How to Troubleshoot and Fix P0513 Jeep DTC Code? (Ultimate Guide)

Modern-day vehicles are pretty smart and finding faults in them is quite easy. These vehicles show error codes to express what problems they are having. 

With the right tool, you can read these error codes. This is exactly what the mechanic does when you take your vehicle to him.

P0513 is just an error code that says incorrect immobilizer key. No worries, we will explain what this code means and how you can fix it. Keep reading.

What Does P0513 Jeep Code Mean?

P0513 code means the powertrain control module has detected an incorrect immobilizer key ID or in simple terms failed to recognize the immobilizer key.  

This error can occur when the engine control module (ECM) receives data or signal from the PCM but does not recognize the immobilizer key or the key which is inserted is invalid. 

This immobilizer system prevents your car from starting with an invalid key. Therefore, when the code is present, it indicates a possible threat and you must act soon.

The whole OBD2 code has divided the whole automobile electric system into 4 basic units. Here is the breakdown of the code:

  • P = Powertrain, a total assembly of components that pushes an automobile forward.
  • 0 = OBD2 standardized SAE code known as generic code.
  • 5 = Vehicle speed control and idle control systems.
  • 13 = Specific reason for the error. In this case, the reason is the incorrect immobilizer key.

P0513 Code: What Causes PCM Fails to Recognize Immobilizer Key

The immobilized key problem is mostly seen in vehicles that are made from 1996 to the present. Chrysler, Dodge, Hyundai, Jeep, and Mazda face this issue the most. 

If you can identify the reasons for this error code, it can be helpful for you to fix the problem with ease. Here are some common causes that make the error code appear:

  1. A malfunction of the starter relay.
  2. A defective or damaged immobilizer system
  3. If the antenna is damaged.
  4. When the circuit of the key fob is open.
  5. When the battery of the key is about to finish.
  6. Rusted or damaged wiring.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot P1281 Jeep Grand Cherokee DTC Code?

How to Troubleshoot and Fix P0513 Jeep Code?

Now, it’s quite clear what may cause the P0513 Jeep error code.  We will show how those facts can cause this error code to appear. 

We will also show you how you may fix that specific issue on your own or from the mechanics.

1. Check the Starter or Starter Relay for Malfunction

The starter relay is a pretty complicated component in the ignition system. It works like a remote control switch that regulates the current in the circuit. 

When this starter relay is damaged or has any fault, the current will not regulate through the circuit and the vehicle will have trouble starting. Difficulty to start the engine or no start at all is a main symptom of the P0513 code. 

That means, when the starter relay is bad or malfunctioning and the vehicle doesn’t start, the PCM cannot recognize the immobilized key and P0513 is recorded. You can check if the starter relay is ok or not with a voltmeter. 

If you find it faulty or damaged, you can change it on your own if you know how to disassemble and assemble it. If you don’t know how, don’t worry and take your jeep to an expert mechanic.

The cost of a new starter relay is between 30$ and the labor cost is something between 34$ – 43$. So, you will need about 64$ – 72$ to replace your damaged starter relay.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix C148f-1D Jeep DTC Code? (Ultimate Guide)

2. Inspect the Immobilizer System for Defects and Damages

Immobilizer is generally an anti-theft system that is situated at the engine. The jeep engine will not start until the PCM spots the correct transponder key. This system includes 3 parts: smart key fob, transponder microchip, and ECU.

When any of the three parts or the whole system has a defect or fails to operate, the PCM cannot locate the key which results in recording a P0513 code though there is one. 

If you have a multimeter, you can run a test on your own to check whether the system is ok or not.

If the result is negative, you must replace the immobilizer system. It is a tough process so you may need to take your jeep to a service center to replace it. it may cost you around 300$ to replace it which includes the labor cost.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix C2200 Jeep DTC Code? (Ultimate Guide)

3. Check the Immobilizer Antenna and Replace It

You can see the ignition lock cylinder immobilizer antenna near the ignition switch. The main task of this antenna is to detect the key in the ignition and check whether it is the right key or not. 

A faulty antenna cannot receive or send signals or sends wrong signals to the PCM. As a result, the PCM could not detect the immobilizer key and recorded the P0513 code.

To check if it is working or not, you need to check the receiving and sending at the specific frequency in which it operates. 

If you don’t have the testing device, opt for a service center. The cost depends on the vehicle model and damage types.

4. Check the Key’s Battery and Wiring

When the battery life of the transponder key is about to finish and it has very less power left in it, it may not perform as it should and cannot send enough signals to the PCM. 

When this happens, PCM couldn’t locate or identify the immobilizer key though it is present and file a record of the P0513 code.

The same thing happens when the wiring gets rusted, damaged, or shorted. Because of faulty wiring, the key couldn’t send enough strong signals to be recognized by the PCM and caused the P0513 error code.

You can check and replace the battery on your own as it is pretty easy. The battery will cost around 4$ – 8$.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot and Fix P0562 Jeep DTC Code? (Ultimate Guide)


We tried to deliver the reasons and possible solutions to the Jeep P0513 code. But still, there can be some confusion regarding this. We will try to cover those in this FAQ section:

Can you drive a Jeep with a P0513 code?

You can drive a Jeep in the first few days after it appears with a “check engine” sign lit on and with a few difficulties starting. As time goes on, you won’t be able to start your Jeep and it will die eventually.

How much does it cost to fix the Jeep P0513 code?

The cost to fix the Jeep P0513 code depends on the fact that is causing the issue. Depending on the type, the cost can be between 10$ -300$. To know the exact cost, you must identify the reason first.

Can you remove the Jeep P0513 code by changing the immobilizer key?

Yes, you can remove the code by changing the key if the problem is in the key itself. But, if the cause is something else, it may not be effective. Before changing, diagnose the issue properly to find where the problem exactly is.


The incorrect immobilizer key code can be moderately serious to severe. In most cases, the check engine or service engine light will show up and will go away after resetting the code. 

The best step in solving the code is to find the root reason for which the code is present. Once you can find the root cause, let your mechanic solve the issue and get rid of the code.

Read Also: How to Troubleshoot & Fix P06DE Jeep Wrangler DTC Code?

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