I searched everywhere for this. I finally found it on another forum, but the writer said it only applied to 1998 1999 2000 2001 and 2002 Buick Regal models. I just programmed my remotes for a 2003. Here are the full instructions for programming a key fob for anyone who's interested.
I bought my remotes from Remotes 4 You at http://www.shoppalstores.com/remotes4u /. I paid $20 per remote plus $6 for shipping. Shipping took about 5 days. Compared to the $160 the dealer wanted to charge me, it was a steal.
Please note that in step 6, the LOCK position just indicates that you need to leave the key in the ignition.
1) Sit in the drivers seat 2) Remove key from ignition cylinder 3) Close all the doors 4) Press and hold the UNLOCK on the door lock switch 5) While holding the door lock switch in the UNLOCK position, insert and remove the ignition key twice. DO NOT ROTATE THE IGNITION CYLINDER. 6) Insert the ignition key a third time, leaving the key in the ignition cylinder. The ignition MUST remain in the LOCK position for the rest of the procedure. 7) Release the door lock switch. You will hear 3 chimes. This chime feedback indicates the transmitter programming is active. 8) Press and hold the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons on the remote for 12 seconds. You will hear two chimes. This chime feedback indicates the transmitter has been accepted. 9) Repeat step 8 for each additional transmitter 10) Remove ignition key from cylinder to exit programming. 11) Verify functions of remotes.
I just programmed my Regal's remotes and am now looking for a spare ignition key. The dealer that wanted $160 for two remotes wants to charge me up the ass for a spare key. I found a few suppliers online, though. Since many GM cars, including mine, have a chip in the key, I have to do a little extra work to get a spare. The ignition key has a resistor embedded in it. The resistor has one of 15 settings and is read by the ignition switch. GM calls the system VATS, Vehicle Anti-Theft System. Here are the instructions for determining which type of key you'll need.
There are two ways to determine which VATS key you have. Your key can be read using a VATS tester. Most locksmiths have these readers, and don't charge anything to read your key. If you have a volt meter, you can determine your VATS value yourself. Set your meter to 20K Ohms. Touch each lead of the volt meter to each side of the chip in your key. Match the value on your meter to the list below. The value you read may not be exactly one of the values here. Just pick the one that's closest.
This works for any Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GM or Pontiac that uses VATS. If you have a VATS key, you'll see a small black plastic box embedded in your key with a metal contact on either side.
VATS -- Ohms 1 -- 0.402 2 -- 0.523 3 -- 0.681 4 -- 0.887 5 -- 1.130 6 -- 1.470 7 -- 1.870 8 -- 2.370 9 -- 3.010 10 -- 3.740 11 -- 4.750 12 -- 6.040 13 -- 7.500 14 -- 9.530 15 -- 11.801
This is good stuff. Thanks for posting this. Care to share where you came across this information?
A lot of Google searching
I suppose I should have posted the original URL's ...
I found the keyless programming instructions at www.automotiveforums.com, but I can't find that thread again.
I first learned about the VATS stuff from a company that sells a bypass for remote start systems here http://www.drdetailshop.com/gmpellet.htm . After some more searching, I found an eBay seller who listed the instructions for finding the VATS value here http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/VATS-Buick-Regal-2-Keys-1997-2000-2001-2002-2003-2004_W0QQitemZ230030095240QQcmdZViewItem . I'm not sure about whether that eBay seller has a great value, though. At $23 for a key plus $15 for additional keys, I think I'll shop around. $10 for shipping?! For a key?!! I think not.
Good info, but 1 minor correction: the resistor pellet values, as you innumerated them, are in kilo-ohms. For example, the VATS Key #2 is 0.523 KILOohms (523 ohms).
Also, according to GM, a valid resistor pellet should measure within 2% of the resistance value in the chart, though the VATS decoder will function with resistor pellets as far as +/- 5% from nominal value.
In this area most locksmiths charge $25 including cutting for a VATS key: I found that out the hard way when I bought my 1994 Regal. AND, that is assuming you know what the code is. I've seen the key blanks on eBay for as little as $3.00.
Regards, Bill Bowen Sacramento, CA