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.