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Old 09-18-2021, 01:18 PM   #1
StudioSummer
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Default Valet vs. Master Key Question

Hello,

I recently bought a 1987 245 Wagon, I'm loving it! First time Volvo owner. One question I have is regarding the car's locks. The car doesn't have powered locks so its all manual. The driver door lock works just fine, the key I was given upon buying it turns easily and works great. The passenger door lock is busted, the metal is warped on the outside and looks like maybe someone broke it at some point, can't get my key in, the interior door lock still works great so its not a big issue. The back hatch has been touchy, I can lock and unlock the hatch but not when the key is fully inserted, I have to fully insert the key and then pull it out about 1/16th" in order for the key to turn. This is the same on the glovebox and back cargo hatch, I can lock and unlock them, but I have to be very precise in catching the sweetspot. This isn't the case in the driver door, I can just insert the key all the way and it turns.

My question: am I using a service/valet key here? I haven't had the time to take off the back hatch interior panel since it stopped working. I've heard some people on forums talking about the valet keys and am unsure if that's what im using. It might explain some of the issues, or maybe the driver side door was re-keyed?

Any insight would be appreciated!

Last edited by StudioSummer; 09-18-2021 at 01:55 PM..
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:03 PM   #2
dl242gt
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If you have the original two key set. One should have a larger plastic head on the key. That is the master key and the valet key has a smaller plastic head on it. The valet key won't work in the glovebox, and the rear lower storage area but should work everywhere else. I'd say try lubricating the lock cylinders with lock ease and see how it goes. The very same thing happened to me on a couple of 240s I've owned and keeping the locks well lubricated made the symptom happen much less.
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1982 242 turbo. 338k miles. MVP coilovers and 3" exhaust. Flowed 405 with a V15. Cossie turbine housing with upgraded compressor housing. 90+, IPD remote oil filter. Some other goodness, too. Been lots of fun over 25 years. Restored in 2k. Now ready for a 2nd restoration.

1993 245 Classic, 435k miles, enem V15. IPD bars and chassis braces. Simons sport exhaust from Scandix. sbabbs ezk chip. Been a good road warrior. Genuine Volvo rebuilt leaky M47.
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Old 09-18-2021, 02:30 PM   #3
StudioSummer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dl242gt View Post
If you have the original two key set. One should have a larger plastic head on the key. That is the master key and the valet key has a smaller plastic head on it. The valet key won't work in the glovebox, and the rear lower storage area but should work everywhere else. I'd say try lubricating the lock cylinders with lock ease and see how it goes. The very same thing happened to me on a couple of 240s I've owned and keeping the locks well lubricated made the symptom happen much less.
Thanks for the response, the previous owner didn't have the original key set so I was just given a single generic Ilco. However based on what you mentioned it seems I probably have the master, just maybe need to lubricate the locks as you recommended and hope they will be less finicky. Thanks!
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Old 09-19-2021, 03:27 AM   #4
John242Ti
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Easy way to tell if a key is the master or if it's the valet version: Look at the rib in the middle that goes along the key just below the cut part. On the master key, it'll be shaved down. The valet key, which is actually the pre-1986 240 ignition/door key introduced in 1978, has a very noticeable rib that sticks out. That prevents it from working in the glovebox or storage bin locks, and, on a 244, won't allow the trunk to be locked out from the central locking system, since it doesn't fit that lock either. Most aftermarket copies of the Volvo keys are the VL8 type, which is the master key, first used on the 700 series cars (big head keys - 1986-on 240 master keys are similar in size to the earlier 240 keys, but the rubber part is very rounded and soft). Very rarely will you find a VL6 aftermarket key being made today.
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