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Boxer6

BMW key fob issue

A work colleague (female, not that it matters!!) has a 2003 3-er coupe (E46? E36?) for which the fob is acting up; i.e. only intermittent locking/unlocking, range is very small etc.

A quick google suggests that for these keys (3-button, lozenge-shaped, as also used in E39's apparently, amongst others) the rechargeable battrey starts to die after 6 or 7 years, and needs to be replaced at a BMW dealer. One site also reckons such may be free, depending on the model. (I can't see that happening, tbh, but who knows).

Big problem seems to be regarding radio synch with the car being lost if you take more than 20 seconds to change the battery over; hence the advice to take it to a Stealer I suppose!

Anyone got any other bright ideas?

(Not a huge issue at present, as it's currently stuck outside her house!!   )
Big Blue

Use the key to lock and unlock the doors. It does the same function.
the other ct

Some dealers will only charge a small amount but it is very easy to replace the battery and code the key.

Assuming it looks like this  http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-UNCUT-R...rParts_SM&hash=item4aa5ffae7a

This is all they need to do http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24447
BeN

Big Blue wrote:
Use the key to lock and unlock the doors. It does the same function.


+1

The Corolla's alarm system packed up a while ago. We use the key now.
gonnabuildabuggy

the other ct wrote:
Some dealers will only charge a small amount but it is very easy to replace the battery and code the key.

Assuming it looks like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-UNCUT-R...rParts_SM&hash=item4aa5ffae7a

This is all they need to do http://forum.bmw5.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=24447


Mine supposedly needs swapping quickly but not had a problem, even putting batteries into old fobs where battery died years ago.
Big Blue

I must say I thought the idea was to change the battery and then use the mechanical key to lock / unlock the door to reprogramme the electronic key to the arming of the system.
DaveGibson

The fob for my Rover 400 / 200s used to have the same need for a quick battery change but the IS has no such restriction.

It's not rechargeable so the battery has to be replaced every one-and-a-halt to two years, even though battery change is only specified as a two-year service item. With the last IS, it ran out of puff after eighteen months and I got a replacement battery for about 3. I later got five, over t'interweb' for 50p each and replaced the battery in the second fob. Not then realising it was a service item, when the car went in for its second service, I said nothing and they automatically changed the new battery and charged me 8 + VAT for the privilege.
Rodge

The key is charged when it's put into the ignition switch.
I've never had to change mine, the car is 9 years old this month and I've had it for 5 of those.
The spare key will work to open or close the car as well as driving it without any problems.
The BMW manual for the E46 states that if the key isn't working properly and isn't retaining a charge after long periods of time, take the car for a long drive and let the key battery charge correctly.
Of course, the battery (if it has one) may just be shot and need replacing, but she should have 4 keys for the car, 2 remote lozenge keys, a normal one with no remote and the one time plastic key for use in emergencies.

There's good info on http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/in...unlock_on_your_key_not_working.3F It's a septic website but is good for UK models too.

Remote lock/unlock on your key not working?
Try re-initializing your key:
Get in and close all doors.
Turn on the ignition and turn off quickly. (No more than 5 seconds) to start the process. Next action must take place within 30 seconds.
Remove the 1st key.
Hold the key up near your left shoulder (this is so it is closer to the remote reciever antenna - someone else suggested this).
Hold down the unlock button (which is button 1 on my key) and press the lock button 3 times (center button on my key). Release the unlock button and the doors lock which confirms the operation.
Quickly repeat steps 4 & 5 for key #2 etc.
If it does not work, try doing the keys in opposite order. Key 2 then key1, vs 1 then 2.
Remember to alternate your keys from time to time so that you keep the batteries in both charged. Some have found success with placing the key into a rechargeable toothbrush charger overnight as well.
Official documentation on key initialization can also be viewed at: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/...achmentid=171170&d=1231280426

Find more information at http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=481585
Boxer6

Digital Underpants wrote:
The key is charged when it's put into the ignition switch.
I've never had to change mine, the car is 9 years old this month and I've had it for 5 of those.
The spare key will work to open or close the car as well as driving it without any problems.
The BMW manual for the E46 states that if the key isn't working properly and isn't retaining a charge after long periods of time, take the car for a long drive and let the key battery charge correctly.
Of course, the battery (if it has one) may just be shot and need replacing, but she should have 4 keys for the car, 2 remote lozenge keys, a normal one with no remote and the one time plastic key for use in emergencies.

There's good info on http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/in...unlock_on_your_key_not_working.3F It's a septic website but is good for UK models too.

Remote lock/unlock on your key not working?
Try re-initializing your key:
Get in and close all doors.
Turn on the ignition and turn off quickly. (No more than 5 seconds) to start the process. Next action must take place within 30 seconds.
Remove the 1st key.
Hold the key up near your left shoulder (this is so it is closer to the remote reciever antenna - someone else suggested this).
Hold down the unlock button (which is button 1 on my key) and press the lock button 3 times (center button on my key). Release the unlock button and the doors lock which confirms the operation.
Quickly repeat steps 4 & 5 for key #2 etc.
If it does not work, try doing the keys in opposite order. Key 2 then key1, vs 1 then 2.
Remember to alternate your keys from time to time so that you keep the batteries in both charged. Some have found success with placing the key into a rechargeable toothbrush charger overnight as well.
Official documentation on key initialization can also be viewed at: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/...achmentid=171170&d=1231280426

Find more information at http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=481585


Thanks Rodge. I'd found the bimmerfest site, and the E46 one (though not that particular one for some reason   )which were of some help. The long journey idea is good, but not really possible at the mo' due to the foot of snow we have here!! Oh, and the key she has is the only one!

Quel surprise.....
Bryan M

When my battery went in the Golf's remote I went into the dealer and they changed it for free!!
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