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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have an ‘03 awd Astro and was given both keys when I bought it (1 for ignition and 1 to lock/unlock) but the only way I can lock/unlock the van is from the rear hatch none of the doors work with the key. I don’t know anything about fixing cars but I’m kinda over the van being in and out of the shop so I’m hoping for some help here. Using the back hatch doesn’t bother me much but would be nice to not have to think about backing to close to a wall. Also opinions on getting a remote would be appreciated :)
 

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Common Sense + Critical Thinking
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An 04 would have 1 single key that works with all of the doors and ignition key. If it's not set up like that then there has been some repairs/replacements and they were lazy or cheap and didn't do it properly. If you are set up for RKE, you can just buy the keyfobs and program them yourself. Otherwise you will have to get the receiver setup as well or go aftermarket.


Also, grab the GM Techline eSI MiniXP OVA edition and virtualbox to run it in, it's the digital factory service manual, has everything about your van in it. See the links in my sig/profile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I also just realized I keep mistaking the year it’s actually ‘03 if that’s makes any difference.
 

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Open your passenger door and there's a sticker with a bunch of numbers.
Those are your RPO codes and tell you how your specific van was built.
If AU0 is on that sticker, you can order a key fob 'remote.'
If AU0 isn't on the sticker, you'd have to spend more and install what Will's talkin about because the van never came with it.

*Oops, Just noticed that yours is a conversion van.
Your RPO codes are prolly pretty basic.
Typically conversion companies bought the cheapest vans with the least options possible.
But then they added their own bells and whistles.
I'd bet that you have the stuff for a remote lock/unlock installed, even if it doesn't say AU0 on your RPO sticker.
But if it doesn't say AU0 in RPOs, you may or may not need a special key FOB to jive with whatever was installed in your van.

I received 3 GM keys with my 04, 2 with a large head and one smaller.
The smaller key looks like what'd only open a trunk on other makes and models.
Even that 'trunk' looking key starts my van and opens all locks.
All my keys start their van and open all their locks.
Your rear hatch (or it's lock) may have been replaced from a junkyard and uses a different key.
Your ignition switch may have been replaced and uses a different key.
Having BOTH of those things replaced on your van isn't very likely but could happen.

You could always use the VIN # from your van to have a new key made.
There are threads about that and it's cheaper than you'd think it'd be.
Even if both the ignition & the rear hatch lock aren't original, a key cut from your VIN # will open the other door locks if they're originals.

I was told my rear doors wouldn't open with the key when I bought both of my vans.
That made me think something had been swapped on the 1st van, but it just needed serious cleaning.
Then 2nd van was a no-brainer and just needed cleaning.
I'd try cleaning out your locks before spending any money.

I sprayed WD-40, Parts Blaster and what not in their key holes.
I never tried to force the key to turn but would wiggle it to see what it'd do.
Seemed hopeless the 1st try, key didn't turn.
2nd or 3rd spray, with weeks in between, it turned a tiny bit.
Even though it barely moved, I wiggled it back and forth.
Pull key out & wipe gunk off it and onto a rag, repeat.
Wiggle, wipe, repeat 5-6 times.
Spray more and come back a week later, wiggle, wipe & repeat.
There's great satisfaction when it all of a sudden starts turning in the end.

Once the key turned freely and would pull out clean - I sprayed white lithium grease in the hole.
Also sprayed WLG on the pivoting parts inside the doors at that point.
Both of my van's rear doors went from 'won't open with key' to being smooth as silk.
I can't remember if WLG is a preferred lube for locks, but I got the 'wipe key off on a rag' from chevymaher.
It may seem silly but wiping off the key really pulls crud out.

Does either key wiggle in the locks at all?
Or do they not even budge?
You can open the doors from the inside right?
What's stuff sound like and feel like?
* I just noticed that you never actually said that you open, lock or unlock the rear hatch with a key.
Are you simply not locking the rear hatch or does one of the keys work for it?
 

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are you sure there has not been any body work done? Is it possible they changed locks or doors due to damage and didn't retain the correct key/locks

if you can do a little more research and tell us what the exact symptoms are.

ie: can you turn the locks in all the doors but they don't do anything?

All the locks turn but only the rear lock does anything. None of the locks turn with either key except for the rear? don't forget the slider door. same questions.

Do you have power locks?

if you do have power locks and if you click the lock unlock button on the door, does it lock and unlock the doors?

How about the manual lock lever? Does that work on each individual door?

Don't forget the slider door. same questions.

A photo of the RPO codes would help to tell what the build was like. any history on the life of the vehicle?

DC
 

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05 Astro AWD
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No difference. All Astro/Safari vans after ‘94 came with only 1 key for ignition and doors.

If you got 2 different keys for yours, someone changed the ignition lock cylinder and didn’t have it re-keyed to match the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Open your passenger door and there's a sticker with a bunch of numbers.
Those are your RPO codes and tell you how your specific van was built.
If AU0 is on that sticker, you can order a key fob 'remote.'
If AU0 isn't on the sticker, you'd have to spend more and install what Will's talkin about because the van never came with it.

*Oops, Just noticed that yours is a conversion van.
Your RPO codes are prolly pretty basic.
Typically conversion companies bought the cheapest vans with the least options possible.
But then they added their own bells and whistles.
I'd bet that you have the stuff for a remote lock/unlock installed, even if it doesn't say AU0 on your RPO sticker.
But if it doesn't say AU0 in RPOs, you may or may not need a special key FOB to jive with whatever was installed in your van.

I received 3 GM keys with my 04, 2 with a large head and one smaller.
The smaller key looks like what'd only open a trunk on other makes and models.
Even that 'trunk' looking key starts my van and opens all locks.
All my keys start their van and open all their locks.
Your rear hatch (or it's lock) may have been replaced from a junkyard and uses a different key.
Your ignition switch may have been replaced and uses a different key.
Having BOTH of those things replaced on your van isn't very likely but could happen.

You could always use the VIN # from your van to have a new key made.
There are threads about that and it's cheaper than you'd think it'd be.
Even if both the ignition & the rear hatch lock aren't original, a key cut from your VIN # will open the other door locks if they're originals.

I was told my rear doors wouldn't open with the key when I bought both of my vans.
That made me think something had been swapped on the 1st van, but it just needed serious cleaning.
Then 2nd van was a no-brainer and just needed cleaning.
I'd try cleaning out your locks before spending any money.

I sprayed WD-40, Parts Blaster and what not in their key holes.
I never tried to force the key to turn but would wiggle it to see what it'd do.
Seemed hopeless the 1st try, key didn't turn.
2nd or 3rd spray, with weeks in between, it turned a tiny bit.
Even though it barely moved, I wiggled it back and forth.
Pull key out & wipe gunk off it and onto a rag, repeat.
Wiggle, wipe, repeat 5-6 times.
Spray more and come back a week later, wiggle, wipe & repeat.
There's great satisfaction when it all of a sudden starts turning in the end.

Once the key turned freely and would pull out clean - I sprayed white lithium grease in the hole.
Also sprayed WLG on the pivoting parts inside the doors at that point.
Both of my van's rear doors went from 'won't open with key' to being smooth as silk.
I can't remember if WLG is a preferred lube for locks, but I got the 'wipe key off on a rag' from chevymaher.
It may seem silly but wiping off the key really pulls crud out.

Does either key wiggle in the locks at all?
Or do they not even budge?
You can open the doors from the inside right?
What's stuff sound like and feel like?
* I just noticed that you never actually said that you open, lock or unlock the rear hatch with a key.
Are you simply not locking the rear hatch or does one of the keys work for it?
Thanks! I’ll take a look at the sticker soon and look for the threads you mentioned. I’ll try cleaning as well they key does seem to move a little. And as for the rear hatch thing I use one of the keys on the rear hatch and it locks/unlocks all the doors on the van.
 

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If nothing's broken, locks work fine with controls from inside the van and you've got the 'AU0' on the RPO sticker, a remote / key FOB on eBay is only $8.99
It's Koblear1XT and may or may not be overkill to look for 15043458 in the product's listing.
I've no doubt you have (some kind of) a remote system installed, conversion's whole sales pitch was luxury.

Type 'AU0' in our forum's search box for good results.
Or just search youtube for a video about Programming an Astro key FOB.
Follow the directions for programming a FOB, if your van reacts to it - then you can go ahead and order a FOB.
There's no ill effect to following the FOB programming directions if you don't yet have a FOB.

You may still have an original key, or a copy.
They get old & wear down (usually would effect ignition switch way before door locks), a copy of a copy is worse.
Dealer can search your VIN to make a key (one of the few times you'd go to a dealership.)
Some dealers charged too much in the past, now days $25ish is fair to get your key.
Definitely not the kind of thing where you let them do it before asking the price (call and ask, shop around.)
They may charge one fee for looking up the code and another X amount per key made.
Technically you only need the code from them and could take that code anywhere else equipped to use it.
Write that code down somewhere so you never have to pay for it again.
One guy suggested writing it under your van in case you get locked out.

I'm not a 100% sure what you've got going on but figured this info may help you or someone else.
Get back to us and we'll work out your locks no matter what's wrong with them.
 

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Does sound like someone has replaced the ignition switch with a JY one. I would go to dealer and get new key made from VIN If it works in the doors then someone replaced switch in steering column.
I always use lock ease it's a black liquid stuff in spray can with plastic straw attached to get down in the tumblers. Any auto parts store sells lock ease. Also lock ease will keep moisture out and that way it won't freeze.
I took my Silverado to dealer and he stuck this thing in the door and dialed in the numbers after he looked up to make sure of the cut. My key was worn out and some times it didn't work the new key hasn't failed yet after 5 years and 40,000 miles later.
 
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