If you own a Nissan car, you might have seen a car symbol with a key on the dashboard and felt worried about it. But don’t stress! We’re here to solve your problem.
A car with a key symbol on the dashboard Nissan means that your car’s immobilizer system is turned on. When your car is turned on and the key symbol is rapidly flashing, the key is not recognized. It can be due to different reasons, such as a dead battery in your car key, a damaged key fob, electromagnetic interference from other devices, or a problem with the immobilizer system itself.
Keep reading to discover 7 easy steps to troubleshoot the car symbol with a key on your Nissan dashboard.
The car with a key symbol on the Nissan dashboard indicates the car’s immobilizer or anti-theft system. This system is designed to prevent unauthorized access to and operation of the car. It turns on after you turn off your car’s engine, remove the keys from the ignition switch, and lock your car doors.
If the key symbol lights up while your car key is not in the ignition switch, it just means the alarm system is on—no need to bother. You can start your car safely.
However, if it continues to flash after driving for a while, there could be an issue with your car that might need to be checked.
The following are some potential causes and fixes for the Nissan car with the key symbol on the dashboard:
The key fob is a device that lets you lock and unlock your car remotely. If your key fob’s battery is dead, your car may not identify the key. Hence, the key symbol will appear on the dashboard. Even with a working immobilizer system, this can prevent your car from detecting the key.
To resolve this problem, just replace the battery in your key fob. Most Nissan key fobs use a CR2032 battery. You can find it at electronics or automotive shops. To change the battery:
- Find a little notch on the side or back of it.
- Then, take a flathead screwdriver and carefully open up the key fob.
- Take out the old battery and install a new CR2032 battery.
- Finally, snap the key fob back together and test it to ensure it works right.
Watch this video: How to replace battery remote NISSAN – YouTube
Electromagnetic interference from other electronic devices can sometimes cause issues with the Intelligent Key System. As a result, you will see the car with a key symbol on your Nissan dashboard.
To rule out interference, follow these steps:
- Ensure that no other electronic devices, such as smartphones or tablets, are near the Intelligent Key or inside the car.
- Remove any aftermarket electronic accessories, such as remote starters or alarm systems, as they may interfere with the Intelligent Key System.
- Test the Intelligent Key’s functionality by locking and unlocking the doors and starting the engine.
Sometimes, the key symbol on the Nissan dashboard may appear due to an issue with the key programming. If your key is not programmed correctly, your car may not recognize it. Hence, the key symbol will flash on the dashboard.
An easy fix for this issue is to reprogram your key. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on reprogramming your car key, or follow these steps:
- Get inside your Nissan and close all the doors.
- Lock all the doors using the driver’s side power lock button.
- Insert and remove the key from the ignition switch 6-10 times within 10 seconds. The hazard lights should flash, indicating you’re in programming mode.
- Turn the key to “ON.” But don’t start the engine.
- Press any button on your key fob. The hazard lights will flash again, confirming the key fob is recognized.
- When you’re done programming the key fob, turn the key to the “OFF” position. Remove it from the switch as well. Then, unlock the doors with the driver’s side power-lock button.
- Test the key fob to see if it works right.
When there’s an issue with your car’s ignition switch, it can’t recognize the key. So, you’ll see the key symbol blink rapidly on your dashboard.
Check if the key turns easily in the ignition. If it feels stuck, you might need help from a mechanic. He can inspect and diagnose the issue.
Or, if you are confident in your abilities and want to try fixing it yourself, follow these steps to replace the ignition switch:
- First, unhook the negative cable from the battery. This makes sure no current flows through your car.
- Take off the steering column covers. A screwdriver may be helpful.
- Next, find the ignition switch and unplug the wires. This will disconnect the switch from your car’s electrical system.
- Now, using a screwdriver, release the screws holding the ignition switch. Remove the old switch and place the new one in its spot.
- After that, reconnect the wires to the new ignition switch. Put the steering column covers back on. Check everything is fixed, secure, and in place.
- Finally, reattach the negative battery cable. Then test the ignition switch to see if it is working right.
Another possible reason for the key symbol appearing on the Nissan dashboard is an issue with your car’s anti-theft system. If this system is not working correctly, the key symbol may remain on even if you have replaced the key fob battery.
To fix this, try to reset the anti-theft system. This can resolve minor issues and restore the proper functioning of the immobilizer system. Follow these steps:
- Put your key in the ignition and revolve it to “ON.”
- Wait for the key symbol on the dashboard to stop flashing or stay on continually for almost 30 secs.
- After that, switch the key to “OFF” and take it out.
- Count to 5, re-insert the key, and start your engine.
- Repeat this procedure 2 more times for a total of 3 cycles. Then, restart your car.
If it does not work, take help from a professional mechanic. He will inspect the anti-theft system. If there’s an issue, he may ask you to repair or replace it.
A faulty key fob can also cause the car with a key symbol to appear on your Nissan dashboard. If the key fob is faulty, it may not communicate with the car, triggering the warning light.
The best fix is to replace the key fob. You can buy a new one from a Nissan dealership or a trusted parts supplier. After getting a new key fob, you must program it to work with your car. You can follow the instructions given by the manufacturer or get help from a mechanic.
A weak or dead vehicle battery can also cause the key symbol to light on the dashboard.
To check the car’s battery, follow these steps:
- Turn the engine off. Then, remove the key from the switch.
- Now, open the hood and find the battery.
- Check the battery terminals for erosion or loose connections. Clean and tighten the terminals if necessary.
- Use a multimeter to check the battery voltage. A fully charged battery reads around 12.6 volts. If the voltage is less than 12 volts, you’ll need to recharge or replace your car’s battery.
Note: If you have tried all the steps described above and the key symbol still appears on your dashboard, take help from a Nissan technician. There may be a major issue requiring professional diagnosis and repair.
If you see the car with the key symbol on the dashboard Nissan flashing for only a few seconds (when driving), it means you used the right key and can drive normally.
However, the key symbol will repeatedly flash if your car cannot identify the key. So you cannot start the engine and drive your car.
If the key symbol flashes on your Nissan dashboard, you can still start your car using the right key. The flashing symbol means that the car’s immobilizer system is active.
But the light should stop blinking once you put the correct key into the ignition and turn it on. If it blinks, follow the steps above to try and fix the issue. Otherwise, get it checked by a professional mechanic.
You can not disable the Nissan key symbol on the dashboard. It is necessary as it is a warning light that tells you if there’s a problem with the car’s immobilizer system.
If you’re having trouble with your car’s immobilizer system or seeing a key symbol on your dashboard, getting help from a Nissan mechanic or dealership is better. Fixing it yourself could worsen things and make your car more vulnerable to theft.
If you lose the key fob for your Nissan car, don’t worry. You can get a new one by contacting a Nissan dealership or a locksmith. They’ll be able to help you get a replacement key fob. However, you must prove ownership and provide identification to get a replacement.
If you lose the original key for your Nissan car, you can use a duplicate key. But you must have the duplicate key programmed to sync with your car’s immobilizer system before using it to start the car.