Who pays attention to the ignition car key till it’s too late? Too late for what, you ask? Too late to do anything about a problem, which keeps you from opening the car door or starting the vehicle. And that can be a drag. It might often be a nightmare. Can you imagine having your child locked inside the car with no keys to open the door? It can turn into a tragedy! Not to mention that car key problems can keep you from getting to your work on time, miss another important appointment, or remain in a remote location all alone. Not good at all! So, one thing is certain: any problem with the transponder key will make your life a tad more difficult.
So let’s see which the 4 most common car key problems are, why they happen, and what you can do about them.
4 common car key problems
1. The key is damaged
Actually, car keys are very durable. They won’t bend or break easily. But on the other hand, nobody takes care of them. We throw them around as if they were useless objects. We let kids and pets play with them. And we use them daily (that’s unavoidable). Eventually, the edges and grooves might get worn. The key won’t fit with ease in the ignition or won’t get inserted at all.
Solution: naturally, you should take care of the key and always keep an extra one with you in case you need it.
2. Communication with the ECU is lost
When you turn the key in the ignition, it sends a message (encrypted code) to the engine control unit (ECU). Once the control system of the vehicle recognizes the key, it lets you drive. Each transponder key is set to work with only one car for security reasons. But any complication to the system will cause failure of communication between the ECU and the key and so the car won’t start.
Solution: the only way to fix this problem is to reprogram the key. But for that, you need the assistance of an expert auto locksmith.
3. The key is lost
It happens. The key might be misplaced, simply lost, or stolen. Without a key, there is no way to open and start the car. And you shouldn’t try to break-in and use old fashioned methods to start the engine because new cars are equipped with high security systems, which might get damaged during such attempts.
Solution: always keep the key in a safe place and carry a second one with you. But don’t keep them both together.
4. The key is locked in the car
Keys might be locked inside the car or trunk. It’s a common problem. What’s even worst is that most people keep an extra key in the glove compartment. That’s not helpful at all.
Solution: you need to call a local locksmith to open the trunk or car door. And always keep the extra key with you.
Why car key problems occur
Problems occur because keys wear or are misplaced. But they also occur when they are not cut properly and the ignition is dirty or defective. So it won’t hurt to clean the ignition once in a while to remove built-up dust. And always trust an experienced tech to have a car key made for you.