My Car Won't Start With a Key But Started With Remote Start

by David Montoya
car keys image by bright from Fotolia.com

A car that won't start with a key but will with a remote seems like a perplexing problem but is usually straightforward to fix. Since the car can start, the problem is probably not a bad starter, fuel injector or other mechanical issue that will cost you hundreds of dollars to fix. The problem is either with your key or with the ignition switch. You will to troubleshoot to reveal the source of the problem.

Step 1

Start your car with an extra set of car keys if you have a set available. As with any other keys, the teeth begin to wear over time. This changes the shape of the key and may render it useless. This is the most likely problem if your spare keys still work.

Step 2

Start the car with the spare keys. If the spare keys also do not work, then the problem may be with the ignition switch. An ignition switch has small tumblers that read the key's teeth. If any of these tumblers are broken, the switch will incorrectly read your car keys and the car will not start.

Step 3

Turn the wheel if it is turned to the far right or left. Sometimes the wheels can lock the ignition switch. Turning the wheel in the opposite direction will fix this common problem. Gently moving the key inside the ignition switch may also help.

Inspect your ignition switch for corrosion. If you noticed that the ignition switch was overheating before it failed, corrosion is the likely problem.

Items you will need

  • Spare car keys

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