Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

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Astraliam
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Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by Astraliam »

Hi,

So I brought a Xsara Picasso a year ago. Guy sold it me said it can only be locked/unlocked with the passenger door. Drivers door lock doesn't work. Fob locks car but unlock switch on it is broken. The key kept opening up so I took the board out and put it away for safe keeping.

I used the car without any immobiliser issues for a year, even though there was no board in the key. Does this mean the immobilizer was diasabled?

Two weeks ago I had a friend who knows electronics here. As the driver door lock had become stiff and wasn't turning I can't lock the car anymore so I showed him the board. We figuered out we could use a wire instead of the broken unlock switch and planned to try soldering a new switch onto the board. Meanwhile I took the battery out of the board and put it back in the cupboard.

Then yesterday afternoon I tried to start the car. It turned fine, plenty of battery but wouldn't start. It had been fine that morning.
After a while I called roadside assistance. They came and predictably said the problem was the immobilizer since the board was not in the key.

BUT I've been using it this way for a full year.

SO:

Is it possible the previous owner disabled the immobilizer and whatever method he used has suddenly failed?
If yes, what method might have been used? If no, how is possible I was using the car without the chip in the key fob?
Is there anything else that could cause a similar issue? If so, how can I rule out the immobiliser?
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

There's a difference between the circuitry on the key fob and the transponder chip in the fob. On newer vehicles the transponder chip is integrated onto the circuit board on some older vehicles the chip is separate. Without the transponder chip you would not be able to start the car. The starter will spin but the engine ECU will be locked until authorised to start and that isn't going to happen unless the transponder chip is in the fob.

The fact that you've taken the battery out has un-paired the fob. You need to re synchronise it.

Put the key fob in the ignition barrel and turn the ignition on only, then withing 10 seconds, hold down the lock button on the fob for a few seconds, then turn the ignition off (do not attempt to start the car yet!). Remove the key from the barrel. Wait 10 seconds or so, then put the key back in the ignition and attempt to start it.
admiral51
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by admiral51 »

Hi and welcome to the forum

Sorry but i am a little confused as to what you have or have not done in terms of a timeline of events.
Can you expand on when you took the circuit board out of the key fob, was it kept in or out of the fob prior to you removing the battery ?
I am guessing it is a typing error and you meant key fob not cupboard when removing battery and replacing the circuit board back in the key fob?
Others with much more knowledge than me will be along and explain how it works properly but if you have no battery in the fob then the key ( inc circuit board ) will not be paired to the cars ECU so although the key blade is correct and will unlock/ turn the engine over the but part of the ECU is saying it is missing the code to say everything is ok to start the engine so no go ?

Best bet is to post your Vin here, it will be masked with ************** so no one but admins can see it but that info is vital for them to help you narrow down the cause and fix needed

EDIT Marc got in first :)
Astraliam
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by Astraliam »

Hi thanks both for the responses.

To be clear. In side the key I have there is room for a small circuit board with a battery. Would it help if I provide a photo?

For almost a year I have been driving the car without the circuit board in the key AT ALL. Safely at home in a cupboard without the battery in.

Everything the internet is telling me is this is not possible... but it definitley the case.

Recently I have been playing with the board, HOWEVER not for 2 weeks before suddenly stopped starting. The board was in the house, without a battery in.

My only conclusion then is that there must be a way to disable the immobilizer that the previous owner used. It may possibly be related to the sudden non starting of the car.

By VIN, do you mean the number plate? Should I add it to my profile?

thanks for giving up your time to help me.

Liam
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

No that’s not possible. The immobiliser cannot be disabled like that. The circuit board, as I said is likely just for the remote opening and closing of the locks NOT for starting the car. That is handled my the immobiliser transponder chip in the fob.

As I said, you may have a fob where the transponder chip is separate to the circuit board as I said previously. So the transponder that is required to handshake with the coil in the ignition is likely in your key blade or another part of the fob. If it wasn’t you couldn’t start the car, simple as that.

Best thing to do is provide your VIN. The VIN is located on your logbook and will begin VF and is 17 alphanumeric long. If you don’t have the log book, it can be found in the outside lower passenger windscreen section, where there is a little cut out.
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myglaren
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by myglaren »

The VIN can be found in a small cutout in the lower right of the windscreen, looked at from the front of the car.
You can post it in this thread, only admins and mods can see it.

Do provide photo's as that helps enormously.
There is a guide here to uploading direct to the forum.
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GiveMeABreak
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by GiveMeABreak »

Ok, so here is a picture of the Xsara Picasso fob:

As you can see the transponder is on the lower right - the rectangular object shown at 'a'
Picasso Transponder.PNG
Picasso Transponder.PNG (24.26 KiB) Viewed 4750 times
wheeler
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by wheeler »

im fairly sure on the xsara picasso a message on the central display would tell you if the key is not detected with a message along the lines of ‘engine immobiliser fault ‘ are you getting this?
If not then it could be anything, failed fuel pump etc
What year is it & which engine is in it?
Diagnostic is the next step i think.
picassodad
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by picassodad »

Where abouts in snowdonia are you please? and what xsara picasso is it petrol diesel, 1.6, 1.8???the transponder is a small plastic brick as per parts picture....
Astraliam
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by Astraliam »

Guys you have been super helpful. I would never have realised the transponder is seperate.

I've been meaning to glue the key back together for a while but was waiting to see if we could solder a new chip onto the board. As I didn't know the transpoder was there to be lost I didnt do anything with it.
Now, unless by some miracle I find it lying around, then I've lost the transponder... :(

I'll go check the Vin now. It's diesel I think 1.8 (1.9? )> I'll check its a 2006 CITROEN XSARA PICASSO DESIRE 92

I am near Deiniolen/Llanberis.
Astraliam
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by Astraliam »

Miracles can happen!! I found the transponder in the car foot well! Would never have even looked for it without the help from this form. Thanks all of you.

Picasso is due for an MOT very soon. Hopefully she'll get through without too much trouble.
Hell Razor5543
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

Might I suggest that (assuming the rebuilt key works, and you can also afford the cost) you seriously consider getting a second key? That would give you peace of mind, should you lose or have a key fail.
admiral51
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by admiral51 »

Astraliam wrote:
07 Jun 2019, 18:49
Miracles can happen!! I found the transponder in the car foot well! Would never have even looked for it without the help from this form. Thanks all of you.

Picasso is due for an MOT very soon. Hopefully she'll get through without too much trouble.

Good news, seems the internet is actually quite useful after all :rofl2:

Cannot remember if you posted your Vin number but if you do then those better qualified than me will be able to point you in the direction of a replacement fob/circuit board and the way to get a new key and fob as Hell posted above.

Seriously good news on finding the transponder
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moizeau
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by moizeau »

Impressive find Hawk Eye, if you've got a moment could you pop round? I've lost a load of treasure somewhere in the garden.
picassodad
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Re: Xsara Picasso suddenly won't fire (immobilizer?)

Post by picassodad »

God if onl;y the lads xsara picasso was as easy to fix as that, bloody thing!!