wo basic types of key card have been supplied with different models of Renault vehicles for a number of years. The first is similar to many ‘standard’ vehicle remote keys. It has buttons to lock or unlock the car, but instead of fitting into the ignition lock, it is inserted into a dashboard slot to start the engine. The second type only requires you to have the card in a pocket or handbag and is ‘recognised’ by the vehicle, allowing you to open the doors and start the car. As for the name, there is some debate as to whether they should be called key cards or keycards, and in their literature, even Renault and their main agents appear unsure at times! However, there is very little debate among owners that although they have their benefits and generally work well, these cards can sometimes be a problem; and a very expensive one too.
Technologically, the cards are innovative and generally quite reliable, but they are prone to occasional failure and this is likely to mean that replacement is necessary, as repair usually impossible or prohibitively costly for any problem other than replacing the battery. Battery replacement is a simple and easy DIY job and most models incorporate a warning system, where ‘key card battery low’ is displayed on the instrument panel when replacement is required. Despite being reasonably reliable, key cards are unfortunately rather fragile. Apart from the obvious issue of losing one, it is all too easy to leave it in your pocket, sit on it and break it. Electronic failure is mainly an issue with older cards and in our experience, most turn out to be impossible to reprogramme once they have stopped working.
The most sensible advice we can ever give is of course to make sure you have at least one spare key card hidden away somewhere in case of trouble. It is all too easy to break or lose one and to keep using the only spare on a ‘when I get round to it’ basis, but it is inevitable that this is exactly the time when you will lose or break the spare as well. However, we are all human and we know things don’t always go to plan or get forgotten.
At MK T and B Centre we specialise in car keys and are well known for our ability to supply Renault key cards at a significant saving from main agent prices. In fact, we are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of replacement cards and can supply the relevant units for virtually all models: and all at comparatively low prices.
Please do not be tempted by second-hand key cards or ones from unknown sources
We are aware of some companies offering extremely cheap replacement Renault key cards on the Internet, many of which are second hand. There are certainly some legitimate sellers, and we have been selling replacement cards on the Internet for many years. However, caution is necessary. Since June 2006 it has not been possible to programme a new replacement key card without supplying relevant details to the manufacturer. In order to correctly programme any card we supply, we have to contact Renault with certain information in order to obtain the correct data. Further, the card must be correctly ‘authorised’ for programming in the first place, which requires up-to-date equipment and specific software. It is vital to note that if you buy a used card, it will almost certainly NOT be possible to programme it to work with a different vehicle, as for most types the inbuilt security system and coding cannot be over-ridden or reprogrammed after it has been ‘written’ the first time. Please do not waste money on a cheap, second-hand key card or one from any unknown source, as you are likely to find it impossible to use with your car.