People love Renault cars. The French are great at making smart, styish, fun to drive models  including the Clio.

clioHowever, people also hate Renault cars because they have many electrical problems. In the motor trade, some models have become the benchmark for truly poor design.


It’s no surprise that the keys cause problems. From the earliest models back in 1995, the keys have been troublesome. Here at the Car Key Man, Renaults have been a solid earner. This is because we since 2004 , we’ll get a call every week about a Renault Clio and there’s a good chance it will be the key!

So how do I know if the key is faulty?

With the Clio II, (2001 – 2006) there are several electrical problems that cause the car not to start. Most of the time, the key is blamed (let’s face it, they haven’t helped themselves here).  We wanted to help you to distinguish between a car key fault, and other electrical issues.

The imobiliser light.

The car has an immobiliser light on the dashboard. In the centre of the dash, a small red dot will flash at regular intervals, (about once a second) when the ignition is off. This simply means that the immobiliser is active, so ‘don’t try and steal me’.

Next, the correct operation is that when you have a good working key, when you turn on the ignition, that immobiliser light comes on for 1-2 secs, (checking out the key) and then when the car is happy, it will go out for good, allowing the car to start.

Please take a look at our video, showing the immobiliser light in actiion

If the car doesn’t start, before jumping under the bonnet, take 2 mins to look at the immobiliser light. To do this, simply turn the ignition on, let the dash light up with all the other lights, and see what the immobiliser light does. If it flashes rapidly, then there is a good chance that it’s not recognising the car key. What’s more, when the keys starts to go faulty, it may not do this all the time, so keep an eye on it.

The last thing the light may do is stay on solid. This is confusing because sometimes this is caused by the car key, but mostly it indicates another more serious problem on the car such as wiring or module problems. If the immobiliser light stays on solid, it should be looked at by a good auto-electrician.

Changing the key fob battery.

Many owners believe that by simply replacing the car key battery, this will help the car start.


This is wrong on most models of car , but we will cover this in a later blog.

So if you’re having trouble starting the car, changing the key battery will not help. Our best advice is find a good auto locksmith who can check out the signal coming from the chip in the key.

We hope this helps with your Renault car!