Two questions about programming new keys using two existing fobs

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Jan 28, 2021
I bought an aftermarket key fob for $39 and just had the key blade cut for $25 for my 2020 Bolt LT. The instructions in the owners handbook for "Programming with Two Recognized Transmitters" seem straightforward, but I've run into two issues:

1. Instruction #1 says to "Place the two recognized transmitters in the backup location with the buttons facing down". Unfortunately, the drawing they provide shows only a single transmitter sitting inside the little raised area at the bottom of the center console. That little raised area outlines the shape of a single transmitter with no space for a second and is defined as the "backup location". in order to have both transmitters resting at the bottom of the console simultaneously, they have to be side by side, with each only partially covering the backup location in the middle. Is that what was intended? And if so, why didn't Chevy provide a drawing that indicated as much, given that the single-transmitter-in-the-backup-location drawing is repeated exactly in the next section describing how to program without two transmitter?

2. Assuming that side-by-side positioning of the two recognized transmitters is OK, I followed the instructions to use the key blade on the new device to turn five times to the unlock position and trigger the DIC to display READY FOR REMOTE 3. At that point I removed the two recognized transmitters, replaced them in the backup location with the new fob with the buttons pointing downward, and pressed "POWER to start the vehicle" as instructed. The problem at that point is that nothing happens, at least from what I can see and hear. As far as I am aware, the vehicle does NOT start with the press of the button. The POWER button continues to pulse blue and there are no indications that all systems have come on-line. The READY FOR REMOTE 3 message continues to be displayed in the DIC, and eventually goes dark as does the pulsing POWER button. Repeated pushing of the POWER button had no effect at all, which was quite disconcerting until I remembered that to exit programming mode I'd have to push the POWER button for at least 12 seconds. The two obvious candidates for why the transmitter is not being programmed are (a) the problem with positioning the two recognized transmitters described in Question #1 and (b) the aftermarket key fob is defective or not correct for my vehicle. Any ideas?


Nick in Palm Springs
Maybe this will help?
Yep... The link helped! That thread indicates that I'm not the only person who ran into trouble with programming an aftermarket version rather than an OEM fob. Same symptoms. Returned my aftermarket fob ( had no problem with a return... bless them!) and have ordered their OEM version. Will report back as to whether there are any differences in the outcome.

Nick in Palm Springs
To close this thread and hopefully help someone else in the same situation that I was, here are the answers to my questions:

Question 1: Owner's handbook drawing for fob programming using two recognized transmitters only shows one fob in the backup location in the center console...
Answer: The drawing is wrong. You put the two recognized transmitters face down in the console well, right next to each other, fat ends facing forward, positioned towards the front of the well.

Question 2: Why can't the programming process move beyond the "READY FOR REMOTE 3" message despite me following directions to the letter and pushing the Power button to no avail?...
I purchased a new "aftermarket" key fob for $39 from to program using the onboard programming process. It turns out that to use aftermarket fobs, you need additional equipment to start the programming that isn't possible with just the onboard process. After I figured that out, I sent my aftermarket fob back to the and instead ordered a new OEM fob from them ($93)(an OEM fob from a 3rd party seller like would be exactly the same as one you'd buy from a dealer for about $240). With the OEM fob, the programming took all of about 5 minutes to complete. A local locksmith cut the swing-out key blade for $25, making the total price of an extra working key fob $118 versus the nearly$400 my local dealer wanted.


Nick in Palm Springs