What to do if your keyless entry doesn’t work

Modern cars are often accessed using remote fobs and keyless entry. But what do you do when it doesn’t work?

Thankfully, these vehicles are fitted with a key blade inside the fob, and a lock that’s either visible or hidden behind a cover on the door.

Below, we’ll show you some examples of what to do to gain entry to your car, and how to start it if the key is not detected.

Ford vehicles

The most common ‘keyless’ Ford key looks like this:

To access the key blade, squeeze the ribbed section on both sides of the key.

This will cause the front of the key with the Ford badge to lift up, allowing you to pull the cover off using a fingernail behind the cover.

Once the cover has been removed, you’ll be able to remove the key blade.

The ‘T’ section can then be inserted back into the key fob to help turn the key. The blade can also be inserted into the door lock first before fitting the fob, if that’s easier.

Turn the key anti-clockwise to unlock the door.

If you find a ‘No key detected’ warning on your dashboard, you’ll need to locate the emergency key pick up point.

Its location can be found in your vehicle’s online owner’s manual, or in the handbook that came with the car.

Place the key against the pickup point. The warning light should go out and the car should now start.

The example below is for a Ford Kuga up to 2016, but remember that the location is different on other Ford models.

If you’ve tried this but your car still won’t start and no dashboard lights come on, this could indicate a flat battery. You can find out how to charge your battery here.

VAG Group cars

The photos below are of a Skoda Superb, but they’re relevant for all VW Audi Group cars.

Pull the tab aside and the key blade will slide out.

You’ll find a slot on the bottom of the cover the same width as the key blade.

Pull the door handle and hold it in the open position, then insert the key blade and use it to pull the cover outwards and off.

Release the door handle, then turn the key anti-clockwise to unlock the door.

Once in the vehicle, try and start it normally. If the key is not detected when you try to start the car, try pushing the start button with the key fob. This should allow the key signal to be picked up, and your car should then start.

If you’ve tried this but your car still won’t start and no dashboard lights come on, this could indicate a flat battery. Again, you can find out how to charge your battery here.

We hope this was useful. If there are any tech topics you’d like us to cover here on the Green Flag blog, leave a comment and let us know.

Scott Wilson is vehicle and customer data insight manager for Green Flag.

8 comments on “What to do if your keyless entry doesn’t work

  1. Eleanor Kennedy 21/05/2020 8:01 PM

    Very impressed by the helpful friendly person who took my call for assistance and for the speed and service we received from the mechanic.So glad I have Green Flag

  2. Tyler Johnson 04/09/2020 4:40 PM

    I agree that you would want to get a key that could work as both a keyless entry, as well as unlock the door manually. I could see how that would help you get back in the car in order to reprogram the key if you need to. I should ask about that if I ever need to get a new key for my car.

  3. Jacob Slater 17/09/2020 2:58 AM

    I have an experience like this before, I run all the diagnosis to see the possible cause. after an hour, nothing happened. I remember those time that I just only need to replace my battery because its weak and old. Although I solved this before, I get the knowledge and tips of a keyless entry advices. Thank you so much for sharing!

  4. Bryson Owens 06/10/2020 5:59 PM

    It’s helpful to know that a lot of keyless systems still have ways to get into the car with a physical key. My spouse and I are trying to get a keyless system for our car. It would be really helpful to get into the car without worrying about getting the keys.

  5. Janell 23/11/2020 5:00 PM

    Amazing trick it worked when my car key fob was not working perfectly. Thank you!

  6. Hania Amir 18/02/2021 11:30 PM

    I tried it with my car fob and this is working perfectly now. Thank you so much I can’t let this website in the future for my fob copy needs. Happy Writing:)

  7. Jeffrey smith 04/11/2022 4:43 PM

    Car will not open remotely without using keyfob.
    Advise please.

  8. Taaffe 25/11/2022 7:26 PM

    On a Ford galaxy 63 plate if you leave ur phone on charge and then try to start does not like it for some reason .in plug phone charger!!!!.

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