How to Program a PassKey-III (PK3) Key
There were some posts in the
automotive forums recently asking about how to program a PassKey-III (PK3) replacement key.
After a bit of research, I have the following to offer:
Disclaimer: I have NOT personally tried these procedures, but have
been told that they work on various GM vehicles.
First of all, the key looks like this:
(note the black plastic cover). You should also see "PK3" stamped in
the metal just below the plastic cover. This key has a "transponder" in it that is
used to enable the ignition and fuel systems. Without a properly
programmed key (or system programmed to accept the key), the van will not
start or stay running.
From the service manual:
There are actually two procedures, but one involves using a programming tool
which only dealers would have access to, so I am going to leave that one
30 Minute Relearn
Procedure (Steps): This is for a "replacement" (new) key (no original
1) Insert a "Master" Passkey III (PK3) Key (the one with the black
plastic cover as shown above).
2) Turn the Ignition to ON, but do NOT start the engine. You
should see the "Security" message on the dash for about 10 minutes and
then it will turn off.
3) Turn OFF the Ignition and wait 5 seconds.
4) Repeat the above steps (1-3) a total of 3 times, or a
total of 30 minutes.
5) After the third time (including turning back to the OFF
position), start the van. The van should now have "learned" the
transponder information and will allow it to start and continue to run.
- When the above procedure is used, all previously learned keys will be
erased from system memory.
- Additional keys can be learned immediately after the relearn procedure.
This is done by inserting the additional key and turning the ignition to the
RUN position within 10 seconds of removing the previously learned key
From another source (that provides PK3 keys): This is used to add a "duplicate" key (have original)
1) Insert the "Original" (working) Key.
2) Turn the Ignition to ON (RUN), but do NOT start the engine.
Turn the Ignition OFF and remove the key.
3) Within 15 seconds insert the new "duplicate" key and turn the
Ignition to the ON position. The Security indicator should light for about 2
seconds to indicate that the new key has been programmed.
4) The new key should now be able to start and run the van.
- The manual seems to confirm this procedure except that the new key should
be inserted and turned to ON (RUN) within 10 seconds.
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