up is an advert. You can see this because it has ‘Ad’ in a green box as part of the search result. This is an excellent example of Google showing you something that’s not helpful. For a start, this company is not a local car key man auto locksmith. When we click on the ad, (sorry Lincoln Locksmiths) they have a list of what they do, none of which mentions cars and unlocking them.

local car key man auto locksmith

First Result Details

I know nothing about this company, or have any reason to choose them as an example. They are most probably excellent. However, they don’t do what I need and this is a good example of the problems with diving straight in with a Google search.

local car key man auto locksmith

Second Search Result

The second result isn’t much better. Another Ad, this time an Auto Locksmith. However, the problem is they are nearly 50 miles away and unlikely to drive all that way just to unlock a car!

Do I need a local company? What’s wrong with choosing a National Company?

Our next search result was a national company. They certainly aren’t from Lincoln. I’m sure they are a good company, and not the company our customer called in the story above. However, they’re certainly not based locally.


local car key man auto locksmith

3rd Search Result


When you click on the advert, there is a page that mentions electrical work, not locksmith work!

local acar key man auto locksmith

3rd Advert detail

The problem is basically how the Auto Locksmith business is set. Throughout the UK, there are hundreds of specialists, like us, that are good at cutting car keys and doing a professional job. However, as we’ve shown, the companies that advertise on page one of Google may not be one of us. Sometimes, they’re nothing more than a reseller, or a broker. When you call them, their job is to find a local person in your area that will do the job. However, they won’t tell you this and when you talk to them, they’ll want a deposit off you to ‘secure an express service’. What this means is, they want £50-£100 deposit, so they can then start phoning around to find someone local in your area. I’m not suggesting the national company shown above do this, I just use their advert as an example of a national company.

Then, someone from the national company will do a local search, or have a network of people to call on. They’ll be tasked with the job of coming out to you. Now on paper, this may seem like a good way to find a local Car key Man Auto Locksmith. However, every month we talk to customers that have waited days and paid a large deposit, but no-one has arrived, just as in the story above. This is simply because the big national company can’t find anyone to do the job. Maybe the people they normally use are on holiday, or sick, or just too busy doing their own work. Whatever the reason, you’re left waiting, and waiting.

If you call a company on Google and they want a deposit to come out and unlock your car, alarm bells should ring. Why does a local Car key Man Auto Locksmith need to take money from you up front? Now sometimes, if we’re ordering a very unusual key for your car, or a purpose-built car lock, we’ll also need to take a deposit. But it’s quite unusual and we never do it when unlocking a car. In fact, it’s a curse to be paid before the job is done. Whenever we’re paid up front, we seem to have problems! So, if they want money off you, ask them ‘where are you based?’ and see what they say.

How Do I find a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith instead of a national company?

We’d advise looking at the first listing that isn’t an advert. Look at the listing and have a read who they are.

Hopefully they’ve filled out their ‘Google Place’. If they have, they’ll show up on a map, with a photo of the van, or shop they work out of. There will also be links to call them or find them on the map.

Take a look at how we’re shown on Google to give you some idea of what to look for. This is not a paid listing, we’re not advertising. If they have a Google listing, then hopefully they’ll have some reviews. Straight away this will show you if they’re trustworthy and capable of helping you. Are other customers happy with using them as a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith? It’s very easy top pick up the odd poor review and we have a couple, simply for not getting back to customers fast enough. However, the bulk of the reviews need to be positive.

Check out their website.

Do they have a website? Now having a website doesn’t mean they’re good at what they do. There are still plenty of old school tradesmen that don’t want to mess about with websites but are brilliant at what they do. We understand this. However, a website is a chance for you to meet the very person that you are just about to give lots of money to. Again, hopefully they’ll have more reviews and testimonials from happy customers.

Give them a call.

Just have a chat with them. Tell them you need help and be prepared to give them the make, model and car registration. Telling them your car is red, or you ‘think it’s a Citroen’ isn’t going to help you or them. Once you’ve given them this information, your local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith should be able to give you a price and time to come and help you get into your car or get mobile again.

They won’t answer, what do I do?

Imagine you are doing their job. They will either be hard at work, concentrating on making keys, picking a lock, or programming keys. Or they’re talking to another customer on the phone, or they are driving from one job to the next. So, this means when you call them, they may not answer the phone. If you can, leave a message and text them, asking for a call back and say if it’s urgent. This will help them decide whether they should stop what they are doing and call you, or call you once they have finished for the day. Unlocking a car can take enormous concentration, and many will not answer the phone unless it’s urgent.
Another good check is to call your local garage and ask if they have heard of the company you’re thinking of using. If there are bad companies, the word quickly gets around.

How much should I be paying for car keys?

This is a really difficult question to answer, simply because there are lots of things that change the price. Also it will depend on the level of competition in your area. Click here for a guide to what determines the price of your car keys.

So, take care, call around and don’t rush in. There are lots of really good, professional local Auto Locksmiths that can help you, but sometimes finding them can be a bit tricky. Good luck!


Peugeot Car Key Problems

Where to start? Every week we talk to local customers, struggling with Peugeot car key problems. We’re sent emails, tweets and Facebook messages, all having problems and asking for help, or just having a rant! So, what’s causing these Peugeot car key problems?

The trouble began around 2004. For years before that, Peugeot used the standard car key microchip that was pretty much indestructible.

Peugeot car key problems

Old Style Peugeot transponder chips

Looking like a piece of broken plastic, you could easily dismiss it as rubbish. However, this chip was utterly reliable. When these chips were used, we very rarely had Peugeot car key problems. However, in 2004, a new type of key was introduced to the range. We first saw it on the Peugeot 407.

Peugeot car key problems

This key introduced four major problems that have caused so much stress for Peugeot owners. Even though the 407 is no longer produced, this same key design is STILL used fourteen years later!

Problem 1 of 4 Peugeot Flip key blade wobbles.

To come in line with VW etc, they designed a flip key. Quite frankly ‘designed’ is the wrong word, because whoever in the office signed this off surely hadn’t even looked inside it. The blade assembly is cheaply made, with just a thin slither of plastic keeping everything in place and working. Commonly, as soon as the key is more than a few years old, the internal plastic assembly cracks and a key blade wobble starts. Once the blade becomes wobbly, this leads to more Peugeot car key problems. The silver button stops flipping the mechanism out, which means that the blade is limp, with no ‘spring’. Eventually the blade detaches from the body of the key, getting lost and causing customers to become stranded. All this, sometimes after 3-4 years of use.

Peugeot car key problems


When you think about this, most of us consider a 3-year-old car to be new, a real treat. The last thing I’d imagine having to do is to buy brand new car keys. However, this has been the case with mamy Peugeot car keys of this era.

Problem 2 of 4 Perishing buttons

We all want a nice soft key button to press, I get that. However, with this new key design came a new material. With a feel of soft latex, the buttons were extremely easy to press and to use, when new they were great. However, after a few years the material wears through and either splits, or a hole appears.

Once the buttons wear through, then this exposes the electronic circuit board and leads to damage of the small switches. The damage happens because when the owner digs in a nail to try and get the key to work, the electronic switch gets damaged. Eventually it drops off and a new key is needed. So once again, Inferior component design is responsible. Customers have to spend extra money on something that should have a much longer life. So, can it get any worse? Read on.

Problem 3 of 4 Faulty Immobiliser chip.

This is one of the major Peugeot car key problems. This is what stops cars starting, and it’s all because of a new type of chip design that was introduced. Instead of the dependable type of carbon encased transponder chip, they adopted a new design. This was first seen in the Renault Laguna key cards and we all know how much trouble they’ve been. Instead of an actual chip, (the ones that never go wrong), they placed a series of electronic components on a circuit board. When all these tiny, delicate components worked correctly, they generated a chip signal. This is great when brand new. However, fast forward a few years and things change.

The wear and tear that car keys suffer from is the main reason for the Peugeot car key problems we’re seeing today. Once the keys get to five years old, the circuit board has been dropped, thrown, got boiling hot and freezing cold. Eventually, tiny hairline cracks appear, and things start to go wrong with the transponder signal.

At first, it seems like it’s an intermittent problem. The car doesn’t start first time, but then just fires up, so off you go. But then it happens again, then twice a month, and before you know it you’re sat on your drive with ‘Immobiliser fault’ on the dashboard. There are several fairy-tale beliefs on how to fix this problem that are simply wrong, and we’ll cover this at the end of the article.

Problem 4 of 4 Worn key blades leads to worn locks.

Finally, this is one of the most serious of Peugeot car key problems. This is simply because, as the key blade wears, it then doesn’t move the lock parts correctly. Then the lock doesn’t turn as smoothly as it should and so wears the lock parts. This causes more damage to the blade, the mouth part of the key. The mouth of the key is the part that goes into the lock first and its job is to feed the rest of the key in correctly. Then the key stops going into the lock at all. This is very common on door locks of Peugeot Partners, 107’s and 407’s and alot of the Citroen range.

How to fix these Peugeot car key problems

Before you spend any money, it’s important that you are sure that the key is faulty. Click here to follow our simple checklist. However, when you’re sure it is the key, you’ll start to read various fairy-tale of how to fix the problem. Here is our simple advice to help you.

Fixing a Peugeot key blade that wobbles.

We’re often asked if we sell the springs that go into the keys, or just the blade part. Unfortunately, because of how the key is manufactured, a completely new case is needed. This is a simple job once you’ve found the correct case, and there are over twenty varieties! Click here read our guide on choosing the correct case. Rather than buy your own case on eBay, we recommend visiting a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith, and let an expert fit the correct case, change the battery and cut the blade. If you try and swap the key blade from one key to the next you may have further Peugeot car key problems, and this is covered in the article.  But this is an easy fix, so don’t suffer too long, other with the blade may get lost altogether!

Fixing key buttons that are worn out

By the time we normally see the key, it’s past repair. The switches under the buttons are missing or damaged. However, if the buttons still work, great news. Again, you simply need a new case and you just need to treat it as if you have a wobbly blade, above

Fixing faulty immobiliser chip

No good news here. Once you start to get the message ‘anti-theft fault’ or ‘immobiliser active’, then it’s the beginning if the end for the key. You may find it will work sometimes, but it will gradually get worse and eventually fail. You simply need a new key. When you choose where to buy this key watch out. With Peugeot keys there are around twenty varieties. They all look similar but only the correct one will work on your car. Click here to read our guide to buying car keys on-line.

Fixing worn key blades and locks

This is a tricky one. In a perfect world, you’d replace all the locks, and these would come with new key blades. The reason we recommend a fresh start is that if you just get a new key, but the locks are faulty, then the new key will wear quickly. Likewise, if you just buy a new lock and use the old key, then you may be wearing out the lock quicker than normal. This is simply due to your old key not sliding in and out of the lock correctly.

However, we know that it’s expensive to change everything. Therefore, it may be worth trying a new blade, cut correctly to code. What does this mean? There’s a big difference between buying a key cut to code, and one that is copied from an old worn out key (which just gives you a new worn out key). A key cut to code is cut on an expensive machine, controlled by a computer that moves the blade precisely as the blade was when brand new in the factory. However, a blade copied from your old key will follow the same pattern of wear and will not give you a true shape. In turn, it will not slide in and out of the lock correctly. We’d recommend a key cut to code every time.

But will a fresh blade solve your Peugeot car key problems?  Maybe, the only way to find out is to try it. Ask your local Car key Man Auto Locksmith for a quote to fit a new blade to your key and see if this improves things.


As you can see, there are lots of Peugeot car key problems and they compound each other. What I mean is that when the buttons wear out, the key then is used in the lock, and this ears quickly and gets jammed. The best way to avoid the lock problems later, is to keep a good working button key, rather than put the key in the door. good luck, Peugeot make nice stylish cars, but the keys and locks can be a real pain. We hope this has helped.



Vauxhall Insignia won’t start Car Key problem?

If your Vauxhall Insignia won’t start, this may help you. In the olden days, the Vauxhall chipped keys were very good quality. However, since they launched the Insignia model it has all gone downhill. The good news is that if your Insignia won’t start, then it’s very easy to tell whether you have a car key problem.

Insignia won’t start checklist

Do the dashboard lights come on? Is there power in the car? We get calls every week from customers that believe the key has gone faulty, only to find they have a flat battery. So, if the dash lights stay in darkness when you turn the ignition on, then check the battery. However, if the lights all come on, then read on.

No start – No crank. When you try and start the car, does the car make a cranking noise? Does the engine turn over as if it is having a go at starting? The first symptom of a faulty key is that the car will not crank. Therefore, if your Insignia won’t start, but is trying its best to fire up, it’s not a key problem.

Dashboard Padlock warning light. To make up for the car having terrible car keys, they put a light on the dash. The manual should read, ‘if this yellow padlock light comes on, then our poor quality car key has failed you.’ (I’m being restrained in my choice of words here, but hopefully you get the picture). If the padlock light comes on, the car will not start, it won’t even crank over. So, if you have a padlock sign on the dash, and it won’t crank, then yes you may have a car key problem.

Has the key you are trying to use, ever started the car?

This is a really important question. If you’ve previously used the key to start the car, but now it won’t start, it may be the key. However, if the key is brand new from Vauxhall, if you try and use it without it being programmed, your Insignia won’t start. This is perfectly normal and not a fault. You just need the car key programmed.

Common questions we’re asked.

Can I programme my own key? With some cars you can programme in your own key, but you cannot with a Vauxhall Insignia.

Is it possible the car has forgotten the key? Sometimes, cars do forget the car keys. However, this does not happen with the Vauxhall Insignia

Sometimes my Insignia won’t start, other times it will. Why is this happening? This is a classic sign that the key is just starting to go wrong. Often the problem happens just once randomly. Next month it may happen 2-3 times. Then as the key gets worse, then the problem gets more common. Eventually, whatever you do you will find that the Insignia won’t start. This means the key has died.

What do I do? You just ned to find a local Car Key Man. A local Auto-Locksmith that can come to you, cut a new key and then plug a computer in. The computer will introduce the key to the car and hopefully you’ll be up and running.

Is it 100% definitely the key? There are very few 100% guarantees with cars. If you have read the checklist and it points to the key, then that is the first thing to try. A local Car key man will be able to confirm if the key is faulty.






Replacing Lost Car Keys

I think we’re all the same. When we do something every day, we take it for granted how much we know. However recently, we’ve talked to several people that asked the most basic of questions, simply because they just didn’t know. So, here’s a simple guide to replacing lost car keys.

We’re simply going to repeat the questions we’ve been asked about replacing lost car keys. When people find us online, they want us to help them. Most of the time we have to say no because we’re too far away, but here are some answers to help you understand a bit more.

Replacing lost car keys 101

replacing lost car keys

Can you post a car key to me?

No. There are lots of reasons for this

  1. To know the shape of your car key, we need something called a ‘Key Number’ or ‘Key Code’. With some manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Citroen and Peugeot, this is available from a database.  If we ask nicely, with the correct documents, we can get this. However, with makes such as Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda and Ford, the key code is either not available or they will not release it. This means that replacing lost car keys can only be done by ordering from a dealer (the key comes pre-cut), or using a local Car Key Man. So, no, we cannot simply post a car key to you.
  2. We don’t know who you are. Even if we could post a key out, any professional Auto Locksmith should be thinking about security. If we could order a key online, what stops a criminal ordering a key to your car?
  3. The key has a chip in. This chip is the same as the one that’s inside your cat or dog. It is recognised by the car every time you start the car. However, when it’s new, it needs introducing with a computer, a bit like a handshake. Therefore, if you order a key online, it will not start the car.

replacing lost car keys

Do I have to have a chip in the key?

Yes, you don’t have a choice. When the car was made in the factory, it was designed so that it needed to see a chip before it would start. This is to prevent the car being ‘Hot Wired’, like in the olden days. So, when replacing lost car keys, you must have a chip, sorry!

Can I the immobiliser removed?

We never say never, because there will be a way of doing it, (such as when it’s a track car for racing). However, for general everyday use, no, the immobiliser cannot be removed.

Can I buy a car key from eBay or Amazon?

I wish I had a pound for every time we’ve been asked this. When you buy a key from the dealer, or an Auto Locksmith expert, it is selected by the number plate. There will only be one type of remote key for the car and it will have a part number. Only this part number will have the correct electronics to match up to the car.

So, for instance, if you have a Peugeot 207, there will only be one remote that will programme up correctly. However, the average eBay or Amazon advert will list a key correct for a 107, 207, 208, 307, 308 etc. Obviously, this cannot be correct, however every week, customers bring in their ‘bargains’ when replacing lost car keys, only to find they won’t work.

On top of this, there is a simple scam that you must watch out for when replacing lost car keys. If a listing reads ‘Ford Remote key New Blade’ then this can be read as the whole key is brand new. However, the seller has correctly stated that only the blade is new, and the rest of the key could be new, or second-hand. If it’s ever been programmed up to another car, it will not programme to yours (unless it’s an early Ford car). So be very careful buying car keys online. As the listing states, it is the buyer’s responsibility that the key is correct for your car, not the sellers!

So, no, we don’t usually advise a key from eBay. For a more in-depth read, click here.

Why are car keys so expensive?

There are lots of reasons why car keys cost so much. To find out in detail, click here.

Do you need the car when replacing lost car keys?

Remember about the handshake between the car and the new key? At some point, someone with a fancy, expensive computer is going to need to plug into it. So that means either it goes to the dealer, or a local Car Key Man comes to you (Other brands of Auto- Locksmith are available). So yes, the car is needed when replacing lost car keys.

Do I need the Logbook or any other ID to order a key?

If you order a key from the dealer then yes. even if your ID is locked in the car, or you lost the keys the day after you buy it and don’t have a logbook. In most cases, the dealer will make you wait. You may find that a local Auto Locksmith will try and take a more understanding and sensible approach, but this depend upon who you are dealing with.

If I pay a deposit, and then find my old keys before it arrives, can I have my money back?

This is a bit like paying for a meal to be cooked up especially and then changing your mind and wanting money back. The ingredients have been mixed, the chef has spent time preparing the food. Replacing lost car keys is much the same. A special key has been cut to your car, codes have been ordered and it cannot be used on another car. So, no, you can’t have your money back.

However, we’ve heard stories of dealers taking longer than usual for a key to arrive from the factory, sometimes 4-6 weeks or more. If this is longer than is promised and you find your old key, you may have grounds.

and finally, …

My car keys were stolen. Do I have to get all the locks changed?

This is a whole new subject for discussion. It’s different to when you just lose a key and so we’ve put together this handy guide. Click here to find out more and keep those car keys safe, wherever you are.






Stolen car keys – Do I need new locks?

Do I need new locks? We’re asked this alot. What most people mean is ‘I want the locks changed, but don’t want to spend the money or claim on my insurance’. It’s a fair question, who wants to spend money on getting new locks? But what do you do about stolen car keys?

If your car key has been stolen, you have a serious problem.  They can now steal your car anytime, in the next 1, 3, 6 or 12 months, there’s no rush. It may happen overnight, outside school, at the supermarket. So, when deciding on the best thing to do about stolen car keys, consider the following.

stolen car keys

Where were the car keys stolen?

We believe this is the most important question. There’s a big difference between car keys stolen from the house, and a handbag that has been snatched while on a night out. Car key theft is big business in the UK. Every day and night, houses are broken into with the sole intention of stealing car keys. This is called a ‘Hanoi’ theft and here is a typical news story example.

If they’ve been in your house and stolen the car keys, but not yet taken the car, you need to act quickly. Firstly, get the car somewhere safe and then get the locks changed and keys reprogrammed. Normally this is done through the insurance simply because the cost is quite high. However, if you’re trying to avoid a claim, it will be worth contacting a local Auto Locksmith.

Was there any identification with the stolen car keys?

By this we mean, were the keys with a wallet, or inside a handbag? For instance, was there a driving licence with the keys? If so this will have your address and it may tell the thieves where to find the car. So again, you should be thinking about getting locks changed.

Can I get the stolen car keys erased from the car memory?

Sometimes this is a good answer to the problem. For instance, if the keys were inside a jacket, or handbag and there is no trail back to your address. The keys have a microchip inside. With most cars, there is the option to erase stolen keys from the memory. So, if you had two keys and one was taken, a local Car Key Man could delete the stolen key from the memory. This will be alot cheaper than having all the locks changed, and can often be done on the same, or next day.

However, you must remember that the stolen key will still fit into and turn the door lock.  This will be the case even when it’s erased from the computer memory. How about keeping your valuable items secure? If you don’t have the locks changed, then the stolen key will still open the car the old-fashioned way.

stolen car keys

Will my car alarm stop them stealing from the car?

Did you know that many cars don’t have an alarm? We all think we have an alarm as standard, but they have disappeared from the cheaper models. This is to save money at the budget end of the market.

How can I check to see if I have a car alarm?

This is easy and will help put your mind at rest if you have the problem of stolen car keys. Follow this link to see the easy way to test if you have a car alarm. If you have, hopefully you’ll hear it go off if anyone comes back for the car or whatever is inside. If you’re that worried about this problem, you either need to take everything valuable out of the car, or get the locks changed.

How much will it cost for new locks and keys?

This really depends on the make and model of car. If you have a common car, a Ford or Vauxhall, then expect to pay around £400-500 for all the parts and the labour. However, if you have a Japanese or Korean car, such as a Honda, Kia or Hyundai, then a set of locks can be very expensive. A set of locks for an old 2006 Honda Jazz is around £600 just for parts. Then they will then need fitting and programming.

An independent should be cheaper than a main dealer, but when getting quotes, makes sure you get a price for the whole job, including VAT.

I don’t have any keys now; does this make it more expensive?

Yes, this is really bad news I’m afraid. For a start, if it’s locked up, then you need to get into it. This is one of the big problems with stolen car keys. Often, the car is stuck somewhere, and it can’t be moved to a safe place. If this is the case, you’ll need someone to get into the car. You may also need a key to fit the old locks, just to be able steer it onto a pick-up recovery truck. Again, this will put the price up.

stolen car keys

My car has an electronic Handbrake, how do I move it?

This is the ultimate problem, on top of having the car keys stolen. Sometimes, the only way to release the handbrake easily, is to have a key that is programmed. Otherwise, you will need a mechanic to do some magic and release it by disconnecting parts. If you find yourself in this situation, talk to a local Auto Locksmith. They may be able to get the car up and running so you can drive it to safety. This is what we always do in Lincoln. We visit the victim, get the car running where possible and erase the stolen keys. Then, once new locks are fitted, we can have new blades fitted to match the new locks. This isn’t possible on all cars, but a good Auto Locksmith will know how it all works.

How do I find a good Auto Locksmith that can help?

When looking on the internet, it’s easy to get confused between a local company and a national firm. If you happen to choose a national firm, they will just sub-contract the work to a local firm and you’ll pay much more. Click here to see our checklist for finding a good company.

Do I have to do anything about stolen car keys?

No. It’s all about risk. If you have a car key stolen, then your insurance will then be invalid if the car is stolen. There is a chance you won’t get paid out if your car is stolen. However, maybe the car is old, not worth much, and you can get around the risk by fitting an aftermarket steering wheel clamp?

Whatever you decide, do it quickly. Having a car stolen is a real pain. You can’t get to work, or get the kids to school, it’s a nightmare. So good luck, and we hope this helps.


New Shape Vauxhall Combo Price Problems

Ok. It’s got a Vauxhall badge, but we all know the truth. It’s a Fiat. It looks like a Fiat, it has a Fiat dash, it has more plastic than the North Atlantic and it’s horrible. Ladies and Gentleman, let us introduce to you the new shape Vauxhall Combo.

We’re biased, because as far as keys are concerned, Vauxhall cars and vans are straight forward.

However, since getting in bed with Fiat, it’s all gone wrong, and the new shape Vauxhall Combo is trouble, in our opinion.

The simple reason is Fiat keys are completely different to any other make. They’ve been this way since 2002.

With the old Vauxhall Combo, we could take a ‘virgin’ key off the shelf, then cut and code it to the van. There was nothing special about the keys, life was easy.

new shape vauxhall combo


This Vauxhall is different..

However, the new shape Vauxhall Combo has Fiat electronics, and therefore Fiat keys ( with a Vauxhall badge on).

If you lose your keys, or even need a spare, it’s all alot more complicated.

If you choose to order a new key from the dealer, you’ll be in for a shock. It needs to be ordered in especially, will take 5-7 days and you cannot hurry this along.

The really good news is that independents can now supply, cut and code the latest new shape Vauxhall Combo keys.  You no longer must use the dealer.

So here’s our guide to the prices and problems you are up against.

New Shape Vauxhall Combo – Getting a Spare key

As with anything Fiat, the keys are expensive. If you choose to order from the main dealers, a three-button remote key, supplied and coded is around £350! Even a key without buttons is around £180, once it is programmed in and we think this is taking advantage of you, the customer. If you can find a good independent, with the latest equipment, they will be able to supply, cut and code at a much-reduced rate.

For instance, we charge around £210 for a remote key. While still expensive, it’s a big saving. Therefore, with these prices in mind, we give the new shape Vauxhall Combo just one star.


There are three problems with these keys, and any or all of them can leave you stranded. Firstly, the key is not tough enough for use on a van. The same as the Citroen Relay and Fiat Ducato’s, the flip part of the key weakens, and it stops flipping.

It also can become ‘floppy’, and needs to be pulled out by hand every time it’s used. This is just annoying; however, the general build is unsuitable for a heavy-duty key.

Ignition keys become ‘sticky’

Next, concerns the key turning in the lock. We’re not sure whether the lock wears the key, or the key wears the lock. What we do know is that we see new shape Vauxhall Combo owners struggling to turn the ignition lock.

The keys wear out much faster than it should, and this causes the levers in the lock not to move correctly inside the lock. Once this happens and the lock sticks, the tendency is to wiggle the key so it turns.

Then the wiggle turns into more of a shake, more pressure is placed on the lock and key and it fails. If you catch it early, it can be fixed with a new key blade, but if left too long a new lock is needed.

Then the new shape Vauxhall Combo key fails altogether…

The last problem with the keys is even more serious. The electronics inside the non-remote keys are reliable, however we’re starting to see the remote keys fail. Watch our video of this problem by clicking here.

Lately we have replaced several keys that have simply died. The chip signal is no longer present and therefore the immobiliser prevents the van from starting.

If your key is starting to play up, then have it looked at sooner rather than later. The symptoms of a bad key are a padlock sign on the dash and a van that cranks but will not start. It’s as if the van has forgotten the key, however it’s more likely the key has failed.


With this being a Fiat van, if you need to order a key through the dealer, the codes will be needed. These codes are expensive, at around £45, which we think is excessive for just a few numbers.

As most keys these days, the keys cannot be ordered or programmed without these codes and you’d probably need to submit your logbook and photo ID.

However, if you can find a good independent, then you may not need codes. Call around and you may find someone with the latest equipment that can create a dealer key without codes. This will save you money from the start.

Speed two star

With Fiat keys, 5-7 days for a new key is standard. This isn’t too much of a problem with spare keys as you still have use of the van. However, bear in mind they are available same day from Auto Locksmiths throughout the UK. It’s just a case of finding one that’s invested in the latest equipment.

Lost Keys – What to do and How much it will cost.

As we’ve already covered, without codes, the dealer cannot help you. The good news about the new shape Vauxhall Combo is that instead of having to wait for the codes to arrive and then order the key, they can be ordered together.

This will save a few days compared to the old model. However, it still only gets two stars, because they have complete control of the process it can be an ordeal to get these codes and keys ordered, depending on where you are in the country.

Again, if you find a good Auto Locksmith, they could have you up and running within 24 hours. They will not need codes.


It shouldn’t be an ordeal, but that will depend on the route you take. If you order a key from the dealer, it will arrive within 5-7 days and need programming to the van.

Therefore, the van will need to be recovered to the dealership, which will be a further cost to you. On top of this, how quickly the van runs will depend on how busy the dealership is. We’ve heard stories of customers waiting days, when in reality, it’s a ten-minute job.

Should you use an independent?

An Auto Locksmith will solve your problem in a different way. They will unlock the van using a lock pick, and this will also measure the inside of the lock. Using these measurements, they’ll cut a key on-site and then programme it up to start the van.

The whole process should take 1-2 hours, or possibly quicker. So, it’s worth considering this option if speed is important. The range of aftermarket keys varies from average up to excellent. For instance, we keep in genuine keys, that are simply not branded up as Vauxhall or Fiat.

This way we can use them on either vehicle. We give it two starts, because you may have to use the dealer, depending on your location or circumstances.

New Shape Vauxhall Combo summary

As you can guess, we’re not impressed with the poor quality of the Vauxhall Combo keys and locks that we see. Leaving Vauxhall and switching to Fiat keys is a bad move for customers, but it’s what you have and so we hope the information here will help you spot problems early.

If the key starts sticking, or you have the padlock light on the dash, get it sorted early before you are stranded.