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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 09-16-2010, 06:16 PM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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Location: Lancaster, PA
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
master key won't lock the car

hi guys! excited to be here, just bought my 2001 530i, i'm lovin it so far, but there are some issues. i will adress one here. first of all, i've read every single tread about resetting, reprogramming the key, (mine is a diamond shaped) and did not work. it reprogrammed the key, i had the system confirming it by locking all doors and unlocking driver door, but when i get out and press the lock (middle) button - nothing happens. i lock the car with the key, most of the time i can see alarm and beep locking the car, some times just locks without setting the alarm. the key always will unlock the car, but never lock it. any suggestions? thanks! oh, and i do not have 2 keys, the last owner is still looking forthe 2-nd in his house...
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2010, 07:17 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Next time you are locking up the car with the key (manually by inserting it into the door)...continue on to lock the car....then walk around to the gas filler door and see if it is locked.

If it is NOT locked...you've pretty much narrowed down the culprit. When the fuel filler door actuator (or it's fuse) blows...it will prevent the the keyless entry from working correctly. There's a fuse in the trunk for the central locking system (look on the index/diagram for the TRUNK fuses...not the ones in the glove box)...and see if the fuse is blown. If it is, then go to the glove box fuses and see if you have a spare fuse (that has the correct amperage) and replace it.

Now try to lock/unlock the car. If it only works a few times, check the fuse again and see if it is blown...if it is...then you have a faulty fuel filler door actuator...replace it and another fuse.
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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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  #3  
Old 09-17-2010, 06:19 PM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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thanks for reply, but my gas door locks when i lock it with the key, and there are no blown fuses... i am confussed
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  #4  
Old 09-17-2010, 08:04 PM
ryan234 ryan234 is offline
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We've started to have to the same problem. We have a 1997 528i with the old key (non-diamond), I checked the gas door and it locks along with the doors. Car opens with the key but the center button does not lock any doors. Boot release works fine too. If you figure out the problem please post the fix.

How much would a new key cost?
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  #5  
Old 09-17-2010, 09:05 PM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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i dont know. some posts say 90-100 $. in my case it's not the key, because reprogamming it icludes the use of the lock button, and that shows that the key is fine. it's the locks or some circuit issues. if i fix it i will post.
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  #6  
Old 09-18-2010, 08:29 AM
ryan234 ryan234 is offline
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Could this problem have anything to do with the cabin lights remaining on even when all the doors are closed and nobody is inside the car.

The lights do turn off when I lock the car with the key but stay lit for a very good while after leaving the car. I tried to see how long it took for the lights to turn off and after a couple minutes of waiting they never did so I just locked the car with the key and left. I don't recall these lights ever staying on for so long.
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  #7  
Old 09-18-2010, 10:36 AM
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Quackers Quackers is offline
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GM5 body module faulty relay?
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  #8  
Old 09-18-2010, 03:17 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan234 View Post
We've started to have to the same problem. We have a 1997 528i with the old key (non-diamond), I checked the gas door and it locks along with the doors. Car opens with the key but the center button does not lock any doors. Boot release works fine too. If you figure out the problem please post the fix.

How much would a new key cost?
Have you checked to see if the battery is dead or nearly dead in your key? There are several things that indicate a dying battery inside the old style keys:
  • REMOTE KEY BATTERY appears in the instrument cluster (if you have the high cluster w/20 alpha numeric display)
  • doors refuse to lock or unlock
  • red LED doesn't illuminate or flashes weakly when the buttons are pressed


Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan234 View Post
Could this problem have anything to do with the cabin lights remaining on even when all the doors are closed and nobody is inside the car.

The lights do turn off when I lock the car with the key but stay lit for a very good while after leaving the car. I tried to see how long it took for the lights to turn off and after a couple minutes of waiting they never did so I just locked the car with the key and left. I don't recall these lights ever staying on for so long.
Try setting the interior lights to where they are "continuously" off (press & hold the button)...see the instructions below. BTW, under normal circumstances, if you leave the interior lights on...they should turn off in 15-16 minutes (when the car goes to sleep) if there are no commands for the door or window actuators.

__________________
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; 09-18-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-18-2010, 03:37 PM
ryan234 ryan234 is offline
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[QUOTE=QSilver7;5479539]Have you checked to see if the battery is dead or nearly dead in your key? There are several things that indicate a dying battery inside the old style keys:
  • REMOTE KEY BATTERY appears in the instrument cluster (if you have the high cluster w/20 alpha numeric display)
  • doors refuse to lock or unlock
  • red LED doesn't illuminate or flashes weakly when the buttons are pressed

[/QUOTE


The red LED never worked since we bought the car back in June.

I used the energizer battery check from kragen and it came out good. Also the doors unlock fine...locking is the only thing that is failing.
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  #10  
Old 09-18-2010, 04:00 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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If that's the case...I'd still look at the keys battery. You just listed TWO of the things that indicate the battery is not performing up to snuff:
  1. Doors don't lock
  2. red LED does not flash

...a 2016 battery can be picked up at Walmart, Radio Shack, local drug store, or the watch kiosk at the mall for a couple of dollars...just remember to buy the battery first then switch it out within 60 seconds so that you won't have to reinitialize the key

Or perhaps your button is worn and needs to be adjusted etc...IF you open your key to check the buttons from the inside...MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LOSE THE TRANSPONDER/CHIP...it sits loose inside your "old style" key on the other side of the circuit board. If you remove the board to check the button operation...make sure that the little small chip doesn't fall out (you can see it circled in black in the 2nd image below). If it does...YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO START YOUR CAR. This has happened to at least 3-4 people over the past year on the various forums I read.

BTW...some early build models may use TW0 1220 batteries instead of the single 2016...so briefly removing the cover to check will prevent the purchase of the wrong battery.

(images below by: anncam/bimmerforums)


(if you remove the circuit board...don't lose the EWS transponder chip {circled in black} which sits loose inside the key down near the key blade)
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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; 09-18-2010 at 04:24 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-18-2010, 04:17 PM
ryan234 ryan234 is offline
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Thanks QSilver
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  #12  
Old 09-18-2010, 04:26 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan234 View Post
Thanks QSilver
Don't thank me yet...let's' just hope that a new battery solves your issue.
__________________
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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  #13  
Old 09-18-2010, 08:46 PM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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Location: Lancaster, PA
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i
how about my problem?

(hi guys! excited to be here, just bought my 2001 530i, i'm lovin it so far, but there are some issues. i will adress one here. first of all, i've read every single tread about resetting, reprogramming the key, (mine is a diamond shaped) and did not work. it reprogrammed the key, i had the system confirming it by locking all doors and unlocking driver door, but when i get out and press the lock (middle) button - nothing happens. i lock the car with the key, most of the time i can see alarm and beep locking the car, some times just locks without setting the alarm. the key always will unlock the car, but never lock it. any suggestions? thanks! oh, and i do not have 2 keys, the last owner is still looking forthe 2-nd in his house... )
any thoughts? fuses ok, gas door locks when lock with key, always unlocks the car, does not lock...
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  #14  
Old 09-19-2010, 01:34 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ariciuonbmw View Post
how about my problem?

(hi guys! excited to be here, just bought my 2001 530i, i'm lovin it so far, but there are some issues. i will adress one here. first of all, i've read every single tread about resetting, reprogramming the key, (mine is a diamond shaped) and did not work. it reprogrammed the key, i had the system confirming it by locking all doors and unlocking driver door, but when i get out and press the lock (middle) button - nothing happens. i lock the car with the key, most of the time i can see alarm and beep locking the car, some times just locks without setting the alarm. the key always will unlock the car, but never lock it. any suggestions? thanks! oh, and i do not have 2 keys, the last owner is still looking forthe 2-nd in his house... )
any thoughts? fuses ok, gas door locks when lock with key, always unlocks the car, does not lock...
Your situation is why I don't understand the desire people have for the new style key.

If all you say and did does not solve the issue of the key locking the car remotely...I might assume that the battery is dead inside the key.

Although the new style key doesn't have an LED that indicates that a signal has been sent/activated (another reason that makes me ponder "why" the lust for this style key)...it does exhibit one of the indications that the battery in the key has failed.

Note that when the key fob fails to be able to LOCK the doors...it is mentioned TWICE (in the old style key's owners manual)...this inability to lock the car mean it's time to replace the key battery...I would assume (since all other components are the same) that this small tale tell indication means the same with the new style key. Except you have to replace the entire key or know how to solder a new rechargable lithium battery to the key's circuit board after you've found a replacement:

(note the "boxed" & "underlined" text in the images below that indicate the inability to LOCK the car indicates a dead key battery...perhaps this info can be extrapolated to the new style key as the death of the key's battery)
--
__________________
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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  #15  
Old 09-19-2010, 09:08 PM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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The problem is that the key will unlock remotely, but won't LOCK remotely. That means the battery is fine... the lock button is working also, because it is used in reprograming process which I did
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:48 PM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Sorry to dig up an old thread but ...

My "old style" key led will flash on unlock, and unlock the car correctly.

It will not lock the car and led doesn't flash when attempting to lock (pressing lock button on key/fob)

I checked rear liftgate and hatch and doors and gas filler door and everything is locked when I manually lock the car using the key in the driver's door. Alarm light is flashing.

Looks like I'll try and replace the battery(s) and then see where I am unless another solution has surfaced since last post 9/20/10.

Maybe it was the new rubber I installed in the key a couple of years ago .. j/k

Thanks for any tips.
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2000 528iT Sport 5M (mfg. 5/1999) ~ 1990 325iX 5M
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  #17  
Old 10-19-2011, 08:58 AM
ariciuonbmw ariciuonbmw is offline
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solved - changed battery

it turned out to be the battery, got one at batterywarehouse and good to go
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  #18  
Old 01-30-2012, 09:27 PM
peakay peakay is offline
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e39 will unlock wiht remote but not lock - battery

I just wanted to add that my car also would unlock the doors and the trunk, but not lock the doors. I also did not see a red light. QSilver was right on the money -- a new battery made everything work right again.

Thanks QSilver!
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  #19  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:20 PM
mdarche mdarche is offline
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Location: Arizona
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 325i
Replaced the battery, still won't unlock doors! :-(

Hello!
I'm new here so please take it easy on me! ;-)

I purchased my 2002 BMW 325i about one year ago and she's been through some troubles... The previous owner must have been young and wild... and cheap. I've had to re-do some of his "handy work" (i.e., electrical wiring) Though there are no major mechanical issues thus far, but my key fob stopped working about 2 months ago.

I had the battery replaced at Batteris Plus with a Panasonic V2020... it was a pain. BUT, better than spending $230.00 on a new key! I have an older diamond-shaped key, BTW.

SO... I tested the new battery on the tester they had in-store before the associate sealed it back up. The tester indicated that the key was sending signals and I assumed it was fine. I reprogrammed/initialized my key and the only function that does not work now is the remote door locking.

It will unlock the doors, pop the trunk, unroll the windows on a long-press, etc., etc. As far as I can tell, it functions just the same as before the battery died except it will not lock the doors! Which is why I replaced the battery to begin with!

The chip seemed fine and none of the "transmitters" were missing--there were 3 black ones on the chip when the battery was replaced.

The only odd thing is, my LED light on the rear-view mirror never worked. Before the replacement, the doors *sometimes* locked and as the battery slowly died, they stopped locking at all. I wonder if the previous owner messed up some of the electrical... ??

Also, do all BMWs come with an alarm system? How do I get my LED light to work too?

Any insight would be much appreciated! Thanks!

--Melissa

Last edited by mdarche; 01-17-2013 at 06:22 PM.
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  #20  
Old 01-18-2013, 05:28 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdarche View Post
I'm new here so please take it easy on me!
I've never had a problem with my key so I can't help you ... but ...

You may wish to PM QSilver7 (whom I call "Saint Q") who knows all things keys.

In addition, these links may help:
- 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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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; 02-26-2013 at 07:56 AM.
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