Key system fault on a Qashqai

Key System Fault Nissan Qashqai [How to Fix Guide]

The Nissan Qashqai is one of the most reliable cars on the market.

However, this Japanese SUV does have its faults, and one of them is the “key system Fault” alert coming on the dashboard.

In this article, I am going to explain what the key system fault message means on your Qashqai, the main causes, and how to fix and reset the message.

Let’s get into it!

Nissan Qashqai Intelligent Key Overview

In order to understand what might be causing the “Key system fault” warning on your Nissan Qashqai,

I think it’s important first to understand the Intelligent Key system.

The Nissan Intelligent Key system is a remote key fob that allows you to do different things other than just locking and unlocking the vehicle.

This keyfob allows you to perform various functions, such as:

  1. Opening and closing windows from outside the vehicle,
  2. Turning on daytime running lights, 
  3. Making a sound when locking and unlocking from a distance.

Additionally, the key remembers your saved settings, such as seat position, mirror adjustments, and climate control, for your convenience.

With so many advanced features come some drawbacks like Fob battery drain and more.

What Does “Key System Fault” Mean on a Nissan Qashqai?

In simple terms, when the Key system fault message comes up on your dashboard

It means the vehicle has detected that one or more of the components of your key system is malfunctioning.

This could be anything from a bad key fob battery to a wiring problem.

What Causes the Nissan Qashqai’s “Key System Fault” Alert?

As I mentioned above, an array of things can cause this issue,

But after seeing a lot of Qashqais with this problem, I’ve narrowed it down to five causes:

1. Bad Key Fob Battery:

The number one cause of this issue is a bad key fob battery.

Similar to other vehicle brands, Nissan keyfobs come equipped with a battery that provides power to the key and enables Intelligent remote functions.

Typically the key fob battery will last anywhere between 3-5 years of usage,

However, key fob batteries on Nissan Qashqais are known to fail prematurely.

Leading to the “Key System Fault” alert on the instrument cluster.

2. Bad Quality Key Fob Battery:

If you recently changed your Nissan Qashqai Key fob battery then it is possible that the new battery isn’t working properly.

This can be a result of poor-quality batteries,

Since your Intelligent key requires comes with a lot of complex features, it requires a specific battery,

If you have purchased a generic key fob battery, then there is a chance that it will not work properly with your Intelligent remote.

This is another common cause of the key system fault message.

3. Faulty Brake Sensor:

Another possible cause of a “Key system fault” message on a Qashqai is a malfunctioning brake sensor.

Before starting your vehicle, the brake pedal sensor sends a signal to your Intelligent remote indicating whether or not the brake pedal is being pressed.

If this sensor malfunctions, it cannot send the signal, causing a key system fault message to appear on your screen.

4. Bad Battery:

The battery on your Nissan Qashqai can also cause a key system fault message to appear.

The battery powers a lot of electronics in your car; If your battery is old or damaged, it can cause different electronics to malfunction due to low voltage, including the key system.

5. Wiring Issue:

The last and least common cause for a key system fault message is a wiring problem.

The Data Communication Module (DCM) wiring on your Nissan Qashqai is responsible for transmitting information from the ignition to other systems in the vehicle.

If there is a short or break in this wire, it can cause the key system to malfunction and display a key system fault message.

How to Fix and Reset Nissan Qashqai “Key System Fault” Message

Now that I have gone through the most common causes from my experience as an auto technician,

Let’s get into how you can fix the problem.

Replace the Key Fob Battery

The first thing that I would recommend is to replace your Key Fob battery with a quality one.

I personally prefer Duracell fob batteries because they have a higher power output and last longer than other brands.

In most cases, after replacing the battery, the problem should be fixed.

Make sure that after you replaced the key fob battery, you disconnect and reconnect the battery terminals to completely reset the system.

Have the Battery Tested

If replacing the Fob battery does not solve the problem, then you need to have the battery tested.

This can be done by taking your Qashqai to a Nissan dealer or local auto parts store or taking it to a mechanic and having them test out your 12v battery.

If the battery is going bad, replacing it should solve the issue.

Take your Car to the Nearest Nissan Dealer/ Qualified Mechanic

If changing the fob battery and testing the 12v battery have not solved the issue,

Then the culprit might be a faulty brake sensor or wiring, which would need to be looked at by a Nissan Tech or any qualified car mechanic.

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1 thought on “Key System Fault Nissan Qashqai [How to Fix Guide]”

  1. Called out a mobile key company to program a new fob for me as my spare one simply drains its battery over a couple of days They tell me mine is on a kill list where there is a 50 50 chance that it will kill the control unit and car will have to be taken to Nissan for repair quashqai 2015 diesel

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