Every week we talk to customers who are pulling their hair out, with a broken Vauxhall key.
Good news – they are easy to fix.
Here’s all you need to fix your broken Vauxhall Key
Broken Vauxhall Key – What you’ll need to fix it.
Both parts of the key!
If your blade breaks away from the key body, keep it safe.
It’s common for the key to be used long after should be, with the broken blade in the ignition, and being turned with the broken remote. This will keep you going for a long time, but we hear from people who lose the blade, and that’s bad news.
Broken Vauxhall Key Repair Key Case
Available as both a two button repair case and a three button repair case. You’ll need a high quality case that allows the electronic parts to be swapped over.
Some cases are held together by glue, but the better cases also have a screw that keeps both halves together.
Circlip pliers – perfect to open up your broken Vauxhall key
Pin Removal punch
This luxury will make swapping the blade over easier. If you don’t have a punch then you can also get the key blade cut. The problem you have is that many key cutting shops will not do this if they haven’t supplied the key as well.
Normal everyday Pliers
These can be hand when refitting the key blade pin.
This is really important. You have to remember that you’re doing something you’ve never tried before. Whilst it’s fairly simple to do, you need to put some time aside so that you’re not in a rush to fix your broken Vauxhall key.
******** Important ********
Before you break open the key case and try and swap it all over, make sure you know how to do it.
Every week we see keys that have been ruined, simply because of heavy handiness, or a slip with a screwdriver.
For a complete guide to open the old key and rebuild the new one, click below
Link to order ebook
This will take you to a link with our Broken Vauxhall Key repair guide that will show you exactly what you need to do.
It’s just as important to know what NOT to do, so you don’t damage the key.
Good luck and we hope this helps
Wondering how to fix your broken Astra key?
There’s good and bad news if you own a Vauxhall Astra J.
The bad news is, they’re the most common key we see that breaks.
The good news is, they’re one of the easiest to fix. Here’s our guide to fix your broken Astra key, saving yourself money.
Broken Astra Key Checklist – What you’ll need
Both parts of the key! If your blade breaks away from the key body, keep it safe. We see lots of people who lose the blade, and that’s bad news.
A Spare Key? We believe that before you try and fix the old key, you should have a standby key to use. The reason is that hen things go wrong with key electronics, you end up stranded.
We have thousands of comments on our key repair YouTube channel, most of which are positive. However, occasionally, someone will complain that the car won’t start after they tried to fix their car key watching our video.
If you’re not confident, get a spare key before you try and fix your broken Astra key.
Broken Astra Key Video
Here’s the video, if you’d prefer to watch, instead of reading.
What you need to fix your broken Astra key
You need a repair case that you’ll swap the electronics into. We prefer the cases that have a screw that keeps both parts together, instead of glue. Click here to buy a case. We use them for hundreds of happy customers in Lincoln and keep getting asked for them on-line. So we’ve added a link to our Amazon store.
They come with two or three buttons.
Circlip pliers – These are amazing for opening up all broken car keys, and very good when opening your broken Astra key.
When you squeeze the handle, the jaws open and the force will split open the key.
Pin Removal punch
This is a luxury that will make swapping the blade over a bit easier.
If you don’t have a punch, get the key blade cut instead.
The problem is that many key cutting shops won’t do this if they haven’t supplied the key as well.
Pliers to squeeze the pin back into the new key after you swap the battery, or a small hammer to knock it in.
This is really important. You have to remember that you’re doing something you’ve never tried before. Whilst it’s fairly simple to do, you need to put some time aside so that your not in a rush to fix your broken Astra key. It’s a bit fiddly and shouldn’t be rushed.
******** Important ********
Broken Astra Key instructions
Before you break open the key case, you need the new key to turn the locks. Imagine breaking your old key open, only to find out you can’t turn the lock with the new key!
Why do I need to swap the blades over first?
Sometimes, the original Vauxhall blade from your broken Astra key is a slightly different shape and will not fit into the new case.
Or, it may need bit of filing to make it fit.
This happens sometimes. The problem is that the repair case is made in a factory across the other side of the world and it’s been designed to accept in the blade that is already fitted to it.
How to swap the Broken Astra Key blade over.
Using the pin removal tool, find somewhere to rest your old flip arrangement that holds the old key blade. There will be some hammering, so make sure it isn’t your best dining table, or wooden kitchen side! They may get damaged.
Knock out the pin from the new blade, and the pin from the old blade and swap over blades.
Remember, they may need a little filing, but don’t force the old blade into the case. If you do this, you will break the new case.
Do NOT try and use the old blade and hinge in the new key case. It will not work. They’ve been made differently, as the photo shows, and the key will not flick out like it should.
How to Fix your broken Astra Key. Checklist
1 Clear a space, make some room and make a brew, get a beer or whatever is your fancy. We’d recommend turning the TV off so that you can concentrate.
2 Place your circlip pliers inside the gap in between both halves of the key. Give them a squeeze, the key will ‘crack’and both parts of the broken Astra key will be apart.
3 Pull both parts open enough, so that you can carefully remove the green electronics.
4 Put the electronics from the broken Astra key into the new case.
5 Take the blade and hinge assembly and insert the metal button. It will go it three ways, but only one is correct. When the button drops through and pokes out the other side, then you know it is correct.
6 Pop the spring into the button and then place the other end of the spring over the plastic spigot on the other half of the new case. You then need to wind it around in an anti-clockwise direction.
7 Don’t worry if it takes a few goes to fix your broken Astra key. This is fiddly and we do it all the time and it can still take a few goes. You’ll feel like you need an extra hand, so it may help if you have someone to help you.
8 Once you’ve managed to wind it round, close both halves of the case together.
You’ve almost fixed your broken Astra key!
9 Make sure the blade flips out when you press the silver button. If it doesn’t you need to take it apart again and have another go. It may take a few goes, don’t worry, you can do it!
10 When you get it working, fix both halves together with the screw provided.
11 Pop a new battery in, or use the old one if it is still ok.
12 Replace the battery cover
That’s it! Try it out and check that it works
Well done, you did it.
Any questions? Just comment below and we’ll try and help.
Based on The Renault Master, If you have a Movano Key, you have one of the best van keys on the market. They just got it right. No folding flips, or tiny little buttons.
The key comes in two parts. The remote has two buttons, open and close, or occasionally three buttons on some models. The extra button allows the load area to be unlocked independently.
The rubber buttons do wear through on the Movano key, but the switches underneath are big and strong and so can withstand the rough handling. Even when the electronic switches are damaged, they can be replaced easily.
You’ll find a big difference between the price of a key from the dealer and if you buy one from an independent. The dealers charge over £240 for a spare Movano Key, however, we think this is excessive. Expect to pay £120 – £140 for a new, two button remote key from an independent Auto Locksmith or key cutting shop. This gains five stars.
They’re just really good quality. Hard wearing and robust, even when they look a bit tired. Again, the Movano Key earns five stars.
This type of wear and tear can easily be repaired, to save you needing a new key.
There’s lots of equipment on the market now that will code you a Movano key without any need for the security code. It’s a bit embarrassing that the dealers still need the code to be honest. So again nice and easy and five stars.
There have been a few problems getting hold of these genuine keys. This has led to some delays when doing spare keys or lost. We keep a good supply in because we don’t want to use the aftermarket version which are much poorer quality. Any decent Auto Locksmith will keep a Movano key in stock, so there shouldn’t be any delay.
Lots of good news for you here. The locks can be decoded and give us the key number so we can cut a key. As we’ve already mentioned, a good Auto-Locksmith will not need codes.
However, if for some reason you do need a dealer code, the good news is that unlike Ford, the records kept by Vauxhall are very good. They key the key number and immobiliser code for every Vauxhall Movano key in a central database and is issued as a ‘Car Pass’.
To obtain the car pass there are a few hoops to jump through. You’ll need the logbook, a utility bill, and some photo identification. It all needs to be in the same name and address.
Then once this is done, you may have to wait up to three days.
Like we said, try to avoid this if you can.
The car pass will cost around £30 depending on what the dealer charges in your area. Although this seems to be a pain, at least they are available, with a Ford van, then it it’s a different story.
Losing your Vauxhall Movano key shouldn’t be stressful. A good Auto Locksmith will be very happy to get your phone call. How do you find a good Auto Locksmith?
As a guide price, you should expect to pay £180-£240 for someone to replace a lost Vauxhall Movano key. The price range is this large depending on location and competition. If you’re waiting for more than a day, you need to find a different Auto-Locksmith instead of the dealer.
We hope this helps.
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.
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.
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.
Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards Car Key Problems and Prices
If you have a Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards, it won’t surprise us if you have a car key problem. They’re terrible. Whoever designed these should be ashamed, and whoever tested them ( if anyone actually did) needs to go back to quality control school. Come on Vauxhall, these are bad car keys.
When the Astra 2009 onwards hit the streets, it came with a brand new type of key. Based on the older Astra and Zafira models, the newer design introduced several design flaws. Firstly, the flip blade holder, (we call the hinge) is too weak and fractures. It does so across the holes, the ones that hold the securing pin in place. As a result, the pin drops out and then eventually, the blade drops out and can get lost. Another problem is the buttons wearing through. By making the rubber button pads easy to press, they have created the problem that they perish quicker than the Astra H and Zafira A. Read about the problems in detail by clicking here.
Fortunately, Astra 2009 onwards keys can be fairly cheap, depending on where you buy them. From the dealer, expect to pay over £180. On top of this you may need to pay for the code, costing an extra £30. However, from a local Auto Locksmith, they should cost around £130-£150. This is average for modern car keys and earns three stars.
Changing the key battery, need help?
We’ve seen broken Astra 2009 onwards keys that are just two years old. Imagine buying a two year old car and having to pay out for a new car key! This is the reason we only give it one star. More typically, owners need to replace keys after 4-5 years. This is based on the age of the cars we see at our shop in Lincoln and we think this is still unacceptable.
In our opinion, the design feels flawed, and yet has remained unchanged for ten years. This is a perfect example of Interior Component design. Therefore, Vauxhall score just one star for quality.
The Vauxhall code problem
In the normal world of the main car dealers, two codes are needed to order and programme the key. Firstly, the key number allows the dealer to order the key cut correctly to your car. Then the security code is needed by the dealer to programme the key to start the car. If codes are needed to cut and programme the key, there are a few hoops to jump through to get them from the dealer. This is the same throughout all the Vauxhall range.
To get the codes from the dealer, you’ll need the V5 (logbook), driving licence and a utility bill. All three documents must have the same name and address. The codes need to be paid for in advance, at around £30, and you’ll normally be waiting 24 hours. Remember, a good Auto Locksmith won’t need these codes, making the job much quicker.
For spare keys, codes should not even be part of the equation. The equipment we have these days is so good that codes are not needed. However, if the Auto Locksmith you choose has little experience, or poor equipment, or you choose the dealer, then they’ll need the codes. You may be waiting a couple of days overall. Therefore, we give it three stars.
How difficult are lost keys on a Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards?
A good Auto Locksmith can make keys for a car, even when lost, without any codes. The Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards uses the standard Vauxhall type of Lock, on the market for ten years now. So, if an Auto Locksmith needs codes, then he or she hasn’t been about in the game too long. So If you have the codes, great. However, when Vauxhall tell you it can’t be done without the codes, have a ring around to find a local car key expert.
There are two problems to overcome when dealing with the problem of Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards lost keys. Firstly, the door locks can be difficult to pick and decode. This means it can be difficult for an Auto Locksmith to make a key that turns the locks, unless the codes are available. Likewise, the dealers simply cannot order a key without the codes. However, if you ask the question before you ask for a call-out then, you’ll find a company that can.
Next, you need the security code to programme the key. Again, there is specialist equipment that will extract the code from the car memory, however it’s expensive. You need to ask the question before choosing who helps you with lost keys. If you choose correctly, replacing lost keys is tricky, but achievable, without codes. However, the dealer will not be able to programme a new key without this security code.
Therefore, we give three stars, simply because there are several obstacles that stand in your way of replacing your car keys when all are lost.
Now for the bad news
If you’re looking to buy an Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards, or you’re already an owner, just allow some money in the budget for new keys, or key repairs. The good news is these keys can be repaired easily, this will extend the life of the key by a few years.
If you already have an Astra, keep an eye out for small cracks in the hinge, where the key is attached with a small roll-pin. If you see these small cracks appearing, the blade is ready to fall out and get lost, so you should look to get it fixed, before it becomes a drama.
Looking for a free key repair? Click here to find out more
We see alot of customers who think they need a new key battery, even though the key is faulty. This is especially true with this style of car key, used on the Vauxhall Agila and Suzuki Ignis. The symptoms are that when you press one of the buttons, it does not respond as well as the other. The problem is simply the type of switch used, underneath the rubber button. It has a simple diaphram that wears out and then stops clicking. These tiny switches can be changed if you are very careful. Find a local Car key Man if you don’t feel confident.
Below is the transcript from our Vauxhall Agila YouTube video, and the actual video is posted at the end in case you’d prefer to watch, rather than read.
YouTube Transcript for a key battery change Vauxhall Agila
Today we’ve got a key from a Suzuki Ignis, the same as a Vauxhall Agila. We’re going to show you how to change the key battery. The first thing you need is a small philips screwdriver, and we’re going to undo the screw, which is nice and easy.
Put the screw safe to one side and then this cover just flips off. Pop that out the way. There is a pod that sits inside the Vauxhall Agila key. And the easiest way to get that out is to just push on these buttons and take that out.
Put the key to one side. The key battery is under here, and it’s held on by two clips.
There’s one there, and there’s one there. And all we’ll do is pop your nail under there, undo that clip, then undo that clip, ooh, a bit tight, that one. There we go. And pop this to one side, safe. There we have the battery. You see on the battery you can’t see any writing. That’s how you know you’ve got it the right way. Just pop something underneath to get that battery out. It’ll probably just fly away and it is a CR1616.
Putting the Vauxhall Agila key back together
Then, to put the Vauxhall Agila key back together, it’s simply the reverse. Get a decent battery, click it in there. And then just line up the two halves of the remote and then click it in place again. You can only go one way, so nice and easy. Just make sure these click, so you can hear them. Then they go back into here. Again, it can only go in one way. Just make sure that these click when they’re in there, so they’re not trapped. You hear that clicking?
Then, on with the cover. The cover, with the cover you’ve got a little tab here, and that needs to go under here first. Now you’re going to press in there, and then we just need to pop the screw in. A Little bit fiddly but there you go. Now, just make sure these still click, because sometimes they get trapped under the case here. And, with a Vauxhall Agila or a Ignis key, two-button key, you’re good to go.
If you need simple instructions on how to change the key battery on a Vauxhall Corsa C, read on. We have made a YouTube video which we’ve linked below. We’ve also put the video transcript below in case you need it.
Vauxhall Corsa C key batteries are very easy to change, although initially getting the key remote away from the key blade horseshoe can get tricky. Just follow the instructions and try not to damage the back of the key too much. Also, we see lot’s of keys that are brought to us and the owners want a new battery. However what they really need is a new cover and a couple of new electronic switches. These get damaged on the Vauxhall Corsa C key, normally because of long fingernails.
Click here to see how to repair the key.
Looking for information on common problems with Vauxhall Cosa C car keys? Click here
Vauxhall Corsa C YouTube transcript
Okay so today we’ve got a key from a Vauxhall Corsa C. Okay, two buttons. This part here is remote and it slides away from this here which is the key. And a little bit tight to get apart. You just need a screwdriver back here. Give it a bit of a twist, okay. And give it a pull. All right and you can see there where you have to press this in to get it past this little lip there, okay?
When that’s done, take the remote and the halves separate. So all you do is put your screwdriver under these two tabs. And then the front will just simply come off nice and easy. And then you have got a 2032. You need to be able to see the writing when you put it back, so just prop it underneath. And it comes really easy. The only thing to do is to check is these here are quite fragile and can get damaged. So just watch out for these connectors.
Vauxhall Corsa C Put key back together
When you put it back together, make sure you can read the writing, okay again? Otherwise the battery’s on the wrong way up. Okay, so to make sure this goes back the right way, you need to make sure these connectors here are lined up with these gold parts here. And you got two tabs there that locate. You got one this side that just presses down. And just make sure you can feel the click in, which should be fine.
Okay so then to put it back together, you’ve got some little grooves in here, and they line up with the pieces here. So that the remotes slides in. And when it’s close, you can just give it a squeeze. And that’s that. Easy peasy. So with the two button Vauxhall Corsa C key, you are good to go.
If you’re thinking about buying, or already have the new shape Vauxhall Movano, then this is for you. We’ve written this because every week, we take calls about the newer shape Vauxhall Movano lock problem.
We believe you should know the fault so you can look out for it. At its worst, you’re either locked out, or can’t drive so van, so it’s important you read on!
The root of the Movano lock problem is Inferior Component Design. Although it’s similar to other new high security locks, the design of the key groove is causing a problem.
The groove is there to make the tumblers inside the lock move up and down into place. It’s pretty clever how it works really.
Unfortunately, the designers are asking too much of these tumblers, and the key is also at fault. Once you understand the problem, it’s really obvious to see, so here’s a photo to help.
The way the groove moves left and right along the key is really important. If the groove changes direction gradually, then it slides in and out of the lock easily. The key at the top of the photo is from a Fiat.
The groove is smooth and changes direction slightly along the length of the key. However, the key at the bottom of the photo is used on the new shape Vauxhall Movano.
The change in direction of the groove is too severe, moving sharply from left to right. We believe this is the cause of the Movano lock problem.
Vauxhall Movano Lock Problem Sawtooth Keyblade
When you design a saw, you want the teeth to be sharp and regularly spaced, so each tooth can damage the wood and cut through it. We think this is similar to the Movano key below.
As you can see, the key blade groove moves up and down very sharply and unfortuanately it acts like a saw blade. Every time it moves in and out of the lock, the pointed ends of the ‘teeth’ scrape away at the lock internals.
Along with this, as the lock ages, the tumblers inside thelock that moved easily when new, start to get jammed. This means the key struggles to move in and out of the lock freely.
You’re Making the Vauxhall Movano Lock problem worse!
When the key is hard to get into the lock, the natural thing is to force it in, we all do it. Unfortunately, this causes more damage to both the lock and the key.
At its worse, the key struggles just to get into the lock, let alone turn it on to start! At this point, the only answer is a new lock and key.
Waiting days and days for a new lock!
The next real problem is that Vauxhall and Renault have become unhelpful when you need to order lock parts and keys for vehicles. I understand that when you order a key, there should be some security check, in case it’s being ordered to steal a van.
However, I just cannot understand how this applies to locks. No-one ever tried to steal a van with a new ignition lock, it’s just gone silly. The knock-on for you, as an owner, is that when you really need a new lock, there are a few hoops to jump through first.
New shape Vauxhall Movano lock problem – How to get moving again
So to get back up and running you need a plan, and as far as we’re concerned, there are two choices. This is based on using new parts from the dealer. If however you choose to buy a second hand ignition or door lock, good luck.
With a new lock you should get 5 years wear under normal use, but if you’re getting a used part, you have no idea how much that has been used before. So.
Vauxhall Movano lock problem – Solution One
You order a new ignition, to the chassis number of your van. The good thing is that when it arrives from france, it will have the same profile of you current key. This means that the new blade that comes with it will also fit your door lock.
The downside is that to order it, you need to show the dealers three forms of identification. These are normally the V5, driving license and a utility bill. All three need to be in the same name and address.
This can be a problem if you have a fleet of vans and they have the comany address on the V5. if this is the case you may need to add a covering letter. It all depends on the relationship you have with the local Vauxhall dealer, and how helpful they are
The lock normally arrives in 7-10 days, which can be a big problem if you rely on your van. Lastly, you need to remove the faulty ignition from the van and this can prove a problem.
The lock has a security pin that engages in a hole within the lock housing. You can only depress the pin, when the lock is turned, and this makes sense. It stops someone removing the lock by force.
However, the problem comes when you have to replace a faulty lock. If you can’t turn the lock, then you can’t put the key into the correct position so the in can be pressed in. This means, the lock can’t be removed easily. A grinder, or a dremel is needed and it all gets a bit messy.
Vauxhall Movano lock problem – Solution Two
This is quicker and easier for you, but there are a few problems that come with it. In the olden days, the quickest way to sort out a Vauxhall Movano lock problem was to replace all the locks! Just buy a bag of new locks to a random shape key, fit the ignition and off you go.
If you were really professional, you’d get the door locks fitted too. However, you can’t do this anymore. You have to order each lock, individually, to a random key code. This means that instead of picking up a back of matching locks, you need to order each lock to a random code. This still takes 7-10 days! So we have another answer.
The best answer if you need a fast solution, is to use an independent Auto Locksmith. A good Auto Locksmiths will keep a brand new lock in stock, and will hopefully be able to fit it within 24 hours!
The problem with this will be that the door lock will have a different key to the ignition lock. However, this trade off may mean that instead of having your van off the road for 2-3 weeks, you’l be up and running quickly.
Have questions about this problem? Just comment below and we hope this helps.