Car Key Not Working? Here Are 4 Possible Reasons Why

by Daniel on

Knowing how to properly diagnose any problems that led to your car key not working, is an important skill that all drivers should be armed with. In truth, there is a good chance that most drivers will face a day where they find their car key not working. To prevent such scenarios from ruining your day, it is important for drivers to know the causes behind these problems so that they can adequately deal with these issues head-on, and get back on the road in an efficient manner. 

What car key do you have?

Car keys are not all built the same, much in the same way vehicles are not built the same. While there is a much wider selection of cars than there are car keys, the differences between car keys still need to be highlighted so that you know how to properly figure out the reasons for your car key not working. 

The different types of car keys that work with modern vehicles include older mechanical car keys, transponder keys, and car key fobs. Each of these car keys has their own unique and specific traits, which set them apart from one another, while simultaneously leaving them plagued by different problems. Here are some of the possible reasons for your car key not working:

1. Broken Car Door Lock 

When you are faced with your car key not working, there are a few culprits that you might suspect, chief of which is your car key itself. However, it is often the case that the problem does not stem from your car key, but from your car door lock instead. If you are trying to unlock your car door and the car key is not working, it might mean that your car door lock mechanism is broken. 

In addition to the ignition of your car, your car door locks and your trunk locks are the other components that work in direct contact with your car keys. Car door locks are similar to residential door locks, in the sense that they are also prone to wear and tear over time. If car door locks are exposed to excessive force, there is a chance that they will be damaged. 

When your car door lock is damaged, attempting to unlock it with your car key will prove unsuccessful, and it might seem like your car key is not working. If faced with a problem like this, drivers should try their best to avoid directly using their car door locks and instead focus on getting the problem fixed.

2. Broken Car Key 

In addition to your car door locks being broken, problems stemming from the car key can also lead to your car key not working. This is obviously the more direct culprit. If your car key is broken, then that is a clear culprit for the reason behind your car key not working. This is usually a problem that plagues traditional mechanical car keys and transponder car keys that prominently feature a key blade.

Keys are not immune to damage, and since they are often used to unlock cars and work directly with the ignition mechanism. A key becomes gradually worn down as they are used. When it comes to broken car keys, the damage that causes it to malfunction may not always be visible. While it is easy to think that damaged car keys have to be broken in two, the problem could be as simple as the grooves within the car key being worn down to the point where it cannot properly work with its corresponding lock or ignition.

3. Issues With The Transponder Key

Issues that arise within the transponder key can often be traced back to a problem with the key’s internal mechanics, or with the internal mechanics of your vehicle. Transponder keys work via signals exchanged between the transponder chip in your key and the corresponding receiver in your vehicle. If there is a problem with either part of this transponder communication flow, it will result in your car key not working. 

This kind of problem is not one that drivers with traditional mechanical keys will have to deal with because older car keys do not make use of transponder chips. Problems like these can be somewhat hard to spot, but if your transponder key is showing no signs of physical damage, then the problem most likely isn’t with the key blade, but instead with the transponder key. 

Transponder keys usually have wires connecting their intricate hardware, and if some of these internal wires and mechanisms come apart, it results in your car key not working. Another problem that may arise with your transponder key can be the fact that your transponder key has not been properly programmed to your vehicle. When it comes to transponder key programming, it is usually best for drivers to have a trusted LA auto locksmith to properly program their transponder keys to their vehicles so that their car keys work flawlessly.

4. Worn Out Key Fob Batteries

Car key fobs are often powered by batteries. Some drivers take this for granted, especially if the basics workings of a car key fob have not been explained to you beforehand. This problem is common, and many drivers will tell you that they have discovered the reason behind their car keys not working to simply be exhausted key fob batteries. Luckily enough for drivers, this problem has a relatively easy solution when compared to some of the other reasons above.

Drivers simply need to identify the kind of batteries their specific car key fob uses, and switch them out with working ones. This can be handled by drivers if they know what they are looking for, or they can alternatively seek help from a trusted auto locksmith who has a better understanding of the internal mechanics of your vehicle.

How can you fix your car key when it is not working?

The points outlined above are meant to help you identify the problem that may be present in your car keys. However, identifying the problem does very little if you are not able to deploy the appropriate solution. Once the problem has been accurately diagnosed, drivers can either opt to fix their car keys on their own or request the assistance of an auto locksmith. Auto locksmiths can help fix traditional car keys, transponder car keys, and car key fobs alike.

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