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Why Isn't My Car Key Working?

14/08/2023 three broken car keys

There is little more frustrating than approaching the car, in a hurry, only to press the button on your key fob to unlock the door and nothing happens. You press it again, and again, and again. Still nothing. Maybe you feel the panic starting to rise… What's wrong with your car key? How are you going to gain access to your car and drive to your destination? Is it the battery, the lock, the key, or something else?

There are many possible reasons why your car key is not working properly. Some of them are easy to fix, while others may require professional assistance. Here are some of the common faults with electronic car keys that you should be aware of:

Damaged Car Lock 

If the doors don’t click open when you attempt to unlock your car by pressing a button on the remote key fob, there is a possibility that the locking mechanism itself is damaged. This could be due to wear and tear, vandalism, or attempted theft. In this case, the first thing to try is to insert the physical key into the lock to see if you can open the door manually. Even if this works and you gain access to your vehicle, you should still consult a locksmith to get to the root of the problem.

Damaged Key

More often than not the problem is not with the lock, but with the key itself. Keys have a habit of getting bent, dropped, or even run over and over time can deteriorate due to wear and tear. Any damage may affect the key’s ability to communicate with the car. You may begin to notice that your key does not fit well in the ignition, or that it does not turn smoothly. If your key is damaged, you will need to get a new one from a locksmith or dealership. Word to the wise: a locksmith is considerably cheaper and quicker than a dealer.

Faulty Ignition Cylinder

The ignition cylinder is the part of the car where you insert and turn your key to start the engine. If the ignition cylinder is jammed or worn out, it may not recognise your key or allow it to turn. You may also hear a clicking or grinding noise when you try to start your car. If you suspect this is where the fault lies, it is worth confirming with a locksmith who may be able to save you money for their services compared to getting the whole system refitted by a mechanic.

Worn Out Key Fob Batteries

One of the most common and simple reasons why your car key is not working is that the batteries in your key fob are dead. This may present as your key fob becoming less responsive, so that you feel you have to press the buttons harder. If your key fob batteries are low, you can usually replace them yourself by gently prising open the fob and inserting new batteries of the same type and size.

Internal Damage To Key Fob

Sometimes, the problem is not with the batteries, but with the internal components of your key fob or keyless entry remote. These components include a circuit board, a transmitter, a receiver, and an antenna. Unfortunately, they can all be damaged if water or dirt gets into the inner workings of your fob or even by exposure to extreme temperatures. 

If you are experiencing any trouble with your car key, don't worry. PT Lock & Safe can help you with any car key issue you may have. We offer 24/7 emergency service and competitive prices on key reprogramming and replacement for all makes and models of cars.

Don't let a faulty car key ruin your day! Contact PT Lock & Safe and let us fix your car key problem. Call 01603 812613 and describe your issue to one of our experts.