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How to Program a Key Fob for a 1999 Chevy Silverado

by Paul Dohrman

You need to program your 1999 Chevy Silverado's computer to recognize that your remote-entry key fob is authorized to operate the power locks. Doing this on your own can save you from being charged upward of $100 per fob for the service at your local dealership. The '99 Silverado has two sets of instructions. You can determine which of the two applies to your car by the body style.

New Body Style

Close all doors.

Insert the key into the ignition but don't turn it.

Hold down the "Unlock" button on the driver door panel with your left hand the whole time during the next step.

Turn the ignition with your right hand to "On" without turning the engine over, then to "Off," to "On" and then to "Off." Do this in rapid succession.

Release the "Unlock" button that you've kept depressed since Step 3. The car's computer will acknowledge that you did everything correctly by cycling the power locks. If it doesn't, then you need to take the ignition key out, open the driver door, and start at Step 1 again.

Hold down the "Lock" and "Unlock" button on the first fob you want to program until the power locks cycle. This can take about half a minute.

Repeat Step 6 immediately with any other remotes that you want to program. Make sure to also program any working remotes that you want to continue using, since the programming procedure erases the car's memory of prior authorizations.

Turn the ignition key to the "On" position to exit the programming mode.

Classic Body Style

Find the data link port under the driver's side of the dashboard. It has two rows of eight pins each and looks like an old parallel printer port. The top row is wider, and corresponds to pins 1 through 8, read from left to right.

Connect pins 4 and 8 with a suitable conductor, for example a wire with bare ends, a paper clip or a hairpin. Leave the conductor in place during the entire programming procedure. If you connected pins 4 and 8 correctly, then the car's computer will cycle the power locks to confirm.

Hold down the "Lock" and "Unlock" button on the first fob you want to program until the power locks cycle. This can take about 15 seconds.

Repeat Step 3 immediately with any other remotes that you want to program. Make sure to also program any working remotes that you want to continue using, since the programming procedure erases the car's memory of prior authorizations.

Remove the jumper wire to exit the programming mode.

Items you will need

About the Author

Paul Dohrman's academic background is in physics and economics. He has professional experience as an educator, mortgage consultant, and casualty actuary. His interests include development economics, technology-based charities, and angel investing.

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Photo Credits

  • keyless remote image by Ray Kasprzak from Fotolia.com