[SOLVED] Red Car With Key Symbol on Dashboard Nissan

Photo by Tigran Hambardzumyan on Unsplash

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If you are here, you probably are facing issues with the ”Red car key symbol” on your Nissan’s dashboard. People with this issue with cars other than Nissan can also read this article since the reasons and solutions are applicable to most cars. 

This article explains everything related to this warning light, including how to fix it by following easy-to-follow steps. 


What is ”Red Car With Key Symbol”? 

The ”Red car with key symbol” is a car’s Immobilizer (anti-theft system) warning light. The Immobilizer is a security device that prevents the vehicle from starting unless the original car key is present. 

Simply put, even if someone physically clones your exact car key and tries starting the car, it will not start because the Immobilizer needs to detect the correct smart key


Why is it illuminating on your dashboard?

Usually, the cause behind this warning light is either a malfunctioning immobilizer or a weak key fob battery. But these are not the only reasons; the issue can be related to several other linked things, such as a fuse. A lot of people, including some rookie automotive bloggers, are confused between the Immobilizer and the anti-theft system. Keep in mind it’s the same thing. 

How to fix it?

Let’s discuss how to fix the warning light issue now. There are several solutions to fix it, but before we dive into that, let’s talk about the common situations related to it.

Situation 1) Car cranks but does not start.

Situation 2) Car neither cranks nor starts. 

Whichever your situation is, after applying and trying some of the solutions mentioned in this article, you are mostly likely to get rid of the warning light permanently. 

Solution 1 ) Lock and unlock the car 

Before we ask you to do something technical, just try locking and unlocking the car first and see if it goes. If it does not, you can additionally turn on the ignition and then turn it off and repeat it 1-2 times. If this fails to resolve the issue, move on to the next solution.

Solution 2) Reset the immobilizer sensor

Keep in mind some models may not have the immobilizer sensor reset button, but if you do, you can perform the solution and fix the issue. 

On the back of your car ignition lock, there is a small white button. Just press it once when the ignition is on. You can watch the Youtube video attached below to see how to do that. 

Solution 3) Check for blown fuses

First, open the engine bay and check for blown fuses in the fuse box. If there is any fuse that is blown, replace it with a new one; in case you do not have a spare fuse, you can temporarily bypass it using a thin wire or even paper foil. Keep in mind bypassing the fuse will fix the issue, but the fuse is designed for protection, and you will no longer have it until you replace it with a new one. 

If there is no blown fuse under the engine bay fuse box, check another fuse box located under the dashboard of the car and repeat the instructions I mentioned before. 

Solution 4) Disconnect the battery terminals and reconnect them

Open the engine bay, disconnect both battery terminals and reconnect them after 10 minutes and see if the light is gone. 

Solution 5) Replace the key fob’s battery

As mentioned earlier, the Immobilizer (anti-theft system) needs to detect the original smart key. So when the key’s battery is weak, the system may struggle or even fail to identify it. Simply replacing the battery may fix the issue as well. 

If you have no idea how it’s done. Watch the attached youtube video for a detailed explanation.

Upon facing the same issue even after replacing the battery. I recommend using the other key if it’s available. If the light is gone after using the spare key, then it’s obvious the other key is not working properly. 

Solution 6) Bypass the Immobilizer (anti-theft system)

Bypassing the Immobilizer is not something that anyone would want to do but if nothing works, you can do this. The steps can be different depending on the model you have. Try searching the process for your particular model. 


What to do if none of the solutions work?

Performing these solutions will fix the issue, but I understand some people cannot perform all of them because of a lack of technical knowledge.

In that case, you need to call a professional and get it fixed. 

Should you drive with the key symbol showing up on your dashboard?

If that symbol is illuminating on your dashboard and your car can start, you can drive, but you should get it checked as soon as possible. 



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