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-   -   Z3 Roadster (E36/7) I can't stop my alarm system! (

dsp103 11-04-2012 04:57 PM

I can't stop my alarm system!
Hi folks,

Found some threads with people that had similar problems to mine but this one's different. It's a 1997 z3 roadster no wireless locking, just standard key.

My roof had been leaking for some time so the carpets had to come out to drain the wells and dry the foam underneath. To do this, the centre console had to come out (complete with radio). I've put it all back together but no matter what I do the car alarm goes wild every time I open a door. I've used a special key on a box inside the engine bay to turn off the actual alarm, but the indicators are still going nuts every time I try to open the door. It's not immobilized or anything.

I've tried bonnet/boot sensors, there's no tilt sensors in the passenger footwell or boot.

I'm really stuck here if anyone can help out!

Hornedfrog1969 11-05-2012 10:36 AM

Try taking the stereo out and putting it back in carefully, making sure the white/gray thing that sticks out in the back goes right into the small port in the pack of the console. You need to tilt the back end of the stereo up to get it to go in. I thought I read somewhere that the stereo, if not installed correctly could mess with the alarm system. Good luck.

dsp103 11-05-2012 12:49 PM

That's a good point, I read that some stereos have a pressure point at the back of the stereo that will only respond if it's installed correctly - not mine though! The alarm is constantly armed. :dunno:

Hornedfrog1969 11-05-2012 04:13 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Two questions: Is your stereo stock? Are you sure you don't have wireless locking. If you have an alarm, you more than likely have wireless locking available. You just need to program a fob. I got one off of craigslist for $35. If your stereo is stock, it should have the gray thing sticking out of the back. It has nothing to do with the operation of the stereo. If it looks like the one on the bottom, then it fell off and you need to find it. The gray thing goes in a slot in the back of your console when you install it. This may be what is giving you alarm fits.

dsp103 11-06-2012 12:09 PM

Stereo is definately stock, all contacts and connection are in place.
Hornedfrog - I looked into your suggestion that I should have a remote and I think you're right. I took out the alarm unit and it has a receiver on it. I've ordered a new remote key and will try to program it and disarm the system, I'll let you know how it goes!

Hornedfrog1969 11-06-2012 01:03 PM

Sweet! It really is convenient to have the remote. I don't think the 97 came with a remote key. It came with a lighted key and a regular unlit key. A fob was used to lock/unlock and arm/disarm the alarm. I did a search on craigslist and found one in California someone was getting rid of. Any E36 model will work. It's not Z3 specific. I have the directions on how to program the alarm to the new fob if you need it.

dsp103 11-07-2012 02:48 PM

Brilliant - thanks a lot, I didn't realise that the 97 model had a separate Fob. I think I know how to reprogram (switching the receiver to learning mode etc) - just got to wait for my new key to arrive from Australia, exciting times!

Hornedfrog1969 11-08-2012 09:13 AM

Well, I'm not doubting your intuition on how to program the alarm, but it really is quite a dance to get it to work. Take a look at this post and see if your method looks anything like this. If it doesn't then it probably needs to.

I almost forgot... if you ordered a new key, I don't believe its going to come with the buttons to activate and deactivate the alarm. You will probably get a key with a light. Unless of course, a newer version key, with buttons, will work with the E36 alarm. You may still have to find a fob. Good luck.

HANSONCLN 11-08-2012 03:16 PM

Iff this started after you took out the radio and console I would surmise
That you caused it.there is a switch behind the radio that the little gray peg moves,it resides behind the metal slot it also falls out easy and could be hiding so look very close at that

dsp103 11-17-2012 11:18 AM


I think I've tried every trick in the book for this one and I'm having no luck. So frustrating the after an engine rebuild the alarm system is stopping me from driving!

It seems that, since I had the UK version of the Z3 there is no anti-theft system for the alarm (that was a US specific thing). I've tried reprogramming the fob, disconnecting the battery for a day etc - I just can't get the system to disarm. If I open a door/boot/bonnet the alarm goes off, if I move inside the car the alarm goes off, if I rock the car from outside the alarm goes off. It doesn't matter whether I have the keys in the ignition/the car running or anything.

Think I'm going to have to call a BMW specialist out on this one which is going to cost a fortune. I'll be sure to post the solution if/when I find it.

Hornedfrog1969 12-11-2012 09:20 PM

Any luck with this? Did you try pulling the 31 and 43 circuit breakers?

amancuso 12-12-2012 09:19 AM

The Euro Z3's use the same built in system that the early e39 5 series and early e46's had. It's a black rubber key with 3 buttons on it. The later model 01-02 2.5i and 3.0i USA models also use this system. I have no idea how it works. :( Maybe try over on, lots of UK owners there.

dsp103 12-12-2012 05:32 PM

No fix yet. I had tried pulling the circuit breakers with no luck. The car's with a bmw specialist having diagnostics run, I'll update when we've finally got a cause!

dsp103 12-22-2012 03:21 PM

So after 3 weeks the garage have finally finished the diagnostics. Basically they have no idea. They managed to remove the alarm unit without immobilizing the car but alarm/remote locking is now impossible - I got billed 266 for that...

vintage42 12-22-2012 05:01 PM


Originally Posted by Hornedfrog1969 (Post 7183495)
... if you ordered a new key, I don't believe its going to come with the buttons to activate and deactivate the alarm. You will probably get a key with a light...

I bought a used 1997 Z3 1.9L from the dealer with one lighted key. The dealer ordered me a second key at no cost, and it was an identical lighted key. My Z3 does not have remote locking by a fob, or an alarm.

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