GMC Sierra Remote Start Not Working (Explained)

The GMC Sierra remote start feature is one of the truck’s components that provide comfort, making it popular in the automobile world.

However, the remote key system has many functions, and it can be a hassle if the remote start system suddenly stops working. 

Sometimes, it signals that something is wrong with just the remote start system.

Other times, it could be a signal of a more significant issue. But some problems are more likely than others.

Checking the engine light is often an excellent way to start when there are problems with the remote start feature. However, this is just one of the common possible issues. Transponder issues can also be a reason for malfunction. Again, a comprehensive discussion can help identify the potential issues.

Why will my GMC Remote Start Feature not Work?

The remote start system of your GMC Sierra works thanks to several components.

Understanding how the system works helps a driver understand the likely issues and how to prevent them.

The key fob uses a transmitter, a signal that allows the car to recognize this unique key. 

The car, in turn, uses a responder to identify the command and respond accordingly to the input.

The two signals and their sources make up the transponder system. In addition, the system connects to the vehicle’s security and safety system.

Hence, security issues can also affect the optimal functioning of the car. 

Here are some significant issues that can stop the remote start system and possible solutions.

#1. Check Engine Light Warning

If the check engine light of your truck is on, the remote key starter won’t work. The check engine light helps detect issues with the car.

Some of these issues need immediate attention, while others require a drive-in to a dealer.

But as long as the engine light is on, the remote key start would not work. Does Honda Civic Have A Remote Start?


Sometimes, the check engine light indicator might be on due to trivial issues.

One common reason is the issue of cooling due to overheating in the engine or a reduction in oil pressure.

A simple cool before using the car or changing the oil can turn off the check engine light. 

In other instances, the check engine light could result from serious issues. One common reason is the faulty oxygen sensor in the fuel unit.

Cases like this might require a comprehensive check and proper diagnosis.

#2. Faulty Key Fob

The remote start feature depends on the signal system of a key fob.

This signal is the transponder system that enables the initiation of commands from the key. If the transponder is faulty, the remote key starter will not work. 

When the transponder is not working, all the buttons on the key fob will fail to function.

This error will not just affect the remote start button but also the lock button.

When this happens, you know the key’s whole transmitter and responder system is faulty. 


Correcting errors regarding the transponder requires experts’ attention. This error might be due to physical injury to the key leading to damage to the chip.

The local dealer will have to replace the chip and configure the key to function with the new chip. 

#3. Car Security System

The GMC vehicle security system can stop the remote key system from functioning when you activate the function.

In addition, the system has specific situations where it prevents using any remote process. An open hood is one such situation.

When someone is working under the hood, the remote key system does not function.

However, if the hood is closed and the hood pin switch is active, there could be a problem with the hood lock.

Another situation is when the car transmission is not in “Park,” the system will not work


The first is to open the hood and close it again. This step might help latch the hood properly and eliminate such errors.

However, the switch will remain active if the hood pin breaks or disconnects from the hood.

You can replace the hook in such instances by getting a new one from any store. 

The hood pin switch might also be faulty and refuse to come off when the door latch works fine.

But, again, you can drive to a local dealer to repair the switch and reconnect the system properly. 

If the car is neutral, you should change it to park to use the system. 

#4. Dead Battery

The key fob uses a CR2032 3V battery to power the transponder chip. If this battery is dead, the remote start feature stops working.

Alternatively, it might malfunction and be irregular in initiating the commands.


Replacing the key fob battery is a simple process. It will restore the optimal functionality of your remote start button.

Here are the steps to replacing the battery.

  • Get a new CR2032 3V battery from any trusted electronic store. 
  • Push the small button at the edge of the fob and remove the emergency key
  • Use the key to split open the fob and expose the battery area
  • Use a pin or screwdriver to remove the battery
  • Insert a new battery into the space with the positive side facing down.
  • Put the two pieces of the fob back together and insert the emergency key.

There it is, the simple process of replacing the key fob battery. This process should get the system up and running again. 

#5. Improper Use of Key Fob

If the car security system detects improper use of your remote start GMC system, the system stops functioning.

Improper use of the vehicle includes repeated commands. The distance between the key fob and the car can also be a reason for the failure. 


Learning how to use the remote start key feature is essential. Here is how to turn on the system for the GMC remote start feature. 

  • Point the key fob to the car
  • Unlock the car by pressing the padlock button and release it immediately
  • Press and hold the remote start button directly after pressing the lock button. The button looks like a circular arrow.
  • Hold for four seconds if you are not directly in front of the vehicle. 

It is also vital that you are close to the vehicle before using the remote key starter.

Repeatedly pressing the button will also cause the system to malfunction. 

How do you Reset the Remote Start on a GMC Sierra?

You must reset the remote start feature after changing the chip due to injury or in case of battery change.

The process is simple and does not require much expertise. How to Reset Using the Key Fob

  • Unlock the car using the emergency key and get into the driver seat with all the key fobs. 
  • Next is to insert the key and turn it to the “on” position. Hold the padlock button for a few seconds when the key is in this state. 
  • Turn off the ignition using the key. And repeat the entire process four times. 
  • Step out and lock the door, then try the remote starter feature. 

The process will reset the key fob and start working correctly again.


The GMC remote start system can help start your car and keep the engine running for some minutes before driving.

This feature makes it easy to handle the vehicle. However, the method may not work for several reasons, most of which you can quickly solve.

So get the remote start system working again and enjoy the comforts that GMC Sierra has to offer.

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