Bimmerfest - BMW Forums - View Single Post - Is it possible to buy a blank key and have it cut/programmed? (Part # LX8FZV)
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:20 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Location: British Columbia, Canada
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Originally Posted by awdrev View Post
I think I can program it but will that work? I'll have to find someone to cut it... but I am concerned about the extra electronics which are embedded and may only be programmed by the dealer.
No personal experience, but it helps to think about the various levels or types of programming involved with an X3 key.

I see them as follows:

1. Owner programming for door locking/ unlocking.

No computer involved.
Owner can utilize same procedure that dealers use to initialize a new key (program door locking/ unlocking only) and synchronize it with existing key.
Requires some understanding of how rolling random codes work, similar to garage door openers, and how not to end up with your primary key no longer working.

2. Dealer programming to set individual key memory to vehicle memory options where applicable (such as threshold speed for vehicle locking, automatic seat and mirror adjustment).
Normally done as an integral part of the many optional vehicle memory settings.

Dealer's proprietary computer involved (or replica code on a PC with custom cable).
Normally charged on a 1 hr. min. basis if changes requested subsequent to taking delivery.

3. Programming of transponder to EWS for starting the vehicle.

Dealers do not do this programming.
New keys ordered through dealer arrive with pre-programmed chip corresponding to your VIN.
For new keys from someone other than a BMW dealer, some locksmiths with the required knowledge, equipment and accreditation may offer this service, probably based on min. 0.5hr. labor.

Some ebay sellers offer BMW keys with an empty shell - no chip inside.
These are useful only to owners who just want an extra key for locking and unlocking the vehicle, or who want to transfer the chip from a valet key so the new key becomes fully functional.

Other ebay sellers offer keys with some circuitry inside which may or may not be usable.

The above-referenced seller appears to be straight up and knows what he is talking about - such as a used BMW key doesn't do you much good.

Hopefully he provides leads on how to get the difficult #3 part done.
Getting the blank key cut is the easy part, although not all locksmiths have the machine to do it.

Sorry, but my used X3 buying advice is to never buy from someone who can't give you all 3 original keys, however good the deal seems.
Hope you can prove me wrong and get it done without much time involvement and cost (say, $150 total).
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