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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 04-27-2010, 02:56 PM   #1
cliff101
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Exclamation Can a dead key be read by the computers at BMW ??

My key has stopped locking and unlocking my car for a while now so i just figured the key is dead because i have had several long trips and the key does not charge..but when i take the car the bmw for an oil change or what ever, when they put my key in the key reader there computer is able to pull up all the current saved info of my car...if the key is dead how is it possible to still be read ?? and if so does this mean that theres something else wrong with the key or is it possible the reciever in the car is broken which is why the car doesnt respond to the key ??
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:20 PM   #2
keromin4151
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Unless i am wrong...all the car information get store not in the key but in the car. As for not being able to auto lock and unlock, i had the same issue. I followed "Fob key" DIY and opened up the key to find that one of the soldering point that holds the battery is loose. So even if you reprogram the key several time, you will be able to open the car by pressing unlock like gazillion time. Just take time, open the car key and resolder it if the battery voltage reads fine (you could check the battery level at radioshack if you don't have voltmeter). If the battery is dead, get a replacement from bowser...type diy for the website link. the battery should be about 9 dollar? Forgot exactly how much it was.
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Old 04-27-2010, 04:27 PM   #3
Kringkily
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yes they can its laser etched so they can read it from just the pattern. dont worry lol
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:46 AM   #4
cliff101
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thanx guys
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:10 PM   #5
dvsntt
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I am having this problem as well. Key stopped locking\unlocking my doors. I opened the case and the battery reads 3.03 volts at the solder pins, I even checked the buttons with an ohm meter to make certain they were working - but I can't get it to re-program and thus I can't get it to lock\unlock my doors.

I noticed a tester at an energizer display at autozone to test your fobs, and it is supposed to light-up if your key sends a signal. Well it didn't light-up with either my key that is not functioning, nor did it make any indication that it recognized any signal from my wife's working key, so that test was inconclusive.

I suppose I'll take it to the dealer and ask them to diagnose it, I'm certain they will recommend I purchase a new key, but just maybe they'll have another idea...
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Old 04-29-2010, 05:14 PM   #6
Kringkily
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they will tell u to buy a new key. if it isn't charging they can open it up and see if the battery can't be charged
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Old 04-29-2010, 09:25 PM   #7
Bandersnatch
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dvsntt - I have a suggestion. You've proven your battery is good, so this should work.

Try the programming with your wife's key first and see if you get the doors lock/unlock confirmation. Then, without inserting your key into the ignition, do the "hold unlock while pressing lock 3 times" with your key.

If you do get the lock/unlock with your wife's key, but not with your key, then something else is wrong.
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:39 PM   #8
GCoop
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Originally Posted by Bandersnatch View Post
dvsntt - I have a suggestion. You've proven your battery is good, so this should work.

Try the programming with your wife's key first and see if you get the doors lock/unlock confirmation. Then, without inserting your key into the ignition, do the "hold unlock while pressing lock 3 times" with your key.

If you do get the lock/unlock with your wife's key, but not with your key, then something else is wrong.
+1 Try to reinitialize the key if you havent tried already.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #9
cliff101
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what tools did you use to open the case ??....bcause right now im using an older model solder iron that has the real pointy point and a flat head screw driver but so far i have only had a little bit of luck...and i dont want to break anything.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:30 PM   #10
Bandersnatch
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You need a razor knife to open the case.

Start at the end farthest from the metal part of the key and be careful not to stick the blade in too deep. You can damage the electronics if you do that.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:42 PM   #11
SK8URDEAD
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this is what i did to make my key work when i bought the car. put key in. moved up and down driveway, turned off car. held on to lock button, press unlock 3 times and let go of lock. the unlocked door should lock or all of the locks on doors will move, thus reinitionalized and your a happy camper.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:28 PM   #12
jackkyzer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsntt View Post
I am having this problem as well. Key stopped locking\unlocking my doors. I opened the case and the battery reads 3.03 volts at the solder pins, I even checked the buttons with an ohm meter to make certain they were working - but I can't get it to re-program and thus I can't get it to lock\unlock my doors.

I noticed a tester at an energizer display at autozone to test your fobs, and it is supposed to light-up if your key sends a signal. Well it didn't light-up with either my key that is not functioning, nor did it make any indication that it recognized any signal from my wife's working key, so that test was inconclusive.

I suppose I'll take it to the dealer and ask them to diagnose it, I'm certain they will recommend I purchase a new key, but just maybe they'll have another idea...
I had the same problem. I fixed it by replacing the car battery in conjunction with opening the the key and "wiggling" the battery until the buttons worked. My key read 3.03 v before I wiggled it but it didn't work. I guess the connection was just lose and needed to be re positioned.

Also I live on the gulf coast in alabama and taking my key apart entails making sure the electronics are are tight when I put it back together. If not, after the humidity, and salt in my case, gets to it you will be dealing with a lot of corrosion on the circuit board.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:46 PM   #13
jaymemaurice
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Our keys are induction charged... I wouldnt be surprised if the dealer's key readers also have the induction functionality built in and the battery is only needed when the key is working as the remote.
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