CarTalk.com Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

02 Town & Country just shut down, can't start it. Can U Help!

I have an indicator light for the anti theft system that does not go off either. Dealer says $400-900 for parts. They say, the cluster or the console module. Could it be something else? I could really use some help.

If the anti-theft light comes on and does not go out means the security system is not recognizing the key and will not allow the ignition system to activate.

Have you tried a different key? A second programmed key I mean.

Perhaps a reputable independent tech/shop could fix this more cheaply.

I have only the one key. Dealer Tech advised against getting another key, that it was probably the cluster or console module. If that where the case can I buy those parts and install myself? Or can the key I have be reprogramed? Does the vehicle have to be at the dealer for this to take place? Should I go ahead and get a second key($58 for key + 98 to program). I have called around to different shops. All are uncertain about it.

As I am not ‘up-to-date’ with some terms or component names, I think I’ll have to get this post up to the front in hopes that one of the forums techs will answer your query.

I think it will take the knowledge of someone who does this work for a living.

I could guess but don’t want to give you false answers (or make a fool of myself).

Up to the front would be great. I don’t have the money to just start fixin things that don’t need fixing. I’m not so sure that I trust the Dealer around here. Thanks again!

Well, I see as I answer, this post has already slipped back 5-6 pages.

You could try a different dealer or independent shop and if you normally use a ‘chipped’ key and a remote opener, you can try to reprogram the key to the receiver in the vehicle or the key and the receiver can be reprogrammed together.

The receiver MAY be what the dealer was referring to when the ‘console module’ was mentioned.

The price quoted MAY reflect the cost of a newly programmed key and keyfob (remote) and a reprogrammed receiver plus labor.

Labor costs vary across the country and have also increased somewhat over the years as repairs to modern vehicles has become more complex.

Doing this type of repair requires installing radio frequencies into the key and receiver and unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) is done by the dealers.
Permission from a government agency is needed.

That sure sounds like the anti thief device has been triggered and for some reason it does not read your key. Today you should be able to find a lock smith that has the tools and knowledge to get things reset and get you a second key that you should always have.

I will try the locksmiths route today and see were it leads. Then maybe some one who installs keyless entry systems. It sounds like a good place to start again. Thank You! If anyone has any other thoughts I would gratly appreciate them.

If you choose, you could have the security system disabled by an automotive security and alarm shop; or, they have the expertise to repair it, if you choose that. Check your telephone Yellow Pages.

The regular locksmiths are suggesting the dealer, but I do see a number of Autosound and sceurity shops locally, I will call in the morning. I really appreciate all the suggestions ! :0)

I bought a chip key on ebay and was able to program it after having the blank key cut at a local hardware store. If the fault is in your key a new chip key maybe the answer. There is a programming process that the supplier of the chip key will provide to you. If the programming works you’ll be back in business for about $30.00. The downside is you’ll be without the car for more time until the new key arrives and you can get it cut.