Types of Car Keys And Reasons Why Your Car Key Is Not Working

Why is our car saying “key not detected”? What do you do when your car key doesn’t work?

Although this query was raised by a single person on Quora but there are hundreds of owners who face such a problem on regular basis.

Types of car keys and reasons why your car key is not working:

We’ve all experienced days like this. You’re in a hurry to get somewhere, and you find your car key isn’t working when you try to start or unlock it. When you’re locked out of your automobile, your mind is rushing to figure out possible causes. Sometimes the answer will come to you quickly, while other times, it may take some time to find out the problem. Automotive locksmith services have all been there, so we’re all familiar with it’s a pain. I’ll look at some of why your car key isn’t functioning to make this agony a lot easier for you, should you need it now or in the future.

Types of the Car Keys

To determine the source of your issue, you must first select the sort of car key you have and how it interacts with your vehicle. There is a widespread assumption that all car keys are the same; they are all used to drive automobiles, so they must be, right? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Bump keys do not function in automobiles because, while car keys and car door locks are similar in many respects, they are all significantly different. This is why it’s crucial to know what kind of car key you have to analyze why your car key isn’t working correctly. There are 2 types of car keys:

Traditional Automobile Keys

Traditional car keys

The classic car key, which was primarily a physical key used to engage your car door locks and function in conjunction with your ignition, was the most prevalent. If you possess a car built before 1995, your car keys are most likely the classic type.

Traditional automobile keys are remarkably similar to your home’s locks. They are made out of a single piece of metal with several cuts tailored to match a specific lock. It will start your car and open all the locks if you cut a key to match the physical appearance of your key. You won’t have any problems unless the key breaks, the grooves wear down, or the lock cylinders fail.

Transponder Car Keys

Transponder keys

Most car manufacturers started pairing vehicles with transponder keys after the 90s. A transponder key implies that your car is now more securely associated with your key.

Key has a transmitter that communicates with a receiver installed in the vehicle. The transmitter and receiver must exchange signals for the car to work in the ignition. These signals serve as confirmation that the correct key is in place.

The transponder chip is often hidden behind a piece of plastic that covers the bow/thumb turn of your key. However, the transponder chip is most likely in the remote if the blade of your automobile key protrudes from it.

This chip could be destroyed, or the signal receiver could stop working. Your car will not start if something interferes with the signal between the transponder key and the car immobilizer unit. When the car key does not work, it is critical to examine both communication portions.

Why Isn't Your Car Key Working?

Now that you know the types of car keys, let’s get into some of why your car key could not be working now that we’ve gone over some of the distinctions in car keys. Keep in mind that the tips below will not help you if your car key is broken or if you broke it off in the lock. Instead, we recommend that you contact a locksmith who specializes in damaged auto key extractions. Let’s get started:

1. A car lock that has been damaged

If you attempt to open your vehicle using your car key and it doesn’t work, the lock may be damaged. This could be the case even if you don’t use the keyways on your car locks (e.g., unlocking car doors with remotes/fobs). The lock cylinder and the lock assembly are the two primary pieces of an automobile door lock that can break.

With trial and error, you can determine which part of the automobile lock is broken. Insert your key and turn it to see whether it works. If it bends but does not open the lock, there is likely a problem with the lock assembly. If you use a working key fob to access a door, but the key will not open the same door, the lock cylinder is likely to be the source of the problem.

A car door lock can potentially freeze in severe temperatures. Furthermore, if you have been in a collision, the lock may have been damaged due to the incident. These problems aren’t caused by natural wear and tear, and they can harm both modern and historic automobile locks.

Damaged Key

One of the most common causes for your car key not working is that it has been damaged. When most people think of damaged keys, they imagine a broken key that has been shattered into bits. A broken car key, on the other hand, isn’t always visible. A key’s grooves could be worn down. The car key will no longer fit the lock’s internal mechanisms or the ignition if one or more of these grooves are too deep.

Because keys are physical components, they are subject to wear and tear over time. The majority of individuals do not pay enough attention to their locks and keys to recognize the impact that frequent use might have. It increases the likelihood of keys being damaged when combined with a lack of maintenance. You’ll need a locksmith to cut a new car key using the key code assigned to your vehicle if the key is physically destroyed. Duplicating an existing automobile key will result in a key replacement and key extraction of your current problem.

3. Faulty Ignition Cylinder

Your key is not only connected to your car’s external door locks, but it’s also a gadget that works with the ignition. Car keys aren’t meant to be used on their own. This means that there is a lock or mechanism for every key with which it is designed to work. If your car key does not turn on when you place it into the ignition, it does not necessarily indicate it is broken or damaged.

This can be a symptom of a far worse problem, such as damage to your car’s ignition. Cars, if you haven’t noticed, are mechanical components that move. (This was once referred to as magic, but now it is referred to as science and technology.) The point is that mechanical components are prone to wear and strain; thus, things break down, including your ignition cylinder.

4. Worn Out Key Fob Batteries

Another reason your car keys aren’t working could be that your key fob or keyless entry remote batteries have died. This is a very frequent problem with a reasonably straightforward remedy. Because batteries run out after a specific time, diagnosing this issue is relatively straightforward.

The batteries in your key fob are likely dead if your vehicle doesn’t respond to commands and signals transmitted from it. However, you should bear in mind that this isn’t the only reason your key fob isn’t working. When you realise your car key isn’t working because the key fob batteries are worn out, the simple answer is to locate the correct batteries and replace them. Your car key fob should be as good as new after this.

5. Fault that occurs from time to time

Your remote may only operate intermittently at times. Start by replacing the battery, as this is generally an indicator of low and needs to be changed. It’s always more convenient to do this while the remote is still operational.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, it could be caused by another car or a defective transmitter. In either case, you should contact your local automotive locksmith, who should be able to diagnose and resolve the issue promptly.

When your automobile keys don’t work, what do you do?

It’s simple: Contact an AAA Mega locksmith.

Our Automotive locksmiths are professionals in car key replacement; That includes circumstances in which the keys aren’t working at all!

Reprogramming is required

Your remote must be linked with the vehicle’s receiver to function correctly. If this is compromised, the key fob will stop working correctly. Low batteries are frequently to blame, but shock can also cause the fob to lose its pairing.

The resetting sequence for most remotes can be found in your car’s user handbook. If resetting the fob does not resolve the issue, it will need to be reprogrammed. An automotive locksmith or a primary dealer will have to perform this.

What is the best way to repair my car key remote? How to reactivate your automobile keys?

That’s how: by contacting a professional.

While there are many DIY tutorials online that show you how to reset your lost car keys, fobs, and remotes, we think it’s better to leave it to the pros.

There’s far too much possibility of you inadvertently exacerbating the situation by using the incorrect code or making a mistake during the procedure.

Don’t take chances; hire a professional auto locksmith to do the job perfectly the first time.

Unlock your car key with the keys inside

Do you realize that most of our calls aren’t for broken keys or locks? In truth, the vast majority are due to human error. Is it one of the most common? You’ve locked yourself out of your car by accident. You’d be shocked how frequently this occurs — after all, everyone has bad days. Fortunately, that is precisely why we are here. We know how to unlock cars and get you back inside. We’re so skilled at it that we provide a guarantee: if we can’t get ¹you into your car and unlock it, we won’t charge you.


Types of Car Keys

Final Words


One of the most typical reasons for consumers to require new automobile keys is that the step of the key snaps off when inside the lock. Most likely, the lock is damaged, which results in the key breaking when pressure is applied while turning it. Due to the widespread use of key fobs, most keys in current vehicles do not experience those kinds of forces.

There could be a variety of causes for this, but with so many various sorts of cars and keys, the issue could be anything! But, rather than wasting time and effort trying to figure out why, we’ve made it easy for you by discussing everything in one spot.

We understand how stressful dealing with a broken remote maybe, but don’t worry; we’re here to help. Our expert AAA Mega locksmiths are familiar with a wide range of car makes and models, so we should be able to get you back on the road quickly.

We’ve all experienced days like this. You’re in a hurry to get somewhere, and you find your car key isn’t working when you try to start or unlock it. When you’re locked out of your automobile, your mind is rushing to figure out possible causes.

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