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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 10-02-2012, 07:54 AM   #1
IrunBimmer
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BMW key fob

So recently I realized my 323i's key doesn't always lock and unlock I have to use the actual key; from the looks of the key there's no screw to take out to replace the battery and I don't want to take the key apart and accidentally break it. Anyone know what I can do without going to the dealer and paying 300+ for a new key?
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:32 AM   #2
boongsin12
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You could buy a Ebay key fob, used, and initialize it to your car. But you can't, of course, use the key to start the car. I don't think you can get a key from anywhere else but from the dealership.

Or you could try to swap out the battery, which may not be a good idea.

Try to charge your keyfob by driving your car for a long period of time.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:21 AM   #3
scottjoh
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^^^^^^^^. What he said.
I would add that cutting the key open is risky. If you damage the EWS coil in the key you will no longer be able to start the engine. At the very least go to the dealer and buy a spare key or a service key (aka valet key). They cost much less, about 1/3, than the master key (master key has the remote) and will allow you to open the doors and start the engine.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:14 AM   #4
shanneba
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You can get four keys, 2 remote and two non remote (two remote, one valet and a billfold key as the car came with from BMW) for $280.00 from here:

http://www.rmsonlinestore.com/This-i...ey-Set-E46.htm
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Last edited by shanneba; 10-02-2012 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:20 PM   #5
IrunBimmer
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thanks guys i appreciate it; i will eventually need another key for the car just because i currently only have one. i thought about opening the key but had a feeling it would be something i regret dont really know its layout.
so from what im reading here there is no battery in the key its just charged by the car yes?
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:23 PM   #6
scarede46er
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There is a battery. It is charged by the key cylinder.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:57 PM   #7
scottjoh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanneba View Post
You can get four keys, 2 remote and two non remote (two remote, one valet and a billfold key as the car came with from BMW) for $280.00 from here:

http://www.rmsonlinestore.com/This-i...ey-Set-E46.htm
$280 is the price for the rubber button style keys. Diamond key set is $60 extra. Shipping is $28 minimum. Also you need to remove the EWS module from your car and send it to them with one of your keys. You will not be able to drive your car until the EWS module comes back and is reinstalled. Kind of a pain, but, definitely a good price.

Last edited by scottjoh; 10-02-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
jfoj
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Batteries do not last forever and may not charge up after 8+years.

So may be useful just to buy a new keyfob from the dealer for $160. Any dealer that wants more than $160 is charging too much, you can shop it around.

Always wise to have 2 working keyfob so when the driver door lock linkage breaks you can still get into the car if one keyfob goes bad or is not immediately available.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:14 PM   #9
IrunBimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Batteries do not last forever and may not charge up after 8+years.

So may be useful just to buy a new keyfob from the dealer for $160. Any dealer that wants more than $160 is charging too much, you can shop it around.

Always wise to have 2 working keyfob so when the driver door lock linkage breaks you can still get into the car if one keyfob goes bad or is not immediately available.
Ok thanks I will look into it. I need a spare key; l mean he'll I have a tracker connected to my key wired to my phone in case I lose my one key haha
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Old 10-03-2012, 02:50 AM   #10
AliE46
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I changed the battery in my key and worked just fine.... For a few months. Started acting up on me and would take FOREVER to unlock my doors. I ordered a key at the dealership for $200. The old one is now my spare.
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