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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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  #1  
Old 10-06-2011, 06:48 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
Angry Remote key works intermittently.help!

I have '01 X5 4.4i and the key remote would work
whenever it wants to.

Sometimes would lock and unlock with the first push of the button
sometimes I need to push and hold or push a couple of times,
and sometimes would not work AT ALL.
I tried all possible programming methods and NOTHING so far.
Please, if you have any idea or info let me know because I am really
frustrated here.
The only sure way the key works is when I use it manually to lock and unlock
the vehicle.
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2011, 06:03 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Location: Denver, CO
 
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Posts: 3,684
Mein Auto: 2007 X5 4.8i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ioang26 View Post
I have '01 X5 4.4i and the key remote would work
whenever it wants to.

Sometimes would lock and unlock with the first push of the button
sometimes I need to push and hold or push a couple of times,
and sometimes would not work AT ALL.
I tried all possible programming methods and NOTHING so far.
Please, if you have any idea or info let me know because I am really
frustrated here.
The only sure way the key works is when I use it manually to lock and unlock
the vehicle.
Perhaps the battery in the key is starting to fail. If you have a second key try using it and see if the problem recurs.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2011, 08:21 AM
pauljordantx pauljordantx is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 84
Mein Auto: 2006 X5
On our 2006 X5, I find that the buttons on the key fob are rather picky. For example, if I press on the unlock button near the center of the key, nothing happens; but if I press on the unlock button near the end of the key, the car unlocks every time.

You might try pressing the buttons in different ways or in differnent locations on the buttons, to see if that's what your problem is.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2011, 11:21 AM
bpk1122 bpk1122 is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 27
Mein Auto: 2006 X5 3.0
Cool 10 year old battery

More likely than not is the battery. They are simple watch batteries in the key fobs. If you go to the dealer stealer, you will be looking at around $220 per key and probably charged for the re-programming.

Do a YouTube search on BMW key and a battery replacement video should come up. DO AT YOUR OWN RISK. It looks fairly straight forward. Be cautious to review the re-programming process for all keys in your possession if you choose this route, which also looks fairly straight forward.

My key is slightly acting up on my '06 but not to the point where I will be doing this process yet. But if it continues to deteriorate I'd rather do this than pay $500+ for the dealer stealer to change a $3 battery.

Hope that helps.
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  #5  
Old 10-11-2011, 05:11 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
I do have a second key but that one has no remote- I guess it is a valet key.
I will try the battery replacement first and will keep you posted.
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  #6  
Old 10-12-2011, 07:13 PM
Stmary001 Stmary001 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 X5
I have the same intermitten problem with my key for my 2003 X5 my solution was the contact for the battery in the key was broken you have gentlely cut the key apart and used soldering to fix the contact link.
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  #7  
Old 10-12-2011, 07:18 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
Really?I would definitely try that tomorrow and will see what happens .
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2011, 04:49 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
An update. I cut the key apart,then measured the battery and it was showing 3.2V which means is still good.
But seems like the battery is not making a good contact although is still attached .When i press it hard and then
try each buttons - they all work.
Any DIY to fix that problems? Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:29 PM
Stmary001 Stmary001 is offline
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Location: New York
 
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You need to resolder the ends and you will be good as new
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  #10  
Old 10-19-2011, 05:02 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Location: Denver, CO
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 X5 4.8i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ioang26 View Post
An update. I cut the key apart,then measured the battery and it was showing 3.2V which means is still good.
But seems like the battery is not making a good contact although is still attached .When i press it hard and then
try each buttons - they all work.
Any DIY to fix that problems? Thanks!
Unless money is tight I would recommend buying another key. Especially since you don't have a spare. I paid ~ $160 for mine from my indy mechanic. I would call around as I was quoted from $250 from one BMW dealer to $180 from another and $160 from my indy.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-2011, 03:45 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
Ok, here is exactly what I found out is happening.
I took out the electronic board and pressing each button it works but
when I put the board back in the key case you need squeeze it tight and then push the buttons
in order to work. Seems to me that the case button became hard and not flexible enough to
reach make a contact to the board.
I ordered a new uncut key with the shell and I am planning to swap it and see what would happen.
Would the dealer cut / copy a key?
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  #12  
Old 10-19-2011, 07:31 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Location: Denver, CO
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 X5 4.8i
Quote:
Originally Posted by ioang26 View Post
Ok, here is exactly what I found out is happening.
I took out the electronic board and pressing each button it works but
when I put the board back in the key case you need squeeze it tight and then push the buttons
in order to work. Seems to me that the case button became hard and not flexible enough to
reach make a contact to the board.
I ordered a new uncut key with the shell and I am planning to swap it and see what would happen.
Would the dealer cut / copy a key?
If you can cancel the order. The only place to get a functional key is from BMW.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2011, 07:35 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
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Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
Well....it's only $5 so what can I loose ?
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  #14  
Old 10-22-2011, 08:04 PM
ioang26 ioang26 is offline
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Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: BMW X5 4.4i
Final update- today the new BMW shell key arrived ,put all the
electronics in the new shell and now the remote works like new.
The whole problem was that the buttons were worn out and were not able to reach and make a contact
with the electronic board.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2011, 07:58 AM
bpk1122 bpk1122 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 X5 3.0
Thanks for update

Can you provide a little more detail? Where did you purchase the "shell" key and what was entailed in moving the old parts to the new key?

Thanks
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  #16  
Old 10-25-2011, 11:28 PM
romeokc10 romeokc10 is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: Corvette
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpk1122 View Post
Can you provide a little more detail? Where did you purchase the "shell" key and what was entailed in moving the old parts to the new key?

Thanks
You can purchase the shells on Ebay, read the entire thread, you will have to cut the key open along the seam and take the electrics out, nothing to it.
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  #17  
Old 11-01-2011, 07:52 AM
billbil billbil is offline
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Location: Australia
 
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Mein Auto: X5
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
Unless money is tight I would recommend buying another key. Especially since you don't have a spare. I paid ~ $160 for mine from my indy mechanic. I would call around as I was quoted from $250 from one BMW dealer to $180 from another and $160 from my indy.
$180 and $250 both sound good to me. I was quoted $650 by a BMW dealer in Adelaide/Australia! Was that for casings or with internal electronics?
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  #18  
Old 12-10-2012, 03:01 AM
tastytoast tastytoast is offline
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Location: Bay Area, CA
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 2001 540i
bringing this thread back from the dead...

I'm having the same issue on my 01 540i. I have one key that works perfectly, and another that intermittently works. sometimes it works like a charm, sometimes it takes 10 times to get the doors to un/lock.

So, I came across this thread and the OP mentioned the contacts were the source of the problem, not the battery. So I decided to try a few things and wanted to share the results.

First of all, the base line situation. The key would rarely work, I would say absolutely guaranteed the key worked <30% of the time. Accurately it probably worked around 15-20%. Very sporadically it would work. (sometimes it would work the first time I pushed it, sometimes it wouldn't work at all)

Two things I tried:
1. I threw the key into a tupperware and ran hot water over it for ~10-15 minutes. It got nice and toasty inside the tupperware (the air expanded quite a bit), the key was a strong warm. Not too hot though. After I warmed it up I massaged it for about 5 minutes, massaging the buttons and what not. Tested the key with the car, no improvement.

2. Kind of frustrated, I slapped the key on my leg. The key has been off the keyring for all of these situations. So what I did was I gripped the key by the metal portion and slammed the fob portion into my right leg, one-two inches up from my knee, to the inside 2-3 inches. Did that about 5-10 times. Noticeable improvement with the key button functions. So this gave me an idea, I went to a hard table, I lined it with 2 towels, and I proceed to "scientifically" smack the crap out of the key fob on the table. I rotated the angle of impact, on the sides, smacking the buttons, the back, the tip, didn't smack the metal part though, because that might snap the metal key portion off the fob. Tried not to over do it, just solid smacks against a cushioned hard surface. I went out to test the key. The immediate results are that guaranteed >80% of the inputs are working now. To be more accurate it's about 90% of the time. A little more detail about how hard I smacked the key, I wasn't too afraid of it breaking, considering I would have replaced the key with a new keyshell like described by the OP.

These results are just the first night of testing. I just wanted to jot down this idea so that maybe somebody could take it a step further and say that contacts are largely the source of this problem. My logic for the time being is that jolting the key like this loosens up any debris that may have accumulated in the contacts, or loosens the "hardness" factor the OP mentioned about his/her keyset. If the key function reverts back to a crappy status, I'll be back to post results. If I don't respond then it's still working

Last edited by tastytoast; 12-10-2012 at 03:16 AM.
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  #19  
Old 01-26-2014, 02:39 AM
Squash8720 Squash8720 is offline
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Location: Swindon
 
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Mein Auto: 523 Touring
The culprit for the key fob working intermittently in most cases is poor contact. I have replaced the battery and it will work well for a couple of times and you think its cured the problem, but then when you take the key out again after its been in your pocket you get the same problem. The key to this (pardon the pun) is the LED on the key fob if it lights up very bright the key will function properly if its dim then it wont, its just a rubbish BMW design how I have found to make it work is to bang the plastic casing on the floor a few times works every time for me. This is of course providing the battery is good and the contact of the buttons make a good contact I think the reason why they don't is due to dirt ingress and as the key is sealed they are very difficult to clean. Its just a rubbish BMW design hope this helps every one.
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  #20  
Old 01-26-2014, 06:36 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Squash8720 View Post
The culprit for the key fob working intermittently in most cases is poor contact. I have replaced the battery and it will work well for a couple of times and you think its cured the problem, but then when you take the key out again after its been in your pocket you get the same problem. The key to this (pardon the pun) is the LED on the key fob if it lights up very bright the key will function properly if its dim then it wont, its just a rubbish BMW design how I have found to make it work is to bang the plastic casing on the floor a few times works every time for me. This is of course providing the battery is good and the contact of the buttons make a good contact I think the reason why they don't is due to dirt ingress and as the key is sealed they are very difficult to clean. Its just a rubbish BMW design hope this helps every one.
Huh? What key do you have that is "sealed" yet has a red LED? Up until your post...everyone was talking about the newer style key BMW changed to (mid production) starting around the 9/1999 build date. The BMW remote keys with the red LED is the old style key that is NOT sealed...it has 2 screws below a removable cover on the back...and the battery is a 2016 that can be easily swapped in/out.

The new style key is sealed, and does NOT have a red LED...as well as the battery and EWS transponder being soldered to the IC board inside the key. The old style key's EWS transponder is loose inside the key.

This is the old style key...it is designed to easily be opened and the battery and as well as the EWS chip are loose inside the key:




You can also buy new rubber key pads on ebay and refresh the old style key if the pads are all worn down:


This is the new style key...it is sealed and everything is soldered to the IC board inside the key...and there's no red LED:

__________________
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)

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  #21  
Old 01-27-2014, 05:22 PM
gypsy-danger gypsy-danger is offline
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Location: sacramento, ca
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ioang26 View Post
I have '01 X5 4.4i and the key remote would work
whenever it wants to.

Sometimes would lock and unlock with the first push of the button
sometimes I need to push and hold or push a couple of times,
and sometimes would not work AT ALL.
I tried all possible programming methods and NOTHING so far.
Please, if you have any idea or info let me know because I am really
frustrated here.
The only sure way the key works is when I use it manually to lock and unlock
the vehicle.
I have dealt with this in my other cars after years of use. If you have changed the battery by cutting the case with a razor blade and regluing back togther (I heard the fob recharges battery while ingnition) then the button(s) on the silicon board is worn out. They are not meant to last forever. Two things find a freind with soldering skills and replace the button device(s) or by a replacement unenabled transponder with a proper battery.

I just done this by buying 2 folding key blanks (it looks like the E70 keyless remote) and 1 one new 315 Mhz transponder (check your VIN for the proper Mhz transponder) with the needed external chip. Swapped out the old key's innards into the new folding case after the the key blank was cut. Then programmed the new transponder and putting that into the other folding key fob after the key blank was cut.

Hope this give you a genral solution direction.
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