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2011 Impala: Self-Re-program New Key?

2011 Impala: Self-Re-program New Key?

My father’s car up in New England. He had cut a new key at a lumber yard and apparently had it re-programmed at the dealer, but the key has never worked properly. It gets stuck in the ignition and you have to jiggle it to get it out. It doesn’t get used except when we’re visiting and my brother is up there now asking me about it. I told him I thought the key was never cut properly, but wasn’t sure if my father could’ve re-programmed the new key himself. Some vehicles allow this.

If we cut him another key, is this one of the vehicles that allows self-re-programming, or is it a trip to the dreaded dealer??

This is not a “fancy” model Impala. Just your run-of-the-mill variety. If it were my car I could tell you exactly, but that’s all I know about this one.

I think a locksmith or dealer can cut a key by vin number, instead of trying to copy a worn out key, I had all the symptoms of a worn out lock, but a key cut by vin number at the dealer solved my problem, as far as programming the manual should have the details.

Well, he has a good key that works fine. And presumably this was the key that was used by the Lumber Yard to cut the 2nd key. But he ended up at the dealer at some point - maybe because the guy at the lumber yard didn’t know how to re-program for him, didn’t want to bother doing it, or told him he had to go to the dealer to get it programmed. I don’t know. Hate to ask what he paid. Probably make me sick.

I told my brother to bring the damn key back to the Lumber Yard and make them cut another one! That’s why I was asking about the re-programming issue. I think my Dad did try to do that at some point, but they basically told him to get lost.

If you cut a key for a customer and it doesn’t work smoothly, you’ve mis-cut the key - probably because your key-cutting machine needs servicing. Looking at this key, it looks perfectly fine. It’s not like he brought back an obviously damaged key and complained about it not working properly.

I just don’t understand people who work at these places! I’ll be up there for Christmas. I don’t care how long ago the damn key was cut. They’ll be cutting another one as a Christmas gift to my father!

I think you missed the part of making a copy a copy of a worn out key vs getting a key cut by vin number, a vin cut key will be the best you can get, as far as programming i do not know the details, but griping and having another key made from a worn out key by the lumber yard is making the same mistake twice and helps no one.

If you have access to a micrometer, measure all the key dimensions comparing the good key to the sticking key. Thickness, the distance from the base of the key to to the pin landings, pin landing to pin landing in the vertical direction, etc. Look at the new key with a magnifying glass too, see if you notice any burrs. If you find a difference new vs old you might be able to just file the new key a little so it matches the old key. Won’t solve electronic key issues, but seems like it might solve where it gets stuck and you have to jiggle it to get it out.

@ColtHero I am with Mr. Barky here , relax and save your energy . Just go to the dealer and have a good key made and be done with it.

Sometime a newly cut key just needs the sharp edges smoothed with a rotary wire wheel. Keys are cheap, it is the programing that is expensive. Some cars you need 2 good keys to program a good one, if you don’t have 2 good keys, the programing gets MORE expensive.

No. I get it, but my Dad made a copy of a GOOD key. His primary key (on his ring) works fine and has always worked fine. It’s just this 2nd (or 3rd?) key he made from the good key that is the problem.

But maybe if another key gets cut we’ll do what you suggest: by VIN#. How does that work? They just punch in the VIN and the computer cuts the key from an electronic “template”?

I’m not up there (yet), so I can’t look over the key. Maybe it just needs more polishing on the machine, but I doubt it. It’s at least 3 years old now, although it hasn’t been used very much (only when either me or my brother is home visiting the parents, and I’ve rarely used it because I normally drive my own car up).

Thanks for the input!

The key is 3 years old and you expect them to make a new one for free . Get serious . All you have to do is use the gentleman’s good key because he won’t need it is someone else has the car. Problem solved.

Yeah. The key was never cut right to begin with.

And “the gentleman” is my father, the “good key” is HIS key, and he needs that key to drive the car in question - which is his car.

The key that “sticks” in the ignition is a spare key that only gets used very sparingly when my brother comes home to visit once per year (or when I happen to visit without driving my personal vehicle, which has happened about 5 times in almost 23 years now).

But the key is crap and they’re going to cut a new one.

If the next new key also sticks just clean the burs off the blade, that is what causes them to be difficult to insert and remove, it is not unusual.