How To Program A GMC Savana Key

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Like a Chevy Express van or Ford Transit, the GMC Savana cargo van is used for various purposes. Just like any of these multi-purpose vans, at times, you might need to program a new key. So how do you program a new GMC Savana van key? Below we have given the step-by-step instructions to do so.

Programming with a recognized key:

  1. Insert the original, already programmed key in the ignition and turn it to ON/RUN position. 
  2. Turn off the car by turning OFF your key switch. 
  3. Insert new keys into the lock that you want to program, only one at a time, and then insert back into ignition within 5 seconds of taking out the old one –must wait for a green light signaling successful programming then, repeat if more than one is desired to be programmed.

Programming without a recognized key:

This procedure will take approximately 30 minutes to complete for the first key. After that, the vehicle must be off, and all of the keys you wish to program must be with you.

  1. Insert a new car key into the ignition, turn it ON and keep running until the security light turns off.
  2. Turn your car’s engine completely OFF, then wait 10 minutes before turning back ON again.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 two more times.
  4. After the third time, switch from RUN/ON position in step one, turning lights on when starting up, and move onto LOCK/OFF, which should lock any previously learned keys that are no longer working.

Programming a key for your van may not be as simple as we make it. That is why we go into more detail in this article! So keep reading as we discuss the GMC Savana cargo van and how to program a new key!

Smart key with GMC logo and grille on the background, How To Program A GMC Savana Key

GMC Savana

The 2021 GMC Savana is your go-to for hauling cargo, towing trailers, or shuttling large groups of people. It is available with an interior set up either for carrying passengers or luggage — or both simultaneously!

This big van offers something few other vehicles do: a V6 gas engine and four diesel options. There’s plenty of power in all versions, too; you’ll get ample payload capacity and towing capability, whether it be a short wheelbase (SWB) version.

GMC Savana/Chevy Express Smart Key Fob

The Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana are full-size vans from General Motors. They replaced the Chevrolet Van and GMC Vandura in 1996. But now, they also come with a remote keyless entry fob smart key that can be programmed without special equipment other than detailed instructions!

The Express/Savana is also available as a passenger van seating 8 to 15 passengers depending on the model, which makes it perfect for carrying large groups. Even use this van for small businesses when you need vehicles like tow trucks, ambulances, shuttle buses, and school buses — any vehicle people may not have been able to enter before because keys are locked inside.

Identifying Your Specific Key

Yes, keys can be programmed to a van, as shown in this article! But you may need to locate the part number for your specific key. To find out what it is, look on the key blade itself, or if that doesn’t work, go ahead and remove one of your keys from your key ring and look for the letters and numbers on it, which will be a part number.

You’ll want to use that number when ordering new keys online or over the phone. Or you can bypass this step by going straight to your dealer so they can get a replacement right away!

What is a GM transponder key?

A GM transponder key is an electronic identification device used in vehicles by General Motors. The keys have a standardized format using a system known as Transponder Chip Key, or T-CK. Transponder keys are programmed through the vehicle’s computer and cannot be easily changed. This system is only used in 2002 and newer GM vehicles.

What Is The Difference Between A Transponder And A Smart Key?

The vehicle can know that you are using your key with a transponder because it recognizes specific radio frequencies generated by both individual keys.

These signals emanate from a small chip located inside of each key file copied. They also include transponders capable of transmitting radio waves to your vehicle’s receiver, which allows the vehicle to know that the specific key is present.

A smart key emits a radio frequency that lets a vehicle’s computer know that it is present. It produces these signals by using a special internal antenna and microchip installed inside the key.

A remote control for keyless entry of a vehicle

Does my GMC key have a chip? 

If your key is chipped, there will be a small blue or black square on the head of the key blade, and it will have an individual code number engraved on it. This means that this specific key can only work with one vehicle.

That chip or transponder allows the car or van to know that a specific key has been used to start the vehicle. If you have two different vehicles using keys from the same remote-entry fob, each would have its own code number.

The first thing you will want to do when you need a replacement key is to look at the key itself. It will have letters and/or numbers stamped into it, and those are the identification number for that specific key.

If you’re having trouble reading it because of wear or if the numbers have been rubbed off, then try looking for the key on your key chain. The number will be right near where it attaches to the rest of your keys. You can also try looking at your existing remote entry fob for a part number, which you may then search online or by calling a dealership that can look up the code for you.

How do you program a 2017 GMC Savana key?

This vehicle is not onboard programmable and requires a qualified professional to program smart key remote fobs.

If your car is mobile, you should go down to the locksmith, where they can hook up specialized computer equipment to program the smart key remote fob. 

If you don’t know where to find a professional locksmith in your area, type the name of your city plus ‘locksmith’ on Google, and it will take you to a list with their locations.

How do you program a 2014 GMC Savana key?

When you own an older GMC Savana, it is important to program the keyless entry remote fob. Although this vehicle cannot be programmed yourself, it requires an automotive locksmith do so instead.

Here are some steps for programming your smart key: 

  1. Find a qualified professional in your area using either their phone number or website.
  2. If possible, drive there rather than having them come out as they will save you money on mileage.
  3. The specialist will hook up specialized computer equipment onto the car, allowing them to program the next generation of keys with ease.

Are our GMC Savana and Chevy Express the Same?

No, they are not the same models. They both carry cargo van bodies in the United States and Canada, though Savanna is marketed as a passenger shuttle bus overseas in Venezuela or Spain. They also have different engines: Chevy Express uses a 6L V8 engine, while GMC Savana chooses two inline-6 engines.

How Many Does The GMC Savana Seat?

GMC Savana tuning interior

GMC Savana is equipped with 12 to 15 passenger seating, just like its Chevy Express counterpart. They both have three rows of seats which some can be folded and stored. They also have a rear swing-open door hidden under the last seat row.   

When Was GMC Savana Made?

The GMC Savana was introduced for the 1996 model year and quickly became a staple in many professional drivers’ repertoires. The changes over time were minimal, but it still had enough new features to keep things fresh when you needed them most!  

For the 2018 model, GMC Savana gained a number of new features. First was its parking lot rear backup camera with a 180-degree view that will help you see around your cargo van. Next was a load-leveling suspension for an improved and more comfortable drive. Finally, the exterior bodywork got some minor updates that make it look sleeker and more modern.

In Closing

So, we have learned how to decode the GMC Savana key for both old and new models. By knowing your car’s information, such as year of manufacture, model number, and engine type, you can readily know which key to look for when looking for the next replacement. Just remember not to forget to call a professional locksmith once you have found your vehicle’s code number, as they are the only ones equipped to do this job.

If you enjoyed this article on programming a Savana van key, you might also like:

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Do you have a cargo van? Let us know which one is below!

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