Welcome to Day One of our series, explaining why a faulty car key will get you in trouble. Today we’re looking at the faulty car key chip problem.
They’ve made the immobiliser system so clever, that ‘hotwiring’ is a thing of the past. Unfortunately, it also means when your car key chip plays up, you end up stranded.
Every week we get emails from all around the world asking the same question.
‘My car won’t start, is my car key chip faulty?’
Unfortunately car keys get the blame when everything else has been ruled out. This is especially true when the keys already look tired and worn.
So here is our best advice on whether the car key chip is faulty, or not.
Clues that you have a faulty car key chip
There are no general rules with cars, to tell if the car key chip is playing up. Each manufacturer has different ways to immobilise the car.
For some cars the immobiliser will cut the fuel off so the car turns over, but will not fire up.
With other types of car, it will sit there lifeless, as if the starter motor has died.
So here’s a rough guide on whether to blame the car key chip. We’ve broken it up by the common manufacturers and hope it helps you.
Ford Car key chip fault is crystal clear.
When a Ford Car cannot see the correct car key chip, it won’t crank. That means that you’ll turn the ignition on, and although the dash will light up, it won’t even try to start.
As well as this, somewhere on the dash, often near the speedo, there will be a red warning light. This light will flash very quickly.
Or if you have a more modern Ford with Keyless start, then you’ll get a message displayed.
So Ford cars are the easiest to diagnose, if it cranks, it’s not a key problem, don’t waste money on a new key.
Vauxhall car key chip is a tale of two tribes
If you’re in the old tribe, with cars made before about 2004, then you’ll have a tiny little car key chip in the key that you can actually see
These never give up, unless you microwave them by mistake, in which case yes, you’ll end up with a faulty car key chip.
So with an older Vauxhall Car, if the car key chip is faulty or missing, the car will crank, but it won’t fire up. There will also be a flashing light in the dash.
It’s yellow and we call it the ‘spanner light’. So a flashing light is car key chip trouble. Older cars that we’re talking about include the Astra G, Zafira A, Corsa C, and Vectra B.
However, if you have a newer Vauxhall, the rules change, you’re in a different tribe. Newer Vauxhall keys are terrible quality on so many levels.
They use a different type of chip and it will go faulty even if a butterfly flaps it’s wings across the world somewhere.
When this happens, your car will not crank. Just like the Ford, it will sit there dead as the Norwegian Blue Parrot, and will not start. It won’t even make the noise like it’s trying to start, There will also be a yellow padlock or key light on the dash.
Get you car key checked with a local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith before you spend any money. Most companies are happy to do a free test of the car key. Then they’ll know if your car key chip has given up.
Peugeot and Citroen, where do I start?
The good thing about Peugeot and Citroen Car Keys is ? They include a message on the dash display telling you, the car key chip is faulty.
Maybe the engineers could see into the future, so they included a message that lights up the display. When the key is faulty it reads
‘Info Faulty Theft’, Which in human speak is, ‘Your key has had it’
When the Peugeot and Citroen car key chip starts to play up, it begins as an intermittent fault. Maybe it will cause you problems once a week and you’ll brush it off. Then it will be twice a week, twice a day, and eventually you’ll be stranded.
Get it looked at sooner rather than later. If you can drive it to a garage, great. If you have to put on the back of a recovery truck, it gets expensive!
Renault Car keys pay the mortgage
Ask anyone in the motor trade what they think of Renault car keys and you better cover your ears. They’re just trouble. In our house, they are known as the ‘car that pays the mortgage’. Unfortunately for you, they’re just bad car keys.
Why would you take delicate electronics and put them into a thin credit card shaped key?
A thin card that can be bent when sat on or damaged when dropped.
Again, the kind engineers must have seen this coming, so they made a special display to tell us that the car key chip is faulty.
Get used to seeing this, the electronics are dreadful.
If you put the card it and you get this message, you’re going nowhere, the car will not crank. It’s very seldom the card reader, so save your money.
Something that will catch you out!
It’s important to know that often, your car key will often still lock and unlock the car as normal. This is because the buttons speak to a different part of the car that the car key chip does. So don’t be fooled.
A new car key battery won’t help things, so save your money.
If in doubt, look up your local Car Key Man Auto Locksmith and they will look at the key and give you the best free advice that’s available.
Thanks for reading, we hope it helps you !