Getting into Your Chevrolet
Retrieving the mechanical key
GM makes three key fob (remote control or ‘clicker’) styles, and Chevrolet uses them all. To get in the vehicle when the key fob battery is dead, a mechanical key will have to retrieved from the fob and used to unlock the car.
For Style 1, press the thin button near the bottom of the transmitter (remote control or ‘clicker’) used to remove the mechanical key. Do not pull the mechanical key out without pressing the button.
In Style 2, a flip key, shown to the left, press the unmarked chrome button to extend the mechanical key. It remains attached to the key fob. Use the mechanical key to unlock the driver’s door.
The Style 3 key fob is similar to Style 1, in that the mechanical key is removed from the fob for use getting into the vehicle. However, it is similar in appearance to Style 2. To remove the mechanical key, press the button on the side of the transmitter near the key ring, as shown, and pull the key out.
If a key hole is visible at the back of the driver’s door handle, simply insert the mechanical and turn, and you’re in.
Beginning with the 6th generation Corvette introduced in 2005 and adding the Cadillac CTS and ELR Coupes, no external door handle, and thus no backup entrance option, is obvious. Then in the 2013, the Chevrolet Impala and followed by the Malibu, Cruse, Camaro and Volt in 2017, the key hole was hidden. Sadly, more and more General Motors products will likely feature this unnecessary change going forward.
Many Chevrolet models hide the key holes under a cap at the back of the driver’s door. They include the Impala, Tahoe, Suburban, Malibu, Cruse, Camaro, and Volt. To remove the cap, pull the door handle out to the open position. Insert the key into the slot on the bottom of the cap (3, right).
Push it as far upwards as possible and hold upward pressure. Then pry outward. And yes, you WILL feel like you are prying off a piece of your car! Move the cap rearward revealing the key cylinder. Now the mechanical key can be used in the cylinder. Look for a video here to help.
To replace the cap, insert the two tabs at the back of the cap between the black seal and the metal base. Pull the door handle out to the door open position and move the cap forward and press to snap it into place. You can then release the door handle.
Replacing it is a simple matter of reversing the removal process and simpler than the process needed for the old style.
Remember, getting IN the car is most important. If you have difficulty replacing the cap, don’t. Let your dealer do it when you get a new battery for your Key FOB!
Finally the Corvette (C6 and C7) has flush door handles (left image) with no key holes at all. They have a very different trick up their sleeves. You must use the mechanical key to open the trunk. The key hole is under the lip of the trunk lid facing the ground.
Once the trunk is open, you will find a release handle. It is along the left wall of the trunk in the Corvette (right).
Pull this release lever and the driver’s door will unlock, unlatch and open slightly and you’ll be in!
We have videos for the coupes here.
Related: Getting Out!