How to Fix P0513 Code?

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How to Fix P0513 Code?
Table of Contents

The P0513 Code is accountable as the diagnostic trouble code or DTC for Incorrect Immobilizer Key error. There are multiple reasons for which these problems might just get triggered. You will need a technician to diagnose and fix the problem. The definition of this error code is that the engine’s computer finds a problem within the immobilizer ID.

This error code is generic, which means that it occurs in almost all modern-day vehicles built after 1996. The specification of the error varies from one vehicle model to another. It will need an in-depth diagnosis to evaluate all troubles within the vehicle operations at once.

P0513 Code Meaning

P0513 Code Meaning

The error code P0513 intends that the PCM or Powertrain Control Module detects the presence of an immobilizer key or ignition key but fails to recognize its functionality. If the vehicle is diagnosed to have the ignition cylinder turned on, then the engine is possibly cranked but not started. So, if PCM fails to detect the key, then there will be an error code P0513 set for the owner to seek service for the vehicle.

There are three elements that effectively work together to detect and authenticate the immobilizer key of the vehicle. The first element is the PIM (Powertrain Interface Module), PCM, and the BCM (Body Control Module). If the identity of the key is different from that of the default programming, then the error code will be triggered. You will feel the deterioration of your vehicle engine and possibly observe the symptoms.

Symptoms of P0513 Code

Like any other PCM error code, the Check Engine light will be turned on to indicate to the owner that there are some issues within the vehicle. This might indicate many different problems within your vehicle and doesn’t specify P0513 in particular. But, certain symptoms are specific to P0513 code error and will help you take ideal action upon observation:

  • The engine will fail to start or ignite.
  • The engine might start, but it only runs for a few seconds.
  • In some models, there are certain limits upon attempts allowed for you to start the car with the unrecognized key. If the electrical limit exceeds, the vehicle will turn off.

Causes of P0513 Code

As you are aware of the symptoms, the next thing you should know about is the causes that trigger the P0513 OBD2 code. It is evident that you cannot fix the codes, but having a bit of theoretical knowledge upon it will help you be aware of what repairs are processed:

  • The battery level of the key is possibly very low that triggers this code.
  • The incorrect programming of the key is a possible reason for this error.
  • The key might be defective.
  • The connectors might be shorted or burned out.
  • The ignition lock might be in bad condition.

These can be the possible causes that will trigger the immobilizer key error. As a result, the PCM might not detect its existence, which will eventually break down your car.

How to Diagnose the P0513 Code Error?


The different methods and levels of diagnosis are as follows:

  • Just like most of the error codes, diagnosis for this error code also begins with the use of a scanning device that is hooked onto the onboard computer of the vehicle. It will be used for scanning the trouble codes and then resetting them to the present code. After resetting the code, the vehicle will be taken for the test drive to see if the error code returns or not. If it returns, then the problem is detected.
  • Before clearing out the codes, it is better to consult the diagnostic source of the vehicle for making the right security reset.
  • The mechanics or technicians will run a visual inspection of all related wirings and connectors. They will check the fob/key during the process. If the housing of this setup is damaged, it might cause trouble to the circuit board.
  • The technicians will check if the battery is weak, which can be the probable cause of the error code.

A Common Mistake you Must Avoid when Diagnosing P0513 Code

A common mistake that the mechanics or technicians make while diagnosing the P0513 error code is that they ignore the basic fact. They oversee the concern that this error code is triggered mostly due to the immobilizer key malfunctions. And they miss out on looking for the cause from that angle! As a result, they spend their time diagnosing the ignition cylinder since the vehicle shows up trouble in starting or ignition.

The mistake they do is that they replace the entire ignition cylinder and will then find that the code persists. It will then add to the cost, and the problem will still be unsolved. In most cases, the major problem with this error code is with the key.

How to Fix the P0513 Code?

How to Fix P0513 Code?

Here are some of the repair or fixing options that will be adopted by the technicians for neutralizing the code. The repair options are:

  • The immobilizer key will be replaced or fixed to neutralize the problem.
  • If the immobilizer key is not faulty, the ignition cylinder might need a repair or replacement. The replacement is essential only if the cylinder is beyond repairable condition.
  • Fix the connectors and cables that are related to that system. If the key/fob housing is damaged, then the circuit board is possibly damaged and might have triggered the code. The technicians might have to change the key batteries.

Tips to Further Avoid P0513 Code Error

Timely maintenance for the vehicle is essential when you are driving your car in rough conditions very frequently. Even if your car is idle most of the time, timely servicing at the authorized centers is important. Keep these things in mind, and you will eventually avoid these ignition errors in the long term. Ask the technicians during servicing sessions to check the internal operating mechanisms in all aspects.


So, these are the things that you must keep in mind to be able to react accordingly to this particular error code. One problem might hint another, so it is better to turn to professional technicians at the earliest upon detecting the symptoms.

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