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greasemonkey2386
greasemonkey2386, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 274
Experience:  ASE Certifications A1,A4,A5,and A7 10+ years professional hands-on experience
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2009 mini cooper clubman, driving thru-out the day & when

Resolved Question:

2009 mini cooper clubman, driving thru-out the day & when I came out from my last stop car wouldn't start. The key fob unlocked the doors, but when I pressed the start button the car wouldn't recognize the key. lights turn on (no brake lights though) radio turned on and I had lights to all my interior gages. Had to have car towed to mechanic. DO I need to order a NEW key fob?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  greasemonkey2386 replied 1 year ago.

greasemonkey2386 :

hello, i will look up some things and let you know

Customer:

we called the Mini dealership we bought it from and they claim they have never heard of this problem before, of course the story of my life! anyways, they told us we had to buy a new set of key fobs. I just want to make sure there isn't something else I can try before I shell out $200+ for new keys

greasemonkey2386 :

is the car at the dealer? did they do any diagnostics on it?

Customer:

no we have a mechanic, from what he said is sounds like it was hooked up to the computer but it did not recognize the key in the ignition.

Customer:

I've done some research as to re-programing the fob, but haven't found anything consistant.

greasemonkey2386 :

that doesnt sound like a key issue, it sounds like maybe a computer issue

greasemonkey2386 :

i will look and see if i can find something

greasemonkey2386 :

the only thing i can find is that a factory scan tool is required to code the system

Customer:

but we already know the car isn't finding the key in the ignition to START the car, but it's enough to run the basic lights and locks to the car. could it be the ignition housing the fob fits into?

greasemonkey2386 :

the way the system works is the electronic part of the key is the drive authorization...IE allowing the car to start, the other functions of the key can be done without the electronics working, i have seen it where everything works but it wouldnt start because the computer wasnt seeing the key correctly......if the key was not dropped or anything like that to me its unlikely that it just lost its coding that quickly, i would suspect something in the ignition failed

Customer:

i mean the fob is plastic and has silver paint around the edge. at the top of the fob, where it fits into the housing, all the silver is rubbed away. i don't know how the silver plays into to actual workings of the fob, other than design and looks

greasemonkey2386 :

its just for looks as near as i could ever tell

Customer:

the keys have been dropped many times but not that day. we've had the car since late 2009 and have been using this key almost the entire time. about 2 years we lost the 2nd key. would it just be worn out?

greasemonkey2386 :

it could be i suppose, it is rather difficult for me to say for sure without being able to look at the computers for myself

greasemonkey2386 :

why did you rate poor service?

Customer:

there wasn't any different answers given than what I already had found

greasemonkey2386 :

well unfortunately this system is a complex system controlled by a computer, the system does not have many components. I did a significant amount of research on my end including looking through the factory technical service bulletins on your car. As I said i do not feel it is a key issue, i feel the ignition itself has a problem but without a scan tool and the car even for you to test for me i can not tell you much more

Customer:

that fine but the information wasn't much different than what I found on previous websites, and of course everything is clearer to diagnose when the problem is in front of us

greasemonkey2386 :

what did your mechanic tell you when he plugged into the car?

Customer:

the key wasnt recognized by the car, basically there was no key present

greasemonkey2386 :

did he check if the alarm system is recognizing a lock signal?

Customer:

I believe he did, but can't confirm that. The doors locked and unlocked, the headlights worked, the brake lights didn't, the interior dash lights worked, the radio worked, I think the windows worked. Ill have to check to alarm tomorrow

greasemonkey2386 :

if the doors lock and unlock then the key has not lost its coding!

Customer:

right and thats why I said I didn't find anything consistant on other sites about reprograming the key.

greasemonkey2386 :

if the doors lock the key is not your issue

Customer:

and thats why I said I didn't trust the mini cooper dealership when I told them about the problem and they told me to reorder 2 new keys

greasemonkey2386 :

well there you go then, i would suspect a ignition switch assembly

Customer:

yeah its called something else since there is not a "switch" that you have to turn the key thru different positions to turn car on. I think it the IAA or some electronic name

greasemonkey2386 :

yeah they change the names of the parts more often then they change body styles

Customer:

I don't know much about cars and my dad raised me to do my research so I'm not one of those girls that gets taken advantage of by being a "dumb girl." I try to do my homework when I run into problems so that stuff doesn't go over my head.

greasemonkey2386 :

well that is a good quality to have for sure!

Customer:

I try not to be a pain in the ass, which the tow truck driver called me the other night because he was going to tow my car from the wrong direction and I told him its a front wheel drive vehicle

greasemonkey2386 :

thats very lucky! that could have done a lot of damage

Customer:

his bad ass personality was rather bruised after I corrected him and made him call back to base to get confirmation. electronics is already an expensive reason to take a car in, but lets compound that with a jacked-up tow!

greasemonkey2386 :

haha! well lucky for you you knew your car!

Customer:

well at least that much, the rest is elctronics and that is far from my expertise! I just know when something works part way and the solution isn't always as simple as buying new keys!!!

greasemonkey2386 :

exactly! the keys are kinda all or nothing

Customer:

ok so you havent given me NEW information, but you have confirmed my thoughts. so for that we're cool. thanks and if i need something else with this subject can I continue with you or do I start over again?

greasemonkey2386 :

as long as its regarding the same issue you can just reply here and get in touch with me....if you could please though update the rating you gave me

Customer:

will do!

greasemonkey2386 :

thank you i appreciate it!

greasemonkey2386, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 274
Experience: ASE Certifications A1,A4,A5,and A7 10+ years professional hands-on experience
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greasemonkey2386
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ASE Certifications A1,A4,A5,and A7 10+ years professional hands-on experience