Remote Keyless Entry Operational Characteristics

Models: 1997-2008 All Passenger Cars with Remote Keyless Entry

The following information regarding Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) operation may be given to customers as needed.

The General Motors RKE systems operate on high frequency radio signals. Therefore, they may be subject to radio signal interference which will affect RKE operation. Some of the typical conditions which result in reduced RKE transmitter operation are listed below.

Important: To prevent battery drain, RKE transmitter will lock up if any button or buttons are depressed longer than 30 seconds. The transmitter will unlock if another button is depressed.
While programming the transmitter in the relearn mode, use the J 43241 tester, to confirm that the signals are being transmitted to the RCDLR. If the RKE locks up during the programming, depress another button to unlock the RKE.

Always refer to SI for latest diagnostic information

If on the second press of the unlock button, all doors are not unlocked, it may be due to the time delay needed by the system to recognize the second press of the unlock button. In order to unlock all doors, press the unlock button once, pause 1-2 seconds and press the unlock button the second time.

Important: There needs to be a pause between button presses so that the receiver can properly process the signal from the transmitter.

For many 2006 and later car lines, the trunk release button requires a press and hold before the trunk lid will release.

Line of sight. The transmitter signal may be obstructed by obstacles; another vehicle, building or other obstructions in the line of sight.

Proximity to radio towers, airports, police and fire towers.

The presence of fluorescent lighting.

Installation of some aftermarket accessories have been known to affect the RKE performance as well.

- Some brands of radar detectors, CB radios, walkie talkies, mobile radios, cell phone chargers and cell phones (especially 3-watt bag phones which are placed on the floor of the vehicle) have jammed the radio frequencies of the RKE system.

- Remember, these devices do not have to be in the customer's vehicle. They may be in another vehicle which is in close proximity. However, if the customer has one of these devices in their vehicle and if the RKE system works with these aftermarket devices unplugged, refer the customer to the aftermarket supplier. The aftermarket device may not meet the requirements of the FCC Code.

If the customer comments that the remote transmitter fails to operate, press each button on the transmitter one at a time while observing the vehicle systems.

If only the fuel door (Cadillac), or panic button (all other vehicles) works, or the transmitter fails to operated, re-synchronize the system, following the transmitter synchronization procedure found in the Keyless Entry sub-section of Body & Accessories in the Service Manual.
If the RKE system is auto-synchronized, reprogram the transmitter following the procedures in the Keyless Entry sub-section of SI.


Important: Re-synchronization must be performed if the following conditions exist:

- The batteries of the keyless entry transmitter have been replaced.

- A keyless entry transmitter is malfunctioning.

If all of the transmitter buttons fail to function, check the battery and transmitter using tester J 43241. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 83-90-12.

If the transmitter passes the test, program the RKE system following the procedures in the Keyless Entry sub-section of Body & Accessories in the Service Manual.

Important: Remember when programming the system, all transmitters for the vehicle must be present for the programming to be successful.

On many 2006 vehicle lines, RKE transmitter commands can be viewed using a scan tool (under RCDLR, Data Displays).

If the transmitter fails the test with the tester J 43241, replace the batteries and retest the transmitter using the tester J 43241. If the transmitter still fails the test, replace the transmitter.


The battery is considered a consumable battery and is covered for the first 12 months only. Refer to "Maintenance" in the In-Vehicle Warranty Booklet.
Battery life is determined by the number of times a pad on the transmitter has been used, not by time or mileage and as such, battery replacement would be considered owner maintenance (i.e. batteries in a flash light, engine oil changes).

Transmitter replacement when all buttons work, using the tester J 43241, as outlined in Corporate Bulletin Number 83-90-12.

Personalization programming through the DIC or Tech 2.

Lost/replacement transmitter reprogramming.

Used car transmitter replacement programming.

Transmitter damage due to misuse, such as any liquid spilled on/in the transmitter or damage from animals chewing on the transmitter, etc.

Broken transmitter cases where the key ring attaches to the case. If the case is broken in this area, it is due to mounting the transmitter direct to the key ring without the protection of the small ring.

The small ring acts like a universal joint/flex joint and helps protect the transmitter from this type of damage. Refer to Corporate Bulletin Number 03-08-52-003 for EXCEPTIONS to this rule.

Garage door opener programming.

Team ZR-1
True Custom Performance Tuning