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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2006 S40 T5 AWD Auto. 126K
This is our daily driver/commuter car so it sees a lot of highway and relatively easy driving.

We have the "Key Error Try Again" issue and after reading many threads, etc, I got a Volvo ignition switch from FCP.
Upon installing, all the exact same issues were present. What's next? I guess it could be bad out of the box, I hope they will let me return it. A $200 non-fix isn't what I was going for.

I pulled the CEM and hit it with compressed air but it was clean like the day it rolled off the lot so I'm thinking that's not it.

Also using VIDA I fault-traced the CEM as not getting a signal from the ignition switch(I can't remember what Volvo calls it).

Car battery is in good shape, and the alternator charges great. 14.2-14.5v running. I have a digital readout on my USB charger adapter with the car's voltage at all times. It's become SOP for all my vehicles now.
Key fob battery was fine but a new one is in there anyway.

Thanks for any help!
-Joshua
 

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The problem is likely your key.

It's very common for "modern" fobs to lose programming due to random issues, which some theorize are due to a lot of these scanner things at checkouts and gas pumps that can often come within close proximity of your keys.

I had two keys go bad on my C30.
 

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oddly enough I just read a report about cosmic radiation flipping bits in a computer as part of understanding how a user on Super Mario 64 managed to warp upward just enough to shave a few seconds off the level, and a decade later, the only way to duplicate it was to alter a single bit in a string by 1. IBM released a study in the early 2000s, and apparently it's like a 1 in 200,000 odds that a bit gets flipped on any random computer system due to cosmic radiation according to an early study on IBM, so I suppose it's just a matter of time until it happens to all of us.
Now behold my tinfoil hat.
 
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"Key Error Try Again"
I pulled the CEM and hit it with compressed air but it was clean

Also using VIDA I fault-traced the CEM as not getting a signal from the ignition switch(I can't remember what Volvo calls it).

Key fob battery was fine but a new one is in there anyway.
The key is not recognized by the immobilizer system, key fob battery has no bearing on this - it just responds to the buttons on the remote - no battery is needed to start the car.

Try your other key, or have another key made for your car. Of course this requires a VIDA subscription of yours/shop/ or dealer and the car to be with the place of subscription.
From VIDA
Rectangle Font Slope Parallel Circle


Possibly a CEM problem - you could call xemodex and ask for advice - info courtesy of xemodex -

Important: In order for us to test anything on the CEM we will need at least one key to be sent to us along with the CEM.

Important: If your vehicle isn't starting whether permanently or intermittently, we would require your CEM, ECM, BCM and at least one key. When ordering, please tell us that you'll be sending in the additional modules so we can make sure the shipping labels properly list everything. Additional costs may apply.
 

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The transponder wire should be energized if it's trying to get the field to read the key. Can you check for that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The problem is likely your key.

It's very common for "modern" fobs to lose programming due to random issues, which some theorize are due to a lot of these scanner things at checkouts and gas pumps that can often come within close proximity of your keys.

I had two keys go bad on my C30.
Let's be clear, the problem is Volvo. :p I forgot to add that we only have one key for this car so we can't test with another...blargh. How did you get new keys? Dealer or...?

oddly enough I just read a report about cosmic radiation flipping bits in a computer as part of understanding how a user on Super Mario 64 managed to warp upward just enough to shave a few seconds off the level, and a decade later, the only way to duplicate it was to alter a single bit in a string by 1. IBM released a study in the early 2000s, and apparently it's like a 1 in 200,000 odds that a bit gets flipped on any random computer system due to cosmic radiation according to an early study on IBM, so I suppose it's just a matter of time until it happens to all of us.
Now behold my tinfoil hat.
Haha that's awesome, I saw the same video on YouTube, it was quite well-done and interesting! The issue there is that those particles can flip a bit once...but they don't stay flipped. So if it happened once and wasn't repeatable that could be a reason. This unfortunately is a whole lot of dead... it happened once, worked by the time I left work that day, and was toast forever the next day.

The key is not recognized by the immobilizer system, key fob battery has no bearing on this - it just responds to the buttons on the remote - no battery is needed to start the car.

Try your other key, or have another key made for your car. Of course this requires a VIDA subscription of yours/shop/ or dealer and the car to be with the place of subscription.
From VIDA
View attachment 134932

Possibly a CEM problem - you could call xemodex and ask for advice - info courtesy of xemodex -

Important: In order for us to test anything on the CEM we will need at least one key to be sent to us along with the CEM.

Important: If your vehicle isn't starting whether permanently or intermittently, we would require your CEM, ECM, BCM and at least one key. When ordering, please tell us that you'll be sending in the additional modules so we can make sure the shipping labels properly list everything. Additional costs may apply.
I'd read both about the key battery so thought I'd change it anyway. Again I forgot to mention we only have 1 key.
I do have VIDA and would be quite happy to pay a bit to be able to program my own keys, since I now need 2 for this S40 and would like a spare for my XC90. I haven't looked into it closely enough yet to know how do-able it is. I know getting the key cut for the XC will be a pain but that's for another day.

The transponder wire should be energized if it's trying to get the field to read the key. Can you check for that?
I could test that...if I knew where the transponder wire was. Is that the wire ring inside the ignition switch that the transponder side of the key goes inside? If so I can test that easily.

Thanks again!
-Joshua

Edit: Problems like this are why I always have 3 vehicles... our family car, commuter car, and my 89 Ford Diesel 4x4. When the other two break down for ABSOLUTELY NO RESPECTABLE REASON I can always drive the pickup. I got into Volvos kind of on accident...but I may end up getting out of them on purpose. If only there were OEM's around anymore that made vehicles you can actually work on yourself without the dealer's "permission".
 

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I do have VIDA and would be quite happy to pay a bit to be able to program my own keys, since I now need 2 for this S40 and would like a spare for my XC90. I haven't looked into it closely enough yet to know how do-able it is. I know getting the key cut for the XC will be a pain but that's for another day.
The stolen/hacked/free copy of Vida you have loaded on a cpu will not do any downloads. A VIDA subscription is needed for that - but yes with a subscription and a Dice unit Volvo likes you can program the CEM to accept new keys.

For the XC90 key - I would order a precut valet key (no remote) from a Volvo dealer using your VIN - That way if it does not work - you won't have to pay for it. After that have the dealer, yourself or a provider of your choice perform the download to get the key to be recognized by the car. You can always add the separate triangular remote later (for many more $$$)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The transponder wire should be energized if it's trying to get the field to read the key. Can you check for that?
@avenger09123 I put a multimeter across the two leads for the coiled wire(transponder wire? I think the transponder is the chip inside the key) inside the ignition switch while cycling the key to run. No voltage change recorded. I did it 6 times, 3 with old switch and 3 with new switch. No change in voltage at the coiled wire. I just googled it and a coil of wire with electricity running through it is called an electromagnet, lol. It's hard to do by yourself since there is only a 3 or 4-second window until the power to that circuit is turned off, it seems.

Anywho this is getting really old really fast... hopefully someone has more troubleshooting ideas to try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I went back and poked around some more. This time on the 3-wire lead to the circuit board in the ignition switch that energizes the "antenna ring" as I've found it's called. One wire has 12v, another has 5v and another has some tiny amount of millivolts or 0v, but it's not a ground, oddly enough.
So while I don't know what the voltages are supposed to be, that seems pretty straightforward for a 3-wire deal to a circuit board.

The problem is likely your key.

It's very common for "modern" fobs to lose programming due to random issues, which some theorize are due to a lot of these scanner things at checkouts and gas pumps that can often come within close proximity of your keys.

I had two keys go bad on my C30.
Maybe this is the ticket after all. I could have solved that problem in about 5 seconds if I'd had two keys to start with...grrrrr.
Either that or my transponder in the key is shattered, which is the same fix.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So to put a bow on this finally, the culprit ended up being that my car just "lost" the fob programming. I guess Volvo didn't consider that a big problem and just rolled with it. Sorry for the late update, the car has been fixed for about a month an a half. My old fob will still unlock the doors, so I get to keep it for a backup if we somehow lock the good key in the car.

I'd like to share that the VDASH software(which is REDICULOUSLY USEFUL) has a BETA key programming feature for the S40. So that might be an option for future key programming screwups. Also, the VDASH STG2 "tune" is cheap, fun, and really easy to do. They also can reprogram your DICE unit to make it work with the official VIDA software, which is how I did my key reprogramming. Since I was doing a bunch of updates and also doing a new key for my XC90, I used the official 2015 VIDA 3-day sub.

So thanks to all for replies and suggestions, test advice, etc. Especially @MyNameIdeasWereTaken

-Joshua
 

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So to put a bow on this finally, the culprit ended up being that my car just "lost" the fob programming. I guess Volvo didn't consider that a big problem and just rolled with it. Sorry for the late update, the car has been fixed for about a month an a half. My old fob will still unlock the doors, so I get to keep it for a backup if we somehow lock the good key in the car.

I'd like to share that the VDASH software(which is REDICULOUSLY USEFUL) has a BETA key programming feature for the S40. So that might be an option for future key programming screwups. Also, the VDASH STG2 "tune" is cheap, fun, and really easy to do. They also can reprogram your DICE unit to make it work with the official VIDA software, which is how I did my key reprogramming. Since I was doing a bunch of updates and also doing a new key for my XC90, I used the official 2015 VIDA 3-day sub.

So thanks to all for replies and suggestions, test advice, etc. Especially @MyNameIdeasWereTaken

-Joshua
I have been putting off a vdash purchase for some time. Is it free updates for people when they have new features?
 
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