Spare key

Car Mechanics (UK) - - Help! -

My daugh­ter’s 2001 Vaux­hall As­tra G 1.8 con­vert­ible has both keys with re­mote lock­ing and un­lock­ing fa­cil­i­ties. Af­ter read­ing your fea­ture in the July 2015 is­sue, I wanted to im­prove the tatty looks of her spare key.

I first checked to en­sure it still locks and un­locks the car. It didn’t and mat­ters weren’t im­proved by putting in a new bat­tery. I sus­pect it needs re­pro­gram­ming to the car, but the Haynes man­ual says I have to go to a Vaux­hall dealer for this. Is there method to do this with­out go­ing to a main dealer? Gra­ham Moore It is very likely that the bat­tery in the key has been flat for too long, al­low­ing the key to lose its me­mory. As it is the orig­i­nal key, I am as­sum­ing that it will start the ve­hi­cle and that the chip in the key is still op­er­a­tional – the im­mo­biliser chip does not rely on bat­tery power, so un­less it has been af­fected by a mag­netic field, it should not need re­pro­gram­ming.

If this is the case, the fob should be able to be re­set by in­sert­ing the key into the ig­ni­tion and turn­ing the ig­ni­tion to ‘On’ but not start­ing the en­gine. Next, press the lock but­ton on the fob, hold­ing it down un­til the doors lock; when the but­ton is re­leased, the doors should au­to­mat­i­cally un­lock again. Now switch off the ig­ni­tion and re­move the key, which should now be re­set.

This will work for any key that has been pre­vi­ously pro­grammed to the ve­hi­cle. Any new keys will need pro­fes­sional equip­ment to pro­gramme them.

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