If there is a lock, it needs a key. No one is spared from the morning madness of turning the house upside down in search of keys. Misplacing the keys is one issue, losing them altogether is stressful. There have been frantic calls made to locksmith explaining that people are locked out their homes or need a change in locks, or a case of missing set of keys.
When it comes to cars, as most keys now are automatic, we are so reliant on pressing a button to lock and lock that we often miss out on identifying the signs of a damaged key fob. Such issues pop up only when the ignition fails.
Identifying issues with the key fob
The first signs of a damaged key fob are when the ignition fails or when the locks don’t unlock on inserting the key. There are other subtle signs of damage such as delayed response, slight wear and tear and cracks on the key.
Key fobs, given their high frequency of use, are bound to succumb to the beating and display signs of damage. The last straw is when it stops responding, completely. When this happens, the only solution is to seek help from a locksmith. Locksmiths will either replace the keys (if the damage is beyond repair) or temporarily fix the issue.
Replace the car keys if you notice these issues
- Sometimes all the fob needs to restore back to working condition is a new set of batteries. So the first troubleshooting tip is to replace the fob batteries.
- When a fob stops working, look for signs of physical damage. If there are any noticeable cracks, or if the clasp is falling apart, it is best to fix it before it is too late. In such cases, the replacement key will include the chip from the old damaged one. If the key fob is completely damaged, the locksmith will re-cut a new set to meet the manufacturer’s specification.
- The cars with the latest technology come with a chip in the key fob. If the key fob issue is not rectified by replacing batteries or there are no signs of damage to explain its non-functioning, the issue may be with a glitch in the chip. These electronic issues are rectified at the dealership or at any trained locksmith.
- If the key snaps in the ignition, you are left with no choice but to call a locksmith for assistance. Only a trained locksmith can extract the broken bits without damaging the ignition socket.
- In the case of a stuck key in the ignition, try coaxing it out gently. A proven way of extracting a stuck key is by gently turning the steering left and right while you pull out the key. If after many attempts, the key is stubbornly stuck without any signs of loosening, call a locksmith. Only a trained locksmith can assess the problem- if it’s an issue with the key o with the ignition system. Accordingly, either a new key is cut out or the car key is reprogrammed. If nothing else works, the entire unit is replaced. An easy measure to ensure that you avoid such situations is to park in such a way that the front wheels are parallel to each other.
For most cars, the ignition lock cylinders need replacement after 60,000 miles, ideally. The issue however can crop up sooner depending on many factors. Call a locksmith if you face any of the above mentioned problems. It is better to seek professional help instead of trying to resolve it on your own.