Volvo Car Keys
About Volvo Engine Remote Start
Yes! Finally, after ten long years, Volvo now has this old feature known as — Volvo Engine Remote Start.
Personally, I don’t like using an ice scraper at 5 a.m. on a cold winter morning. It would be nice to push a button on the key fob with automatic defrost on before I take a hot morning shower. Imagine the ice slowly melting off the front and rear windshield and side windows, the car warming up nicely inside, the smell of freshly brewed coffee as your Volvo brews you a fresh pot — sorry people, I made that up — but, wouldn’t that be just perfect.
For those of you who live in Florida; it’s a steamy hot morning and you can feel beads of sweat start to form on your brow. You lean over the bed and snatch up your Volvo Key Fob from the night stand, you push down on that button and let out a sigh of relief. The A/C in your Volvo cuts on, and cool air begins to flow. Yes!
It easy to get this feature installed — a simple software upgrade — which by the way is only available in late model Volvo’s — 2012 and 2013 models. But Volvo engine remote start comes with a heft price tag, about $650 including tax.
The benefits of this feature asides from the convenience, is that after a heavy snow fall you might mistakenly turn on your wipers and if the wipers are frozen to the windshield you will either bend the wiper-arms or damage the motor. To prevent this type of damage from happening get the Volvo Engine Remote Start. See this video
The lady on the other side of the telephone line sounded very agitated because the ignition lock cylinder on her 2008 XC90 had failed suddenly, without warning. This was a smart sounding, intelligent lady who had made all the right moves. Therefore, she could not understand why this was happening to her.
After all, hadn’t she purchased this vehicle used — at the end of a three year lease from it’s previous owner.
She went further and purchased the top of the line Volvo extended warranty –Volvo Increased Protection (VIP) — because she did not want to worry about repairs.
She had all the bases covered, she wanted peace of mind.
She had Volvo on call for Towing, she also had rental car reimbursement coverage up to $50 per day for six days on covered repairs. On top of that she had AAA.
She was agitated now because out of the blue, the ignition key would not turn. Without warning the ignition lock cylinder had failed.
I provided her with Volvo Road side service telephone number 1.800.638.6586 and I asked her to have her Vin number (vehicle serial number) handy because roadside service will ask for it – found on her insurance card or vehicle registration. But she wanted to call AAA which was okay too.
She called, once more.
“The transmission is locked up”, she said. “It’s stuck on park, the Tow Truck driver wants to know if there is a transmission override button”, she asked.
The All Wheel Drive XC90 does not have an override button.
Therefore, unless you are a Volvo Technician, you cannot disengage the transmission and put it into Neutral to enable towing. So, she ended up having a AAA send another Tow Truck with the capability of lifting the Vehicle off the ground, so that dollies could be placed under the vehicle. This is the only safe way to move the car without damaging the transmission.
The 2008 XC90 was safely towed to the service center and we went ahead and placed an order for a new Ignition Lock Cylinder from Volvo, this will take three to five days.
Meanwhile, our customer was put into a Enterprise Rental Car, paid for by VIP Warranty, as she is taking a she daughter back to College in New York City.
If your ignition key gets stuck in the first position, position (I) and will not start up the car, try to wiggle it, just a little bit. But not too hard as you don’t want to break the key blade. You just may be able to free it, and then proceed to drive directly to the Dealership and don’t stop at the MacDonald’s for fast food or you might be left stranded, get it fixed now.
Volvo Immobilizer System Warning Lights: Alarm System Service Required; Immobilizer, See Manual; Start Prevented, Try Again
This problem will prevent you from starting up the car and one of the above warning lamps will be illuminated on the dashboard instrument panel. But no need to worry, and don’t start pulling out your hair out just yet.
The immobilizer system “locks” or immobilizes the car because it does not recognize the ignition key — Wrong Key – or if there is a fault in the system. Therefore, get the correct ignition key and reset the immobilizer system in order to start the car.
Reset: Lock and unlock the door 5 times in a row with the remote fob (clicker) or ignition key.
Alarm System Service Required (Anti-Theft System) - You may have a faulty alarm module – it could be a bad siren. If you deliberately set off the alarm and the lights FLASH but no sound is given off by the siren, then have the rechargeable batteries in the siren checked – good for 5 to 6 years. Have the Alarm System checked out at the volvo Dealership.
Immobilizer, See Manual and Start Prevented, Try Again warning lights
When the immobilizer system is activated, the car will not start . In order for the car to start, the immobilizer system has to be deactivated.
Potential causes of Immobilize Failure are:
- Wrong key used for starting the engine.
- Ignition has been switched on and off more than 3 times while driving.
- Open circuit in signal cable at the module.
- Defective Engine Control Module (ECM).
- Defective Central Electronic Module (CEM).
- Corroded starter wire (a loose battery cable running to the starter can trigger immobilizer warning light).
- Faulty Antenna Ring.
- Having two ignition keys in close proximity; master and valet key or two master keys close together. The ignition key or transponder key sends out a RFID coded signal. Thus, two signals may cause interference in the system.
Immobilizer system consists of:
- Antenna ring
- Central electronic module (CEM)
- Engine control module (ECM)
- Driver information module (DIM)
The central electronic module (CEM) is the head of the immobilizer system. The brain of the car or engine control module (ECM) and the CEM, communicate with each other through secret codes (rolling codes).
So, when you slide the ignition key (transponder or chip key) into the ignition lock cylinder, the key transmits a RFID signal– unique identification code – from the chip key to the CEM via the Antenna Ring, which is installed around the ignition switch.
On approving the the identity of the key, the central electronic module (CEM) transmits commands and signals to the other units in the system. Chief among these units is the relay for the starter motor which controls the fuel pump. When fuel is injected into the engine, the car will start up. But when there is a problem with the Immobilizer system, the driver’s information module (DIM) will illuminate a warning light in the dashboard.
“My key is stuck, the ignition key will not go past position 1, turns on the lights and radio, and that’s it”, she said. This is an example of a very common complaint.
This morning, one angry lady called in and wanted to pre-order an Ignition lock cylinder. Apparently she had already done a self diagnosis and determined that the Ignition lock cylinder for her 2006 XC70 had failed because the key would not turn past the first position. She is now having the car towed in by AAA.
Unfortunately, she is out of warranty, the cost of this repair is at least $750 and takes three to five business just to get the part in. This is because the ignition lock cylinder is precoded to match your programmed Ignition key. She was angry, mainly because it takes about five days to fix the problem and that’s why she wanted to pre-order the Ignition lock cylinder.
It happens at the most inopportune times, you might be leaving for work early in the morning or in a grocery store parking lot. It’s bound to leave you stuck and stranded, you wiggle the ignition key, praying that the key will turn. Lord please, just this one time. Sometimes it works. But it’s getting progressively worse. Soon it won’t work at all. Cars usually give you a warning, if it’s an intermittent problem, it’s sure to progressively get worse.
The Volvo Ignition cylinder lock is jammed internally and needs replacement.
From talking to the guys (Technicians), I have drawn a conclusion that the reasons why the Ignition lock cylinder fails could be two fold:
- The key chain is heavily laden with a bunch of house keys. This excess weight, weighs down on the key, which in turn pushes down on the tumblers in the lock mechanism.
- The tumblers are made of a soft metal, maybe aluminum. This design feature combined with a heavily laden key chain results in failure of the ignition lock cylinder.
TIP – Don’t attach heavy objects to your ignition key or you may end up paying hundred of dollars to replace the Ignition lock cylinder
Good News:Technology comes to the rescue
The good news is that, with the new model Volvo’s, the new style keys (smart keys) slide into the dash and all you have to do is press down on the start/stop button to start up the car. The Volvo Smart key — looks like a key fob on steroids — rectangel shaped about half an inch thick and three inches long.
With the Volvo proximity smart key system, the driver needs only to walk up to the car and the doors unlocks automatically — as long as the key is in your possession, pocket or purse – when you pull the handle open. Upon sitting inside the car, you press the “start engine ” button – no more physically turning a key in the lock. As long as you have the smart key somewhere in the car — pocket, purse, hat or shoe — the engine will start. The computer – ignition module – inside the vehicle recognizes the rolling code projected by the smart key, and then verifies with the codes stored in the computer before starting the engine. Thus, your key matches your car.
EVERY 33 SECONDS, A CAR IS STOLEN IN THE UNITED STATES
Business is booming for car thieves.
In a down economy, more people are keeping their old cars running longer than in previous years; hence, driving up the demand for repairs and parts. Old cars are easier to steal for parts because they may not have the best anti-theft systems.
Two Layer Security
It is difficult to steal modern cars equipped with complex two layer security, but not entirely imposible. Computer hackers may try to beat the transponder security features with sophisticated programs to hack into your cars computer. But they also have to get around the physical protection:ignition lock, steering column locking mechanism, gear selector lock, and protected ignition switch.
However, it takes 20 minutes or more to hack into a keyless system and the hacker has to be in a secluded area and in close proximity to the vehicle.
I was recently amused by an article that described a low tech means of masking your transponder key signal, so that a hacker would be unable to intercept the signal with a reader equipped, laptop computer. Simply, wrap your car keys in aluminun foil to mask the radio signature of the chip and pray that it works.
Pull out your car keys, and examine your ignition key closely, notice that it consists of a metal blade and a hard plastic or rubber casing. Inside that hard casing is a transponder chip, better known as RFID chip. RFID is a two way Anti-Theft Security that prevents thieves from stealing your car. Transponders in your car keys provide electronic security.
Take a closer look at the metal blade, notice how the theeth are cut, if the teeth look jagged like a sharks teeth, then any locksmith can cut this car key because it’s not laser cut.
Volvo car keys on the other hand are laser cut, only the dealership can cut those. Laser keys have a smooth cut, both on the edge as well as on the sides. The laser cuts on the sides of the Volvo car key have a fancy design that can only be done by a high tech laser cutting machine. Laser cut car keys provide an extra barrier of physical security that thiefs have to beat.
Now, a car key that has been cut can both open the car doors and turn in the ignition, but will not start your car. This is because the car key has not been programmed to your car. The vehicles computer does not recognise that car key.
What is a Transponder – Electronic Security
A transponder is a two-way (sending and receiving) electronic security device. Examples of a transponder are: Wireless car remotes, wireless garage door openers, and chipped keys.
Transponder Keys, also known as Chip Keys and Ignition keys
This type of car key reduces the chance of theft and increases the difficulty of getting a duplicate set of keys.
How a Transponder Key Works
Whatever you wish to call it, ignition key, transponder key or chip key; this is a key equipped with a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID Chip).
The transponder chip is embedded within the head of the ignition key, allowing the driver to carry a vital component of the car security system with him or her.
When activated, the transponder or radio transmitter/ receiver sends a coded signal to your engine. If the code is correct your car will start. But if the code is wrong your car will not start.
The secret code is a random set of numbers and letters transmitted to a transceiver (transmitter-receiver), a reader within the ignition module.
The ignition module comprises of a ring antenna, around the outer ignition lock where the car key slides in or mates with the ignition lock.
When the ignition key is mated with the ignition lock and rotated, the vehicle electronics and systems are activated. This action completes a circuit and a signal is sent: first to the transceiver, then to the ring antenna, and finally to the transponder, embedded in the head of the key.
The ring antenna, acts like an induction coil or electromagnet around the transponder car key. The ensuing electromagnetic field around the transponder key energizes the transponder – chip key.
The excited transponder sends a return signal back to the ring antenna, completing the circuit and your car starts right away.
What you see here is a two way radio frequency communication between the ignition key and steering column.
- First, the ignition computer asks the transponder key to identify itself.
- Secondly, the transponder chip replies by sending out the correct code and the reader (transceiver) checks it’s memory for a match.
- Finally, if the code is a match made in car heaven, the marriage will be consummated and the car will start.
The transponder system provides a sophisticated electronic anti-theft deterrent, and only a highly skilled professional thief (hacker) with programming knowledge and tools has any hope of beating the system. By any chance, if the hacker is succesful it will take far too long to be worth his time to hack into the system.
USE COMMON SENSE WHEN PARKING AND EXITING YOUR VEHICLE
CAR KEY TIP
Ladies, have your car keys on-hand when walking into an isolated parking spot at night, press the panic button if you have reason to fear for your life or to prevent a sex crime from happening.
Your car keys are a security system that you have on hand and that can be deployed at short notice by pressing the panic button. keep your car keys beside your bed at night, just incase you hear a noise outside, like someone trying to break into your house or if you see some suspicious activity outside. The loud car alarm will scare off a burglar.
If you are traveling or have no spare key you will have to be towed to the nearest dealership and wait several days for a blank key to be ordered and programmed for you. Most important, your wallet will be $500 lighter at the end of the ordeal.
Volvo’s like most modern cars uses special Anti-Theft keys known as transponder keys or chip keys, your car most likely has one too.
New Volvo ignition keys costs between $180 – $200 and a flip Volvo car key about $380 . A Volvo Key fob, clicker or car remote costs about $280 and requires seperate programming for both the remote and the key.
In addition, you have to factor in the cost of having your car towed to the dealership if you have no spare car key. In total, you are looking at spending about $400 to replace your lost car key and another $100 to have your car towed to the dealership.
The price includes parts, labor and programming:
A blank key is laser cut to specification by a high tech laser key cutting machine; the car key is then programmed to the car through VIDA (Volvo Diagnostic computer);programming enables the car key and the car to talk to each other through a code (special sequence of numbers and letters).
The Volvo ignition module allows a total of five to six keys to be programmed to your car.
How to order a new car key
- Call the dealership and set up an appointment for a replacement car key.
- Parts department will cut you a new car key if you have a spare key by using the vehicle identification number or VIN number to reproduce a new key. If you have no spare key, have your car towed to the dealership.
- A blank car key has to be ordered if you don’t have a spare car key and this takes two to three business days.
- The new key is cut and programmed to your car. This costs about one labor hour.
- Alternatively, a locksmith may cut you a new key but only a Volvo Dealership can program the key for you.
- Test your new key, make sure it works.