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.