Ignition lock cylinder replacement
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    1. #1

      Ignition lock cylinder replacement

      Hi guys,

      I did some searching and didn't find any decent discussion on this topic.

      I've come to the point where my ignition lock cylinder is broken. Per the dealership the part is 285 and labor (~2.5 hrs) is 250.

      I have several questions.

      -Does anyone have a line on how to get the part cheaper? It has to be coded so I'm guessing it can't be done much cheaper.

      -I'm considering trying to install it myself after I get the part but I can't find any write up on this topic online. Has anyone done it? Level of difficulty/special tools required?

      Thanks for any insight.

      -Evan

    2. #2
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      Had my car stolen a few years back where the thief busted up the steering column. Insurance ordered a replacement from a local wrecking company for about 75% less than new - which worked out fine. Check your local wreckers first. Good luck eh.

    3. #3
      I ended up taking the plastic cover off and tapping the cylinder with a hammer (saw this recommended somewhere). It magically worked again. On the chance it's just binding up I'm going to get some graphite in there and see if it keeps working. If it leaves me stranded somewhere that still beats paying 500+ to get it fixed if it doesn't need to be.

    4. #4
      I have the same issue w/ my 05 XC90. I've read this happens to almost all Volvo models, and no real year limit either - its widespread. Apparently the pins get worn and start to intermittently stop the key from turning, from the 0 position or from the I position. So far, i've always been able to get it to work with enough jiggling and in/out re-trys. I've read you can squirt lube, oil, graphite into the lock to help the situation, but wont solve the problem. Also read about the hammer tapping trick, but again I suspect its a bandaid rather than solution. Tech's I talked to today confirmed my assumption- not a long term fix.

      I did find a write-up on the job:
      http://volvospeed.com/volvo_repairs_...nder_lock.html

      I have not tried it yet, but looks okay. I read its an hour job for a shop, and 2-3 hours in your garage with decent ability.

      Here's a site to get the part for ~ $250- www.volvowholesaleparts.com - call them for the part number for the lock cylinder for your vehicle. Just called, very friendly. Part comes with shear bolts, and comes pre-coded for your existing keys, based on your VIN (provided during checkout). Takes about a week though.

      My dealership wants approx $300 for the part, and another $300 for labor.

      Another shop I called that does Volvos recommends running a diagnostic to determine if its the lock cylinder (mechanical), or the coded chip in the key, not properly communicating w/ the anti theft. He said its most common that its a cylinder failure, and not a key issue. Also, I tried two different keys, so very unlikely its a chip issue.

      For a part that is known to fail, I dont think I would get a used part with an uncertain timeframe until IT fails and you're doing the job all over again.

    5. #5
      I will chime in as I just went through this issue in December. My car was parked at my office facing in. The car wouldn't turn past the 1st position. Car's headlights would come on, but I couldn't get it past "1" which means I couldn't get the car in neutral either. I called AAA and the guy tapped around but couldn't get it to budge. He dragged the XC90 onto his truck. I cringed. Luckily, the rear wheels are disengaged from AWD so only the front wheels dragged as the car was hoisted off the road into the bed. Instead of going to the Volvo stealer, I used a local mechanic I trust. He looked it over and determined the column had to be disassembled and the old lock cylinder replaced with a new lock cylinder and then reassembled. The cylinder HAD to come from Volvo b/c it was keyed to my original keys. The part was $282. The Labor $118. Another thing I will add is it took about 3-4 days for the ignition cylinder to come from Volvo.

    6. #6
      You might want to check this video out which goes into some detail http://vimeo.com/15161534

    7. #7

      DIY ignition lock cylinder replacement - not too bad

      I cant imagine why someone would go to that trouble (referencing the video posted above). When the lock cylinder fails, you need a new one. Band-aids like graphite, oil or hammer taps will only buy you some time- it will still fail and leave you stranded at some point in the near future. I would not recommend a used lock cylinder - you're then facing the same problem again, within an unknown timeframe. When buying new, you have two choices- new lock cylinder with generic key and no coding (as shown in the video) or new lock from Volvo with lock cylinder cut for your key, and chip coded for your fob, based on your VIN. The difference in cost is minimal, and you'll spend more than that difference getting your keys swapped, and/or having a dealer flash the chip code.

      I bought a new lock cylinder from a Volvo dealer online- it was cut and coded for my VIN, and the part was plug-and-play. No visit to a dealer, no key cutting/swapping, no code flashing. Took a couple hours to swap the part out. It was even easier than the write-up I posted (a few posts up). On the XC90, you do NOT need to remove the steering wheel or airbag. In fact, you may not even need to remove the stalk switches (I did though, it they were very easy, 2 minutes each, tops). Basically, you just remove the upper and lower steering column cover (Torx T-25 i think, 3 screws), remove the two main stalk switches (small phillips screws, may be optional), then get your drill. The two bolts are shear bolts, and the head shears off when proper torque is hit. This leaves a round metal dome, which must be removed. Drilling is probably easiest, but access is tight (mostly due to the odd angle you're drilling at). And the drill bit wants to walk off the metal dome. Its not easy, but patience and a few tips will help. First I tried starting with much smaller drill bits, like 1/8, 3/16, 1/4, 5/16, any of the above, and working your way up to 3/8 in several increments, so you have a smaller "pilot" hole to prevent the bit from walking. Then I tried using a cutoff wheel on a dremel, not to cut the bolt head off (angles dont quite work perfectly, but i suppose possible), using the cutoff wheel perpendicularly to cut away the top of the dome, and make it concave rather than convex. This kept the drill bit perfectly aligned. Once free, its an easy matter to swap lock cylinders, first swapping the bezel on the front (around the key hole) and the ignition module (round black plastic piece) on the rear. Reinstall lock cylinder, stalk switches, and column covers.

      Not a bad job, really. Took me 3 hours, but 2 of those were figuring out how best to drill the bolts out.

    8. #8
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      thanks for the info

    9. #9
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      Immediate and complete failure without warning last month in the garage. I had to pop the shifter cover and release the gear cable to allow shifting to nuetral so I could push out to drive for towtruck. Volvo extended warranty covered full replacement and towing to dealer. Kudos to extended warranty. One week in shop awaiting delivery of cylinder, but thanks to awesome dealer had free loaner while it waited. This is a very frustrating failure that volvo should have resolved well before 2008 models. Sure glad the wife and kids weren't left stranded somewhere...
      2013 S60 R-Design, Ice White
      SOLD: 2007 S60R GT Passion Red / Gobi
      2008 XC-90 V8 AWD Executive Package Willow Green / Black

    10. #10
      Junior Member AOW162435's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JayTeeC View Post
      I have the same issue w/ my 05 XC90. I've read this happens to almost all Volvo models, and no real year limit either - its widespread. Apparently the pins get worn and start to intermittently stop the key from turning, from the 0 position or from the I position. So far, i've always been able to get it to work with enough jiggling and in/out re-trys. I've read you can squirt lube, oil, graphite into the lock to help the situation, but wont solve the problem. Also read about the hammer tapping trick, but again I suspect its a bandaid rather than solution. Tech's I talked to today confirmed my assumption- not a long term fix.

      I did find a write-up on the job:
      http://volvospeed.com/volvo_repairs_...nder_lock.html

      I have not tried it yet, but looks okay. I read its an hour job for a shop, and 2-3 hours in your garage with decent ability.

      Here's a site to get the part for ~ $250- www.volvowholesaleparts.com - call them for the part number for the lock cylinder for your vehicle. Just called, very friendly. Part comes with shear bolts, and comes pre-coded for your existing keys, based on your VIN (provided during checkout). Takes about a week though.

      My dealership wants approx $300 for the part, and another $300 for labor.

      Another shop I called that does Volvos recommends running a diagnostic to determine if its the lock cylinder (mechanical), or the coded chip in the key, not properly communicating w/ the anti theft. He said its most common that its a cylinder failure, and not a key issue. Also, I tried two different keys, so very unlikely its a chip issue.

      For a part that is known to fail, I dont think I would get a used part with an uncertain timeframe until IT fails and you're doing the job all over again.
      Jay,
      Excellent writeup. My wife was ready to leave for work this morning and came back in to state that the steering column was locked. I checked it and the steering wheel was free, but the key would not rotate past the "1" position. Being the resourceful sort I am, I quickly did a search and found this thread.

      Just ordered the replacement lock cylinder and will install it at home.


      Andreas

    11. #11
      Glad you found it useful! Thanks. Its not a bad job. One additional comment - I chose to leave the heads on the shear bolts intact - just in case I have this vehicle long enough that this new lock cylinder decides to fail, it will be MUUCH easier to replace next time.

    12. #12
      Junior Member AOW162435's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by JayTeeC View Post
      I chose to leave the heads on the shear bolts intact - just in case I have this vehicle long enough that this new lock cylinder decides to fail, it will be MUUCH easier to replace next time.
      Maybe I'll check size/pitch of the shear bolts and install a set of socket head bolts instead.

      Still waiting on cylinder to arrive...


      Andreas
      Last edited by AOW162435; 05-28-2013 at 06:24 PM.

    13. #13
      Junior Member Hong Kong's Avatar
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      You see this is the common problem at almost all XC90 and I change this crap 2 years ago.
      Is Volvo change producer? Noooooo. Good business of course.
      XC90 2.5T VOR AWD 06.06.2006 last 2.5T 190.000 km
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    14. #14
      Junior Member AOW162435's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by AOW162435 View Post
      Maybe I'll check size/pitch of the shear bolts and install a set of socket head bolts instead.

      Still waiting on cylinder to arrive...


      Andreas
      Finally arrived today and hope to install this evening...







      Andreas

    15. #15
      Junior Member AOW162435's Avatar
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      The deed is done. It took me about an hour, start to finish. It may have gone faster had I realized that the steering column can be extended (it's my wife's car...). A few points:

      - I did not remove the steering wheel or the stalks.
      - I used a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to slot both of the shear bolts. This allowed me to remove the bolts with a regular flat-head screwdriver - no drilling necessary.
      - I opted to use my own stainless socket head (Allen) bolts in place of the provided shear bolts (M8x1.25).
      - The replacement ignition cylinder includes a black plastic plug adjacent to where the key hole is - it was an absolute PITA to remove. I went medieval on this item...

      Everything went back together just fine and I took the car for a spirited victory lap afterwards. The ignition cylinder issue has been the only blip in 6 years and 88,000 miles (we purchased the XC90 new).


      Andreas
      Last edited by AOW162435; 06-01-2013 at 08:56 PM.

    16. #16
      Junior Member Hong Kong's Avatar
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      You forget the most important thing to do...photos for all of us without experience.
      XC90 2.5T VOR AWD 06.06.2006 last 2.5T 190.000 km
      260 HP 410 Nm Chip + Software made in Holland

    17. #17
      Junior Member AOW162435's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Hong Kong View Post
      You forget the most important thing to do...photos for all of us without experience.
      You are correct. But it was so hot & humid in my garage, that I simply wanted to complete the repair and take a shower.


      If you are mechanically inclined and do your own maintenance, this is a pretty straightforward job:

      - Extend steering column all the way and leave column lock handle loose.
      - Pull upper column cover upwards to remove and & rubber shroud.
      - Remove three T-25 Torx bolts (black) under steering column.
      - Remove lower column shroud.
      - Remove two T-20 Torx bolts (silver) that hold round connector to ignition cylinder (left side).
      - Unplug handful of electrical connectors in vicinity on ignition cylinder.
      - Using reinforced Dremel cut-off wheel, create slot in both shear bolt 'domes'.
      - Use flat-head screwdriver to remove both shear bolts.
      - Remove rigid cable that plugs into rear of ignition cylinder (transmission interlock?). It seemed easier when I inserted the key into the ignition and wiggled it.
      - Take old cylinder to bench/table and carefully remove the key surround by gently prying the tabs to separate the plastic halves.
      - Remove black plastic plug from new cylinder - be careful as I managed to tear the 'tab' off and needed to resort to brutal methods to remove said plug...
      - Attach key surround to new cylinder.
      - Install new cylinder on steering column using provided shear bolts, or your own M8x1.25 bolts. I chose the latter.
      - Completely insert rigid cable at rear of cylinder. Again, it seemed to work easier when I inserted the key in the ignition.
      - Re-attach all electrical plugs - self explanatory.
      - Re-attach round connector on left side of cylinder using the two T-20 Torx bolts you removed earlier (silver).
      - Attach lower column shroud using the three T-25 Torx bolts you removed earlier (black).
      - Attach rubber piece to upper column shroud, and lower the shroud into place on the top on the steering column. Take care to insure that the two square rubber bezels around the stalk switches line up properly.
      - Insert key and drive car.


      How's that?



      Andreas
      Last edited by AOW162435; 06-03-2013 at 09:20 AM.

    18. #18
      Junior Member Hong Kong's Avatar
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      Very good better than Volvo instructions.
      I must tell you a joke regarding the Volvo digital part service list.

      Old one name was VADIS and new one is VIDA

      In my country VADIS means (taking out) money for Volvo parts
      and VIDA means a little bit different (VIDI) like LOOK how much cost you
      Last edited by Hong Kong; 06-06-2013 at 04:55 AM.
      XC90 2.5T VOR AWD 06.06.2006 last 2.5T 190.000 km
      260 HP 410 Nm Chip + Software made in Holland

    19. #19
      Member Mr. P's Avatar
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      We loved our 2004 XC90 AWD and it served us very well for something like 135,000 miles and many years, but it did have to have the lock assy replaced. With all the good things we can say about the car, we just wrote that off as being on the road with anything.

      Stuff breaks now and then.

      Mr. P
      2005 XC70 2.5 AWD, 2008 XC90 3.2 AWD, 1983 928S 5-speed, 1984 944, 1990 S2 Cabriolet, 1974 TVR 2500-M..

    20. #20
      Junior Member Hong Kong's Avatar
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      Of course stuff breaks ow and then but when this is common problem on thousands of cars than is question who is cheating buyers of this cars? Lolvo of course.
      XC90 2.5T VOR AWD 06.06.2006 last 2.5T 190.000 km
      260 HP 410 Nm Chip + Software made in Holland

    21. #21
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      hey guys i have a 2006 volvo s60r with this problem.. i just received my new ignition cylinder from volvo today! From what i learned so far since i have been working for a car dealership for many years in the service dept. i called our local volvo dealer and asked a tech a few questions! Pretty much so far from what a couple people said to replace it is just drill out the shear bolts and the ignition comes right out! I ordered my ignition cylinder direct from volvo for about 260.00 and when i ordered it they had me give them the vin number so the key could be coded to the cylinder straight from volvo! Since i received it today it came with a test key that didnt really seem to match my key, but i did give my key a try and my original key worked! Another note is that the ignition cylinder came with new bolts along with it and apparently once you install the new one the bolt heads break right off at the right torque... Based on the information that you guys have been putting up here, it should only take me a few hours to replace! I'm not sure about making a video about it but i will take pictures of the process as i replace it! I am very confident i can do the job even though this is my first time doing something like this. Ill be sure to let everyone know how it goes! Hopefully i will be able to get good enough pictures and do a step by step replacement of my ignition cylinder and help some folks out!

    22. #22
      Moderator BLUEtheC30's Avatar
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      My 07 XC 90 was just in the shop for this same thing... GRRRRRRRRRRRR
      http://i.imgur.com/69xqQ2j.jpg
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    23. #23
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      I have the same issue and am interested in doing myself as well. Andreas, very nice write up. It seems that the most difficult part would be removing the existing shear bolts. Wonder if there are other methods? Not sure what you guys are talking about when you say the bolt heads shear off??? The key surround you describe is the antenna/immobilizer. I know this because I recently replaced it.

      PhilJames, looking forward to your pics! Anyone have the part no. for the cylinder?

    24. #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Jabber View Post
      Not sure what you guys are talking about when you say the bolt heads shear off???
      The bolts are made so that when the proper amount of torque is applied during installation the bolt has shears (twists) off leaving a small little cone behind. I first noticed these on BMWs from the 80's. My guess is that someone thought this would slow down auto thefts, by making it harder for the thugs to get to the ignition switch. As far as i can tell, like most theft deterrent things, it only slows the repair procedure. As it would be much quicker to cut the wires and make the proper connections, than try to unbolt an ignition switch even with the heads still attached. Now days, I am not even sure that the chipped keys are that hard to reproduce/ mimic.

      I used to drive a rag top, and would always leave the doors unlocked. People would always inquire as to my reasoning. I would reply "which would you rather have happen, some thug steal your car by opening the door and stealing it, or some thug shredding the top, opening the door and stealing it."
      2001 V70 XC ; 2006 XC90 ORE #506; Recovering BMW-aholic :-)
      Never thought the following would be required; I have never performed any service nor have I been employed directly or indirectly for Volvo or any of its subsidiaries, nor any Volvo affiliated dealer Anything that I post should be considered CONJECTURE from the view point of "How I, raymansean, would do things; not how you should do them!"

    25. #25
      http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/02/...ith-black-box/

      At least they are not stealing the cars yet!
      2001 V70 XC ; 2006 XC90 ORE #506; Recovering BMW-aholic :-)
      Never thought the following would be required; I have never performed any service nor have I been employed directly or indirectly for Volvo or any of its subsidiaries, nor any Volvo affiliated dealer Anything that I post should be considered CONJECTURE from the view point of "How I, raymansean, would do things; not how you should do them!"

    26. #26
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      Found the part no. - 31253385..looks like it's about $240-$250 online.

    27. #27
      Quote Originally Posted by Jabber View Post
      I have the same issue and am interested in doing myself as well. Andreas, very nice write up. It seems that the most difficult part would be removing the existing shear bolts. Wonder if there are other methods? Not sure what you guys are talking about when you say the bolt heads shear off??? The key surround you describe is the antenna/immobilizer. I know this because I recently replaced it.

      PhilJames, looking forward to your pics! Anyone have the part no. for the cylinder?

      Removing the shear bolts was the most difficult part when I did the replacement, primarily because of the space constraints in that area. I used the dremel method to put a slot in the bolt heads. It was hard to get a full slot across the entire bolt head. I got a decent slot that covered about half of the bolt head. This was enough to get the screwdriver method to work.

      This is what my bolt heads looked like after removal:



      For the new bolts, I didn't tighten them to specs...for easy removal should I ever need to replace this again.
      Last edited by MetroMan; 02-28-2014 at 12:12 PM.

    28. #28
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      Just did this repair. I did the dremel method to get the screws out and used a Black and Decker RTX rotary tool with the RT5100 flex shaft which made it super easy to make the slots in the screws to take them out - took literally 5 secs each. I then just reused those screws rather than the new ones with the break-off heads in case this ever happens again.

    29. #29
      Junior Member ggleavitt's Avatar
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      Did mine as well about an hour ago (2 weeks ago key would go to Pos I but not from Pos I to Pos II, did the hammer trick on the bottom of the lock and got it working but figured it would inevitably break again and ordered a new "keyed" cylinder from a Volvo reseller). Had a heck of a time getting the right side shear bolt off (tons of blue loctite in there !) even after nearly slotting it to the base but it's done now and working like a charm. Put the new bolts in with medium loctite but didn't shear the heads in the hope that if someday I have to take it off again I'll be able to do it in less the 1.5 hours it took me (15 minutes left side, more than 1 hour for the right!). Thanks to all for the tips and tricks. Only thing I would add is to have a very good (stout) quality flat blade screwdriver with a square shaft in the event you need the extra torque of a crescent wrench. My bolts would not have come out purely by twisting of hand and I would like to think of myself as relatively strong.

    30. #30
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      Thanks for all the great information in this thread guys!

      I'm looking for a little clarification/opinion on this as I recently purchased a 2004 2.5T AWD XC90 and the Key Fob it came with is BEAT. The main key (embedded in the fob) will not even move to position I in the ignition, however the valet works just fine to start the car.

      I had hoped this meant that possibly the fob was not for the vehicle and was just programmed to remote lock/unlock the doors and the valet was used to drive it to save money? ( I know I dream big) However, looking through your (now our) forums it seems I might have a faulty ignition lock.

      Does the new lock cylinder that comes pre-programmed to the VIN# from volvo come with 1 or 2 keys or is it just the cylinder with the proper tumblers /code internally?

      I need to order a second key in general but figured if I also need this part and it comes with a key I would like to save the money and not buy a key separately.


      In addition, any ideas on why one key would not move at all in the ignition when the other has no issues ?

    31. #31
      Junior Member ggleavitt's Avatar
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      No idea really as to why one key works and another does not. I could suggest the cylinder wafers are worn and the old key is a little worn and between the two of them it does not work but that is supposition at best.

      To isolate the fob key, I would suggest you take both fob and valet to a locksmith and let them have a close look to compare. It’ll be obvious to them if they’re different. They may even have something that can measure the height to make comparing easier that just eyeballing it.

      As far as a new cylinder, it will be built to your original key as per the VIN you send in and includes a single solid metal key that was cut to your particular key code (NLNNNN) and used to install the wafers when the cylinder is “made”. This key can be used to open the doors and turns the ignition but nothing more.

      One experiment (after doing a side by side comparison of keys and assuming that they are essentially the same) to validate if it’s the cylinder is to put the non-working key in and jiggle and/or tap the head of the fob gently inwards with a small hammer while you try and softly turn it. If it is able to turn then for sure it’s the cylinder.

      If it turns out to be the key, you can buy one and have it cut for around $61 before shipping. The problem is going to be that the transponder chip inside is different from your old key and cannot be “cloned” per se. There are sites around that show how to swap these (cutting and gluing) but that’s a whole ‘nother story. If you do get a new key and want the chip programmed, last I checked it was around $60 for the software (Volvo corporate sells programming as software) and maybe $30 for labor.

      Good luck and let us know what you find !

    32. #32
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      Thank you for the response, I will start narrowing down the possibilities and let you know what I find out!

    33. #33
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      So I finally moved and was able to do some basic investigating on the issue. The key fob key does in fact operate the door locks manually but will not budge one bit past position zero in the ignition. I tried jiggling it, tapping the end and applying a good bit of torque to get it to "pop" something loose. I reached my comfort point of bashing on it and nothing has changed.

      The valet key goes right and and actuates just fine so I have left it alone at this point..... the condition of the key fob key is very worn/broken perhaps its so worn it wont work in the ignition anymore?

      EDIT: Update, I thought my wife had used the valet key in the doors but it turned out she had not and when I attempted to use it the key would not turn at all! I removed the shroud around the ignition for a closer inspection and it does appear to be much newer/ better condition that other components of the vehicle ( 128k miles, not all loved ) I think its safe to assume at this time that the ignition was replaced and came with a valet key which was used in lieu of spending more money on getting the key fob replaced.

      Now my new concern is that I cant get a key cut based on my VIN# anymore because the ignition does not match..... I have no PIN/ CODE/ ID etc for the newer valet key or the ignition , is this something I can have someone cut to match and volvo could use software to determine whats already coded to the car to code the new key as well?
      Last edited by Wishinitwas; 07-14-2014 at 07:36 AM.

    34. #34
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      Bump for my edit above

    35. #35
      Junior Member ggleavitt's Avatar
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      Interesting response, sorry I didn’t see it earlier.
      Maybe another question is now in order:
      Using just the valet key in the ignition with the fob more than 30 feet away, does the car start and stay running?
      Depending on your answer, we can figure out where to go next.
      Thanks

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