If you’ve found out how easily the latest car keys break, you’ll be looking for a way to fix your problem. Fortunately, the keys that break most commonly are also fairly straightforward to fix. One thing that can trip you up is the car key blade swap problem. This article aims to help you do this easily.
You’ve probably found out that the blade is help into the key by a small roll-pin. It locates into a groove in the blade and works really well at keeping the blade secure.
That is until something breaks.
The most common issue we see is the blade holder that fractures. The roll-pin hole cracks, you probably won’t even notice at first. However then the crack spreads and one day you’ll hear the blade drop on the floor ( hopefully!).
At this point you either need a new key, or to fix the one you have.
Car Key Blade Swap Technique
We’re going to look at swapping the old blade and we’ve chosen a Vauxhall Insignia key to show you how easy this is, but the techniques are the same on other keys. The most common keys that break are Vauxhall/Opel, Kia/Hyundai and the Volkswagen group.
You’ll need a new case. These are available all over Amazon and eBay and so you’ll be spoilt for choice. Make sure you buy one with good reviews. The other thing we recommend is that the case is joined with a screw and not just pressed together and glued.
Here’s a link to our Amazon store, if you need to find a good quality case.
Once you have a case, then before breaking open your old key, we recommend you get the new case turning the locks on your car.
Why do this part first?
We we hear about owners who having transferred the electronics over then struggle to get the blade cut or swap the blade. This means they are stranded without a key that works! So get your new key turning first.
If you’ve chosen the car key blade swap option, you need to remove the uncut blade from the new case. The roll-pin has to come out, to allow the blade free. You’ll need a small punch to carefully knock the pin out. Again, these are available on the internet, and the kit below will really help you.
The six piece kit has three various sized punches, plus three other handy items. Buy it on Amazon along with a two button Vauxhall case by clicking our Amazon Link
Choose the punch that matches the hole size.
Open your blade out half way so you can see the hole, then carefully knock out the pin. Sometimes these can be fairly tight, other times it just drops out!
The main thing is to take it nice and easy. If you hit the punch too hard you may break it off inside the key, or it may get stuck inside!
Once the old blade it out you’re ready to fit the old blade.
Does the old blade fit into the new case?
If you can imagine that the new blade and case are made in a different factory to the original blade then it makes sense that there are a few differences. The new blade has been designed to fit the new case, and although it’s similar, this can be a problem.
We’ve tried a range of cases to find the ones that are as close a match as possible. The Vauxhall blades are usually a good match, but you may need to open up the pin-slot slightly as shown. The one below is a Kia and these need a bit more filing.
Just eye up the hole in the blade holder and how it lines up with the slot in the old key blade. If you’re handy you’ll have no problem tweaking it to fit.
Fitting the pin into the new case. The pinning kit has three items that will help you with this.
The pin holder has a hole machined in the end of it that matches the roll-pin size. The pin will slide in half way. The problem comes when you turn it over to use it, the pin falls out!
The small magnet attaches close to the end of the Pin Holder and it’s job is to keep the pin in place when you turn it upside down. You may need to experiment with where to place it, as if it’s too close to the pin, it will jump out of the hole. However, if the magnet is too far from the pin, it won’t stay in the Pin Holder.
Once you get the perfect distance you’ll be able to turn the Pin Holder upside down and the pin will stay in place. You’ll then be able to line it up with the hole and tap it in.
****** Warning ******
It’s important that the blade slot and the hole line up correctly as we discussed in stage three.
If they don’t, then you won’t be able to refit the pin. Worst case is that the pin will bend and snap and you’ll be stuck. So spend a bit of time getting this stage correct.
As you tap the Pin Holder with a hammer, the pin should disappear into the hole, but only half way. Now its time for the last item.
This last item will finish off your car key blade swap. This shows the key still with the uncut blade in place, but I hope you get the idea.
With half a pin sticking out, you need to tap it home with the flat punch supplied. Take care not to mark the new case as the flat punch is fairly wide. Knock it hole until it’s flat.
Test the Key
Does the flip work perfectly? If not, it may be that a tiny part of the roll-pin it sticking out. If this is the case, you just need to take one of the three original punched you used and gently tap it home. Careful not to hit it too hard as it will pop out the other side!
Here’s a video we made, that shows everything clearly, we hope it helps.
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