Mile High Locksmith® is a full service locksmith company that has been in existence for many years. And one of our areas of expertise is automotive locksmithing. Honesty as well as a commitment to being genuinely helpful in as many ways as possible is a hallmark of the locksmith industry and we take this opportunity to be helpful to owners of the Chevy Malibu. The first Chevy Malibu appeared in 1964 and is still in production today. As most Malibu owners already know, there have been A LOT of changes to the car in those 54 years! Of course, some of the many changes in the Malibu have been in the car’s ignition, key/key fob and security systems. We will address those systems in this article and offer you guidance on how to have Chevy Malibu key made.
1964 to 1978 Chevy Malibu simple metal key
In earlier days the key for the Malibu was a simple metal, mechanical key but with the introduction of the transponder key and the Chevy Malibu key fob the key/ignition system has become considerably more complex and it behooves the Malibu owner to be familiar with this. For this purpose we will assume that we are not talking about the “Collector” Malibu’s from the pre-1978 period. So the following will be a detail of types of Malibu keys from 1978 onward and we will walk you through the steps for Malibu key replacement, how to program Chevy key with original key and how to program Chevy key without original key. Please note the “programming” will get a little elaborate and we want to make sure that you understand the process.
Chevy Malibu Key Replacement by the year
For Malibu’s built in 1978, 1979, 1980,1981, 1982,1983,1984, 1997, 1998, 1999,2000,2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 the key will be a straightforward mechanical key. These keys have no electronic component and require no programming. These will be the simplest and least expensive keys for the owners to manage and, when necessary, to replace.
For Malibu’s built in 2006, 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011,2012, and 2013 there will still be a mechanical key but these keys will have an electronic “Chip” built into them that will dictate that a specific key must communicate only with a specific car. This type of key is referred to as a“transponder key” and it is a nice anti-theft feature but the key must be programmed to the car or else the car will not start. Don’t worry, we’ll take you through that process (see below) and make it clear for you whether your skills will allow you to perform the work or if it will be better for you to consult a professional.
For Malibu’s built in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 you are most likely to have a key fob. You might think of the key fob system as a “keyless ignition”. The programming of these key fobs is generally a process best left to the professionals either at a GM dealershipor a professionallocksmith.
Chevy Malibu Key replacement, Key blank reference number
The following is a very valuable reference tool for Malibu owners: to insure that you have the correct mechanical key, transponder key or key fob you will need this information. You probably know that in the case of a mechanical key an appropriate “key blank” is required to produce, or “cut” the key that you need. Similarly, an appropriate “blank” is required for the transponder keys and even for the fob, though for the fob it’s not actually a mechanical blank but it’s still called a “fob”. Below are you “Key Blank” reference numbers (KBR#).
1978-KBR#: Ignition GM J, Door GM K
1979-KBR#: Ignition GM A, Door GM B
1980-KBR#: Ignition GM C, Door GM D
1981-KBR#: Ignition GM E, Door GM H
1982-KBR#: Ignition GM J, Door GM K
1983 & 1984- KBR#: Ignition GM A, Door GM B
1997 to 2005- KBR#: B91-P (blank creates key for both ignition & door)
2006 to 2013- KBR# B111-PT (transponder, chip key for both ignition & door)
2014 to 2018- KBR: Flip Key Fob
How can I make a new key for Chevy Malibu?
There are two principal was ways to get replacement Chevy Malibu keys made and that key replacement depends on the year that your Malibu was built.
You can contact your local GM dealership and ask them to make the replacement for you. But keep in mind that you’ll have to have your car towed to the dealership and you’ll have to provide the dealership with proof of ownership (likely the title) and a picture i.d.
Or you can contact a reputable local mobile locksmith and have them come to your vehicle and make you a new key right on the spot where you and your vehicle are.
Chevy Malibu key replacement cost
Of course, these replacements can be costly. Let’s just make some general comparisons in that regard. To get a mechanical key made at the dealership the dealer will usually charge about $20.00 whereas the mobile locksmith will charge about $100.00 because he must charge you the mobile fee. But consider that you will have to have your Malibu towed to the dealership and the typical charge for a 5-7 mile tow is $30.00 to $100.00 and the compared expenses between a mobile locksmith and a dealership start to flatten out pretty quickly. Conversely, for the transponder key the mobile locksmith will usually charge about $150.00 where the dealer will charge about $300.00 and then there is still the cost of the tow added to that. And again, for a key fob the locksmith will charge about $180.00 to $300.00 while the dealer will charge about $400.00 to $500.00 and there’s still the added cost of the tow on top of that. So keep all of this in mind when to take your decision on which way to go.
But there is sometimes another option- saving some money by doing the work yourself!
There are two ways to save some money on your Chevy Malibu key replacement cost by going DIY.
Finding your key code yourself and having your key made by a professional locksmith (the better choice) or at a key making kiosk in a hardware store or mall.
Programming your Malibu transponder key yourself.
Chevy Malibu key code location
To start saving money on your Chevrolet Malibu key replacement cost, dealer replacement fees, vehicle tows and even locksmiths you must first find the key code for your Malibu that will give you the correct key cut.
For the 1978 to 2002 Malibu’s the key code will be stamped on the ignition switch. Once you have that code you will be able to contact a key maker or locksmith (your better choice) and have him cut you a new key by using that code. He will need the year of your Malibu to do this and you will have saved money by not summoning the mobile locksmith.
For the 2003 to 2005 Malibu there is about a 50/50 chance that you will find the key code on the ignition switch. If you don’t find it there you’re going to have to call in an expert.
For 2006 to 2018 Malibu’s your essentially out of luck because there is no key code information anywhere on the vehicle at all. For those Malibu’s the dealership or locksmith will have to use your car’s VIN number to generate the key fob and that’s going to be more costly.
Program Chevy Malibu key
Can you program a Chevy Malibu key yourself? The short answer is “Yes” if you are dealing with one of the transponder keys. The following is only applicable to transponder keys and you need to know what you’re doing so let us help you out there. It’s fairly easy to program a transponder key to the Malibu as a master key you’ve lost both your main key and your spare and it’s easier still to copy a key program if you do have a working key.
In the event that you have no keys at all to the Malibu you’ll have to program a new master key, which will erase the old keys so if you find the lost keys please understand that they won’t work after you program the new “master”. Before you initiate the process of programming the new master key make sure that your car battery is 100% charged and then follow the steps below. Remember, the following procedures apply ONLY to the transponder key systems.
For a new master key:
Once you have found your key code number and have had a new transponder key cut insert that key into your ignition and place the key in the “On” position BUT DO NOT START THE CAR. You are in the process of programming the key, not running the Malibu. Using a timer or watch leave the key in the “On” position for 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the “Theft Warning Light” on the dashboard as it will be on during these 10 minutes.
When the theft light goes out turn the ignition off. Now turn it back on (the theft light will come back on) and repeat the 10 minute “Key In The “On” Position” procedure. When the theft light goes out, once again, turn the ignition off.
Then, one more time, repeat the steps above so that a total of 30 minutes have passed in the programming procedure. When the theft light turns off the third time your new master key should be programmed.
Copy a new key copy from an existing key:
Insert a PROGRAMMED key into the ignition and turn the ignition to the “on” position without actually starting the car.
Count slowly to 10 or 15.
Turn the ignition to the “off” position and withdraw the programmed key.
Insert a new, correctly coded key that you want programmed to the car and turn the ignition to the “on” position without starting the car. The theft light on the dashboard will light up.
Wait at least 5 seconds and the theft light should go off. When it does turn the ignition to the “off” position. The new key should be programmed to your Malibu at this time.
We at Mile High Locksmith® hope that this article has been practical for you and has provided you with useful information. One thing that we would recommend to the reader after all that has been said here is that, as you are trouble shooting your own key and ignition problems, if you reach the point where you sense that you have gotten beyond your level of competence be sure and get in touch with a professional at the dealership or at a mobile locksmith. That’s the wise way to handle this trouble shooting on your own.
Watch for future articles on automotive key and ignition systems from Mile high Locksmith®. And we hope that you keep yourself and your family safe and your belongings secure.
Thank you for choosing Mile High Locksmith®. We provide FREE on-site estimates, no service call or any other fees will apply until the work is done. Our company will send you a highly professional locksmith with full knowledge of everything connected to a lock or key, their service van will have all the equipment that a locksmith store would have which will allow them to do any job necessary.