Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Ignition issues

Volkswagen Jetta
Recently when I turn off my car and remove the key the radio stays on, the chime goes off like the key is still in the ignition and my key fob is no longer locking/unlocking doors or opening the trunk. I replaced the ignition switch but the problem persists. Any ideas?

Replacing the ignition switch didn’t do the trick? Oh my. You’re going to need to get an auto-electric tech to trace out the circuit point by point. You could try the basic battery charging system test I guess, battery should measure about 12.6 volts before the first start of the day, then 13.5-15.5 volts immediately after starting the engine.

A friend of mine pointed out when I turn my key in the 1st turn turns on accessories and the next turns the car on he said there should be 2 spots before turning on. Could the lock cylinder need to be realigned or replaced? Oh and my battery was tested and was fine. My alternator was also fine

Dont quote me but the fact that your fob does not unlock the doors tell me that it is not programmed into the vehicles system. Not sure the year of your Jetta but back in 03’ VW had a fairly complex security system and key. I would put money on the fact that you need to reprogram your key to the vehicle, also be sure your fob battery is new…there is a very detailed set of instructions on how to do this on the net. Just look it up.

How would the key become unprogrammed? Would the car still start if it’s no longer programmed?

The switch that detects if the key is in the ignition is on the lock housing, it is not part of the ignition switch. The problem is with the lock cylinder or key-in switch.

We really need to know the year of your Jetta. The Fob can simply have a failure inside that is making it do this…it may have died, the vehicle may not be able to see it, a chip got fried… Again I don’t know what key (if any metal key exists) or Fob, or system you have because I don’t know the year of your vehicle. It matters greatly. The systems evolve over the years and function differently and none of them are simplistic.

Here is an example of how the system in my 03 GTi works. I have a transmitter with a switch blade style key… The key is router cut and expensive to have copied…High end lock shop or dealer only over 180 just to cut the key! The metal key is layer one of security. Layer 2 is the RF chip inside the transmitter to allow the security system to allow engine start or not, it will crank, but not start. Layer 3 is the lock / unlock buttons. There is a procedure to program the chip and another procedure to program the lock / unlock function. Your system and how it functions is highly dependent upon the year of your Jetta… We are lost without it.

  1. It is a switch blade key that has the immobilizer tech in the programming. I think the cylinder may need to be aligned because i don’t have 3 clicks to get to starting the car. But I’m looking for help because I don’t know. Thank you for all your help. What do you think?

Before you started with a replacement lock cylinder, did you try your other key? Did your mechanic suggest you try the other key?

hmmm … don’t know how it works on your Jetta, but on my Corolla when you first insert the key it’s in the “off” position, then to the right of that is the “acc” position, then the “on” position, then the “start” position. That latter position has a spring on it that returns it to the “on” position when you let go of the key. How does your Jetta compare to that?

My Corolla has a “key-in” switch too used to sound a warning alarm if I open the door w/the key still in the ignition. I don’t know what that key-in switch is configured to, lock cylinder of ignition switch ass’y.

I put my key in the 1st turn is accessory then start there is no on position. This is what leads me to believe the cylinder needs to be realigned. When I remove my key and open the door the chime goes off saying my key is in the ignition even thougn the key has been removed.

Not sure where this 3 clicks thing came from, but your VW does not have 3 clicks in its turn it has 2 if we are forced to call them clicks . What you have described is perfectly normal in VW land.

Position 0 is key in or key out… Position 1 is On or engine run… The last movement is the spring loaded starter engage position and thats it.

The more important issue is your Fob is not recognized by the vehicle for locking and unlocking. If you can start the engine the RF chip is OK and recognized. The RF chip does not need use the transmitter batt power only the lock and unlock function does. There is also a little red LED on the transmitter that lights up when you push the buttons…does it light up? Is your battery dead? Change the batt in the transmitter and try to lock and unlock…maybe it will work, if not go through the detailed procedure to program the lock / unlock…it is on the net… you will need to perform it if it doesn’t work after verifying the battery is good/new.

We tried changing the battery. But if it became unprogrammed how and why would the radio stay on and the chime go off indicating the keys in the ignition?

Because when you turn off the ignition in an VW it allows radio power until a door is opened…its like a courtesy power thing. Not sure bout the chime. But if you cannot lock and unlock your doors via the transmitter…simply program your transmitter. Does your door key work in the drivers door? Do the locks work? Security system probably does also…

We could kick ideas round but until you at least try to reprogram your non functioning remote, using your own key and your vehicle, there is not much point in looking elsewhere or theorizing.

Your transmitter cannot operate your security system, lock / unlock doors, this is a problem for your Jetta, a big problem. It is not that the door locks are not working, it is security level. Reprogram your transmitter…

Not sure of the year of this guys car but…this is an example of the reprogram / resynch process… They differ by year, so be aware of that… Perhaps this can help.

Your owners manual should have the reprogram procedure in the section that shows the battery replacement in the FOB. Some are as simple as pushing the lock or unlock button 5 times in a row.

As I recall that’s how it worked on my old VW Rabbit too.

The door chime going off w/the key out could be the switch that determines if the key is in or out, or it might be something else. My Corolla issues an audio alarm if I open the door and the headlights are on, not a function of the key in or out. So it could be something else besides the key the car isn’t liking when you open the door. A shop could probably bypass the key in/out signal to test that idea.

I suspect that it is normal for the door locks to not respond to the remote keyless entry transmitter when the key is in the ignition. I would unplug the connector to the key-in switch and see if it makes a difference.

It is not unusual for a customer to ask to have a used remote “programmed” but it never works, if there is a problem with the keyless entry system it must be repaired.

No the key is out of the ignition and I’m outside the car with the door closed.

Never before has my radio stayed on after I turn off the car.