Range Rover won’t recognize key: what you should try first!

As a long-time Range Rover owner, I’ve experienced a fair share of the brand’s well-known reliability issues. One of the most frustrating problems I’ve faced is when my Range Rover won’t recognize my key.

It’s like the car has forgotten who I am! In this article, I’ll share everything I know about this issue and how to fix it.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

The most obvious sign that your Range Rover won’t recognize your key is that the car won’t start.

You might be able to unlock the doors remotely with the key fob, but when you press the start button, nothing happens.

You may also see an error message on the dashboard that says “key not recognized” or something similar.

List of possible OBD codes

When you take your Range Rover to a mechanic to diagnose the problem, they may use an OBD (on-board diagnostics) scanner to read error codes from the car’s computer.

Some of the codes that could be related to a key recognition issue include:

  • P1615 – Loss of VTD (vehicle theft deterrent) data
  • P1699 – No CCD (CAN communication) message from ECM (engine control module)
  • U0100 – Lost communication with ECM/PCM (powertrain control module)
  • U0155 – Lost communication with IPC (instrument panel cluster)

Buying guide: Best Land Rover OBD2 scanner tools

Common causes

There are several possible reasons why a Range Rover won’t recognize a key.

These include:

  • Low or dead battery in the key fob: If the battery in the key fob is low or dead, the car won’t be able to receive its signal. Try replacing the battery.
  • Failed key fob: If the battery is good but the key fob itself has failed, it won’t be able to communicate with the car. You may need to replace the key fob.
  • Failed immobilizer: The immobilizer is a component in the car’s security system that prevents the engine from starting without a valid key. If the immobilizer fails, the car won’t recognize any keys. This is rare but could happen.
  • Damaged key: If the key itself is damaged, the car may not be able to read it. Check for any visible damage or wear on the key.
  • Faulty antenna ring: The antenna ring is a component in the car’s ignition system that reads the signal from the key fob. If it’s faulty, the car won’t be able to recognize any keys.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

It’s possible to fix some key recognition issues without a mechanic, depending on the cause of the problem. If the issue is with the battery in the key fob, you can replace it yourself.

If the key fob itself is faulty, you can often order a replacement online and program it yourself using the car’s manual.

However, for more complicated issues like a failed immobilizer or faulty antenna ring, you’ll likely need to take your car to a mechanic.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

The parts you’ll need to fix a Range Rover that won’t recognize a key will depend on the specific cause of the problem.

Here’s a list of some potential parts:

  • Key fob battery
  • Replacement key fob
  • Immobilizer module
  • Antenna ring

Tools you’ll need to fix it

Again, the tools you’ll need will depend on the specific issue, but here are some potential tools:

  • Screwdrivers and pliers for accessing the key fob and its battery
  • OBD scanner for reading error codes
  • Replacement key fob programming software
  • Ignition system diagnostic tools

How to fix it

Here’s a step-by-step guide for troubleshooting and fixing a Range Rover that won’t recognize a key:

  1. Check the key fob battery. If it’s low or dead, replace it.
  2. Try a spare key fob if you have one. If it works, the problem is likely with the original key fob.
  3. If the spare key fob doesn’t work, check the key for visible damage or wear. If there is any, try getting a replacement key cut.
  4. If the key looks good, try resetting the immobilizer by disconnecting the car battery for a few minutes and then reconnecting it.
  5. If none of the above steps work, take the car to a mechanic for further diagnostic testing. They may need to replace the immobilizer module or antenna ring.

You may like: Best Range Rover Key Fob Covers

Potential alternative causes

While the causes listed above are the most likely reasons why a Range Rover won’t recognize a key, there could be other potential causes as well.

These could include issues with the car’s electrical system or software glitches in the car’s computer.

FAQs

How much does it cost to fix a Range Rover that won’t recognize a key?

The cost of fixing a Range Rover that won’t recognize a key will depend on the specific cause of the problem. Replacing a key fob battery can cost a few dollars while replacing an immobilizer module could cost several hundred. Contact your local mechanic for an estimate.

Can I program a new key fob myself?

It may be possible to program a new key fob yourself using the instructions in your car’s manual. However, not all models have this option, and some key fobs will require professional programming. Check your manual or contact a dealer for more information.

Will a dead car battery cause a key recognition issue?

If your car battery is completely dead, it won’t be able to power any of the car’s systems, including the key recognition system. However, if the battery is just low, it could still function enough to recognize the key.

Summary

If you’re experiencing a problem with your Range Rover not recognizing your key, there are several potential causes, ranging from low key fob battery to a faulty immobilizer.

While some issues can be fixed without a mechanic, more complicated issues may require professional diagnosis and repair. Keep this guide handy to help troubleshoot the problem and get back on the road quickly.

Last updated and verified on 6th September 2023

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