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Thread: Can Am key error - Ever heard of this?

  1. #1
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    Default Can Am key error - Ever heard of this?

    I finally broke down last month and bought a Can Am Outlander for plowing snow and a little fun. First impressions were good but I am starting to worry. I bought it from the dealer with 200 miles on it (Came with 2 year warranty)- they said the dealership owner had used it around his house. I had 36 more miles on it when the shifting lever broke in 1/2 - very poor design and it snapped at a weld. The guy I bought it from told me when I went in for a new part that he had broken 2 on his.

    My wife went to plow snow the other day and when she turns the key on she gets an error message on the display that says "bad Key" and it will not start. The dealer didn't know what that meant and said she would have to take it in - I guess she is supposed to pick it up and put it in the back of a truck by herself and take it down there since she can't start it.

    Any insight on Can Am ignitions?

  2. #2
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    They have a "smart" key with a chip in it, kind of like some cars do. Before hauling the whole ATV down, I'd first try getting another key made and programmed at the dealership.

    Or, it could be a screwed up ignition switch.

    Are you storing it outside or in a heated garage? If outside, perhaps thawing it out might help.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply - I guess they can't get a key programmed without the machine being there. It is stored outside in the cold - so far that hadn't been a problem but certainly worth trying to thaw it out. I will be back in town soon to deal with it - just a bummer they had to move snow by hand, that was most of the reason we bought the ATV.

  4. #4
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Having had a wheeler stolen before I like the smart key idea. Finding out that we had a smart key in our Jeep was less than pleasant though. I was on a trail back in the mountains when I lost the ONLY key we had for it. We ended up towing it about 10 miles out of the woods using a non chipped key that we happen to have made thinking it would be a "spare" was interesting. Luckily from the road USAA covered towing all the way to ANC.

    If you have a spare key for your Can-Am I would give it a shot as the one they tried may be damaged. If you find that you have a bad key I would definitely go get a new one made so you don't end up in a predicament like mine.

  5. #5
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    I inquired about a spare key when I bought it and they talked me out of it - Should have stuck to my first notion. Thankfully it is in my yard locked up and not out in the middle of a bog with me walking back.

  6. #6

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    I've had two Can Am's, and I know of at least 8 others that I ride with a lot. None of us have broken a shifter or had key problems unless we tried to put the wrong key in.

  7. #7

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    sounds to me like you need to find a diff dealer, have a garage? push it inside let it warm up and give it a try. sounds to me like you have a bit of moisture in the ignition. and breakin shifters ...well somethings not adjusted right the shifter linkage is however designed to break before the you do any trasnny damage. the one bad thing on the smart keys for the wheelers is they are kinda susceptable to freezeing temps.

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