Chip keys are a symbol of technological advancement. It adds an extra layer of security to your car’s ignition.
A chip key has a small computer chip embedded in it to communicate with the car’s immobilizer system.
This technology is designed to make it more difficult for thieves to steal your car, but it also means that if you lose your chip key or it malfunctions, you may not be able to start your car.
That’s why it’s essential to have a backup plan in case of a lost or malfunctioning chip key.
So, what happens if your chip key is missing?
Not to worry, there are ways to start your car without a chip key and without sweating it. In this article, we’ll explain the steps on how to start your car without a chip key.
Table of contents
- How to Start My Car without Chip Key
- Methods of Starting a Car Without Chip Key
- Tips to Prevent Your Chip Key from Getting Lost or Malfunctioning
How to Start My Car without Chip Key
If you find yourself in a situation where you have lost your transponder key, or it has malfunctioned, there are a few steps you can take to start your car without it.
1. Locate Your Steering Column
The first step is to locate the steering column of your car. This is typically located near the dashboard, under the steering wheel.
It’s a metal component that houses the ignition switch, steering lock, and other related parts.
2. Remove the Cover
Once you’ve located the steering column, you will need to remove the cover covering the ignition switch.
The cover is usually held in place by screws or clips. You will need to use a screwdriver to remove the screws or gently pry the cover off if it’s secured with clips.
3. Locate the Ignition Switch
Once the cover is removed, you should be able to see the ignition switch. This component controls the power of the car’s electrical system.
It’s a small metal component with a keyhole and sometimes with a plastic cover.
4. Remove the Silicone
If your car has been manufactured after the year 2000, it will have a silicone seal covering the ignition switch.
This is to prevent anyone from starting the car without the chip key, so you will need to remove this silicone seal to access the switch.
You can use a plastic tool or a flathead screwdriver to remove the seal gently.
5. Use a Screwdriver
Once you have removed the silicone seal, you will need to use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the ignition switch in place. These screws are typically located at the top or bottom of the switch.
6. Disconnect the Electrical Connector
Once the screws have been removed, you need to disconnect the electrical connector that connects the switch to the car’s electrical system.
This is usually a tiny plug that connects to the back of the switch. Carefully pull the connector out of the switch.
7. Enter the Break Code
Once you have the necessary components, you can start the car by entering the brake code. This is done by setting and releasing the parking brake repeatedly, following the code.
For example, if your code is 12345, you would set the parking brake, release it, set it again, release it, and so on, until you have entered all 5 digits of the code.
Keep in mind that this method of starting the car without the transponder key is a temporary solution and will require you to enter the code each time you start the car.
To avoid this inconvenience, it is recommended that you get a new key cut from your dealership or a professional locksmith.
To do this, you will need to provide your VIN and proof of ownership.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can also have the car towed to your dealership and have them take care of everything there.
8. Turn the Switch Manually
With the electrical connector disconnected, you should be able to turn the ignition switch manually. Turn the switch to the “on” position, and you should be able to start the car.
Also, any replica of a key will operate thanks to the transponder chip since the transponder chip is constantly near the ignition lock.
9. Replace the Cover
Once you have started the car, you need to replace the cover on the steering column and reconnect the electrical connector.
Ensure all the screws are tightened securely and that the silicone seal is back in place if removed.
Methods of Starting a Car Without Chip Key
Starting a car without a chip key is not a piece of cake. In fact, some vehicles can’t start without a chip key. The last resort in such a situation is the dealership.
They will provide you with a spare chip key after reading the car’s radio-frequency identification.
Below are other methods you can explore in starting your car without a chip key:
1. Use of a Spare Key or Valet Key
A spare key, also known as a valet key, is a duplicate key provided by car manufacturers that can be used to unlock the doors and start the car.
The spare key is usually found in the car’s manual, glove compartment, or a small storage compartment located in the vehicle.
To use it, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “on” position.
Press the brake pedal and turn the key to the “start” position to start the car’s engine.
Once the car is running, you can remove the key from the ignition as you usually would.
2. Use of a Keyless Remote
Another method of bypassing chip keys is by using a keyless remote. A keyless remote is a device that allows you to start your car remotely by using radio waves to communicate with the car’s immobilizer system, enabling you to start the car by pressing a button on the remote.
To use it, make sure the keyless remote is within range of the car, press the “unlock” button, and press and hold the “start” button on the keyless remote.
This will unlock the car’s doors and disarm the alarm if equipped with one.
Depending on the model of your car, you might need to press the brake pedal or have the keyless remote inside the vehicle for the engine to start.
To turn off the car, press the “start” button again on the keyless remote.
3. Jumpstarting the Car
Jumpstarting a car, also known as jump-starting or booster-starting, is a method of starting a car with a dead battery by using a working battery from another vehicle or a portable jump starter.
To jumpstart a car, you will need a set of jumper cables, another car with a working battery, and a pair of safety goggles.
Position the cars close to each other, ensuring they face each other and all lights, accessories, and the engine of both vehicles are turned off.
Connect the jumper cables, one end of the positive (+) cable to the positive (+) terminal of the working battery and the other end of the same cable to the positive (+) terminal of the dead battery.
Connect one end of the negative (-) cable to the negative (-) terminal of the working battery and the other end of the same cable to a solid metal surface on the car with the dead battery.
Start the working car, let it run for a few minutes, and then start the vehicle with the dead battery.
Once the car with the dead battery is running, remove the cables in the reverse order of how you connected them.
4. Use of a Push-button Start
A push-button start is a feature that allows you to start your car by pressing a button rather than inserting a key into the ignition or using a keyless remote.
To use this feature, open the door of the car, sit in the driver’s seat, make sure the car is in the “park” position, press and hold the brake pedal, and press the start button when you’re ready to turn off the car, press the start button again.
This feature is becoming increasingly common in newer cars and can provide added convenience and security.
Tips to Prevent Your Chip Key from Getting Lost or Malfunctioning
1. Keep a Spare Key on Hand
It is always a good idea to keep a spare key on hand in an emergency. This can be a spare chip key or a manual key.
Having a spare key will give you peace of mind knowing that you have a backup plan in case you lose or misplace your primary key.
You can also leave a spare key with a trusted friend or family member so that they can help you in case of an emergency.
2. Check the Battery Life of Your Keyless Remote Regularly
Make sure to regularly check the battery life of your keyless remote and replace the batteries when necessary.
A dead battery in the remote will prevent it from working and starting the car. It is a good idea to have a spare battery on hand, so you can replace it immediately if needed.
3. Store and Handle the Chip Key Carefully
Avoid dropping or exposing your chip key to water, as this can damage the key and prevent it from working correctly.
Also, avoid storing the key in extreme temperatures, such as in a hot car or near a heat source, as this can also damage the key.
Store the key in a safe place, such as a purse or pocket, when not used.
Additionally, it is important to handle the key with care, as bending or twisting it can damage the internal components and cause them to malfunction.
4. Keep Key Away from Electronic Devices and Magnets
Electronic devices and magnets can affect the key’s electronic signal.
Therefore, it is essential to keep the key away from electronic devices such as cell phones, tablets, laptops, and magnets.
5. Service the Key Periodically
It is important to get the key regularly serviced to ensure that all the internal components are working properly.
This will also help prevent malfunctions and ensure that the key will work when you need it the most.
Having a backup plan in case of a lost or malfunctioning chip key is essential to ensure that you can still start and drive your car.
There are several methods for starting a car without a chip key, including using a spare key or a valet key, a keyless remote, a manual key, a push-button start, or jump-starting the car.
However, things can get really tricky sometimes, which is why you should always consult a professional mechanic for specific instructions and safety precautions.