my volvo s40 2005 will not start and has message key error any idea what may be causing this problem . I have fitted a new battery and have changed the battery in the key fob but no change

  • I don't know, but I bet it might be the receiver in the car. It's usually located in or around (literally) the locking mechanism. I wouldn't know how to check it except if a spare key was doing the same thing. Nov 27, 2014 at 3:37
  • Did it start randomly or did this ahppen after a battery change? Often keys have to be reprogrammed after changing the battery. Feb 22, 2016 at 11:59

3 Answers 3


Your key(s) can only be programmed using the appropriaten Volvo compatable diagnostic equipment. Primarily as an anti-theft of the vehicle proceedure.


Almost always the problem with the FOB is that the conductive carbon coating on the keypad wears out. If you replaced the battery and it still doesn't work, try this.

Take the fob apart, and you'll see a circuit board under the rubber key pad. The circuit board has a mesh under the rubber contact for unlock, start, etc. Take a screw, or a rolled up section of foil, and touch the mesh contacts under the one that doesn't work - if the car starts (unlocks) then the rubber keypad is worn out and needs to be replaced.

Just go on Amazon and search for '2005 Volvo FOB repair kit' or similar, they are really cheap - $10 - $20, then replace the old keypad and you should be back in business. No need to re-key. I just did this on my 2009 Chevy HHR and it works great. Of course the dealer was trying to get us to re-key for $400!


The antenna in the ignition is a common problem on these cars. The antenna is the ring around the slot where you insert the key. Try disconnecting the connector and cleaning it with contact cleaner.

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