Finding Profits in Replacement Keyless Remotes

Replacement rate and cost of keyless remotes is higher than duplicating keys.

Most factory remotes can be programmed using on-board programming methods. More than 50 million vehicles are equipped with on-board programming capabilities.

For vehicles equipped with on-board programming, programming a new remote requires the following five steps:

Step 1. Vehicle must be initiated into the programming mode.

Step 2. Vehicle confirms it's in the programming mode.

Step 3. Press remote buttons to line up security codes.

Step 4. Vehicle confirms matching of security codes.

Step 5. Exit the programming mode.

NOTE: On-board programming does not require any special tools. However, on-board programming does require exact timed procedures.

The average on-board programming procedure takes less than three minutes.

For example, to program a remote for 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, you must first determine if the vehicle is setup with keyless entry. More than 80 percent of the 2000 Chevrolet Silverados are equipped with keyless entry. The easiest way to determine if the vehicle is setup for keyless entry is to ask the owner.

To program a new remote for a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500:

Step 1. Close doors and insert the key into ignition while holding up the power UNLOCK button.

Step 2. Cycle the power UNLOCK button TWICE between ON and OFF (ending in OFF), then release power unlock button. The door locks will lock and unlock automatically.

Step 3. On the remote, hold down LOCK and UNLOCK buttons. The door locks will begin to lock and unlock.

Step 4. Turn ignition to ON position. The remote is now programmed.

Not every remote can be programmed this easily. The important thing is to know the correct remote for a specific vehicle. KeylessRide not only sells original equipment remotes for more than 35 vehicle manufacturers, but also provides telephone technical support (877-619-3136) for the products it sells. In addition, locksmiths can go onto the KeylessRide web site ( and obtain information for a specific year, make, and model vehicle's remote. KeylessRide will assist locksmiths in determining if a specific vehicle is equipped with keyless entry using a variety of methods including identification through the VIN, finding remote keyless entry code information, and testing the system.

Approximately 28 percent of the vehicles equipped with remote keyless entry from years 1997-2003 require a programming tool to program each remote. This means more than 10 million vehicles do not have on-board programming capability. This seems to be following a trend the vehicle manufacturers have been following for the last six years as the percentage of vehicles equipped with on-board programming has decreased from 86 percent in 1997 to 67 percent in 2003.

Multiple-manufacturer programming tools including the Advanced Diagnostics AD100, the ASP T-Code, the Ilco SDD, and the STRATTEC Code-Seeker are available to program remotes for these vehicles. The multiple-manufacturer tool may not be able to program all of models of a specific manufacturer.

However manufacturer-specific programming tools including the NGS, DRB-III, and the TECH2 are designed to program all vehicle models. The NGS is specific to Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles. The DRB-III is specific to Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Jeep, and Plymouth vehicles. The TECH2 is specific to Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, and Saturn. In addition to programming remotes, both the multiple-manufacturer and manufacturer-specific tools are designed to program transponder-equipped keys.

For this article, we will program a 2004 Cadillac DeVille. The 2004 DeVille requires a General Motors TECH 2 scan tool to program the remote keyless entry system, as it does not have on-board programming capabilities. Many of the later model General Motors passenger cars do not have on-board programming capability.

To program the 2004 Cadillac DeVille (Photo 1):

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