Why doesn't your car key work? Causes and solutions

¿Por qué la llave de tu auto no funciona? Causas y soluciones

Welcome to our article where we will address the possible reasons why your car key is not working and we will provide you with the necessary solutions to solve this problem. We know how frustrating it can be when you find yourself in this situation, so we are here to help you understand and fix this issue.

1. Decoding or deprogramming the key

One of the possible reasons why your car key does not work is the decoding or deprogramming of it. This can occur due to various factors, such as a malfunction in the vehicle's coding system or external interference affecting the communication between the key and the car.

If you suspect that your key has been decoded or deprogrammed, we recommend that you follow the steps below to try to solve the problem:

  1. Check if other car keys work properly. If only one key doesn't work, the problem is likely with that particular key.
  2. Review the manufacturer's instructions for reprogramming the key. Each car model may have a specific procedure to reprogram the key. Consult the owner's manual or contact the technical service of the brand for precise instructions.
  3. If you cannot reprogram the key on your own, it is advisable to go to an automotive locksmith specialist. They have the knowledge and tools necessary to properly decode and reprogram your car key.

2. Causes and solutions for the problem of the key not working

There are various causes that can cause your car key to not work properly. Here are some of the most common and the corresponding solutions:

2.1 Dead key battery

One of the most frequent causes is that the key battery is depleted. Modern car keys often have a remote unlock and lock system, which requires power to function properly. If the key battery is low or dead, you may not be able to open or lock the car.

To fix this issue, we recommend following these steps:

  1. Replace the key battery. Check your owner's manual or find information online about the type of battery your key uses and how to replace it correctly.
  2. If you do not feel comfortable replacing the battery yourself, you can go to a specialized technical service to make the change for you.

2.2 Problems with the ignition system

Another possible cause of your car key not working is a problem with the ignition system. This may be due to a faulty ignition switch, faulty wiring, or a problem with the vehicle's electronic control unit.

If you suspect that the problem is related to the ignition system, we recommend that you follow these steps:

  1. Check to see if other electrical components in the car are working properly. If there is no power to any part of the vehicle, the problem is likely related to the battery or the electrical system in general.
  2. If only the ignition system does not work, it is advisable to go to a specialized mechanical workshop to carry out a diagnosis and repair the problem.

3. How to code the car key by yourself

If you are interested in learning how to code your car key yourself, here are some tips that may help you:

  1. Research the make and model of your car. Each vehicle may have a different coding procedure, so it is important to know the specifications of your car.
  2. Consult the owner's manual. In many cases, the owner's manual provides detailed instructions on how to code a new key. Follow the steps in the manual and make sure you fully understand the process before you begin.
  3. If you can't find information in your owner's manual, you can search online or contact your brand's technical support for additional guidance.
  4. Please note that encoding the key yourself may require the use of special tools or specific software. If you do not feel comfortable doing this process on your own, it is advisable to go to an automotive locksmith specialist.

4. How to know if the key has been deprogrammed

If you have doubts about whether your car key has been deprogrammed, here are some indications that can help you identify this problem:

  • The key does not open or close the car doors.
  • The ignition system does not recognize the key and does not allow the vehicle to start.
  • The key does not activate the remote lock and unlock functions.
  • The control panel of the car shows an error message related to the key.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is likely that the key has been deprogrammed. We recommend that you follow the steps mentioned above to try to solve the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

FAQ 1: Can I reprogram my car key by myself?

Yes, in many cases it is possible to reprogram your car key yourself by following the instructions provided by the manufacturer in the owner's manual. However, it is important to note that this process may vary depending on the model and make of the vehicle. If you do not feel safe or cannot find the necessary information, it is advisable to go to a specialist in automotive locksmith.

FAQ 2: How much does it cost to reprogram a car key?

The cost to reprogram a car key can vary depending on several factors, such as the make and model of the vehicle, the complexity of the reprogramming process, and geographic location. In general, the cost can range from $50 to $200. We recommend you request quotes from different automotive locksmith specialists to obtain a more accurate estimate.


In short, if your car key doesn't work, it's important to consider different possible causes and solutions. From the decoding or deprogramming of the key to problems with the ignition system, there are various reasons that can cause this problem. Remember to check the battery of the key, follow the manufacturer's instructions to reprogram it and, if necessary, go to an automotive locksmith specialist. We hope that this article has been useful to you and that you can solve the problem with your car key successfully!

If you have any additional questions or want to share your experience, feel free to leave us a comment. We will be happy to help you with whatever you need.

Until next time!

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