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Ron, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Nissan
Satisfied Customers: 35858
Experience:  34 years of automotive Repair
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This new owner, my friend, was told by the old owner that

Customer Question

This new owner, my friend, was told by the old owner that the car sometimes won't start because the transponder key in the 2002 Nissan Altima is bad...the new mechanic, my husband, says she needs a whole new ignition key and cylinder ($607.35 at the dealer)
JA: Have you checked the battery, particularly the terminal connections? Are they corroded?
Customer: They were but that has already been taken care of, Should she try a new key first and, if we should just get the part. There are other online options for the part.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: A genuine is $467.48 at PartsGeek....she saw a "standard" ignition package for $167 but i am not convinced it will work for her car
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: My husband, a 30 year (ASE certified) mechanic was going to do it
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Nissan
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
A new alternator is also in order (battery was just replaced)
Expert:  Ron replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is ***** ***** I am a professional here at Justanswer. Thank you for your question and I will assist you with your concern.

If the key and or the transponder are consider to be the cause of the no start which is very likely then Yes I would start with having a new key made and when they do the programming for it that should also be able to check the transponder to be sure it will read the new key. If it turns out the cylinder is also at fault then you are best served to stay with the dealer part as they can do the necessary programming at the same time.