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Old 01-30-2013, 01:39 AM   #1
TitanSilverE46
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
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My Ride: 2001 318i & 325i
New Key Fob for Old

I recently purchased a 2001 318i with two keys, the remotes of neither worked. After doing a re-sync I had one operational and one dead.
After reading a few threads on E46 Fanatics, I thought I would try replacing the battery of the dead one, and at the same time treat myself to a new Key blank, as all the details had worn off the old one.

Parts required:-
One Panasonic VL2020-1HFE battery $ 6.10 from Globe Batteries, Sydney
One Key Blank $ 5.88 from China
Cut Key Blank $10.00 at the local Locksmith

The VL2020 is a special rechargeable battery. DO NOT use a CR2020 as this type is NOT rechargeable. It is possible that as the car tries to charge it, it could leak damaging the circuit board.
The pin positions on the HFE version are easier to work with than the VFE, as the pins are easier to adapt.
Do not use other than a 2020 which is 20mm dia and 2.0mm thick. A 2032 is too thick to fit in the fob.

The two keys that came with the car.
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I carefully opened the left hand key with an OLFA cutter. You can control how deep it cuts. Be careful here as you can slice components off the board if you cut too deep.
You have been warned!
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And here is what you get out of the Key.

1. The wiggly part is the remote transmitter antenna. There are two frequencies that were used for the remote, 315MHz and 433MHz. If you are replacing a key you MUST purchase a key with the correct frequency. The remote communicates with the Antenna Amp in the Right rear pillar which is marked with the frequency that your car uses.
You can check what frequency was supplied with your car, here http://www.rubmw.ru/vincode/eng/ Just enter the last 7 characters of your VIN and answer the simple maths security question. (This gives a full list of the options your car came with. Cool!!!

2. The coil on the front of the PCB is for the inductive charging of the battery.

3. The white component opposite the coil is the security unit that is programmed to your car. Without it the remote will work, the key will open the door and will turn in the ignition, BUT the car will not start.
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The New Battery needs modification, bend the -ve tag flat and trim the +ve tag by thinning down the top of the tag so it will sit flat on the board. Both tabs need to be shortened a little.
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Now solder the new battery into the board and add a short wire from the -ve tag to the board.
I used the technique of Scott at http://www.bmwgm5.com/Key_Fob_Battery.htm

Slip a piece of paper under the -ve tag to ensure it does not short out to any other part of the board.
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Now slip the board into the new Key Blank, and snap it shut. The type of fob I bought clips securely together and doesn't need to be glued so it will be easy to unclip again if the battery needs changing again in the future.

Have your locksmith cut the blank to match your existing key.

Attach the new BMW symbol supplied with the fob to the lock button.
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Try the remote and it may work straight away. If not, re-sync the two keys and you are done. If you have more than one key, you MUST do all keys at the same time.

Re-sync Procedure:-

Step 1. Get in the car and shut all the doors.

Step 2. Put a key in the ignition and turn it to Accessory and within 5 seconds, turn the ignition off and remove the key.

Step 3. Press and hold the Unlock (Arrow) button and press and release the Lock button three times within 10 seconds. Release the Unlock button and the car should lock and then unlock the doors to let you know you did it right. Repeat step 3 for any other keys within 30 seconds.

Step 4. Insert a key into the ignition and turn it to Accessory. This terminates the key coding procedure.

A little time and less than $25 for a nice shiny new key that works, sounds like good value to me. Better than $170-$250 from the usual source!

Globe Battery Sales http://www.globebatteries.com.au/bat...roductid=22382
BMW Key Blank http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=140891877586
Key Cutting http://www.lockmart.com.au/

Edit:-
I have been made aware there is a rechargable Panasonic battery, ML2020 that has pins at 90 degrees which should fit the fob perfectly.
eBay link to ML2020
Not sure if it is completely suitable but Panasonic specs suggest it should be OK.
Panasonic ML2020 specs
Panasonic VL2020 specs

Perhaps someone might like to try this battery and report back.
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Last edited by TitanSilverE46; 03-24-2013 at 05:42 PM. Reason: Added 'Finding your Options' URL
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #2
gueste46
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As I am one of those poor sods with only 1 functioning key and no desire to spend a fortune at the stearship for a new one I read your post with great interest and a growing erection.

Excellent detailed DIY that even I could probably follow. Best and clearest explanation of how to do this that I have yet read. Excellent job. Thank you.

So, to be clear, the second key is now a fully functional key in every respect?

Last edited by gueste46; 01-30-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
As I am one of those poor sods with only 1 functioning key and no desire to spend a fortune at the stearship for a new one I read your post with great interest.

So, to be clear, the second key is now a fully functional key in every respect?
Yes it is, all remote functions work correctly, I even found the auto dropping of windows when you hold the 'Open' button for at least 5 secs. I had not tried that one before. Key works correctly in the door lock, locking and unlocking, and of course, starts and runs the car in the ignition lock.

To me, it was important to tell Australian owners that there was a battery source in Sydney. Of course I could have just replaced the battery, but other threads said that when glued back together, their key fobs looked crappy. I chose to buy a new key blank and have it cut. It looks and performs perfectly.

Cheers
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Old 01-30-2013, 08:56 PM   #4
DamoBMW
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Been looking for a locksmith that cuts our car keys in Melb. Thanks for the link

Sent from my GT-I9305 using Bimmer App
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Old 01-31-2013, 01:57 AM   #5
gueste46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanSilverE46 View Post
1. The wiggly part is the remote transmitter antenna. There are two frequencies that were used for the remote, 315MHz and 433MHz. If you are replacing a key you MUST purchase a key with the correct frequency. The remote communicates with the Antenna Amp in the Right rear pillar which is marked with the frequency that your car uses.
By doing what you did, that is taking out the insides of an existing key to your car and putting them into a new blank with a new battery, you do not need to worry about frequencies as you are not actually replacing the key?

Or have I misunderstood?

Last edited by gueste46; 01-31-2013 at 01:58 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:46 AM   #6
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
By doing what you did, that is taking out the insides of an existing key to your car and putting them into a new blank with a new battery, you do not need to worry about frequencies as you are not actually replacing the key?

Or have I misunderstood?
That is correct, the crystal with your frequency is a component on the PCB. In this image you will see 315 on the crystal on the left hand side of my board.

If you are taking out your PCB and just replacing the battery, you can ignore my comments on frequency, whether you are using your old case or putting the PCB into a new case.

Click image for larger version

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I just make the point if someone was needing to buy a complete key off eBay, that they need to specify which frequency they need.
The Dealership, of course, gets this detail from your VIN number and supplies, at a price, the correct key.
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Old 01-31-2013, 03:20 AM   #7
DamoBMW
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So if I get this key for example: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Brand-New...ht_1993wt_1397 will I be able to program it to my car following your 're-sync procedure'?
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:16 AM   #8
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DamoBMW View Post
So if I get this key for example: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Brand-New...ht_1993wt_1397 will I be able to program it to my car following your 're-sync procedure'?
The re-sync procedure only sets up the remote lock/unlock function.

You will have to have the key cut by a locksmith and then you will still need to have any NEW key coded to your EWS (Electronic Car Immobilization System) to allow the key to be recognised and allow you to start the car.

The Dealer can do this or someone with a BMW Scanner PA Soft 1.4.0

I have ordered a Scanner, as it can do all manner of clever things, but mine has not arrived yet.
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Old 01-31-2013, 04:38 AM   #9
gueste46
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I recently got my BMW scanner but had no idea that it could do that. If you ever get around to using the scanner to code a key please post the process as it would be hugely useful to many people.
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Old 01-31-2013, 02:53 PM   #10
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
I recently got my BMW scanner but had no idea that it could do that. If you ever get around to using the scanner to code a key please post the process as it would be hugely useful to many people.
I must admit that I have not had any experience with recoding but have read quite a bit including BMW Diagnostic Scanner PA Soft 1.4 Settings

I am going to have fun playing with the options when it arrives.
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Old 01-31-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
KOpower
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Good work!
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:02 PM   #12
Pants.On.Fire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
As I am one of those poor sods with only 1 functioning key and no desire to spend a fortune at the stearship for a new one

So, to be clear, the second key is now a fully functional key in every respect?
You have to have another key in the first place though. It sounds like you do but it doesn't work. If you do, this swap will work and it will technically be a fully functional key, ie; it will start the car without having to re-encode the key to the EWS as it was an original key in the first place.

You would however have to code the key if you took someones random key and synced it to open/unlock your car and got it cut to match your locks.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:02 PM   #13
Pants.On.Fire
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Oh and there is a couple helpful youtube videos on coding the key to the EWS.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:56 PM   #14
gueste46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pants.On.Fire View Post
You have to have another key in the first place though. It sounds like you do but it doesn't work. If you do, this swap will work and it will technically be a fully functional key, ie; it will start the car without having to re-encode the key to the EWS as it was an original key in the first place.

You would however have to code the key if you took someones random key and synced it to open/unlock your car and got it cut to match your locks.
Thanks for that. That is how I understood it too. With all this information in this thread I figure I can probably get my second key working again, one way or the other.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:52 PM   #15
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pants.On.Fire View Post
Oh and there is a couple helpful youtube videos on coding the key to the EWS.
Perhaps you can add the links so others have this info too.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:37 PM   #16
TitanSilverE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanSilverE46 View Post
You will have to have the key cut by a locksmith and then you will still need to have any NEW key coded to your EWS (Electronic Car Immobilization System) to allow the key to be recognised and allow you to start the car.

The Dealer can do this or someone with a BMW Scanner PA Soft 1.4.0
It appears I was mistaken. The question was asked Here. and answered in the negative Here.

Sorry about that ... so much to learn, so little time
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:47 AM   #17
Pants.On.Fire
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Sorry I didn't cross reference model numbers, I assumed you had the correct gear because you knew what you were talking about. I'll post the links shortly
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:49 AM   #18
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #19
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nice writeup man

you mustve done some kind of physics course at some stage with your -ve and +ve 's haha
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Old 02-02-2013, 03:09 AM   #20
TitanSilverE46
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Originally Posted by Sherweeeny View Post
you mustve done some kind of physics course at some stage with your -ve and +ve 's haha
Chemistry actually, however I played with Crystal sets, radios and amplifiers since I was about 8 years old, so that's where the +ve and -ve come from.
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