Part 2: Why Your Car Key Isn’t Working & Solutions

Have you ever been in a rush to be somewhere, but suddenly your car key refuses to work and you don’t know why? Working car keys are an integral part of any driver’s day, and if your keys don’t work, resolving the issue can be an inconvenient and expensive ordeal. Taking a few minutes out of your day to read the information below can help you understand why your car key isn’t working and what you can do about it. If you’re still unsure of what to do, call a reliable  automotive locksmith San Jose like Real Time Locksmith.

Internal Damage to Key Fob/Keyless Entry Remote

A car key fob relies on communication between the transmitter and receiver. If either of these components become damaged, your key will not work. Transmitters and receivers can become damaged over time in the form of frayed wires. External damage to your key fob can also result in internal damage to a key fob. For example, if you drop your car key fob on the ground or submerge it in water, you could damage it internally. Do your key fob buttons respond? If you notice that one button works, but not another, it’s likely that the button that isn’t working has become worn down due to repeated pressing.

Solution: Call an Automotive Locksmith

The quickest and most affordable solution is to call an automotive locksmith San Jose. A locksmith will be able to determine what the issue is and repair your key fob. If they are unable to repair your car key fob, they will advise you on the proper key fob replacement. 

The Key Hasn’t Been Programmed

While traditional car keys don’t have this problem (since they can’t be programmed), this is a rather common issue with transponder keys and keyless entry remotes. If your transponder key or keyless entry remote isn’t working, there’s a good chance that it hasn’t been programmed with your car or hasn’t been programmed correctly. You can usually tell that your key hasn’t been programmed with your car if your immobilizer light turns on when the key is in the ignition. This issue can occur when car owners replace their remotes or get their car keys duplicated

Solution: Have an Automotive Locksmith Program Your Car Keys

Transponder key programming can be done by a locksmith or your car dealership. However, a car locksmith is a cheaper and mobile option. An automotive locksmith San Jose will use one of two methods to program your car keys: 


  1. Remote programming. Remote programming uses a pre-existing key without involving the car.
  2. In-car programming. This method does not require a working key, but requires you to program the key while inside the vehicle.

Your Car Key Is a Duplicate

It’s common to have several car key duplicates laying around your house or workplace in case an emergency occurs, like a lockout, for example. Many car owners prefer to get their car keys duplicated instead of getting a new key cut to code, which is the cheaper option. However, duplicates don’t always function as effectively as the original key. Is your car key a copy of a copy? A copy of a copy can be problematic since every time a key is duplicated, small errors will be introduced. Eventually, you’ll introduce enough errors that the key won’t be able to open the lock. Additionally, if your car key was not duplicated by a professional, it may have problems right away. 

Solution: Contact a Locksmith to Cut You a New Key

If your spare key isn’t working, contact an automotive locksmith San Jose to cut you a new key from your vehicle code. The new cut key code will be the same thing as getting an original car key. If you have a transponder key or keyless entry remote, the automotive locksmith will program a replacement key for you. 

Having issues with your car key, but they aren’t listed here? Check out Part 1: Why Your  Car Key Isn’t Working & Solutions for more common issues and solutions.

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