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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 04-30-2015, 06:31 AM   #1
SeanH
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What's your keyless entry range?

I've done a lot of searching, but I haven't found what the "normal" keyless entry range is. I'd say my 2000 323iT can unlock about 15-20 feet away from the car - but it's not great. Is that the range you all have too? Or, could either my battery in the key getting be getting weak or my FZV amplifier need replacing?

I'm just trying to figure out a way to improve it! And, see what range everyone else has. Because - if you all only have 20 feet too - I'm wasting my energy haha.

-Sean

Last edited by SeanH; 04-30-2015 at 06:32 AM.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:38 AM   #2
jfoj
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Suggest you make sure people indicate what model they are commenting about.

I have a friend with the 2001 325xiT that they bought new and stated the keyfob range has always been very poor, maybe like 20-30 feet as I recall.

Convertible range is also limited/inconsistent as well because the antenna/receiver for the keyfob is actually mounted inside the interior rear view mirror.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:21 AM   #3
cityjohn
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I can unlock the car from 50 feet away (2001 convertible). Sometimes if it doesn't unlock on first press I just point the key at my head to increase the range.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:24 AM   #4
jfoj
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Forgot about the key blade under the chin trick.

I often look like this guy with my hand up in the air and twisting around trying to get the car to lock or unlock.

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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 04-30-2015, 08:35 AM   #5
rsyed07
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If you hold your key against your body such as your head, chest, shoulder etc. your range increases substantially. I believe it has something to do with using our whole body as a signal transmitter. My key is good for about 50 to 60 feet by just pushing the button and pointing it towards the car (new OEM key replaced 6 months ago) but when its against my body its at least 300 feet.
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Old 04-30-2015, 08:57 AM   #6
TRITONAL
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15-20 feet is all I have, up to 50 feet if I point it up at my head
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:02 AM   #7
86ccord
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2000 323ci ive got a brand new key from BMW dealer last week. my range is only like 10-15 ft (maybe). I haven't tried the head trick. Ill give it a shot later today.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:48 AM   #8
MARKS330I
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2003 330i my rage is about 5-10' with my new or old key, under my chin its over 100'.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:48 AM   #9
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U don't need to put the key on your body. Just hold it in the air.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:54 AM   #10
86ccord
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Just confirmed. my distance is much better holding the key under my chin!
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loaded325i View Post
U don't need to put the key on your body. Just hold it in the air.
No, not true. Holding the key against your body uses said body as a broadcast antenna. I hold it against my chin and can get over 150', but just holding it up high above my head gets only about 30'. Try it.
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Old 04-30-2015, 10:18 AM   #12
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Like most others here, I get roughly 20' just holding the key and up to around 50' with it under my chin.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:43 PM   #13
jfoj
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UTC (Under The Chin) FTW!
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 04-30-2015, 01:19 PM   #14
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Quote:
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UTC (Under The Chin) FTW!
Same here! I do the UTC method too.

2003 325i, brand new fob and it's probably 15-20 feet and pretty spotty.
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Old 04-30-2015, 03:05 PM   #15
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I only get about 5 ft out of mine. 2001 M3 Convertible. One day I'll look into replacing the key but it doesn't bother me. After all, the car doesn't need to be unlocked until I'm close enough to open the door.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:20 PM   #16
tristero
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About 5'.

I work with RF engineers.
They say the "chin trick" has no sound scientific basis in reality.

Unfortunately, there is ample anecdotal evidence that it does work.
30' under the chin for me. (I actually use my forehead for dramatic effect).
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:58 PM   #17
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UTC here, as well, although I suppose I could be walking around with a big bucket of water, too. Here's an interesting video that explains the "water in the head" theory:

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Old 04-30-2015, 08:59 PM   #18
JJsCarAudio101
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All factory keyless entry, factory security systems have a very small limited range. Regardless of the make and model of vehicle. I have been working on vehicles for 17 plus years. If you place your key fob/ keyless entry remote up to any upper portion of your body, you will notice a big diff. Our bodies are acting like a antenna extender. It is not the car battery, the key fob battery or the key fob itself. This is just the way the engineers designed this. If you want to get more range, then i would suggest going the aftermarket route. I prefer using the DEI products. They will last you at least 10 years. just make sure you have a professional install it. This will give you years of trouble free use.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:27 PM   #19
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I thought this was a troll until I watched multiple videos about it :\
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:29 PM   #20
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJsCarAudio101 View Post
All factory keyless entry, factory security systems have a very small limited range. Regardless of the make and model of vehicle.
I have a number of vehicles and the keyfob range does vary, however, i would not say all factory security systems have a very limited range.

My 2006 E46 convertible has the shortest range. Depending on what is going on, it could be 20-40 feet, but under the chin much further.

My E39 M5 has about a 150-200 foot range.

My 2003 New Beetle Convertible has about a 150-200 foot range.

My 2005 GMC Yukon has about a 250 foot range.

My 2008 X5 has about a 200+ foot range.

My 1996 Impala SS has about a 200 foot range.

A number of these vehicles I can lock or unlock from inside the house when the cars are 75+ foot away from where I am located inside the house.

Not sure why the Touring seem to have such a short range??
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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