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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 08-25-2011, 02:50 AM
wegotseven wegotseven is offline
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Help me guys!! I left my car at Walmart.

Dang!!! Help me guys
Last night I lost my key in Walmart and left my car there.
Should I bring my car to the dealership in order to program it or I can just buy new key??
Cuz the Walmart is too far away from my house(40miles away). It would cost me a lot if I need to tow my car.
Quick reply plz
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2011, 03:50 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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You should be able to buy a new key but it takes a while and very expensive
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2011, 04:44 AM
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Each key is coded specifically to each car. Hopefully the dealer is familiar with your car and is able to code the key for your car. You may need the serial number, if you're going to an arbitrary dealer. And yes, the dealer needs to order the key and the cost was about $125 a few years back.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:36 AM
PropellerHead PropellerHead is offline
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You'll also need the the title or state/city registration of the car with your name on it or the name of someone with you to make the order. For obvious reasons, they get very picky about verifying people buying new keys actually own the car for which they seek a key.

You have choices in keys. A valet key is cheapest. You can get a non-remote key that will open the trunk and glove box and start the car. I ordered two keys last year. The chipped remote key was ~$150 ea last year. They also vary in price by type of remote key. Early E39 remote keys are generally less expensive. The only way to know what your dealer charges and what your options are is to ask them.

Last edited by PropellerHead; 08-25-2011 at 05:39 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2011, 05:47 AM
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Once this is all sorted out, might I recommend a membership in AAA?
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  #6  
Old 08-25-2011, 06:34 AM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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Option 1- Simply take your spare key from its safe place and pick up the vehicle.

Option 2- Learn lesson, order 2 keys from dealer, place one in a safe place, and retrieve the vehicle. Next time this occurs refer to option #1.
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  #7  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:13 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Once this is all sorted out, might I recommend a membership in AAA?
AAA can't get into these cars. At least, unless they are suddenly skilled in picking locks. I don't know of a way to unlock the car without a key; all the buttons and door handles are disabled.

I bought a wallet key a few years back after doing the same thing. Set me back $65 in Canada.
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Last edited by bmw_n00b13; 08-25-2011 at 07:15 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:20 AM
bimmerteck bimmerteck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
I don't know of a way to unlock the car without a key
There are ways, none that AAA will know, but there are ways.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:24 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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First, not all keys ae THAT expensive. You have the option of 5 different keys. The dealer does not make or cut the key. The keys are ordered from your BMW dealer and they come from BMW NA where they will cut the key according to your car's VIN...and the EWS transponder chip will come already programmed with your car's ISN (individual serial number) that is specific to your car.

There is no programming of the EWS transponder by the dealer for your car....so don't waste money having your car towed 40 miles to the dealership. The key will come from BMW NA with the EWS transponder already programmed to start your car. The only thing that needs to be programmed after purchase is the REMOTE FZV/DWA features (keyless entry/anti-theft alarm system). And you can do that yourself in less than 1 minutes...the instructions have been printed here many times and should be in the DIY/FAQ threads.

Take this opportunity to order TWO keys...keeping one as a spare/back-up/emergency key...and for that you can order the much less expensive plastic spare, spare, or illuminated key. I would NOT suggest the valet key as a back up since it can't open the trunk....which is one of the most frequent places people lock their key.

To order a new key from the local BMW dealership...you just need to provide proof of ownership etc...like a driver's license, registration, proof of insurance, or title, etc.

These are the keys you can buy (plus their part nbrs)...and notice that not all the keys are over $100. :rolleyes ...I just got this info this year (June/2011) and the prices are from BMW Silver Springs (formerly Tischer BMW):

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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; 08-27-2011 at 05:24 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:32 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
AAA can't get into these cars.
No, but they can tow them. The OP was at a loss because he couldn't afford to tow his car 40 miles. Even if AAA could open his car, he still wouldn't have had a key to drive it anywhere. With the proper AAA Plus membership, he would be towed wherever he wanted to be towed within a 100 mile radius.

So again I say, once this is all sorted out, I strongly recommend a obtaining a membership with AAA.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011, 07:57 AM
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tedm tedm is offline
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I bet someone found the key and took the car. I doubt there were tons of BMWs at Walmart and surely one of the idiot shoppers there was able to figure which car the key opened. I'd check other nearby Walmart parking lots for your car and a for sale sign.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:06 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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There are 2 types of key:

- Full function key with remote: $130
- Key alone minus remote: $45 (This key can open anything and evrything from door, ignition and trunk etc., it just does not have the remote).
This is the one I use everyday.

It takes about 2 days to get the key from dealer.

PS: Also call Walmart's Lost and Found and see what you get.

Last edited by cn90; 08-25-2011 at 08:07 AM.
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  #13  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:32 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedm View Post
I bet someone found the key and took the car. I doubt there were tons of BMWs at Walmart and surely one of the idiot shoppers there was able to figure which car the key opened. I'd check other nearby Walmart parking lots for your car and a for sale sign.
Initially I was thinking that way too, but it all depends where you live.

In the Midwest, whoever found the key usually returns to key to Lost and Found.

In NYC, they take the key and drive the car away!

In Texas (the O.P. is from Houston), they turn the key to the Republicans.

I am just having fun today LOL....

PS: Seriously, in this world, we tend to think people are bad. The reality is that: 90% of people are good and only 10% are bad. So chances are the key is at Lost and Found.
So, is the glass 90% full or 10% empty?
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:36 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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There's 5 types of keys...I just posted their part nbrs.
  1. remote key (opens everything)
  2. illuminated key (opens everything)
  3. spare key (opens everything)
  4. plastic wallet key (opens everything)
  5. valet key (only opens door & works in ignition...won't open trunk or glove box)

here's 2 of the 5 available keys
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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; 08-25-2011 at 08:46 AM.
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:40 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
5 different keys ...The dealer does not make or cut the key.... keys are ordered from your BMW dealer and they come from BMW NA ...
Every time Saint Q posts (and a small handful of others), I take special note to crosslink his adept and all-inclusive responses (almost always with great graphics) to the bestlinks, for future reference.
  1. Generally I either cross reference to an existing bestlinks (that's the most economical method),
  2. or I modify an existing keyword-rich addendum to an additional statement (slightly less economical),
  3. or I create a new line in the bestlinks (least economical).
In this case, I think I'll address the specific issue of what to do if the only key is missing by the 2nd of the three approaches above:

- What to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) & what to do if your key is locked inside your car (1) & a description of the various types of BMW "Remote", "Illuminated", "Spare/Wallet", & "Valet/Service" keys (1) (2) & a list of diamond key functions (1) & the truth about the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & proper key initializing (1) (2) & the truth about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & 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)

Note: Saint Q's graphic is reproduced below so that it will be archived with this post (for future reference).
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  #16  
Old 08-25-2011, 08:54 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Thanks QSilver,

If one doesn't care for the remote feature, then the key I use everyday is the $45 key in your picture below.
The black key in the center.


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  #17  
Old 08-25-2011, 09:31 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Thanks QSilver,

If one doesn't care for the remote feature, then the key I use everyday is the $45 key in your picture below.
The black key in the center.

CN90...thanks for posting that pic and verifying that one can get that metal spare key with the black head (# 51 21 8 205 312)...because the part database does not list that part nbr for the e38 & e39...but it is one of the EWS keys & is available for the e38 & e39 (e53 & e46, too) as a working spare key. You definitely have to specifically ask for that part nbr while giving the dealership your VIN info etc...if not...you're more than likely will not be given the choice to purchase it. This is one of those times when it's good to be prepared ahead of time.

I'm not sure why the part database leaves this key out of the part nbr index and only lists the less substantial plastic spare/wallet key, illuminated key, and valet/service keys as other choices besides the remote key.

But anyway...this thread proves again that there really is no reason to leave one's self vulnerable by only having one key. A spare/back-up/emergency key can be had for about a tank of gas...and give you a way into your car if something happens like it did to the OP.

And Bluebee...you're the one that's truly a saint. You're archiving contributions are a blessing more than words can say.
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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
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  #18  
Old 02-15-2013, 11:07 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this thread was opened today, where someone needs to replace their no-longer-working diamond key:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sawtooth4x4 View Post
I've read through it, i'm still a bit confused.

So here is my problem.

I got two keys with my BMW. One Valet Key and one Dead Diamond Key.

If i buy a couple Diamond keys off eBay, have them cut, and reprogram using the instructions. Will i be up and running with keyless entry?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTK12 View Post
No. To get working key you need to buy it from the dealer. The EWS has 10 pre-programmed keys that will start the car. You can only get these keys from the dealer. So you can get the keyless entry to working on ebay keys, but you can't get the car to start with them. On the new diamond key the EWS chip is soldered on the PCB.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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
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  #19  
Old 02-15-2013, 11:25 AM
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Nline6 Nline6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Once this is all sorted out, might I recommend a membership in AAA?
98 bucks a year, with 5 tows included? beats paying for just ONE tow without AAA. AAA is my best friend. Like having a tow truck follow me around just incase
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  #20  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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So as not to lose this which Saint Q posted to the other thread I just listed above, here is a cut-and-paste to this canonical diamond-key replacement thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
The remote keys have 3 features/systems that are all independent of one another but work in conjunction with each other:
  1. EWS- immobilizes the car and prevents it from starting unless the transponder chip inside the key is recognized (communicates) with the EWS control module & ECU/DME. Upon recognition of the ISN (individual serial number) that is assigned specifically to each of these components...the starter, fuel, & ignition will be released and the car will start.
  2. FZV - central locking system (remote -wireless locking/unlocking of the central locking system)
  3. DWA - anti-theft alarm siren system (remote - wireles arming/disarming of this system)

EWS is specfic to each BMW...and is specific to each BMW based on its VIN. You can not take another BMW key (of this era) and program it (in your driveway) to start/stop another BMW. The only way to communicate with the EWS system is thru proprietary hardware/software.

FZV & DWA is only a transmitted RF signal (315 MHz or 433 MHz) that is powered by the battery inside the remote key. These 2 features can be programmed to lock/unlock & arm/disarm other BMWs that have the same system of radio frequency.

So yes, you can purchase an old style key (if it has the battery and circuit board inside) and program it to lock/unlock your car...but you'll never get it to start your car without having some way to retrieve the ISN from your EWS control module plus the key code (its place held in one of the 10 spots in the EWS control module)..then somehow find the correct blank EEPROM and equipment that can burn that data to it so that it can start your car.

If your original key was the old style type...then it could be possible to buy a used blank key. That's because the old style key has an loose EEPROM (transponder chip) inside the key. If you have a keysmith that could cut the blank...then the internals (IC board & transponder) could be swapped over into that key...thus creating a key that can perform all 3 features.

The new style key's EWS transponder chip (as well as the key's battery) is soldered to the IC board inside the chip...and both are powered & kept charged thru induction by the coil inside the new style key and Ring Antenna around the ignition. So trying to get an old style key to work in a new style ignition (or vice versa) requires a lot of work to get around the inherent design differences.

Not exactly sure what you meant by "dead" when referring to your original diamond shaped key...but if the FZV/DWA features no longer work on your new style key...then yes, you can still get an old style key and program it to lock/unlock & arm/disarm your car...and you could even get the key blade cut to match your ignition. And as long as you kept the original key near the ignition (for the EWS's ISN to be read) the old style key could possibly start the car...again, as long as the Ring Antenna could induce the coil inside your original key to power up the transponder so that it could send data back to the EWS control module etc. Make sure that your diamond shaped key is fully charged.

If by "dead" you mean that it won't start the car...then perhaps your EWS systmem needs to be realigned. This will require BMW DIS/GT-1 etc...or some of the aftermarket hardware/software that can communicate with the various modules of your car's BUS system.





EDIT: Regarding the AAA comment ... (which is somewhat related to lost keys):
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nline6 View Post
AAA is my best friend. Like having a tow truck follow me around just incase
Heh heh ... after this rainy winter, AAA is "my" newfound friend too!
- How to tow extricate extract a bimmer from snow or mud without using the tow hook (1)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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; 02-15-2013 at 12:29 PM.
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  #21  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:24 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
CN90...thanks for... verifying that one can get that metal spare key with the black head (# 51 21 8 205 312)..
I just ran a quick survey of the three local BMW dealers for special order PN: 51218205312
  • BMW Fremont 888-208-9746x3
    • $104 includes tax
  • BMW Mountainview 877-845-1713x3
    • $107.48 + tax
  • BMW San Jose 800-298-1501x5x1
    • $89 + tax
All require you to personally bring in the registration & your drivers license and you must be the registered owner of the vehicle - and all said it would take 2 to 3 business days to get your special order key.

EDIT: Just again ran into this EWS PDF which has some nice diagrams of the key operation.
- BMW training on the EWS alarm drive away protection system (pdf)
__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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; 02-15-2013 at 01:16 PM.
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  #22  
Old 02-15-2013, 12:57 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee
I just ran a quick survey of the three local BMW dealers for special order PN: 51218205312

BMW Fremont 888-208-9746x3
$104 inludes tax (2 to 3 business days)
BMW Mountainview 877-845-1713x3
$107.48 + tax (2 to 3 business days)
BMW San Jose 800-298-1501x5x1
$89 + tax (2 to 3 business days)
Wow...its just incredible how much more the BMW dealerships charge in your area for oe parts.

I entered this BMW part nbr (51218205312) into my local BMW's website and they sell the key for $45.29: http://www.tomkinsonbmwparts.com/par...&siteid=215996
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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
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
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  #23  
Old 02-15-2013, 01:09 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
BMW part nbr (51218205312) into my local BMW's website and they sell the key for $45.29
Wow. Roughly that's about half the price we get charged here in the Silicon Valley!

There might be a way to get the key remotely, but, all three dealers said you had to come in personally - so - I don't know any way offhand to get around it.

I wonder if one can waltz into a SF bay area dealer (to show the ID) and have them order it through that Indiana dealer for half price?
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__________________
Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will 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
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  #24  
Old 02-15-2013, 05:06 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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I am absolutely shocked at the number of posters who report having just one key! They must be oblivious to the inconvenience/danger this poses.

When I bought my car, I insisted that the used-car dealer round up all the keys, plus the manuals and zipper case. Funny thing, they found them, but they were willing to release the car with one key, and no manuals.
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  #25  
Old 02-15-2013, 05:18 PM
sawtooth4x4 sawtooth4x4 is offline
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Do those remotes work on the 2001 525? if so, what is the part number on those?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Thanks QSilver,

If one doesn't care for the remote feature, then the key I use everyday is the $45 key in your picture below.
The black key in the center.


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