Nissan Key ID Incorrect (Altima And Rogue)

The ‘Key ID Incorrect’ is one of the three common key fob-related warning messages that can appear on your Nissan vehicle’s instrument panel – the others being Key System Error and No Key Detected.

The main thing that sets these messages apart from others we discussed recently (such as engine power is reduced and steering assist is reduced), is that they exclusively appear during the starting process.

Why Nissan Altima & Rogue Say Key ID Incorrect?

Generally, this message appears when the vehicle’s immobilizer system can’t recognize the key fob.

Although the most likely causes for this issue are a weak key fob battery or faulty programming, it can also happen due to interference, physical damage to the key fob, or some ECU glitch.

The best way to fix this is to get the DTC codes through a scanner and repair/replace that malfunctioning component.

If you don’t have a scanner or if there’s no DTC code, you’ll need to check all of the components mentioned below, as any one of them can be the culprit.

Although this post will mainly focus on the Altima 2015 and 2018 models, you can also use it as a reference for other Nissan vehicles, such as Rogue, Xtrail, Maxima, etc.

How to Fix the Nissan Altima Key ID Incorrect Message?

1. Reset the ECU

Reset the ECU

As the cars are getting more advanced, many of their internal components have started to be operated by different control modules.

These modules are essentially the computer systems that manage, control, and monitor various operations to ensure different auto components are working efficiently.

For example, the Engine Control Module (ECM) manages engine functions such as fuel injection, ignition timing, and emissions control, while the Transmission Control Module (TCM) controls gear shifting, torque converter, and fluid pressure in automatic transmission vehicles.

A major benefit of these control modules is that they generate warning messages (such as Key ID Incorrect) and display them on the instrument panel upon detecting any problem with their respective systems.

However, these modules can sometimes glitch and falsely generate those warning messages.

Therefore, you need to reset the ECU and see if the warning message persists.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Turn off the vehicle and leave the key fob inside.
  • Open the hood and locate the vehicle’s battery.
  • Disconnect the cable from the negative battery terminal by loosening its nut with a wrench.
  • Disconnect the cable from the positive battery terminal by loosening its nut with a wrench.
  • Connect the positive and negative battery cables with jumper cables.
  • Wait for 4-5 minutes, and then disconnect the jumper cables.
  • Connect the positive cable to its terminal and tighten its nut with the wrench.
  • Connect the negative cable to its terminal and tighten its nut with the wrench.
  • Start the vehicle to see if the error is still there.

If the message is gone, it means that it appeared due to ECU malfunctioning and all of the other components are working fine.

On the other hand, if it’s still there, it means there’s some faulty component triggering it.

2. Check Key Fob Battery

Low Key Fob Battery

The key fobs contain an RFID chip to transmit signals, which is powered by a C2032 battery which lasts around 5 years, on average.

That’s why many car owners become complacent and don’t bother checking the battery when there is any key fob-related issue.

However, when this battery gets low/dead, the key fob’s transmitting range will be reduced, and the vehicle’s immobilizer will receive weak and inconsistent signals, resulting in poor communication with the fob.

This poor communication eventually leads to the Key ID Incorrect message.

Therefore, the first thing you should do is to test the key fob’s battery with a multimeter. It’s a simple 5-step process that goes like this:

  • Open up the key fob and take out the battery.
  • Set the multimeter to Voltage mode.
  • Place the red probe of the multimeter onto the positive side (marked with the + sign) of the battery.
  • Place the black probe of the multimeter onto the negative side of the battery.
  • A good CR2032 battery should give you a reading of ~3V.

If the reading you got is less than that, the battery is low and should be replaced.

When putting in a new battery, make sure to match the positive and negative sides, as it won’t work otherwise.

3. Repair/Replace the Key Fob

Repair the Key Fob

If you found the key fob battery to be good, it’s time to check the key fob itself.

That’s because if the key fob has suffered any physical damage (due to an accidental drop or crush), its buttons will get stuck or damaged and may not function properly to initiate the signal transmission.

Even if a key fob looks fine after a drop, its internal circuitry can be damaged, which can disrupt the fob’s ability to transmit signals effectively.

In some other instances, many car owners have complained the battery contacts in the fob get loose, bent, or dirty over time, resulting in intermittent or no power to the fob’s circuitry.

There are different solutions to this issue.

If the battery contacts are dirty, clean them with cotton swaps soaked with alcohol to see if it helps, and if the buttons are stuck due to dirt, put some car cleaner spray on a brush and use it gently over the fob’s outer body.

However, if there’s some physical damage to the internal circuitry, your best option is to get a new key fob.

4. Program the Spare Key Fob

Program the Spare Key Fob

Many car manufacturers give a spare key fob with their vehicles so that owners have a backup option in case of emergency.

The problem with these key fobs is that they need to be programmed by an auto mechanic to become useful.

You can think of it as the ‘pairing’ process between your car and the key fob to ensure that only authorized key fobs can lock/unlock and start the car.

Therefore, if you’re using a spare key and it’s not been programmed yet, the vehicle’s immobilizer system will not recognize it, and you’ll see the Key ID Incorrect message.

In such a case, all you need to do is contact the dealership and ask them to program this fob.

5. Reprogram the Current Key Fob

Reprogram the Current Key Fob

This point is related to the last one.

Sometimes, an already-programmed key fob can lose its programming when you change the battery, leading the immobilizer system not to recognize it.

The solution is the same: contact the dealership and ask them to program the fob.


So these were some of the common issues that trigger the Key ID Incorrect error message in your Nissan Altima and Rogue vehicles.

If you’ve checked all of them and found no issue, I recommend consulting the dealership, as the issue is probably the bad immobilizer system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Won’t My Nissan Altima Recognize My Key Fob?

The main reasons your Nissan Altima won’t recognize the key fob include physical damage to the key fob, low fob battery, and ECU malfunctioning.

How Do I Start My Nissan Altima With ‘Key ID Incorrect’ Message?

If you have a Nissan Altima 2019-2023 and are getting the Key ID Incorrect warning message, here’s how you can bypass this message to start the car.

  • Place the key fob on the push button.
  • You’ll hear a beep sound, and the push button will start to glow.
  • Push the brake pedal and press the push button.
  • Your vehicle will start.

You can watch the video below for a better understanding.

How Do I Start My Nissan Rogue With Key ID Incorrect Message?

The Nissan Rogue 2017-2022 models have a slightly different procedure for starting the vehicle when you’re getting the Key ID Incorrect message.

It goes like this:

  • Press the brake pedal.
  • Push the start-stop button with the pointy end of the key fob (the one with the Nissan logo).

Keep in mind that this method will only work if the Key ID Incorrect message appears due to the low/dead key fob battery.

Can Autozone Program a Key Fob?

Yes, Autozone offers key fob programming services at many locations.

How Much Does it Cost to Program a Key Fob?

An auto locksmith can charge $100-$250 to program a key fob, depending on your vehicle and area.

How do I Find my Nissan Key Code?

Call the Nissan dealership and give them your VIN number to get the Key code.

Ayden Morris is the founder of Vehicle Sphere. He shares expert advice and practical tips to help car owners maximize the performance and longevity of their vehicles. Buckle up and join him on this exhilarating ride through the world of car care.

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