It’s bad news I’m afraid. We’re seeing more and more broken car keys.
Years ago, most of our work came from lost or spare car keys. However recently, we’ve seen a big change. Broken car keys are leaving our readers stranded all over the world, and we’re seeing a pattern.
The problems are many. Blades that no longer flip out, keys that split and fall to pieces. Worst of all there are chips that give up sending a signal and buttons that won’t unlock the car. Broken car keys are such a problem, we wanted to list the worst offenders for you.
5 Worst Broken Car Keys
Vauxhall Insignia, Astra J and similar.
If your car key looks like this, it’s a ticking clock until it breaks I’m afraid. With this key, the most common car key problems are the blade holder fracturing and the blade falling out.
Can Broken Vauxhall car keys be fixed?
Most car key cutting shops will be able to take all your broken bits and put the expensive electronics into a new key shell. Once the key blade is cut to the car, then the key is as good as new. We fix and post our around the UK every week.
Should I fix my broken Vauxhall key myself?
VW, Seat and Skoda Broken car keys
German engineering used to stand for something. Strength, reliability, and the highest quality design and manufacture. Something has gone seriously wrong with broken car keys from these brands.
In 2010, they changed the design, and then problems began. Again, the flip blade holder, the piece that keeps the key blade in place, fractures and the pin gets lost. Most common on VW Transporter and VW Caddy models, we believe the ignition lock feels heavy to turn to the ‘crank’ position. Look out for this if you have one. We’ve written at length about this problem.
Can broken VW, Seat and Skoda Keys be fixed?
Yes, but a word of warning. These keys have a sensitive transponder chip. Our advice is to get a spare car key made, before you start getting your broken car keys fixed.
Also, if the key chip breaks when the key is opened, there’s trouble ahead. When you have no car keys that start your VW, Seat or Skoda car, made after 2010, it can be tricky to get a replacement made easily.
Should I fix my broken VW, Seat or Skoda key myself?
Again, yes, we show you how to do this. You just need a good quality case, and open it with the correct tool know how to do it. But again, there is a chance that the chip will get damaged if you’re heavy handed, so take care.
Damaged chip = No Key Detected = Big trouble
Hyundai and Kia Broken Car keys
We have a YouTube channel and this is our most watched video. Soon to break 450,000 views, there’s a worldwide problem with Kia and Hyundai broken car keys.
Again, the same thing happening. The blade is held into the key by a small metal pin. The blade holder isn’t strong enough. It cracks across the pin hole, then the pin gets lost and the blade falls out.
Even on the newer type of key, the one that replaces the really badly designed key there are similar problems.
Can Hyundai and Kia Broken Car Keys be fixed?
Yes, the repair cases are readily. When we fix these by post, we always cut the blade fresh and replace the key battery. We think it’s a better job, and our machine measures the key and then cuts it like new. However, other companies may swap the blade.
Should I fix my broken Kia or Hyundai key myself?
Yes, although quite a lot of care is needed. Inside the key there are two important things. The first is the green circuit board, which does the central locking. The thing that is often missed is the transponder chip.
Unlike most new car key, Kia and Hyundai use a separate chip and it is often glued in place to stop it coming loose. To remove it, you need to carefully melt the plastic around it. You can also use side cutters, or a saw, but these are more risky. So just take care if you fix your own key.
Ford New Style Broken Car Keys
We used to give our Ford keys a lifetime warranty, they were that good. However, these days it’s almost painful to sell them. Why are the keys so bad? We all like a key blade that flips out, but they are troublesome. This is one of two reasons why Ford broken car keys are so common.
The main culprits are the Ford Custom style flip key. They’ve introduced a weak flip design, and given it to builders, couriers, and tradesmen and women all over the country. In our experience, they last 3-4 years maximum, which is similar to the other brands mentioned above.
Can Ford Broken car keys be fixed?
Tricky one this. We regularly fix the Ford flip keys that are used on the Ford Mondeo and C-Max. The reason these can be done is because they have a simple CR2032 battery inside. This can be replaced easily during the repair. They open easily if you have the correct tool
However, we’ve had issues when we used to offer the postal service on broken Transit and Custom keys. Fixing broken car keys by post always carries a risk that the key won’t work afterwards, and this is what we found.
The key battery is different to any other flip key. It’s soldered into the circuit board and charges as the van drives along.
However, they’ve been poorly designed and manufactured, and we’ve written so much about this stupid idea over the last few years.
To fix the Ford Custom or Transit key, it needs to be broken open with the correct tool. Once it’s open, it should have a new repair case and the blade cut. Of course there’s the problem of changing the rechargeable battery. Click here to watch how we fix these.
Sometimes, after the repair is completed, the buttons still don’t work, and we don’t know why. This is why we no longer offer this service out as part of our broken car keys postal repair service.
Should I fix my broken Ford Flip key myself?
Do you have a spare car key? Can you risk trying to fix it and the van not starting afterwards? This can happen, as with all broken car keys. If you’re happy with soldering and have a good quality soldering iron, then yes, have a go.
If you can’t solder, avoid is our advice, Either use a local repair service or invest the money in a new Transit or Custom key. It will be money that’s better spent.
Peugeot and Citroen Broken Car keys
Last but by no means least. Peugeot and Citroen keys were the first we filmed and wrote about. At one point a few years ago, we were fixing 10-15 every week at our shop in Lincoln, completely ridiculous.
Again, the problems include flip blades that wobble and buttons that stop working. However the worst problem with these keys are when the transponder chip dies. Of all the keys we see, Peugeot and Citroen keys of this style are the worst.
Can Peugeot and Citroen Broken Car Keys be fixed?
It depends what’s wrong with the key.
If the blade is wobbly and the case is falling apart, yes it can be re-cased and the blade cut to turn the locks. Choosing a case can be a bit tricky because there are over fifteen variations to choose from.
Our video explains the difference
The next problem is that when the the soft rubber wears, often the electronic switch is broken. On most other brands of broken car keys, the switches can be replaced.
However, we’ve given up replacing switches on these keys because they are so tiny and we had lots of issues. Once the keys gets damaged inside, we recommend a new key.
The last problem, already mentioned is the chip failing after time. You will get a warning about the key becoming unreliable.
As soon as you see this message, get the key fixed, because after a few days or weeks the key will fail altogether and you’ll be stranded for the sake of broken car keys.
Again, although this problem can be fixed, we don’t recommend it.
Should I fix my broken Peugeot or Citroen Flip key myself?
If it’s just a case, go for it. If the buttons still work even though the key is falling apart, you can probably save the key. Watch our video to explain the difference between all the cases.
If there are deeper issues with the buttons or chip, then we’d recommend spending the money on new key before it dies altogether.
How do I find someone locally to help me with broken car keys?
Not all Auto Locksmiths and key cutting shops are equal. Some will be happy to take it on, others will refuse. More importantly, does the company know what they are doing?
Click here to read our guide on how to find a local expert that can help you.
The future isn’t bright I’m afraid. Broken car keys are with us for a while, so will ‘keyless’ cars solve the problem?
Well yes, there are no blades that can break. However, ‘keyless’ cars are the easiest car to steal, so a broken key is the least of your worries. Want to know more about cars getting stolen? Click Here.
Good luck and we hope this has helped you.
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