Posts Tagged ‘key’

05
Jan

Why Won’t The Key Turn Properly?

Ken,

When I turn the key to start my car, the key feels different than normal, and the starter won’t turn.  Normally, the key would turn to the “start” position, and then spring back to the “on” position, but now it doesn’t feel springy at all.  The car is at a friend’s now.  How do I fix this, and is there a way to get the car to start so I can move it?

-Vanessa B., WA

Vanessa,

Your description makes me think that the lock cylinder needs to be replaced.  This shouldn’t be a very expensive job, but depending on the model of car you have, replacing it on your own may be a bit of a hassle.  You’ll have to check your manual, or contact the dealer to figure out how to access the lock cylinder.

To get the car started, you should be able to jump it, though not in the way you normally would jump a car.  With the key turned to the “on” position, use a jumper cable to connect the positive terminal on the battery with the starter relay.  You may need to check your manual again to figure out where the starter relay is.  Since the key is in the ignition and set to “on” this should start the car immediately.  You’ll be able to drive it home or to a mechanic no problem.

- Ken the Car Guy

07
Nov

Why Does My Car Immediately Die?

Ken,

My Mercedez 320ml will start up, but then it dies immediately.  The battery recently also died, but that’s fixed now.  What could the problem be?  The engine seems to run just fine right up until it dies.

-Jorge H., NM

Jorge,

After a bit of research, it seems like this is a fairly common problem with this model.  If the battery dies, the key won’t be recognized anymore and the car won’t continue to run after starting.

To solve this problem, it sounds like you’ll have to order a new key from the dealer.  This key should work right off the bat, but the remote control locking buttons will have to be synchronized with the car.  The dealer should send along instructions on how to synchronize the new key.

- Ken the Car Guy

01
Sep

Can I Have A New Key Made Without Removing The Ignition?

Ken,

I lost the keys to my car and the locksmith I talked to said I need to remove the ignition from the car and bring it in.  Is there an easier way to have a key made?

- Nick K., CA

Nick,

If you have a dealership nearby, you can have them make you a new key based solely off of the VIN number.  Doing so will require you to bring in proof of ownership of the vehicle as well as a photo ID.

Some locksmiths are also able to do this service, but not all.  If going to the dealer is not an option, you can usually find a locksmith that will make house calls and can make a new key for you on the spot, though it will require more labor.  The locksmith may also need to dismantle the ignition switch.  Your best bet is probably to just go with the dealer.

- Ken the Car Guy