The C5 Corvette was produced by General Motors from 1997 to 2004 and came with the convenience of keyless entry via a key fob/transmitter. Throughout the progression of the C5 generation, the key fob changed design. The first design works with 1997 to 2000 Corvette models, while the second design works with 2001 to 2004 models. Though the design changed, the programming procedure remained consistent. In this article we will introduce you to the parts behind the C5 key fob programming system and help you better understand the programming process. If at any time you get stuck or need help, visit the Request Support section and a Corvette Salvage representative will provide assistance.
Unmasked: Parts Behind the C5 Programming System
When programming a key fob to a C5 Corvette the following parts of the car work together to make the programming possible:
- Driver Information Center (DIC) – The DIC is used to read feedback from the Corvette during the programming procedure. Buttons on the DIC are also used to initiate and interact with the car while in programming mode.
- Key Fob/Transmitter – The key fob is used to lock and unlock the car. Each fob transmits a unique code which changes every five seconds. A C5 Corvette can have up to three fobs programmed to it.
- Remote Function Actuation (RFA) Module – This module is the brain behind the key fob programming system. It receives signals from the key fob/transmitter and retains the current access codes which are synced to existing fobs. After programming, the RFA module will update every five seconds to match the code programmed in the key fob.
Pre-Warning & Considerations
The RFA module will cancel the programming sequence if:
- The programming mode is excited through the DIC.
- The ignition is turned off.
- Three transmitters have been programmed to the car.
- The RFA system has been in program mode for more than 2 minutes and no key fobs/transmitters have been programmed.
A key fob/transmitter may not communicate and/or become out of sync if:
- The key fob/transmitter battery is disconnected.
- The Corvette battery is disconnected.
- The key fob/transmitter and Corvette are separated for more than 5 weeks.
- The RFA module is disconnected from the car.
C5 Used Key Fob Transmitter 1997-2004$45.00 – $55.00
C5 Used Remote Function Actuation (RFA) Module 1997-2004$200.00 – $245.00
- Turn the ignition switch to the RUN position.
- Turn the radio radio OFF.
- Press the RESET button on the Driver Information Center (DIC) to clear any Instrument Panel Cluster (IPC) warning messages.
- Press the OPTIONS button on DIC until the IPC display is blank.
- Press and hold the RESET button for THREE seconds.
- Next, press the OPTIONS button and hold it until the ‘FOB TRAINING’ message is displayed.
- At this point, the programming system is active. When ready to begin programming the key fob, press the RESET button.
- Once the RESET button has been pressed, the DIC will display the ‘HOLD LK + UNLK 1ST FOB’ message. On the un-programmed key fob, simultaneously (at the same time) press and hold the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons for 12 to 13 seconds. The IPC will indicate when the transmitter has been programmed to the car by displaying the ‘FOB LEARNED’ message. Repeat this step for each additional key fob/transmitter. (Up to three key fobs can be programmed.)
NOTE: If a programmed key fob/transmitter quits communicating, the codes may be out of sync. If you have an extra programmed key fob, bring it within range of the car and press the LOCK and UNLOCK buttons simultaneously for 6 seconds. The horn will beep once, signaling all the transmitters are in sync again.