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Chevrolet Malibu Key Fob Battery Replacement Guide
How to change the battery in the smart key fob remote control for a 9th generation 2016 to 2023 Chevy Malibu.

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2020 Malibu Key Fob
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Back Side Smart Fob
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Button - Left Side
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the ninth generation 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu in changing a weak or dead battery inside the smart (also known as the "intelligent" or "proximity") key fob remote control for the keyless entry and push button start systems.

The 9th generation Malibu was supposed to undergo a "facelift" in 2022 or 2023 and the refreshed vehicle may have continued being produced into the 2024 and 2025 model years but it will now apparently be discontinued after the 2023 model year.

Owners of other General Motors vehicles from Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, GMC and Holden such as the Impala, Corvette, Bolt, Sonic, Spark, Express, Trax, TrailBlazer, Equinox, Traverse, Blazer, Tahoe, Suburban, Colorado, Silverado, Cruze, Volt, Camaro, Encore, Envision, Enclave, Regal, LaCrosse, Canyon, Sierra, Terrain, Acadia, Yukon, Savana, XT4, XT5, XT6, Escalade, CT4, CT5, CT6 and Commodore may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The compatible replacement coin cell (also known as a "button" or "watch" battery) is part number CR2032 which is available from various manufacturers such as Panasonic, Duracell, Energizer and Maxell.

The tools needed to access and replace the key fob battery include a standard flat head screwdriver and possibly also a very small flat head screwdriver such as from a Jeweler's Screwdriver Set.

The first step is to locate the small chrome silver button on the bottom left side of the fob near the red "Panic" button.



 

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Push In Chrome Button
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Slide Out Backup Key
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Ignition Key Removed
Push in the button to release the emergency / backup metal ignition key.

Slide the ignition key straight out of its slot.

Set the key aside in a safe place.

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Ignition Key Empty Slot
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Insert Screwdriver
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Pry Apart Two Halves
Insert the blade of your flat head screwdriver into the slot where the metal ignition key used to reside.

Very gently twist the screwdriver to pry apart the two halves of the fob.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The key fob should pop apart relatively easily.

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Gently Separate Fob
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Old Battery Exposed
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Pry Out Old Battery
You may need to remove and re-insert the blade of the flat head screwdriver in several places to fully separate the front and rear halves of the fob.

Try to avoid scratching the green circuit board or bending the metal electrical contacts on the remote control unit.

Set the top half of the fob aside in a safe place.

Use the small flat head screwdriver from the jeweler's screwdriver set to gently pry out the old battery from its socket.

Make sure you don't bend or break the small plastic retaining clips on the outer edge of the battery holder.

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Old Battery Removed
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Panasonic CR 2032 3V
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Empty Battery Holder
Pull the old battery out of the socket.

The OEM (original equipment manufacturer) battery in this 2020 Malibu LT was a Panasonic CR2032 3 volt coin cell.

If you look closely at the rear cover of the fob, you'll see the instructions printed in the socket that the new CR2032-3V battery should be orientated with the "+" positive side facing down.

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"+" Down Into Socket
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Install New Battery
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Line Up Front Half
Install the new CR2032 battery into the socket with the "-" negative side facing up towards you and the "+" positive side facing down.

Line up the top half of the fob with the rear cover.

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Snap Together Two Halves
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Squeeze To Secure
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Flush At Every Edge
Gently pop together the remote control unit and the rear cover.

Make sure the two halves of the fob are flush together at every edge.

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Slide In Ignition Key
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Key Fob Re-Assembled
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Test New Fob Battery
Slide the metal ignition key straight into its slot.

You should hear or feel the ignition key "click" securely into place.

To test the new battery, stand near your car and press the "Unlock" or "Lock" buttons.

If the new battery is working properly, you should see the parking lights flash and also hear the door locks opening and closing.

(Just changing the battery should not clear the original programming from the factory. You should not have to re-program the key fob.)

Be sure to write down the procedure in your vehicle's service records.

Please check out all of the 2016-2023 GM Chevrolet Malibu DIY Repair & Maintenance Guides.
 

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