How to Program a Chevy Key Fob

The days of simple keys are gone, meaning that your Chevy can rely on modern wireless key fobs alone. Wireless key fobs are far more secure and more difficult to copy than traditional keys. It is also possible to program Chevy’s keyless access system to do more than open and lock the doors.

Chevy’s Keyless Access

Chevy’s keyless access fob gives you control over the basic security functions of your car. Using keyless access key fobs also means that you no longer need to fumble about in your pocket or handbag to get in.

Remote Keyless Entry

You can use the button on the key fob to either lock or unlock your Chevy. Or, if you are within 3-feet of your vehicle, you can set it so that it unlocks the doors, even if the key is still in your bag or pocket. You can then open the door or the trunk of the vehicle without having to touch the key.

Remote Keyless Start

Again, if your key is with you, the car’s computer will allow you to start the engine if you are within 3-feet of it. To start, the driver must have their foot on the brake pedal, a safety precaution, and then they can press the start-stop button.

For your Chevy to work with a remote start, it must be an automatic transmission. Make sure that the engine hood is secure if you want keyless starting to work.

Can You Buy a Replacement Chevy Key Fob?

chevy key fob

To keep your car secure, manufacturers limit access to the programs and providers of replacement Key fobs. Few locksmiths have the replacement fobs and the technical machinery and know-how. Though, if you can find a locksmith, this is a less expensive way to go.

Many people will go back to their Chevy dealership to get a spare key. The dealership will have your paperwork and any accompanying information in your car. The dealership will then contact the factory that the car came from and order you a new key.

Once the key fob arrives, the locksmith or the dealership will need to match the key code to the car. The safest method is to overwrite the old codes on the car’s computer. It may even be possible to program a key fob yourself.

Before You Begin Programming Your Chevy Key Fob

Have a look through your user manual and make sure the Engine Control Unit in your Chevy accepts the programming procedure. If the ECU is unable to recognize your key fob, you may not be able to use all the buttons on the fob.

It is better to turn off all electrics in the car, such as the radio, and the inside and outside lights, to save battery power. If you have an automatic, set the stick to PARK. If you have a manual car, set the gearbox to NEUTRAL.

How to Program Your Chevy Key Fob: A Guide

Once you get your new key fob, you can follow the following steps to match it to your Chevy. This process is quick; it takes a few short minutes.

  1. Secure: Make sure that all doors, including the trunk, are secure. Otherwise, if a passenger door is ajar, you will need to start the whole process from the beginning.
  2. Open: Unlock your Chevy by using the physical key in the lock of the driver’s side door handle. Do not press any of the buttons on the key fob yet, though do make sure that the alarm is off.
  3. Enter: Get into your Chevy and shut the door. It may be an idea to roll the windows down since this will take a couple of minutes, and opening the door will stop the programming sequence.
  4. Ignition: Put the key into the ignition slot, but do not turn the key. The next step requires a bit of coordination from both hands.
  5. ON: Hold down the driver’s side unlock button, then turn the ignition key to ON, not IGNITION. This will activate the electronics in the car, but it will not start the engine. You can turn the radio and the lights off if you want since this will not affect the procedure.
  6. Door Lock: Keeping your finger on the door lock button, twist the key to OFF then On, and back to OFF again. You do not want to damage the key but try to twist it once a half-second. If are not fast enough, the ECU will not register the sequence.
  7. Ready: Now, you can take your finger off the unlock button for the driver’s side door lock. At this point, the car will show you that it is ready for programming. You will hear the locking and unlocking of all doors. You can now take out your new key fob and move on to the next step.
  8. Fob: Take the Key fob and press both the lock and unlock buttons at the same time. This lets the car find the key fob. When you hear the doors locking and unlocking again, you know that the pairing is working, and the car is recognizing the fob.
  9. Swap: It is time to try your new fob in your Chevy. Take the old key out of the ignition and put the new one in. It is a good plan to label your new key fob.
  10. Test: Twist the new key in the ignition to ON. This tells your car to end the programming run. You can now open your door. It is a good idea to use the new key fob in your Chevy before you get out. This way, if the fob programming did not work and the door locks, you still get a chance to try again.
  11. Spares: Your new key is now ready to use in your Chevy. If you have more fobs, it is a good idea to program them all at the same time.


Once you have done the procedure for your Chevy, you will find it much easier to program a key for the second time. Always keep the master keys in a safe place a way from your spares and check that each works after programming them.