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Chevy Malibu Key Replacement Cost: What to Expect

Replacing a lost or damaged key for your Chevy Malibu can be a frustrating and expensive experience. The cost of key replacement varies depending on several factors, such as the year of your Malibu, the type of key you need, and where you choose to have the replacement done. In this article, we will provide you with an overview of the Chevy Malibu key replacement cost, so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

The cost of replacing a Chevy Malibu key can range from $75 to $410, depending on various factors. If you need a replacement key for your Malibu, you can either go to a Chevy dealership or hire a locksmith.

The cost of replacement will also depend on the type of key you need. For instance, if your Malibu uses a transponder key, it will be more expensive to replace than a standard key.

We’ll discuss in greater detail as we get deeper into this article!

Average Cost of Chevy Malibu Key Replacements

If you are a Chevy Malibu owner, you must be aware that you have different types of keys for your car based on the model year. The key type plays a part in how much you will spend on key replacement.

Chevy Malibu keys can be categorized into three types:

Traditional Key

This type of key is a basic metal key with no electronic components. It is the simplest and cheapest key to replace.

You can expect to pay anywhere from $125 to $275. Potentially $75 if you go to a locksmith.

Transponder Key

This type of key has a small microchip that communicates with the car’s immobilizer system. If the key is not programmed correctly, the car won’t start. Replacing this type of key is more expensive than a traditional key due to this feature.

Dealerships will typically charge the around $200-$275 for this. It’s harder for locksmith’s to replicate this key due to the chip.

Smart Key

This type of key is also known as a proximity key or push-button start key. It has an electronic chip that communicates with the car’s computer to unlock or start the car. Replacing this type of key is the most expensive.

You can expect anywhere from $250 to $410 for a smart key replacement and they are nearly impossible to get replaced by a locksmith.

Factors Influencing Key Fob Replacement Cost

When it comes to replacing your Chevy Malibu key, several factors can influence the final cost. Here are some of the key factors that can affect the price you pay:

Key Type

The type of key you need to replace is one of the most significant factors that can impact the cost. Chevy Malibu models can use different types of keys, such as traditional keys, basic key fobs, transponder keys, laser cut keys, switchblade keys, and proximity keys.

The more advanced the key, the more expensive it is to replace. For instance, laser cut keys, switchblade keys, and proximity keys can cost up to $800 because of their programming.

Year of Your Chevy Malibu

The year of your Chevy Malibu can also affect the key replacement cost. Newer models may have more advanced key systems that require additional programming, which can increase the price. On the other hand, older models may have simpler key systems that are easier and cheaper to replace.

Where You Get Your Key Changed

Where you choose to replace your Chevy Malibu key can also impact the cost. You can have your key replaced at a Chevy dealership or by a locksmith. Dealerships may charge more for key replacement services, but they can provide you with an exact match to your original key.

In contrast, locksmiths may charge less, but they may not have the same level of expertise or access to the same equipment, particularly when it comes to chips, as dealerships.

Additional Services

Finally, additional services such as key programming or cutting can also add to the overall cost. Some key replacement services may include these services in their pricing, while others may charge extra.

Where To Replace Your Chevy Malibu Key

If you need to replace your Chevy Malibu key, you have a few options. Here are the most common methods of key replacement:

1. Dealership

One option is to go to a Chevy dealership. They will be able to cut and program a new key for you. However, this can be the most expensive option, especially if you have a newer Malibu model.

I recommend visiting a dealership if you have some sort of smart key as they’ll need to reprogram the new key to your specific vehicle ID.

2. Locksmith

Another option is to call a locksmith. They can come to you and cut and program a new key on the spot. This can be a more affordable option than going to the dealership, but make sure to choose a reputable locksmith.

I would advise only going the Locksmith route if you have a traditional key and don’t need reprogramming of microchips.

3. Online Retailer

You can also order a replacement key online from a retailer that specializes in automotive keys. This can be a more convenient option, but make sure to choose a reputable retailer and check that the key is compatible with your Malibu model.

I would view this as a last resort and recommend only going this route if you have a traditional key.

Guide to Reprogramming Your Malibu Key Fob

Next you can follow along this YouTube video to properly reset a push to start Chevy Malibu and reprogram the key yourself.

  1. First you’ll want to grab your original key and the new key you are reprogramming.
  2. Next you’ll want to open the center console and place the key in the slot in the back.
  3. Then you’ll want to take the emergency blade and place it in the door lock, then crank 4 times.
  4. After twisting the key 4 times there should be a light on the dash that says “Ready for Remote”.
  5. Then you’ll want to swap the new key for the old key in the center console and hold the start button on the vehicle.
  6. You’ll see the number increase by 1 on the dash, but hold the ignition for 10-15 seconds to get the car out of learn mode.
  7. Once the dash light turns off, turn the car on and your new key should be fully reset!

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace a key for a 2012 Chevy Malibu?

The cost to replace a key for a 2012 Chevy Malibu can vary depending on the type of key and where you get it changed. On average, you can expect to spend around $75 to $200 for a basic key replacement.

Where can I find a Chevy Malibu key fob replacement near me?

You can find a Chevy Malibu key fob replacement near you by searching for a locksmith or a Chevy dealership in your area. You can also check online for key replacement services. Make sure to compare prices and read reviews before choosing a service.

Can I replace the shell on my 2015 Chevy Malibu key fob?

Yes, you can replace the shell on your 2015 Chevy Malibu key fob. You can purchase a replacement shell online or from a locksmith. However, you will need to transfer the internal components of your old key fob to the new shell.


  • Randy Worner

    My name is Randy Worner and I am the founder of I have been working on cars and trucks for almost 45 years. For the last 36 years I have taught Automotive / Diesel Technology classes for UTI, Snap On Tools, Chrysler, Pepboys, Lone Star College, NAPA and TBC Corporation. I also own a technical writing company known as Supreme Technical Services. It is ASE Gold Seal certified and Blue Seal Certified Author of auto/truck repair information.

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