Vauxhall car key problem – Is it the reason your car won’t start?

Owners of Vauxhall cars are experiencing a problem. The keys have delicate electronics that fail. The good news is that when they do fail, it’s fairly easy to spot the problem. Here’s our guide to help decide if you have a Vauxhall car key problem . We’re going to split this into two halves, the early style of keys first, then the newer style.

Early Style key Vauxhall car key problem

Vauxhall Astra G key

Both parts of the Vauxhall Astra G Key

The early type of key splits into two halves and does not fold away like a flip key. A common problem is that you, as a new owner, want to get the buttons to start working again. So you take the key apart and while you do this, the small chip drops out. It just looks like a bit of broken plastic, so there’s no reason to think it’s anything important.

Vauxhall car key problemUnfortunately, this is a really common reason for the car not starting. It was the most common Vauxhall car key problem we used to see, five years ago. The symptoms are that the car will spin over and try to start. However it won’t fire up. On the dash board there’s an orange light with a car and spanner.

Vauxhall car key problem

The easiest way to see if you have a key problem is to turn on the ignition, but don’t try and start the car. Watch the key light and see if it flashes. If it does, the car is telling you it’s not seeing the chip in the key. Take the key out of the ignition, split in half again and see if the chip is missing.

Other than the missing chip problem, these early keys don’t have any other problems that stop the car starting. In fourteen years we’ve never seen this type of chip fail, unless they’ve been broken. This happens when the chip is super-glued into the key, and someone tries to get it out.

To solve the missing chip problem, you just need a chip put into the key, and then have it programmed  to the car. Any good Auto Locksmith can do this, whereas the dealer will normally insist on a whole new key. Some will need the security car pass so they can get the security code. This is an easy Vauxhall car key problem to fix.

Newer style Vauxhall Car keys

A new type of ‘flip’ key is supplied with the newer cars such as Vauxhall Astra H (2004-2009) Vectra C (2002-2008) and Corsa D (2006-2011).  In our opinion, these keys are not as good quality, and we’re starting to see lots of problems with them. These problems also apply to the Insignia and Astra J style of key.

vauxhall car key problem

The design of the electronics, mean that the components go faulty. If this happens, the car won’t start. This is a very easy problem to spot.

Firstly the car will not crank. It will seem like the starter motor is faulty, because the car makes no effort to turn over. As soon as you have this symptom, there is a good chance there’s a Vauxhall car key problem.

As well as this, Vauxhall have been very helpful with the warning lights on the dashboard. Look for either the car and spanner light flashing on the earlier Astra H and Zafira A models. On the Vectra C, there will be a Yellow padlock square that stays solid. If this is showing, the car won’t start in a million years and you most likely have a Vauxhall car key problem.

This problem requires a brand new key. All good Auto Locksmiths can do this, but some will need the security code. We’ve never had much luck fixing this type of key to solve this problem. You’ll find companies that offer a repair service on eBay, but we’d recommend making a fresh start with a new key.

If the flip key is really old, it’s common for them to just fall apart. This is when the green circuit board inside falls out and gets damaged.


How do Vauxhall keys compare to others on the market? Click here to find out

You may also find help at the Vauxhall Owners club below

If you have any questions, just call us or pop into see us. If your not local, look up your local Auto Locksmith who will always be pleased to help.

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You can now get your Vauxhall car key repaired by post

You can now get your Vauxhall car key repaired by post