I have a '07 Chevy Malibu and would like to know how to program the key. I lost the original, but was able to get a spare from the dealership. I do not want to pay the locksmith $150 to program the key. What is the procedure for doing this?

1 Answer 1


Here it the procedure for 're-learning' the master key for my Chevy Malibu. I assume that most Chevy's that have a transponder work this way well:

  1. With an unlearned master vehicle key, turn ON the ignition, but not the engine: enter image description here

  2. Wait for roughly 10 minutes (mine was slightly longer) for the 'security indicator' to turn off: enter image description here

  3. Turn the ignition completely OFF and wait for roughly 5 seconds

  4. Repeat steps 1-3 for two more times for a total of 3 cycles (roughly 30 minutes)

    • NOTE: it is important to complete all steps of the third cycle, especially step three, as this is how the vehicle learns the key transponder information. In other words, before starting the car, you must turn off the ignition and wait 5 seconds first
  5. With the key you just programmed, turn the key and start the car. The key is now operable on the car.


WARNING: all other keys you may have previously had will no longer work, and must be re-programmed as well.

In order to reprogram additional keys:

  1. Take the master vehicle key that is already programmed, and turn the ignition to ON (with engine OFF)
  2. Watch the 'security indicator' until it's solid
  3. Turn the ignition off and quickly replace the key you wish to program
  4. Turn the ignition to ON (engine OFF) and wait until the 'security indicator' turns solid
  5. The Key is now programmed and should now start the car
  • 1
    Omg thank you so much I broke my original and could not program the new one to save my life, until I seen this post so thank u so much.
    – user1873
    Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 10:07
  • @Gina Your welcome. I actually lost my key about three times, and finally decided to post this as it was difficult to remember and do. Commented Jun 1, 2012 at 17:10
  • Wouldn't it be easier to just remove the stupid security system so any correctly-cut key works? Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 6:12
  • 1
    I appreciate the directions. Worked like a charm. :)
    – user2805
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 14:16
  • 2
    @R.. I believe the idea is to prevent people from stealing your car. If the process takes at least 30 mins, then there a possibility for the owner to catch any random people in the car. Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 14:31

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