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I just spoke to a locksmith who explained the cause of the immob issue to me.
The battery in the key (with central locking mechanism) ran out. I locked the car manually for about a month. The reasoning is that the battery in the key ran totally dead, and then it lost the "handshake" code.
So yes, the Renault guys and badkeys were quite correct.
The only mindboggler is, with a new battery in, the key can still unlock the doors, just not start the car...
Martink, no i haven't checked yet for corrosion at the battery, but i also suspected a battery fault when i spoke to a mechanic the last time the car was in for service. The guy looked stumped when i told him about the car shutting off/turning on while driving. Part of the reason why my faith in mechanics has kind of dwindled.
I read in some posts that some people tried reprogramming the keys for central locking purposes. Is there a way to program the key for immob purpose without having to order an expensive key from France? (i think its a 2003 Clio II - technically my dad's, thus unsure).
Currently in oupaxander's garage:
2003 1.2 Renault Clio 2 16V