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.
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?
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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.
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.
To fix these, you’ll also need a pair of these amazing Circlip pliers, that we use everyday.
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.
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.
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