How to Start a 2009 Nissan Altima Without a Key Fob

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Have you ever encountered a situation where your 2009 Nissan Altima won’t start and displays a “No Key Detected” error message? This can be quite a frustrating issue, but don’t worry, we’re here to help you troubleshoot and potentially resolve the problem. In this article, we will go over some steps you can take to start your 2009 Nissan Altima without a key fob.

Step 1: Check the Battery

The first thing you should do is check the battery of your key fob. Sometimes, a low battery can cause the “No Key Detected” error message to appear. Hold your key fob up against the start button and see if that resolves the issue. However, if this doesn’t work, move on to the next step.

Step 2: Attempt Reprogramming

If checking the battery doesn’t solve the issue, you can try reprogramming the key fob. Stick the key fob into the slot provided and see if it detects the key. However, in most cases, this method may not be effective.

Step 3: Locate the Steering Control Box

According to some videos, a possible solution to this problem involves tapping the steering control box. The steering control box is located behind a panel in your vehicle. Remove the panel to access the box.

Step 4: Tap the Steering Control Box

After locating the steering control box, try giving it a gentle tap with a hammer and a punch from behind. This might help start your vehicle. However, be cautious and ensure that you’re applying just the right amount of force to avoid causing any damage.

Step 5: Disconnect the Battery

If the previous steps didn’t work, you can try disconnecting the battery for a brief period. Start by disconnecting the negative terminal and connecting it to the positive terminal to discharge the system. Leave it disconnected for about a minute, then reconnect it and see if the problem is resolved.

Step 6: Replace the Faulty Interlock Module

If none of the previous steps resolve the issue, it is likely that you have a faulty interlock module. This is a common problem in 2009 Nissan Altimas. You may need to replace the interlock module to fix the “No Key Detected” error.

To replace the interlock module, you will need to remove the panel covering the steering control box. Use a pocket screwdriver to detach the panel. Inside, you will find a Phillips screw that holds the module in place. Unscrew it and disconnect the wires attached to the module.

Once you have removed the old module, replace it with a new one. You can purchase a replacement interlock module on Amazon or eBay. Make sure to follow the proper steps to install the new module. Reattach the panel and reconnect the wires. Test if the vehicle starts after the replacement.

Note: It is advisable to disconnect the battery before working on the interlock module for safety purposes.

While replacing the interlock module can be a solution, be aware that there is a chance of encountering difficulties during the process. Some screws may be challenging to remove due to their design. You may need special tools like a ball peen hammer and a small cold chisel to remove the security bolts. Exercise caution when using these tools and ensure that you don’t damage any components.

Important Considerations

While troubleshooting and attempting to fix the “No Key Detected” issue, it is crucial to be cautious and take necessary safety precautions. If you are uncertain or uncomfortable with any of the steps, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from an auto locksmith or a qualified mechanic.

It is also worth noting that this particular issue can have various underlying causes, and the steps provided in this article might not solve the problem in every case. If you are unable to diagnose or fix the issue yourself, it is best to consult with an expert who can accurately identify the root cause and provide an appropriate solution.


Dealing with a “No Key Detected” error on your 2009 Nissan Altima can be frustrating. However, by following the steps outlined in this article, you can potentially troubleshoot and resolve the issue yourself. From checking the battery to tapping the steering control box and, if necessary, replacing the faulty interlock module, these steps can help you get your Altima back on the road. Remember to exercise caution and seek professional assistance if needed.