Vauxhall Meriva Won’t start – Is it the key?

Vauxhall Meriva won't start

If your Vauxhall Meriva won’t start, we’re hoping this article will help you. The vehicle we’re talking about is the later Meriva, from 2012 onwards. Its the one with the strange doors!

Vauxhall Meriva B

Over the last five years we’ve had lots of calls when a Vauxhall Meriva won’t start. The symptoms are the same. The owner uses the car without any starting problems. They may have a funny routine because either the windows play up, or the central locking doesn’t always work. But normally the car always starts.

However, with our customer this week, the key stopped starting the car. As well as this, the immobiliser light flashed on the dashboard. The immobiliser light is square, with a picture of a padlock and is yellow, as seen below. 

Vauxhall Meriva won't start

Vauxhall Meriva won't start - Let's check the key

The first thing we always check is the key. Inside the key has a transponder chip which needs to be programmed to the cars memory. Before the key is programmed, this immobiliser light will flash when the ignition is turned on. However, when the key is programmed the light stays out. 

The first thing to check is whether the key is faulty. We put the key into our key tester. This emulates the car, and does the same thing as the car does. It reads the key and checks the transponder chip. We expected the chip to be faulty, which would explain the flashing  immobilser light. However, the key read ok, which meant the chip worked fine. 

This wasn’t going to plan. With the key working ok, there didn’t seem much point selling our customer another key, we never want to be charging you for unneccessary keys.


Vauxhall Meriva won't start - An old trick works!

In the olden days of car immobilsers, sometimes the car would get itself in a state and not recognise the key. This is rare now, but we’d heard that it can still work when a Vauxhall Meriva won’t start. 

It’s easy to disconnect the car battery. Open the bonnet and the battery is very accessable. It just needs a 10mm socket or spanner to undo the negative connection (this is the easiest to get to). After ten seconds we reconnected the car battery and the car came back to life!

The customers existing key worked as normal and the car started!

We’re not sure why this happens on Vauxhall Meriva cars. We’ve heard of it before, and so there was nothing to lose in trying it. We can’t explain why this happens, but it worked. 

Is there a problem with the car?

Vauxhall Meriva spare key

We expect that there is a deeper issue with this car and explained this to our customer. She was just relieved to be up and running, and was pleased for us to supply a second key, as she’d lost her original. 

With Vauxhall Meriva cars, we recommend getting a genuine key. The lookalike versions are cheaper, but they don’t always programme correctly and we don’t like them. These cars have enough issues with the immobilser, so adding a cheap key into the mix seems unwise to us. 

Where is the Lincoln Car Key Man workshop?

If you need free, expert advice, you are very welcome at our workshop in Lincoln. We’re easy to find, just off Tritton Rd on teh Chieftain Way estate. Click here to find us on Google maps

If you’re local please just drop in. We can test any keys that you are having problems with. If you’re travelling a distance, please call us first on 01522 514141, as we someties go out on call. 

We hope this has helped you if your Vauxhall Meriva won’t start. Thanks for reading. 

Scroll to Top