If you read our blog, you’ll know we’ve tried to spread the word about car key problems, and get you ready for a broken car key.
We get daily emails from around the world, and they all have a similar question. How can I fix my broken car key ?
So here’s our list of the most common faults, and our best advice on how to deal with each fault. Whether you’re stranded at the drive-in, or just curious about the problems, read our list to find out more.
Broken Car Key Problem 1 – Transponder Chip Fails
We’ve chosen this as number one for a very simple reason. If your chip fails, you’re going nowhere in your car. With all the other faults, you can cobble together a rescue plan to use your broken car key for a few days.
However when your transponder chip fails, it’s game over. The car won’t start. You must look out for the warning signs.
What makes a transponder chip fail?
Modern car keys have tiny electronics inside them. Car Keys get dropped, thrown, get hot in the summer and frozen in the winter.
How can I tell if my Transponder chip has failed? Read our detailed guide that explains everything you need to know, Click here to find out more
Broken Car Key Problem 2 – Wobbly or Loose Blade
It was always going to happen.
Along with our phones, we use our car keys day in, day out. The designers should have invested time and effort into making a much stronger car key. You must keep an eye on your blade, especially if you have a modern car.
A good example is the early VW/Audi/Seat and Skoda (VAG) keys. In my first ten years as an auto Locksmith, I never saw a broken one.
However VW, along with Seat and Skoda have gone to the dark side. They are some of the weakest and worst car keys we see. In fact we have a post set aside for you if you have a new VW, Seat or Skoda. Our readers are reporting problems all around the UK
But VW are not alone
and now even Ford!
They all join the group with shoddy, second rate keys. They’ve all given us wobbly and broken blades!
Because this is such a serious problem throughout the motor trade, we’ve written a whole article about the problem. Click here to find out more, along with how to fix the problem.
Broken Car Key Problem 3 – Outer Buttons wear out
This is so annoying. They spent millions designing car central locking systems that let you unlock the car by pressing a button. Then they spent pennies designing and manufacturing the keys that use this system. Madness.
The problem is caused by a combination of poor quality material and bad design. Along with this, when the buttons get tricky to use, we all have a tendency to press the button harder, or dig in finger nails!
This doesn’t help long term, and damages the key further.
Unfortunately we’re stuck with this problem. There are lots of reasons why the buttons no longer work, so we’ve written a whole article, explaining the problem in detail.
Broken Car Key Problem 4 – Worn Key Blade
Different to having a broken key blade. Having a worn car key blade make the lock gradually difficult to turn. As the lock gets more difficult, this can lead to a broken car key or lock, so it’s important you get it fixed before then.
Key blades wear for several reasons.
This Ford Fiesta blade is a common fault. We see it in both the Fiesta and Custom models and we think the lock wears the key quicker than it should.
The Ford Custom key blade above has a ‘shadow’ at the high points of the key. This is where the key has been worn down over time.
Sometimes the design of the key and lock mean that the key is not smooth from the very start! This Renault key above has been designed with sharp teeth, and it ‘saws’ the lock every time it’s used.
Want to know more about worn car key blades and how to fix the problem of your broken car key? Click here to read our guide on how to get a new car key blade.
Broken Car Key Problem 5 – Rechargeable Battery failure
If your car key has a rechargeable key battery, this is for you.
Land Rover Freelander and Discovery.
Ford Custom and Transit.
Various BMW and Mini keys.
The problem we have is that the key is sealed up, and cannot be opened up. This means if the key buttons stop working, you end up with a broken car key and no way to fix it easily!
We’re often asked
‘why have the sealed the keys?’ and
‘what make such an easy job difficult?’
We’re not sure to be honest. Someone in an office got a good promotion off the great idea of a key battery that never needs to be changed. Unfortunately they were only looking five years out, and hadn’t considered what happens when the battery fails after this time.
We end up with a broken car key.
We’ve written at length about this problem, and demonstrate how to change these batteries. It’s not simple, because the key has to be broken into, but we’ve found several tricks to open up your broken car key. Click here to find out more
Our top five problems. We really hope it helps show you what to look out for as there are plenty of car key problems now.