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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-25-2010, 07:22 AM   #221
howie1971
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WOW what a thread does this set some sort of record its been going nearly 3 years. It shows what a huge issue these da*n keys are. For me this thread is paydirt well almost I have posted a couple of threads on different forums to find a dealer alternative for a new key without success.

See my problem is I only have 1 key and I am in Australia where the dealer wants $675($US550) for a full remote key and $375($US305) for a valet key and I wouldn't mind a wallet key either $300($US245). Ideally I want 2 more remote keys and a proper spare key no remote so all up I would be up for $2025($US1645) - I paid $16K for the car. Also the key I have the remote does not work on but I hope to rectify that with the procedures described here.

I would happily buy from a US dealer at the prices you are quoting but I think the identity requirements will be an issue.

Bandersnatch would you be happy to give me the contact details of your dealer and I will give them a call to see if it is possible? If not I am back to trying to find an alternative.

I was toying with buying the equipment to do it myself and then I could offer the service over here but I am not sure about buying it from Tawain, it would have to be foolproof. I have seen a few units mainly from China and even 1 from the US but it looked decidedly dodgy - not like the neat little unit pictured on Youtube for the newer wireless keys (it's a pity they don't mention where you can buy them from).

If anyone knows of a device that works please let me know.

The guy from the UK is the other option it would be well under half price for me even with priority shipping but I am not sure about sending my only key and EWS unit overseas though. Has anyone actually done this?

I suppose I could buy a second hand EWS, barrel and keys from the UK - used parts are cheap there - then get the guy to code them has anyone ever replaced the barrel, is it a DIY job?

Sorry its turned into a bit of thread hijack but this particular stealership ploy over here is just too much for me to bare!!

Thanks
Howie
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Old 05-25-2010, 09:54 PM   #222
Ruf
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shortsale View Post
yes,
I have two master keys, and the other works fine. The key has issue can remote open and close doors, but cannot start the car. When I tune the key, all the lights on the instrument panel turn on, but cannot start the car. no sound, nothing..
thanks,
Try this posting
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=668011
I have the same problem. Car starts with the key #2 all the time. Key #1 works sometimes, but will always work after I start car with #2. Multiple trys with #1 alone will sometimes work. I've gotten use to carrying both keys, because key #2 has a dead battery, no remote locks.
My ignition switch is scheduled for replacement this weekend, pending delivery from Tischer.
Once the ignition sw is replaced, I'll change the battery in Key 2.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:03 PM   #223
BokCh0y
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Originally Posted by luckysnafu View Post
Why do you need another key to reset the one you replaced the battery in? You just stick it in the ignition, turn it to the on position, remove it within 5 seconds, then hold the unlock button down and press the lock button 3 times within 10 seconds and release both buttons. The doors should lock/unlock to give you confirmation and your key should work. You do not need another key in order to do this. If it doesn't work the first time, try again, it should work.
Thank-you so very much for this. I've had my car for 3 years now, came with all 4 keys (2 masters w/remote, 1 plastic key and 1 valet) and they all work except that one of the two master keys just didn't work remote wise. Anywa si did some research and assumed it was due to a dead battery, but since my wife uses this key but only as a spare, it just never bothered us.

Anyways, i had to pick up a replacment key for my Lexus so i thought i'd look into a replacement BMW key again and after research, this thread came up again. Anyways before shelling oujt the $$$$ for a new repalcment key or even cutting it open and replacing the battery, i did the above.....and it worked!!!!! All i had to do was program both keys and voila!!!! they both work now!!!!!

Thanks again for this very useful piece of information, i very much appreciate this
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:16 PM   #224
BillyJoelR
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I resychronized both as per posted instructions & mine worked.
Good stuff. I'm glad I didn't have to purchase a new one or rip it open.

I noticed though that if one of my master remote keys was activated, the other didn't work remotely.
So, naturally, I resychronized them again.
Now it works vice versa.

Weired.
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:18 AM   #225
ncnmra
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One of my keys will unlock and start the car, but only locks the car after long drives, and this only works once. It seems like a battery issue, but the unlock function always seems to work.

Is it possible that the "lock" signal takes more power than the "unlock" signal? Should I try changing the battery or just reprogram it?
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Old 06-03-2010, 09:37 AM   #226
BokCh0y
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncnmra View Post
One of my keys will unlock and start the car, but only locks the car after long drives, and this only works once. It seems like a battery issue, but the unlock function always seems to work.

Is it possible that the "lock" signal takes more power than the "unlock" signal? Should I try changing the battery or just reprogram it?
Have you tried to reprogram both keys? I had similar issue but i ended up reprogramming both at the same time and was successful. now both work with none of the issues you have above.

Just follow the reprogramming procedures per above, when you are done the first key, do the samething with the 2nd key, but this time you don't have to stick it in the ignition first. Just press and hold the unlock button and press the lock button three times within 10 seconds as well and this should do it. If succesful, the doors will lock and unlock like with the first key.

Again i did this to both my keys and they work now.
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Old 06-21-2010, 10:45 AM   #227
Sheisty
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Thanks DIY was useful. I have a bit of a different problem.

My remote stopped responding consistantly, sometimes it would work other times not. I would sit and push the button a few times and on occasion it would work. Dead Key? So I thought......I opened the key and was going to peel the metal contact point on the battery instead of unsoldering the battery from the board but for some reason I decided to stop and try the key on the car........sure enough the dang thing works....right now I'm keeping it tied with a rubberband to see if it starts acting up again before I seal it closed. From visual inspection nothing was wrong with the bits inside of the key housing.

My Current Problem (which existed before opening the key) I can only manually lock the car with the key occasionally. Sometimes when trying to manually lock the doors, all 4 doors lock as normal but when I get ready to remove the key all of the locks unlock, other times only the drivers side door locks, occasionally I can get the doors to lock without issue.

I reprogrammed the key a couple of times and the remote works but the manual function is still wacky? Any suggestions about whats up with the manual lock/unlock issue?

Last edited by Sheisty; 06-21-2010 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 06-21-2010, 01:03 PM   #228
BrettB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jason 77 View Post
Put the working key in the ignition. Turn to position 2 for like 1 second then back and remove the key.

Press and hold the "unlock" button then press the "lock" button 3 times, you should hear all the locks cycle through.

Now take the non working key and press and hold the "unlock" button then press the "lock" button 3 times.

Then turn the ignition on and off again to end the programming....
Would it be possible to do this process all with a single key? My other "key" is just the remote with the metal from the key broken off(it was like that when I bought it)

Maybe I should just get an ebay key and set that up first?
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:22 AM   #229
howie1971
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Hi all

After reading through all 12 pages of this thread I am still a bit confused as to the best process for replacing the battery (should have stopped at page 1). It seems there is a bunch of different methods and I guess they all work because it seems that many people have been successful but I am paranoid about stuffing my remote board and at $AUD400 to replace here in Australia this is not something I want to do.

So here is a summary of some methods mentioned in this thread and some comments if you could advise me of the best/safest/easiest way that would be FAB!

1) Using something like a small screwdriver/knife break the spot welds (2, top and bottom) between the battery and the curved metal battery holder that connects to the board. Do the same thing on the new battery (break connectors) and slip the new battery into the old connectors. The poster of this thread mentioned silicon adhesive but I was not sure if the meant to secure the battery or the key case. It sounds like just putting the case back together will keep the battery in place.

The poster said he actually removed the connector from the board then removed the battery from the connector, resoldered the connector to the board then slid in the new battery not sure why you would have to do this.

This sounds like the easiest and safest solution to me if it is possible to break the spot welds on the battery and if the case holds the battery in place as there is no need to solder, manipulate/cut pins and if it needs to be replaced again you just slip it out and slip in the new one.

2) Desolder both battery connectors/holders from the board. Then using a battery with horizontal pins resolder to the board. This apparently requires some bending/manipulating of the pins. I cannot see how this would fit.

2a) For this to work one poster left the original top (curved) connector on the board and removed the bottom connector, then soldered the new battery's bottom connector to the board then he cut the prong off the top connector and soldered the original connector to whats left of the connector on the new battery. This also seems like a good solution but more mucking around with soldering and its an increase in thickness so things might be tight. Also I was told by the locksmith that did my keys that any sort of heat on the battery is bad, the machine that does those spot welds is like $3000.

2b) A variation on this using the battery with the vertical pins cut of the prongs. Break the spot welds on the original battery remove put in the new one and solder the old connectors to the new ones. All the above issues as with 2a plus I think you would still need to remove the bottom connector from the board.

3) Break the connectors off the old and new batteries and solder the old connectors to the new battery. I don't think this would be a good thing heat wise and you would still need to remove the bottom terminal from the board.

So thoughts, I am sure I am over complicating this.

Howie
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #230
Sheisty
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2002 330xi FULL REMOTE DIAMOND KEY as of 6/22/10

BMW of Tenalfy (Tenafly, NJ) - $160 plus tax
Park Ave BMW (Hackensack, NJ) - $157 plus tax
BMW of Bloomfield (Bloomfield, NJ) - $200 give or take wtf at not giving an exact price
Prestige BMW (Ramsey, NJ) - $197.75 plus tax
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Old 06-22-2010, 08:58 PM   #231
howie1971
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I am so jealous of prices in the US. They are circa $US600 from a dealer here. Robbery!

Still I wouldn't want to be paying $160 for a $4 fix when the battery dies. As another member said making it this hard to replace a battery is just wrong.

Can anyone clarify which of the processes described above is the best way to go?

Thanks
Glenn
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Old 06-22-2010, 10:05 PM   #232
Sheisty
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I have no spare and my manual lock is wacky. 150ish for a new lock-actuator plus labor....I rather just have a remote key that i know will work and another as a spare (the one I "repaired").
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Old 07-01-2010, 02:18 AM   #233
shadow330
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I have opened up my key succesefully, without cutting any of the circuit board, but now im faced with the "how in the **** do you solder the new one in?" question, I am an electrician and have soldered quite a bit in my career, but im not sure if a standard iron is enough, or how to even go about it, so any help would be GREATLY appreciated since this is my only key and I would like to be able to possibly start my car again someday LOL. Thanks for any help.
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:49 PM   #234
EURO M3 CSL
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subscribed!!
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:57 AM   #235
el46
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Smile batteries

http://www.farnell.com/datasheets/61792.pdf

www.farnell.com

Batteries 2.50 in the UK http://forum.E46Fanatics.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif

My Keys have both been intermittent since i got the car a week ago.

Now they dont work at all.

Can someone who had batteries fail on them tell me if the keys were intermittent before they died. I'm worried its the GM5 or similar..

Thanks
El 46
http://forum.E46Fanatics.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:44 PM   #236
Bimmer31
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Now what if I have only one key that I wanna reprogramming?
how do i reprogram it?
thanks
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:49 PM   #237
Nando779
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If I am understanding correctly, the key will not start the car if the battery is not connected properly. I have changed the battery in my key and it starts the car but it will not program! I purposely put the battery in opposite to see what would happen if I tried to start the car and the car did not start. I put the battery in properly and it started the car. Therefore this tells me the battery is good and is connected properly and the programming should work, but it doesn't =( Any ideas??
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Old 08-28-2010, 10:09 AM   #238
JS8736
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Horizontal or HFN Battery install.

My battery went dead and I ordered two from digi-key, the VL-2020 HFN or horizontal battery.

This horizontal works very well. After de-soldering the old battery from the circuit board:

- Using small screw driver, pop off the positive, (large), lead from the old battery.
- Pop off the positive lead from the new battery.
- Install the the new battery by inserting the negative lead into the circuit board slot, melt the solder on the other side, and push through. Done.
- Place the old positive lead onto the new battery to get proper battery alignment, pushing into the large positive slot.
- As with the neg. melt the solder from the other side and push though.
- Solder or JB weld the circular contact piece onto the top of the battery. (JB weld does not conduct electricity so just use one little touch somewhere under the piece. It will still make contact coming over the top of the battery. Alternatively, place a little solder, or liquid solder under the contact) Done.
- Test while holding pieces together, if works, super glue, and clamp for an hour.

I've seen some ask which battery to use. The horizontal worked very well for me using this procedure.

The dealer here in Cincinnati wanted $157 plus tax for a new key. Interesting the steps BMW took to prevent this DIY:

- Sealed the key.
- Had Panasonic use customized leads on a VL-2020 battery. In other words, neither the VL-2020 V or H is a direct fit.......

This is absolute planned obsolescence and proprietary lock down. In 2009 1.2MM BMW's were sold worldwide. If you figure over a 10 year life span, you buy one key each at let's say $125, that's $125MM in revenue BWM gets from just these damn keys, except for my $157.......Who thinks BMW is going to stop this practice......?
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:27 PM   #239
MartyM3
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Cutting Open the Key Fixed It!!!

I was having problems with one of my two keys. It intermittently would lock or unlock the car but only if I stood right next to it. It seemed to work once and the not again until I 'charged' it up by driving with it. Naturally I assumed the battery was old.

I started cutting it open as per previous posts (carefully with a craft knife). I got about 3/4 of the way round when I heard the car locking and unlocking as I was inadvertently pressing the buttons while holding it. I stopped and tested the key pressing the buttons again. And hey presto it was working like a charm. I could lock and unlock from a few meters away, and it just keeps on working.

I have no idea what happened but it seems as if 'releasing the pressure' on the transponder, by slightly opening the case, has made it work again.

For those of you who are having problems with the transmitter in the key can I suggest you just open the case a little and try the buttons before completely opening it up.

This may be a one off situation, but it's worth a try. Saves pulling out a working battery, soldering and trying to put all back together again.

And yes, it still starts the car.

Marty.
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Old 09-01-2010, 09:03 PM   #240
antzcrashing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyM3 View Post
I was having problems with one of my two keys. It intermittently would lock or unlock the car but only if I stood right next to it. It seemed to work once and the not again until I 'charged' it up by driving with it. Naturally I assumed the battery was old.

I started cutting it open as per previous posts (carefully with a craft knife). I got about 3/4 of the way round when I heard the car locking and unlocking as I was inadvertently pressing the buttons while holding it. I stopped and tested the key pressing the buttons again. And hey presto it was working like a charm. I could lock and unlock from a few meters away, and it just keeps on working.

I have no idea what happened but it seems as if 'releasing the pressure' on the transponder, by slightly opening the case, has made it work again.

For those of you who are having problems with the transmitter in the key can I suggest you just open the case a little and try the buttons before completely opening it up.

This may be a one off situation, but it's worth a try. Saves pulling out a working battery, soldering and trying to put all back together again.

And yes, it still starts the car.

Marty.
I had a similar experience, not sure why mine worked again after awhile of not working, HOWEVER, this may only be temporary, as mine was. Could be that you re-leaved the ckt of a short.
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