5 Reasons Your Car Key Isn’t Working

Everyone experiences it: you’re heading out to your car, in a rush. You go to open your door or start the engine, only to find out your key isn’t working. You panic. After all, you’re in a hurry and this is SUCH a bad time for this to happen. You wonder, “What is wrong with my car key?” The answer is usually simple, but there are a few possibilities. In this blog post, we’ll talk about the 5 most common reasons your car key isn’t working.

Types of Keys

Before we discuss why your car key may not be working, you need to understand what kind of key you have. After all, not all keys are equal, and they don’t experience the same problems. Here are the 3 types of keys:

Steel Cut Blade Key

These are the “traditional” car keys: steel cut and used to directly engage the locks and ignition of your car. If your car was produced before 1995, chances are this is the kind of key you have. 

Transponder Key

After 1995, car manufacturers started pairing cars with transponder keys. A transponder key has a small chip embedded in the key fob that corresponds with a receiver within your car’s computer system. In order for the car to unlock and turn on, the transponder and receiver must exchange signals with each other which verify that your key is the right key. 

Smart Keys & Remote Keys

These days, most modern car keys have improved upon basic transponder technology. This has led to more advanced keys such as smart keys and remote keys (which allow for keyless entry.) 

Okay. I Know What Kind of Key I Have. Why Isn’t It Working?

Let’s just get to the point, shall we: why your car key isn’t working. Bear in mind that if your key is broken or snapped in the lock, these points will not apply and you’ll have to seek professional locksmith assistance.

Either Your Lock or Key Is Damaged

Both locks and keys are pieces of hardware, prone to wear and tear. Of course, the damage is more likely to be the culprit with older keys and locks. So if you’ve had your key for many years, you may need to consider that it’s simply damaged and needs to be replaced. The same goes for your locks. 

Dead Key Fob Battery

Your key fob is how your key and car communicate with each other. If the battery in the fob is dead, this obviously can’t happen. 

Damaged Key Fob

Alternatively, your key will be inoperable if the damage is preventing your key from transmitting signals. Such damage can arise from repeated dropping or mishandling of your key or knocking the internal parts of the fob out of alignment.

The Key Programming Is Off

As we explained, your key must be specifically programmed to work with your car. If your key doesn’t seem damaged and you’re quite sure the battery isn’t dead, you may be experiencing a problem with the programming. In this case, you’ll have to call a dealership or a locksmith to reprogram your key.

Faulty Ignition Cylinder

If you can’t start your car and you know the key isn’t the problem (because it worked with your door locks) then what you probably have is a case of a damaged ignition lock cylinder. You’ll need to call a locksmith to come look at it, assess the problem, and repair it. 

So, What Do I Do?

If you’re able to figure out why your key isn’t working, great. That still doesn’t mean you’ll be able to solve the problem yourself. You’ll most likely need professional help. That’s where a locksmith will come in. A professional auto locksmith will be able to reprogram or replace a malfunctioning car key with ease. For any of these services in the Los Angeles area, be sure to call All Keys Locksmith Services. Our auto locksmith can be with you right away, at your location.!