Do eBay Vauxhall Keys Work? We Show you

Thinking about getting a spare Vauxhall key? When a new key from the dealer is nearly £200, then it’s understandable you’ll look for a cheaper deal. The question we keep getting asked is ‘do eBay Vauxhall Keys work?’.

Can a second-hand Vauxhall key be taken from one car and programmed to another?

When eBay sell a good condition Vauxhall flip key for just £10, it’s tempting to take a chance.

Do eBay Vauxhall Keys Work? We tried it out for you.

eBay Vauxhall keys


So we bought a key like this on eBay, not the one in the photo, but the same type of listing and the same price. Let’s have a look at the information that’s in the listing.

The first page states it as ‘tested’. Tested on what? The last car?

Although it worked on the last car, in this case it’s irrelevant. Let’s look at why.

eBay Vauxhall keys


When you look at the details, it clearly states that the key is ‘used’. This should be a warning that it won’t work on another car, even if it worked on the last car perfectly. We’ll prove it later in this article.

However, more interesting is the next page of the description.

‘This key will require being ‘unlocked’ using specialist equipment’

In the description there’s some really important information that will make all the difference. It also covers the seller from any liability when it doesn’t work.

eBay Vauxhall keys

The second paragraph is a standard disclaimer below.

‘The vehicles listed above are for guide purposes, so please check suitability as well as the part number before purchase’

How on earth are you supposed to check compatibility? How can the average eBay buyer, (that’s you and me), check any part number for anything? But even if you did check the part somehow, and it matched your car, there’s still a problem.

Your Vauxhall eBay Keys will need some ‘specialist treatment’

The text in red is very unusual in any eBay car key listing. Looking through 200 car key listings of used keys, this is the only one that told the truth. The seller actually tells you it won’t work unless you’re very lucky.

‘The key will require being unlocked using specialist equipment, by a key programmer who deals in used keys’

We don’t know any Auto Locksmith that will accommodate you when you ask them to ‘programme a used car key’. We don’t know any Auto-Locksmiths that happily deal in used keys.

If you find one with the ‘expensive equipment’ to ‘unlock’ a used key, they may charge you for the pleasure. As far as we’re aware, to unlock this key, it would need to be broken open to get to the circuit board. The case would then need to be replaced.

Why do eBay Vauxhall Keys need ‘unlocking’?

It’s really simple. When a chip is in a virgin state, it has a blank space on the chip. It’s ready to have important information written to it.

When a key is programmed to any car, there is an exchange of information between the car and the key. Information from the car is written onto the key, and it’s ‘locked’. Just like an old-fashioned CD-R, it cannot be written to again, unless it’s ‘unlocked’.

Most modern car keys work like this.

Do Any eBay Vauxhall Keys Work?

There are sellers that sell brand new, ‘Virgin’ Vauxhall keys. This is a key that’s never been programmed. As long as the key is compatible then yes, it will programme up. However, if the key is ‘used’, forget it (unless the sellers states it has been ‘unlocked’).

If you’re not sure, ask the seller.

Can I get a cheap eBay Vauxhall Key?

The really good news is that within the last few months, a brand new range of cheaper car keys have been made that work with Vauxhall Insignia, Vauxhall Astra-J and Vauxhall Mokka cars.

We’ll soon have a link to buy these, so keep a look out.

Can you prove that used eBay Vauxhall keys don’t work?

Yes, take a look at our video and it will show you what happens when we cut and code our ‘used’ eBay key. It will also show the new, cheaper version of car key that we mentioned above.

We hope this helps you and saves you wasting your time and money. If you have any questions, just leave them in the comments.


This post contains affiliate links.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Links on this website may lead you to a product or service. They provide an affiliate commission to the owners of this site should you make a purchase. In no way does any affiliate relationship ever factor into a recommendation.  Nor does it alter the integrity of the information we provide.

Please note that we have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.  The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions.







5 Worst Broken Car Keys

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.

broken car keys

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?

Yes, you can also fix this key yourself easily. They break open without any problem as long as you use the correct tool

and follow our video.

Next you need a replacement case, just make sure you get the correct 2 button case


3 button version

Have you seen the new Vauxhall upgraded key case?

Take a look at how to upgrade your broken key.

VW, Seat and Skoda Broken car keys

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.

broken car keys

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 available.

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, it is possible to swap the blade, but you may need to alter it slightly with a needle file.

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.

Take a look at how we do it in our video.

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.

broken car keys

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.

broken car keys

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.

broken car keys

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.

broken car keys

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.






This post contains affiliate links.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Links on this website may lead you to a product or service. They provide an affiliate commission to the owners of this site should you make a purchase. In no way does any affiliate relationship ever factor into a recommendation.  Nor does it alter the integrity of the information we provide.

Please note that we have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.  The only consideration is in the form of affiliate commissions.












Vauxhall Flip key Upgrade

We’ve written about how often Vauxhall keys break, they’re the most common key we fix at our shop in Lincoln. Now we’ve found a new type of case that we wanted to tell you about. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

The new style case has smooth curved lines and hard wearing buttons that won’t perish like the older style cases. Based on the new range of Vauxhall keys, we believe this Vauxhall Flip key upgrade is worth a look.

What do I need for my Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade ?

Not much, it’s really simple. Firstly you need one of the new style cases. They come in either 2 or 3 buttons, just like the genuine key.

There are only three things that are tricky and we have full instructions below. Here’s a video, plus there are instructions below.

Vauxhall Flip key Upgrade

We’ve written about how often Vauxhall keys break, they’re the most common key we fix at our shop in Lincoln. Now we’ve found a new type of case that we wanted to tell you about. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

The new style case has smooth curved lines and hard wearing buttons that won’t perish like the older style cases. Based on the new range of Vauxhall keys, we believe this Vauxhall Flip key upgrade is worth a look.

What do I need for my Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade ?

Not much, it’s really simple. Firstly you need one of the new style cases. They come in either 2 or 3 buttons, just like the genuine key.

There are only three things that are tricky and we have full instructions below. Here’s a video, plus there are instructions below.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage One – Get the new key cut

Once you have a case, you need to get the blade cut to suit your car. This should be the first job, as you must make sure you have a new key case that turns the locks, before you break open the old key.

Who can cut my key blade?

There are some issues with getting keys cut. Some of the major key cutting chains refuse to cut keys they haven’t supplied. Our local Timpsons stores in Lincoln won’t entertain any key that’s not come from them, and won’t cut the Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade case.

So look for an independent shop, or an Auto Locksmith.

Need to find a good Auto Locksmith? Click here for our advice, wherever you are in the UK.

When we cut eBay or Amazon keys in our shop, we charge £10 and we believe this is reasonable.

Why can’t I swap the key blade on my Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade?

It’s possible but not straight forward. The key blade is held in to the key body, by a pin. Often, the original key blade from the old case will not fit into the new case. If you want to do this you’ll need to modify the old key blade and this is possible, as the video shows.


However, we think it’s easier just to get the key cut.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage Two – Open the old key.

************* Disclaimer *********

We open up old Vauxhall flip keys all day long at our shop without any problem. However, it’s possible that when the case is opened, the circuit board gets damaged, or the chip fails. When this happens, there’s a chance the car won’t start.

We see Vauxhall flip keys fail even without upgrading or repairing them and have written at length about the problem and the symptoms. So we recommend that you have a spare key, before you decide to carry out your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.


Ok, back to business. This is really easy if you have a set of Circlip pliers.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

These pliers are unusual because the jaws open when you squeeze the handle. They’re perfect to open keys because you can control what you are doing, instead of forcing the case open with a screwdriver etc.


Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Place the tips of the jaw in the gap by the flip.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Give the handles a squeeze and the case will snap open.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

You’ll need to pull the case apart and carefully remove the green circuit board. That’s it! You’ve done the tricky part. Next is a putting together your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade – Stage Three – Build the new key.

This may take a few attempts. You may feel you need an extra hand! But just be patient and you’ll manage this no problem. Open the case using the Circlip pliers again. Don’t worry if the key all falls apart, we’re going to show you what to do.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Firstly, put the circuit board into the half of the new case that has the buttons. there are small rubber noggins that locate in the holes. Now put this half of the case down now for a minute.

Fit the pin into the blade holder, (it will only fit one way).

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Next the spring needs to go into the blade holder

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Locate the plastic spigot in the case and place the spring over it.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Wind the spring counter-clockwise, we recommend two full turns. Then hold the blade shut.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Now put both pieces of the case together, locating the silver pin first and then lining up the two halves.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Once it’s all lined up, give it a squeeze and it should close up nicely. If there is any resistance, it’s because something isn’t lined up. Just open it up again and check it out.

Then when the case is shut, try the flip-out to make sure that your Vauxhall Flip key upgrade has been a success. Then join the case using the two screws.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Lastly, don’t forget the battery.

Vauxhall Flip Key Upgrade

Just pop off the battery cover and we recommend a fresh, good quality CR2032. Don’t go cheap.

Vauxhall Flip Key upgrade Conclusion

Well done, you should have a new flip key case that looks good and works perfectly!






Vauxhall Astra 2009 onwards Car Key Problems Prices

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.

Astra 2009 onwards


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.

astra 2009 onwards

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.

astra 2009 onwards

astra 2009 onwards

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.






Car Ignition Lock won’t turn What to do

In the good old days, car parts lasted forever. We see classic cars from the 70’s and 80’s and they still have the original locks fitted. Even when the keys get lost for these old cars, we can strip them down and make keys for them. However, over the last few years, we,ve seen a rrise in the number of customers calling us because their ignition lock won’t turn.  Sometimes they have had all the warning signs of it getting sticky, or needing to wiggle the key. Other times, they have had no warning. It’s common on Peugeot and Citroen cars that you’ll try it one day, and the ignition lock won’t turn, whatever you do. So why is this? More importantly, what can you do about it?

In this article, we’ll give you a few common examples, is your car at risk? Then how to look out for any warning signs and lastly the best thing to do when your ignition lock won’t turn.

Common makes and models  that suffer from ‘ignition lock won’t turn’ problems

Citroen and Peugeot

Already mentioned is your Peugeot and Citroen range of cars that use a high security key. This is every Citroen and Peugeot made after 2006 except the Peugeot 206. This type of key has a key blade with a groove machined along the length of the key, as shown below in this very sorry looking key.

ignition lock won't turn

The groove is a wavy line, cut in the key and suited to your particular lock. On the Citroen and Peugeot range, there is very little wear happens to the blade.  Unlike Ford, and Fiat, the key blade will often still have clear and crisp lines. Therefore, all the wear happens inside the ignition lock and suddenly, the ignition lock won’t turn and you’re stuck somewhere.


Ford Custom and Transit ignition lock won’t turn.

We believe this is a big problem that’s about to get very common. On Ford keys, the blades wear muck quicker than on the Citroen and Peugeot example. Therefore, if you look at the state of your key, or get an expert to check it, you’ll know in advance. Below is a good example of a worn Ford Custom key.

The keyblade has a ‘shadow’ of the original shape and more commonly this happens where there is a high point along the key. This is shown with the black arrow in the photo. This is an actual key that stopped turning. A new key blade, cut to the original shape cured the fault, You can read more in depth by clicking here.

Ford Fiesta

This is the most extreme example of worn key blades causing problems, and we only see it on the Fiesta model.

This photo clearly shows how the edge of the blade becomes tapered and this will cause the problem where the ignition lock won’t turn. This is simply because the metal of the key is not moving the lock levers into the correct place! To read more about this problem, click here.

Renault and Vauxhall

So these two brands are in bed as far as the vans are involved. Between them, they’ve designed and produced the poorest quality ignition lock we have ever seen. We’ve been replacing these often and unlike Ford (where these are readily avaiable) Renault and Vauxhall are making the whole thing as difficult as possible.

Inferior Component Design is where it starts, with a key that is often the same shape as a sawblade

This design of blade damages the insides of the ignition everytime it slides in and out. It won’t do it on every van, but where there’s a sharp gradient of the groove (a zig-Zag left and right) then troubles coming. The symptoms are that the ignition lock starts to catch, or become difficult to even slide in and out of the lock ( let alone turn in the lock). If you leave it past this point and still try and use the van, you’ll soon find that the ignition lock won’t turn.

To read more about the Renault and Vauxhall problem, click here.


Whilst I’m sure the Fiat design team hadn’t meant for the locks to have a similar consistancey as cheese, that’s what they feel like some of the time. Maybe the metal is softer, maybe the design is all wrong, I’m not sure. But what we see are Fiat owners that struggle with keys that just won’t turn anymore. The keys wear very badly and when the lock is forced, it gets damage inside.

Vauxhall Astra H

Another case of keys and locks wearing in equal measure. Watch out for these becoming difficult to turn. Once these lock in place they can be tricky to get turned.

General Warning signs that the ignition lock won’t turn soon.

It’s the same as the dentist. When you bite hard into a crusty loaf an you getthat first twinge of pain from a tooth, you know you need the dentist. If you’re like me, you probably don’t make the appointment, hoping it will just be a one-off. Then it happens again and again. At this point, if you get it looked at, it’s going to be easier, quicker and cheaper to fix.

The warning signs for a fauty ignition lock are clear. It catches when trying to turn, or will only turn when you jiggle the key up and down. You know deep down that it’s not right. The reason you have to jiggle the key is that you’re moving the insides of the lock up and down so that it all lines up. You can only do this so much and eventually that trick won’t work anymore.

Get it fixed while it still turns

Think of it like when you’re running low on fuel. No-one would dream of running the car so long that the fuel runs out completely and you break down. For a start, there’s the inconvenience. You’d be stuck in the middle of nowhere, possibley miles from home. Next, you’d have get to a garage to buy fuel and then get back to the car. Lastly and more importantly, with modern cars, if you run out of duel, you’re in big trouble. Especially with with diesel cars, the fuel takes a long time to make its way through the system and sometimes this needs to be done by a specialist. Just ask any garage that’s changed the fuel filter on a 2008 Mondeo! What a nightmare it is to get it running again!

So by leaving the problem ( the shortage of fuel) until it’s too late, you create so many problems for yourself. The same is true for locks and keys. To change most modern ignitions, you have to be able tou turn the lock to the on position. Once you do this, then a button can be pressed that allows the lock to be removed. So what happens when the lock can’t be turned? Well simply put, the lock cannot be replaced easily. Maybe it can be drilled out, or more likely the garage will also replace the lockhousing ( the thing that holds teh lock in place). If this is the case, it means extra cost for you and extra labour you’ll need to pay for, simply because the problem has gone on too long. Just like running out of fuel, a simple routine job has become so complicated and expensive.

What to do, when the ignition lock won’t turn

Ok, so if you’ve got to that point where it is truly stuck, there are a couple of simple things that may buy you some time. they are not a total fix because let’s face it, the lock is on it’s way out.

Firstly a key cut to code may work. What does this mean? When the car was new, the keys had no wear at all, and the lines were crisp and sharp. As the keys, the original shape wears away and problems begin. If you get a key copied from your old worn key, you end up with a new, but worn key. The shape is not good enough to copy from and so the new key will not be the cottect shape.

However, if you get a key cut to code, this means it is cut by a computer controlled machine that knows the original shape and can reproduce a key, like new. This means there is the correct amount of metal on the key and that it will move the insides of the lock to the correct place for the lock to work.

Who can cut a key to code?

There are two sources for new keys cut to code. Firstly the dealer can supply these ( there may be a long wait and you will need the original key number). Or, you can find a high quality Auto Locksmith or key cutting shop that has invested money, in high quality key cutting machines. These will be able to decode your worn key and the work out the original shape of your key. Once it knows this, it will be able to cut a fresh new key while you wait.



Car won’t start Vauxhall car key problem?

Common Problems with Vauxhall keys