Nissan won’t start Key ID Incorrect

If you’re getting the message ‘Key ID Incorrect’ and your Nissan car won’t start, this is for you.

Even though your car is giving you the ‘Key ID incorrect’ message, you can use it if you follow our instructions.

Key ID Incorrect

Why is my Nissan telling me ‘Key ID Incorrect?’

This problem is most common on the Nissan Qashqai, but we also see it on the Nissan Juke, Nissan Note and Nissan Micra models. In fact, if your key is similar to this one,  you need this information.

In the olden days when you turned a car off, it went to sleep and rested until you turned the ignition again and woke it up.

These days, the car sits and listens constantly, trying to detect your smart key. This is why once you are inside the car, it already knows you have the car key, all you need to do is press the start button.

However, when ‘Key ID Incorrect‘ is shown, your car can’t detect the key. For some reason the automatic system that Nissan have designed isn’t working. This is normally one of three reasons

Nissan Won’t Start Checklist

Key ID Incorrect – Reason number One – Key Battery Low

The first and simplest reason is your car key battery. When did you last change it? If you did change it, how good was the battery you put inside the key?

It may be that the car can’t detect the key. It’s calling out to the key and waiting for a response, but your key doesn’t have the energy to answer!

Faulty, cheap, low quality key batteries, are the biggest cause of problems we see in all makes of proximity or ‘smart’ keys. We find it unbelievable that a £15,000 car, has a penny car key battery fitted inside the car key. So buy a recognised brand

See these on Amazon

Key ID Incorrect – Reason Two – Faulty Key

This could be for a number of reasons.

Obvious Damage to the key

If someone has been heavy handed when changing the key battery, a wayward screwdriver can damage the key.

Key ID Incorrect

You must be careful when changing the key battery, read more here.

 Invisible Damage to the key

What do we mean invisible damage? Sometimes there’s no obvious reason for the ‘key ID Incorrect’ message. Your car key will look immaculate inside, with a fresh new key battery. However, we’re seeing these Nissan remote keys just die, with no obvious damage. Maybe the key has been dropped one too many times?

The only answer is to replace the key with a new one.

Water Damage to the key

If your car key has taken a swim, then it’s bad news I’m afraid. Electronics and water have never been friends, and once wet, it’s a race against time to dry your car key out. You can save it, but you must be quick. If your key has been wet in the past, there will be tell-tale signs.

Normally a white ‘tide-mark’ is obvious. Then there’s a green tinge that will develop and turn into white ‘rust’. Lastly, good old fashioned brown rust is a giveaway. All of these will cause ‘Key ID Incorrect’!

Key ID Incorrect – Reason Three – The Key isn’t programmed!

Did the key ever start the car? We see this a lot, just after the car has been sold. Sometimes you’re given two keys, but you’ve only tested one to to see if it works!

When the key is brand new, it needs programming with specialist diagnostic equipment. What is car key programming? This is a really common reason for the ‘Key ID incorrect’ message. Maybe the car sales have ordered the key from Nissan, but didn’t have time to get it coded, or someone forgot.

Either way, if the key needs programming, no problem. Either the dealer, or a good Auto Locksmith can help you. Need to find a good Auto Locksmith? Click Here

How do I start the car with Key ID Incorrect?

This first priority is to get you moving again, so you can get the car to a garage, or the dealer. This is normally very simple.

Key ID Incorrect

Are you getting the following message?

Key ID Incorrect

The car shows you how to start the car using the emergency method.

Key ID Incorrect

Place the fob on top of the button and wait for the car to recognise it for a few seconds. The press the button with the key fob as shown.

Key ID Incorrect

If the key is programmed, the car will start!

It’s now time to find out why the car key is playing up. Visit your local dealer, or better still, find an Auto Locksmith to check the key out and change the key battery if needed. Looking for a good Auto Locksmith? Click Here

Need a good quality key battery at a reasonable price? Click Here to go to Amazon






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Nissan Proximity Key damage from changing key battery

Imagine it’s Christmas Day. You’ve done it all right. There are batteries for every present, you just need to put the batteries in! What could go wrong? Next, you open up the battery compartment and in doing so break it, so it can’t be used.  You’d be upset, your child would be mad at you and the shops would be shut. Basically you’d be screwed. Welcome to the world of the Nissan Proximity key damage. If you have one and are thinking about changing the key battery, read on.

Nissan Proximity Key damage

This week in our shop we had our first Nissan casualty due to Inferior component design. The customer had a warning on the dashboard that the key battery was low, so decided to change it (how hard can it be?). It turns out, harder than he expected and as he opened up the Nissan Proximity key, he wrecked it.

Nissan Proximity Key damage caused by bad battery change

If you watch the video below, you’ll see how the damage happened and how you can prevent it. We believe that the Nissan Proximity key damage has been caused by poor design (Inferior component design). Over thirty years ago, I worked at IBM Computers in Havant UK, making Flexi Circuits for computers. The delicate chips were protected against damage, being covered in a liquid resin material. When it dried, it protected the delicate components from damage and was important to the life of the product.

Nissan Proximity Key damage

This photo shows the encapsulation process, with the resin poured over and then cured in an oven. In our opinion, this is what they needed to do with the Nissan proximity key.

Nissan Proximity Key damage

To open the key, a screwdriver is inserted into a small gap and the case can be opened up. However, if too much force is applied and the screwdriver slips, it can scrape along the electronic circuit board. This photo shows the comparison between before and after.

Nissan Proximity Key damage

Had it been encapsulated, as the circuits were at IBM were,  the key would have survived. Instead, this expensive, poorly designed key was wrecked. Our customer was able, clever and should have been very capable of changing the key battery, so take care when you change yours. We hope this video helps.


Nissan Qashqai Testimonial

Here is a testimonial from from another happy customer. He’d noticed the Nissan key problem getting worse and found us on-line. After driving a few hours on a saturday morning we quickly fixed the ignition, curing the problem.

So because he was so pleased, we asked him to put it on film..


Nissan Qashqai – Removing the Ignition

If you’ve read our blog previously, you’ll know that we’ve spotted a problem with Nissan Qashqai, Note and Micra ignition locks.

Over a two years ago, we looked at our first Qashqai problem.  We had the car in our workshop for a spare key, and couldn’t remove the customer’s key from the ignition!

That’s Odd!

We had to take off the ignition and strip it down while the customer waited in our reception area. This gave us an insight into the problems you must have. So we dug a bit deeper into the problem, and found a solution.

In this world of DIY, we know that some of you out there want to try and get it fixed, without taking it to Nissan. We’ve a made this video that will show you clearly what you need to do.

Here is a testimonial from one of our customers who watched the video and saved themselves time and money..

Getting ready to remove the ignition

To take the ignition off the Qashai, Note or Micra, you just need some basic tools. A philips screwdriver, a hammer and a really sharp punch is all you need.


These seem a bit basic, but we use them day in and day out in our workshop in Lincoln. We fix between twenty and forty locks every month and post them all around the UK after they’ve been refurbished.

Is Nissan Qashqai DIY for you?

If you still fancy getting the lock off yourself and stripping it down, you’ll we’ll send you a two videos over the next few days.

Before you start, you’ll need to arrange for your car to be off the road for the day, so don’t leave it blocking in cars, or parked where it shouldn’t be!

To get the information you need, simply pop your email address above and we’ll get you started