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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 06-10-2003, 08:33 PM
Alex540 Alex540 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 540i
Help me program my keyless entry.

I do the instructions in the manual. Close drivers door. Turn to key postion 1 and then back to 0 and hold button 2 while pressing button 1 three times twice and release button 2. It stil doesn't work and i just replaced the batteries on the remote. I heard that you have to reprogram all the keys when you do this.
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2003, 10:53 PM
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M.Wong M.Wong is offline
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I think this is right:

Get in and close all doors.

Turn ignition on (position 2) & off quickly (no more than 5 seconds) to start the process.

Next action must take place within 30 seconds.

First key, hold down unlock button.
Press lock button three times.
Release unlock button.
Confirmed by door lock operation.

Repeat for second key within 30 seconds of first.
Confirmed by door lock operation.

Put second key in ignition and turn to position 2 (on) then position 1 (off) to finalize the process. It is not necessary to start the engine.

Both keys should now have new "randomly selected" security "code words" - assigned by the car's system. Those codes will be continuously incremented within the new sequence each time you hit a button. It is when they get out of sequence with the car that they loose the capability to be recognized and you then have to do this again.
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E38 2000 740iL Orient Blue
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Passed on to new families:
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  #3  
Old 03-29-2008, 10:10 AM
bevrich bevrich is offline
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i had a keyless entry that would not work. so i reprogame it and now my good keyless entry does not work.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2009, 05:00 PM
lilikausa lilikausa is offline
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but when i got my car .. they only gave 1 key !

i have 2 now because of the problem i wrote ...

1 opens the door and the other one turns the car on ..
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2009, 07:23 PM
anton-sa anton-sa is offline
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hi there

hi there
i had a key that's keyless entry part first stopped working intermattantly then stopped working completely,
went thru checking all the buttons and battery etc..

i eventually followed the re-programming steps, this didnt work for me, till i tried it differently...

step 1) where you turn the key to position 2 and quickly off, before holding the buttons etc..
do this 5 times...

i.e on and off x 5
then hold the centre button in and press the unlock button 3 times (while holding centre button in).

then let go of the buttons, the car should lock then unlock all the doors to confirm its re-synced.

good luck

Anton
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:10 AM
jieg jieg is offline
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Mein Auto: 525i 2003
I have the same problem, lock button does not work (unlock and trunk buttons work fine)

I tried reinitializing, but in this thread seems that the key is to be turned to position 1 or 2; I have read a lot ot posts indicating (hard copies of instructions) turn to position 1.

Alex 540, have you changed fuse 53 in the trunk?,
there is another post i read that suggested to unplug the gas door and see if the control work

there are various combinations to try,

1)switch to position 1 or position 2, (1 or five times as suggested by anton-sa)
2)unplug gas door actuator and back to 1)
3) replace fuse 53 if blown and back to 1) or 2)

let us know if you solved the problem Alex540
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  #7  
Old 09-13-2009, 05:53 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Also have to remember that the instructions for the old style key (rubber head) is slightly different than the new style key.

The new style key requires that you ACTIVATE the central locking system FIRST (lock/unlock the doors)...then get in and SHUT the door (which is the first step for the old style keys). You also need to program any other remote keys that you have during the same session...but again...FOLLOW the instructions for programming the 2nd key... old style key starts on step #3... new style key starts on step #4 for the 2nd key:

Old style key Instructions: instructions from owners manual

New style key Instructions:
instructions from BMW TIS

Alternate Programming Instructions:
(for those still having issues)
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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; 09-13-2009 at 05:55 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2009, 08:56 PM
jieg jieg is offline
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Qsilver7,

seems you forgot the links!

i saw your contribution to this subject in other places, they were excelent!
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  #9  
Old 09-13-2009, 09:18 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jieg View Post
Qsilver7,

seems you forgot the links!

i saw your contribution to this subject in other places, they were excelent!
No links necessary; underlining is for emphasis . The images say it all. (I think)
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2009, 09:45 AM
Gterz Gterz is offline
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Thanks, Anton!

Just got a '01 530 and the first fix listed here for the keyless didn't work for me. Yours did and I just wanted to say thanks for saving me money and time!
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  #11  
Old 02-12-2011, 03:47 PM
pinkwave pinkwave is offline
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QSilver7 is awesome for posting these instructions!! My dealer told me it would be approx. $180 to fix and I reprogrammed using the above steps ! AMAZING!!
THANKS QSilver7!!!!
Just in case this helps: after step three you must take the key out of the ignition and proceed with next steps (I thought that you had to do step #4-6 with the key in the ignition )

Last edited by pinkwave; 02-12-2011 at 03:51 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2011, 10:28 AM
geiristudio geiristudio is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW 540 e39
How does one get keyless entry in his e39 ?
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  #13  
Old 02-13-2011, 12:28 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
How does one get keyless entry in his e39 ?
What type of key do you have? Does it look like any of the keys in the instructions above? If it does...which one?

In the USA, all e39s came with keyless entry system. I have no clue how things go with cars imported to Iceland. Do you have any friends that have BMWs that have keys that look like the ones in the illutstrations above and where built duing the same time period of the e39/e38/e46/e53?
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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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  #14  
Old 02-13-2011, 12:31 PM
geiristudio geiristudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
What type of key do you have? Does it look like any of the keys in the instructions above? If it does...which one?

In the USA, all e39s came with keyless entry system. I have no clue how things go with cars imported to Iceland. Do you have any friends that have BMWs that have keys that look like the ones in the illutstrations above and where built duing the same time period of the e39/e38/e46/e53?
I have the older style key, just as the first one on the picture. My car was imported from Germany by some corporation and used as a executive's car. I wouldn't be surprised if my car has keyless entry. I have tv, phone, double glass all around. It's a 1999 540 5-speed automatic.
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  #15  
Old 02-13-2011, 12:34 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geiristudio View Post
I have the older style key, just as the first one on the picture. My car was imported from Germany by some corporation and used as a executive's car. I wouldn't be surprised if my car has keyless entry. I have tv, phone, double glass all around. It's a 1999 540 5-speed automatic.
IF you have a remote key...then TRY IT. Just follow the instructions for that type of key. If you have more than one remote, make sure that BOTH are present during the programming...and again, follow the instructions EXACTLY as written, and within 30 seconds of the 1st key being programmed...start the 2nd remote on STEP 3.
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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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  #16  
Old 02-13-2011, 12:39 PM
geiristudio geiristudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
IF you have a remote key...then TRY IT. Just follow the instructions for that type of key. If you have more than one remote, make sure that BOTH are present during the programming...and again, follow the instructions EXACTLY as written, and within 30 seconds of the 1st key being programmed...start the 2nd remote on STEP 3.
Thanks! I do have the remote. Tell me, when I have tried this and let's suppose it works. How will this feature work ? Does the car unlock when I walk towards it and lock automatically or am I misunderstanding ?

Edit: I was totally misunderstanding! Sorry guys!
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Last edited by geiristudio; 02-13-2011 at 12:40 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-18-2011, 06:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Today, someone asked in an old (but good) thread about initializing the key:
- E39 (1997 - 2003) > key programming... formated ;-(

So that these related threads can more easily be found in the future, instead of adding that thread to the bestlinks, I'll simply refer to it over here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M.Wong View Post
Did you do the entire procedure?

Link to another post with instructions: http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8043
1) Get in and close all doors.
2) Turn on the ingition and turn off quickly. (No more than 5 seconds) to start the process. Next action must take place within 30 seconds.
3) Remove the 1st key.
4) Hold the key up near your left shoulder (this is so it is closer to the remote reciever antenna - someone else suggested this).
5) Hold down the unlock button (which is button 1 on my key) and press the lock button 3 times (center button on my key). Release the unlock button and the doors lock which confirms the operation.
6) Quickly repeat steps 4 & 5 for key #2 etc.
If it does not work, try doing the keys in opposite order. Key 2 then key1, vs 1 then 2.

Do you have several keys? You have to reinitialize them all, quickly.

I have three masters and the order in which I program them might matter. You may want to try the procedure using key #1 then key #2, and if that does not work, key #2 then key #1...

Why did you have to initialize the keys in the first place? Did you get a new one? Did you change batteries?

How old or what condition is your vehicle battery?

How is the condition of your key batteries? (Any time you post tech questions, year of the car -along with model and in some cases, miles- is helpful.) If your car is a year that had replacement batteries in the key, it's best to start with all new batteries.

Which one does yours look like?


Here, by the way, are the latest bestlinks for this subject:

- Diamond key functions (1) & the truth about the BMW diamond key transponder (1) and proper initializing (1) (2) and 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) & 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).
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  #18  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:50 PM
usama Ahmed usama Ahmed is offline
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Thanks guys all of the advice was very helpful. Especially thanks Anton I saved good money by the advice. The dealership was telling me around $250 to fix the problem which was easy to fix.
For anybody holding down the open button and than pressing the lock button 3 times does not work than try it the other way around i.e hold down the lock button and pressing the unlock button three times. That is what worked for me.
Thanks
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  #19  
Old 10-10-2012, 06:28 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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I programmed a key a long time ago and everything worked fine for awhile. There is a feature that if you press the unlock button and keep it pressed, all the windows will go down and the sun roof opens. However, when you press the lock button and keep it pressed, the reverse process happens. However, the reverse process is not happening for me. Does anyone know why?

(Not related, but maybe it is) When one puts the gear in reverse (auto) the left side view mirror goes down. Mine stopped doing this on its own recently. Why?
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  #20  
Old 10-11-2012, 01:27 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King540i View Post
I programmed a key a long time ago and everything worked fine for awhile.
1. There is a feature that if you press the unlock button and keep it pressed, all the windows will go down and the sun roof opens.
2. However, when you press the lock button and keep it pressed, the reverse process happens. However, the reverse process is not happening for me. Does anyone know why?

3. (Not related, but maybe it is) When one puts the gear in reverse (auto) the left side view mirror goes down. Mine stopped doing this on its own recently. Why?
Some Answers:

#2 -Unlike the remote down (convenience close feature)... the remote UP of windows is not initiated in the USA...to have this feature requires aftermarket software/hardware to initiate it. BUT...you can roll-up the windows and close the sunroof if you insert the key into the door lock cylinder, then turn & hold the key in the lock position until everything you want closed is closed.

In the USA only the Remote Convenience Open feature is initiated (unless turned on using aftermarket software/hardware)



Convenience Open/Close feature using the key inserted into the door lock cylinder


#3 - The pass mirror TILT feature is activated/deactivated based on the position of the switch on the driver's door control panel...see the info below from the owners manual:

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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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  #21  
Old 10-11-2012, 06:43 PM
GreenTiger GreenTiger is offline
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Q silver. Amazing. Thank you so much.

I just remembered. That is exactly what I used to do when I wanted all the windows/sun roof to close.
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  #22  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:18 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I just saw someone had updated this key programming & memory setting thread, so as not to lose the data, I cross reference it to here:
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > How do you Program Remote on key
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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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  #23  
Old 05-20-2013, 09:50 AM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 E60 (BMW 550i)
same problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex540 View Post
I do the instructions in the manual. Close drivers door. Turn to key postion 1 and then back to 0 and hold button 2 while pressing button 1 three times twice and release button 2. It stil doesn't work and i just replaced the batteries on the remote. I heard that you have to reprogram all the keys when you do this.


I have the exact same problem as you and nothing seems to work. New batteries and still I tried just about everything and still no keyless fubnction. I am not giving up! Any luck with you?
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  #24  
Old 05-20-2013, 02:55 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golferken55 View Post
I have the exact same problem as you and nothing seems to work. New batteries and still I tried just about everything and still no keyless fubnction. I am not giving up! Any luck with you?
Is this issue with an e39 5 series or the e60 5 series you have listed under Mein Autos? If this is for an e60...I'm not sure the procedure is the same since the communication bus changed between the e39 & e60 generation.
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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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  #25  
Old 05-20-2013, 04:18 PM
golferken55 golferken55 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 E60 (BMW 550i)
Its for my e60, I no longer own the 2002 M3.
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