- Second hand keys cannot be recoded to a car, so don’t waste a visit trying to code an eBay bought key unless it’s a virgin.
- When programming more than 1 hands free card, ensure that only the card being programmed is inside the car and that the other card is always a few feet away from the car so it can’t be detected and the system is not confused.
- Old Renault Clio vehicles up to late 2001 cannot be programmed by OBD without a dealer pre-coded key being ordered. These can be programmed by EEPROM but not by OBD. When quoting for a job on 2001/2002 models you must ask the question ‘where is the radio aerial on your cars roof? Is it on the front or on the back of the vehicle?’ This simple question can save you a wasted journey and the purchase of incorrect parts. If the customers answer is that it’s on the front of the cars roof, then this is the older ID33 system that requires a pre-coded dealer key or EEPROMED; if the answer is that the aerial is on the back of the cars roof, then this is the newer ID46 system and will code in quickly and simply for you.
- When programming key cards to card system models, switch on the hazard lights prior to connecting to the car to ensure the dash is awake.
- When you are reading the pin code from a Clio PH2 model with just 1 button, be aware that if an incorrect pin code is displayed then the car may have had a new ECU fitted. These are usually campus ECU’s that get fitted, so try reading and coding as a campus for the correct pin code.
- Always ensure good battery voltage – use a battery support unit if need be.
- Always carry a spare car reader or 2 – as these commonly fail.
It’s not uncommon to receive calls where a mechanic or recovery operator has advised a customer to call an auto locksmith, as they have diagnosed the problem as a key that needs re-programming. But often this is a misdiagnosis and can be a huge waste of time for both yourself and the customer. Many mechanics make this diagnosis everyday – and although it’s not something we can stop entirely, we can limit these wasted call outs by asking simple questions to the customer!
It’s likely that the engine won’t start with their key, which is why the problem has been diagnosed as a programming problem. You don’t get paid for unnecessary call outs, so to save everyone’s time and stop yourself from potentially missing out on other jobs, simply ask the customer to go to their vehicle and check the immo light on the dashboard.
The immo light can tell us a lot and can help save our time. Explain to them what it is; that before they open their door they will see a red light on the dashboard that flashes every so many seconds – it is this light you want them to look at.
Ask them to:
Insert the key into the ignition and switch the ignition to position 2. Observe what the light does, it will be 1 of 3 things.
1. The red light will flash on and off constantly
2. It will come on and stay on constantly
3. It will come on, stay on for a few seconds and then go off
If they answer number 1, then it could be an aerial ring fault and not a key reading fault. However if the immo light is flashing on and off quickly and constantly, with the ignition switched to position 2, this can indicate a there is a possibility that the key is at fault.
If they answer number 2, then the vehicle has detected an engine malfunction fault and the vehicle needs a garage with dealer diagnostics to find out what it is – but it is not key related. This can also happen if the car has had a bump; the fuel cut off switch may need resetting.
If they answer number 3, then the key has been recognised and is not at fault. This can happen when the crank shaft sensor or cam shaft sensor fails or when the fuel pump fails etc. Therefore, neither options 2 or 3 can be key related – so there is no need for an auto locksmith call out.
Option one, it may be a possibility and a key related issue cannot be ruled out.
The same can be said for card systems like Megane. Ask the customer what message they get on the screen; if it says the card is not detected then it will be a faulty card or card reader. If they also get a steering locked/ unlocked message it can relate to a steering lock fault. If they also get an ECU fault message then reprogramming won’t help as it is prone to water entry.