Q: Car won't start, says key error. This is the first time it ever happened

asked by on

I drove car to work everything or ked fine I get done work go to start car and it says key error and clicks one

My car has 119000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Hello. The key error message you are experiencing can be caused by a few different things. The most common causes are an issue with the immobilizer system, or with the steering column. The immobilizer system is the vehicle’s security system. It will lock the steering column and prevent the vehicle from starting if it detects an issue with the immobilizer.

This does not always mean there is an issue with the key, in some instances this fault can be caused by a faulty module, sensor, or even wiring. It may also be possible that the fault is with the upper steering column.

There is a component in the upper steering column that locks the steering wheel. It is controlled by the immobilizer, and can set off this error message if it fails. As electrical issues, such as these can sometimes be difficult to diagnose properly, I would recommend having a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic, come to your location to determine the exact cause of the no-start and assist you with any needed repairs.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1,000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car won't start, says key error. This is the first time it ever happened

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Clicking sound upon startup

Hi there. I have come across this many times on this engine. If the clicking noise comes up when the vehicle is first started, then check the engine oil first and replace it if it is old. I have also...

Q: No compression in engine

Unfortunately there are a few reasons as to why your Volvo’s engine has no compression. The most common reason I have experienced would be when the timing belt fails. When this belt fails, the starter will crank the engine over,...

Q: My car has crank and no start issues.

There is one thing I don't think you have listed or have checked. That would be injector pulse. You can have fuel pressure but without injector pulse from the ECU, the injectors will not open and the cylinders will not...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.