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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-08-2011, 03:01 PM
wolf888 wolf888 is offline
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DIY - easy way to make a brand new diamond key work in your older car (96-00)

DIY - easy way to make a brand new diamond key work in your older car (96-00)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I will describe how I have done it with pictures. Please let me know if you have any questions. I will refer to the newer style key as the diamond key and the older style key as the square key.

1. Purchase a brand new diamond key. I bought mine from ebay for $ 50 shipped Make sure you buy the correct version of the key since there are two versions. One version has a ridge on top and the other does not have a ridge
The key I bought was brand new, with the up arrow and trunk picture raised up on the key (no printed on). This key is snaps apart and together, so there is no need to cut it open and glue it back together, it snaps shut! This is great if you ever need to replace the battery.
new diamond shaped key (it should say 315MHz on the back). I`m bough my key from e-bay [ THIS KEY WORKING FOR e39 FROM 1996-2000 FOR SURE !!!!!!! ] http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...OU:MOTORS:1123 his e-bay name [ allkeylez ]
2.Get your key cut. I found a local locksmith who cut my key for $25. It took him about 5 minutes to cut and he tested it in the door and ignition to make sure that it worked
3.Gather the necessary parts/tools to replace the transponder and battery. what you may need and what I used. New diamond key, old square key, utility knife, small cutters, small screw driver (phillips) and a non-rechargeable battery CR2016 from Walmart for $2.50
4.Start with the old square key and remove the small cover on the back and remove the two small screws
5.Remove the battery holder/circuit board from the key body by prying up on one end with a small screw driver
6. Locate and pop out the transponder chip. It is located in the corner of the square key shell ( on first pics buttom right and for second pics top right corner of my pictures). Mine was glued in so I popped it out with a small screw driver
7.Place transponder aside for the moment and put your old key back together. Your old key will now no longer start your car. It will still have the remote function and the actual key part can unlock your door/trunk and turn your ignition on. It just will not start the car unless you put the transponder back in.
8. Take apart your new diamond key. Since my key was so new, it just snapped apart, there was no glue to cut through. I ended up taking my utility knife and placing it between the two halves of the key where the hole for your keychain is located. This will allow you to pop the two halves of the key apart.
9.Here is what the inside of the diamond key looks like.
10.. The tricky part that nobody could figure out before is removing the transponder chip from the diamond key. The transponder in this key is wrapped in copper wire on the circuit board. It is located in the buttom right corner in picture:3-4
11.Remove the transponder by prying or cutting it off the circuit board. You must remove the copper wire and the two black end units with it. This will also remove the inductive charging system so you will need to replace the battery with a non-rechargeable battery.pics 5
Picture of the board without the transponder:
12.Replace the rechargeable battery with a 3V battery, such as the one from your old square key. I went to Walmart and bought a new 3V battery, model CR2016 for $ 2.50
13. TRICKY PART!!! Next I took a small cutters or you always can use chisel and broke the spot welds on the battery ! PLEASE BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DON`T USE your BEAR`s hands on it)) special on buttom conection !!!!!!! pics #8 show ONLY top conection but YOU also need to cut buttom conection !!!
14. when you will cut a rechargeable battery you need to put new CR 2016 in EXACTLY in same place and I`ve used small amount of clear tape for holder protection.!!
15.Place the old transponder from your square key into the housing of the diamond key. I fit it into the space where the original transponder was or you can clue it for buttom shell of the key! [ I`m did it this way! ] Here is a picture of where I put it. pics 7
16. Now it's time to put it all together. Put the diamond circuit board back into place, make sure that your old transponder fits in the right place and doesn't press too hard on the case or the circuit board
17.Reinitialize the key so that the remote will lock/unlock your car. There are lots of DIY's on how to do this, just search for them.
18. After you get the remote part working, just put the key into the ignition and start the car. You now have a diamond key that works on older cars just for $ 80.00 What can be better!
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Last edited by wolf888; 02-08-2011 at 03:47 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 04:20 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf888 View Post
DIY - easy way to make a brand new diamond key work in your older car (96-00)
Thanks for the DIY update; it's the rare few who take the tremendous time & energy to write a DIY that enable others to move forward more quickly.

I've already added this square2diamond key retrofit DIY to the best links so others stand on your shoulders.
- BMW diamond key initializing (1), opening, charging, recoding, & battery replacement (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & converting 1996-2000 "square" key to a diamond key (1)

Comments:
- It wasn't obvious to me where the old transponder was in the old key ... so I circled it below for others to benefit.
- It certainly isn't obvious that there is a "new transponder" underneath the wires in the inductive coil (can you unwrap the wires and let us see what it looks like?)
- This thread says the diamond key does NOT have a rechargeable battery - they say it's a "charge capacitor" (I'm confused).


Questions:
While the 3volt CR2016 button battery isn't designed to be recharged, the inductive coil, if left in place, wouldn't recharge the battery (I'm assuming) because the car itself would likely NOT have the mechanism to inductively couple with the key to charge the battery.
Q: In this DIY, do we really need to remove the inductive coil?

This thread over here says that there is a "charge capacitor" (and not a rechargeable battery) in the diamond key (so I'm confused).
Q: In this DIY, are we removing the diamond shaped key "charge capacitor" or is it a "rechargeable battery"?

In a similar vein, are we sure the inductive coil is hiding a transponder underneath the copper wires? If it is ...
Q: Can't you have two "transponders" inside the key (only one of which is the right one for your vehicle)?




- I had a little trouble with your URL to the EBAY seller (it didn't open up in a new window but here it is).
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Last edited by bluebee; 02-08-2011 at 05:45 PM.
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  #3  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:44 PM
wolf888 wolf888 is offline
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Q: So, do we really need to remove the inductive coil?

Yes . you MUST do it !and replaced with new battery

In a similar vein, are we sure the inductive coil is hiding a transponder underneath the copper wires? If it is ...
Q: Can't you have two "transponders" inside the key (only one of which is the right one for your vehicle

NO. You cannot keep both of them ! I`m already try it and for some reason key will NOT work with 2 transponder!

It certainly isn't obvious that there is a "new transponder" underneath the wires in the inductive coil (can you unwrap the wires and let us see what it looks like.

Sorry but already put everything in garbage and cannot find it but sure someone alse can do it!

- This thread says the diamond key does NOT have a rechargeable battery - they say it's a "charge capacitor" (I'm confused)

for me it` s look like a battery ; ) [this is WHY I`m said battery ] but EVEN it is a CHARGE CAPACITOR - IT`s NOT WORKING FOR OUR CAR AND must TO BE REPLACED WITH CR2016 BATTERY.

Last edited by wolf888; 02-08-2011 at 05:56 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-08-2011, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf888 View Post
NO. You cannot keep both of them ! I`m already try it and for some reason key will NOT work with 2 transponder!
That's very interesting. Thanks for the reply.

I wonder why it wouldn't work with two transponders. Hmmm... let's see if others can provide more detail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf888 View Post
EVEN it is CHARGE CAPACITOR - IT`s NOT WORKING FOR OUR CAR AND must TO BE REPLACED WITH CR2016 BATTERY.
I'm so confused because come people clearly say it's not a battery (1) while others just as clearly call it a Panasonic VL-2020 Lithium Coin Cell battery (1).

I'm leaning toward the fact it is a lithium battery based on this picture:


Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf888 View Post
Sorry but already put everything in garbage and cannot find it but sure someone alse can do it!
I opened up a separate thread asking the next person to unwrap that coil!
- Is there a "transponder" underneath the copper wire in the diamond key inductive coil

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf888 View Post
Reinitialize the key so that the remote will lock/unlock your car.
Thanks to QSilver7 over here ... here is the re-initialization procedure for both styles of keys ...


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Last edited by bluebee; 02-08-2011 at 06:17 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-17-2011, 02:21 AM
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For the record, this key-button DIY was just added to the bestlinks based on information in this thread today:
- Replacing Key Buttons

- BMW diamond key initializing (1) (2), opening, charging, recoding, & battery replacement (1) of the new-style diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & converting the old-style 1996-2000 "square" key to a diamond key (1) & how to replace the rubber key pads in the old style keys (1) (2)
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  #6  
Old 03-26-2011, 07:18 PM
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For the record, today we got a good answer to the question opened prior:
- Is there a "transponder" underneath the copper wire in the diamond key inductive coil
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:49 PM
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Just for the record, apparently even the plastic key has a transponder:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > Is 5 series so secured?

Does anyone have a good PICTURE of the plastic-key transponder?
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:59 AM
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BTW, QSilver7 posted a nice remote-key function summary here today:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > 2002 BMW 525i E39 Key Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7
the remote has THREE features incorporated into them:
  • EWS - immobilizing drive-away-protection which shuts down ignition/injection/starter...this system is self powered and does not need the battery inside the key...nor can it be programmed to work on another car.
  • DWA - alarm anti-theft siren system...this feature can be programmed to other BMWs that use the same 315 MHz frequency and requires a working battery inside the key.
  • FZV - keyless entry system...this feature can be programmed to other BMWs that use the same 315 MHz frequency and requires a working battery inside the key.

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  #9  
Old 09-24-2011, 04:42 PM
wolf888 wolf888 is offline
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Just another update for my key! Today`s 09/24/2011 and key still working great! and for all this time I`m never had any problem with a key!!!

Last edited by wolf888; 09-24-2011 at 04:51 PM.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2011, 05:19 PM
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That's good to hear...but for anyone else wanting to do this...you really don't need to remove the charging coil...because if you DO keep it...you can also keep the rechargable battery. The only thing that needs to be done is the removal (desolder) the EWS transponder chip from the new style key, then insert the EWS transponder chip from the old style key into the case for the diamond (new style) key.

It is a VERY old misconception that the charging coil is the transponder...THAT IS INCORRECT...the EWS transponder is CORRECTLY identified in this pic below...again, if you remove/desolder the transponder from off the key's IC board...there's no need to remove the charging coil which will keep the original (or replacement if the 1st battery died) battery charged when it is inserted into the car's ignition:



Here's the reason below that it's not NECESSARY to remove the inductive coil (if you're going to remove the transponder). The old style transponder will still send it's signal since it was designed to be "induced" by the RING ANTENNA alone (which is still around the ignition cylinder).


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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 09-24-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2011, 06:32 PM
Mtnman42 Mtnman42 is offline
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Sorry, I need some education. What is the advantage of the Diamond Key?
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
Sorry, I need some education. What is the advantage of the Diamond Key?
Looks cooler. Smaller. Colored BMW Logo.
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Old 09-24-2011, 09:57 PM
wolf888 wolf888 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
Sorry, I need some education. What is the advantage of the Diamond Key?
Simple! To get second key!
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Old 09-25-2011, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
Sorry, I need some education. What is the advantage of the Diamond Key?
First let me say...if you like the new style key, that's fine..."viva la difference". But my reply below is is a direct answer to a direct question...and that is "what is the advantage"...it is NOT an attack for those who don't care for the old style "square" or "rubber" key...and prefer the "look" of the new style key.

There is no "advantage" in function going from the old style key to the new style key because they perform the same functions...except that the old style key has a red LED status light. AS far as form, the old style key is easier to open, has a replaceable battery that is inexpensive and easy to find, and the EWS transponder is loose inside the key which makes it easier to transfer to another key.

The new style key has a color roundel and a more modern look to some (it's "pretty") ...which can give it a psychological edge or fit into the category that "newer is better". But if you read the forum frequently, you'll note that the new style (diamond shaped) key seems to have more issues than the old style key...and that is due to its "form". It is sealed, has no indicator (like the red LED status light), the battery as well as the EWS transponder are both soldered to the key's IC board which requires a higher DIY skill for changing either.

Function wise...the older style key has fewer issues and when issues do arise...it is easier and less expensive to work on or fix it. It also has the red LED which indicates that the battery has power and/or that pressing the buttons actually sent a signal.

The new style key leaves you wondering when pressing the buttons don't initiate locking/unlocking & arming/disarming. The new style key leaves you wondering if the battery is dead, the key's buttons or circuit board has failed, or if the issue is with the receiver or central locking system in the car. With the old style key, you can pretty much figure all this out by the red LED status light (dead battery, inoperable buttons, or issue on car side of things).

When the battery dies on the old style key, you just flip it over, remove the screws, take out the old battery, install a new 2016 (or two 1220 batteries if you have the really old, old style key), then close her back up. You can find the aforementioned batteries at Radio Shack, Walmart (jewelery counter) Target, Kmart, or even the watch kiosk at the mall.

When you finally figure out the battery is dead in the new style key (the original BMW ones)...you have to find someone that sells the special rechargeable battery, once found, then you have to crack open the key (it is sealed), and then desolder the old battery to remove it, then resolder the new battery to the circuit board, then find a way to reseal the key which won't stay together if you don't do a good job of resealing it. Or you can go online and find one of the many knock off keys that have key bodies that can be opened...but then you'll need to find a local keysmith that can cut the blade of a BMW key.

One of the biggest issues with the old style key is the original buttons wear down and look AWFUL. But you can find replacement rubber keys for between $3-$10 on ebay...and because the old style keys can be easliy opened...you can replace the buttons in about 15 minutes (even with limited DIY skills)...and end up with a totally refreshed key.


Another plus for the old style key is ...the transponder is lose inside the key instead of being soldered to the key's IC board. This means that if you can find a blank online...as well as a keysmith that can cut a BMW key blade...it is MUCH easier to swap the innards of your old key into the new old style key head.
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Last edited by QSilver7; 09-25-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
viva la difference
That was quite a nice summary!
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:36 AM
Mtnman42 Mtnman42 is offline
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Thank you very much for being so thoughtful about your answer.
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
Thank you very much for being so thoughtful about your answer.
Saint Q is the best!

In fact, he's even unknowingly helping others ... for example ... today I referred the E46 guys over here to answer 'their' key questions!
- E46 (1999 - 2006) > 1999 E46 323i Getting a replacement remote/ keyfob

Quote:
Originally Posted by john2654 View Post
I have a '99 323i e46. The keyless remote fob works ok when I install a brand new battery. After a couple days it acts flaky. The light flashes don't match with the buttons being pressed, to unlock or lock the doors it takes multiple time pressing on the buttons.

Is there a place that I can buy a new remote key and just swap out the remote part? I've seen the blank keys on ebay, but none have the internal remote part. I know how to program the remote part because I've done that multiple times now.

I know I need my original cut metal key part and the small chip inside. Can these be swapped into the diamond shaped key?

I have the one on the right.
PS: Technically, it's a "key", not a "key fob".
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Old 02-24-2012, 02:37 AM
Dave88 Dave88 is offline
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Valet key to Diamond shape Key

Hi all very interesting posts - I have found that the Valet key needs the rebates each side of the blade machined a little deeper, so the remaining metal is 1.4mm thick it then fits and unlocks the boot and glove box. I then purchased a s/h key off Ebay and programmed it to open and close the car. I split both keys and swapped the blades over, they are slightly different shapes so a bit of shaping with a hot soldering iron is required to get the valet blade to seat in the diamond shape body. I remove the coffin shaped transponder from th valet key and have embedded it in the body of the non button side of the key body near to the blade. Now I have two transponders in the key! My first attempt to start the car failed so i started it with the original and then used my clone and it worked.

Question - I don't think it is a good idea to remove the coil as the battery will not get charged but can the 8 pin transponder chip on the board be disabled in some way I.E. cut some of the soldered joints of the pins (or remove altogether) and leave the charging circuit for the battery and the remote locking funtions intact. I am worried, that by leaving the two transponders in place, starting will be hit and miss and will confuse the cars brain (just like mine is at this moment)
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:19 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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battery is rechargable in the car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mtnman42 View Post
Sorry, I need some education. What is the advantage of the Diamond Key?
no battery to replace.
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Old 02-24-2012, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave88 View Post
...I remove the coffin shaped transponder...and have embedded it in the body of the non button side of the key body near to the blade. Now I have two transponders in the key! My first attempt to start the car failed so i started it with the original and then used my clone and it worked. ...
You may still be operating under a false "relief" that you got the key to work properly.

There is a brief (approx 10 second) period where EWS validation is canceled when a working key is removed from the ignition, and a 2nd key is inserted. If the 2nd key was not working previously...this 10 second cancellation of EWS validation can give a FALSE perception that the formally non working key can now start the car.

I can't find the exact "workshop hint" that describes this little window of time...but if you read the workshop hint on the right (below)...the 10 second window that is mentioned...is the reason why the hint is mentioned in this scenario (although it doesn't go into details as to why.


EDIT: I found it!

The DME cancels ISN (individual serial number) identification after the engine is started...and retains ISN info up to 10 seconds after turning the car off. Again, this is why inserting your 2nd key (that formally wouldn't start the car) within 10 seconds of using your working key...allowed for the formally non-working key to start the car. Be careful that you're not falling into this category. See the info inside the red box below:

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 02-24-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:54 PM
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This related thread (moving from square to diamond key) was opened today on the E46 side of the house:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aking23 View Post
so iam in a bit of a headache right now. I did the diy for the diamond key upgrade from my old square key and i did everything from ordering two keys (one oem and the other just the case) swapping the internal from the oem one to the case getting it cut ($35) and then swapping in the chip. Everything works execpt the engine start. I guess its the chip haveing trouble talking to my car

this is rhe way i put ny transponder chip inside my new key, and it still does not turn ny engine on. Ive programed the key to lock and unlock but not start thecar. If i take the chip out and put it into my orginal square key it works, but nothing works on my diamond key execpt the remote

See also:

- How to replace the old-style BMW E39 square key battery (1) (2) (3) & how to replace the rubber key pads in the old style square keys (1) (2) & opening, charging, recoding, & battery replacement (1) of the new-style diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how to recharge off your BMW and how long a BMW key will last in the drawer before it needs that off-the-car recharging (1) & converting the old-style square key to the newer diamond shaped key (1) & the details on swapping the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & proper diamond key initializing (1) (2) & what to do if your key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & a description of the various types of BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & all about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & a description of the ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) or what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1)
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  #22  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:41 PM
wolf888 wolf888 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Mein Auto: 528i /C240/M35
Try to remove the transponder chip from the diamond key. The transponder in this key is wrapped in copper wire on the circuit board. It is located in the buttom right corner in picture:3-4
PS. I`ve had same situation and simple removed coils and car start right away! for some reason my car didn`t start with 2 transponder! Also check what said on back of the key ! it should say 315MHz on the back of the key!!
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  #23  
Old 01-24-2013, 01:33 AM
Dave88 Dave88 is offline
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Location: Birmingham
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: 330i Convertible
The copper wire covered component is not a transponder I think its some kind of arial. You carefully remove the chip with 8 legs just above it this is the transponder that conflicts with the loose one that you insert to match your car. I got my transponder out of the valet key and got all functions to work. Sold the car now though - sob sob!!!!
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  #24  
Old 02-23-2013, 06:12 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,086
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave88 View Post
The copper wire covered component is not a transponder I think its some kind of arial.
Here's a pictorial description:

-----

----

See also:
- How to replace the old-style BMW square key battery (1) (2) & how to replace the rubber key pads in the square keys (1) (2) & what can go wrong with a key and where to send it for repair (1) (2) (3) & what battery to use in the new style 2000+ BMW E39, E46, E53, E85, etc. diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & a square key to diamond key retrofit and transponder swap (1) (2) (3) & how to recharge your key out of your BMW and how long that key will last in the drawer before it needs that off-the-car recharging (1) & the details on swapping the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & the proper diamond key initializing or programming sequence (1) (2) (3) (4) & what to do if your only key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & a description of the various types of BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & all about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & a description of the ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) or what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1)
__________________
Please read the suggested threads, where the best always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need

Last edited by bluebee; 02-26-2013 at 02:37 AM.
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