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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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Old 06-21-2012, 02:10 PM
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johnstern johnstern is offline
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Location: Cape Neddick, Maine
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,038
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 528iT/5, S/C
Just a note to all reading this thread:

My #53 fuse blew several times even though the gas door solenoid continued to work & lock the door. I unplugged the solenoid & the fuse did not blow again. My point is that the fuel door lock can continue to work & still blow the fuse.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:36 PM
Phats701 Phats701 is offline
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Location: Fargo
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 540i
Well, believe it or not, my key rf doesn't work!

So, I bought a 2002 M5, I of course have the diamond key, and have read this thread thoroughly, and none of it works.

I unlocked the car with the key
I got in the car and closed the doors
I put the key into the ignition, and moved it to position 1
In under 5 seconds I removed the key
I held button 1 for 2 seconds, than pressed button 2, 3 times, all under ten seconds.

No confirmation.

No problem, fuse must be blown.

I checked the #53 fuse in the rear. A-ok, not blown at all.

I check the other central locking fuses in the glove box fuse location. All good.

Out of curiosity, I check my fuel door actuator, it half works. But, the fuse is NOT blown.

Ok. No problem. I will try the alternative method.

I entered the car, rotated to position 1, 5 times as quickly as possible (Harder than it sounds, very easy to over rotate)

Removed the key, held button 1, pushed button 2 3 times. Reinserted key, turned ignition on. Nothing.

Ok, no problem, battery's dead in the remote.

Let it sit in the car, in position 1 over night with a battery tender.

Repeat all. No go.

So, is it the key itself that's crap? Is it the battery? Not worth cracking open, only key I currently have.

If anyone has a idea, or thinks I missed something, please let me know.

BTW, I LOVE my M5. If I can never use the rf on the remote again, I'll live LOL
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:22 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Location: Canada's Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 525i
if the fuses check out and resyncing the key didnt work the next cheapest solution would be to get a new battery.

i took my key apart before i got my new battery. then i just taped it together and after my next drive the key started to work. repositioned? bad solder? i dunno but it got a charge on a 30 min drive. but it only worked for a day or so then stopped.

i lost the battery i was replacing it with so i just ordered a new one a few days ago. i think its the panasonic vl2020. i got it on ebay. searched e39 battery. i think it was around $12.

i know the rear defrosters have something to do with the battery signal but my key worked once i cracked it open and taped it back together. so its either the battery or something else in the key. hopefully just the battery.

im confident itll work once i swap out the battery. if not you and I will be in the same boat and can help each other out.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:39 AM
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gibo58 gibo58 is offline
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Location: Australia
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 218
Mein Auto: 530i MSport

Buy a new key from Bill Dodge BMW in Maine, and then sync it. Your 02 M5 deserves a new key

Set up an account with them and you might get 30% off. Key should be about $140.

Last edited by gibo58; 01-31-2013 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:54 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 5,963
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Try one more thing to determine if there's an issue with one or more of the "monitors" for the FZV & DWA systems.

Lock the car manually with the key in the drivers' door...then look at the red LED status light (the clown nose beneath the rear view mirror). Determine if one of the monitors (doors/trunk/fuel filler door/hood sensor/etc) is remaining open. If it is, then that is what's preventing the remote operation of the key from working. See the chart below to know how the clown nose should be blinking if everything is OK:

BTW...a second thing you can do is UNPLUG the electrical connector from the fuel filler door, then try to reinitialize your key. If anything in the FZV system (central locking) is not working correctly, it will stop the remote operation of FZV (the remote buttons on the key). And since you said that the fuel filler door is spotty...it may not be blowing fuse #53...but if the locking pin or actuator is malfunctioning...it could still be the culprit for the remote feature failing (also watch the red LED status light to see if this may a "monitor" the is remaining open):

Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:11 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Location: Canada's Mexico
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Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 525i

i just tested the above for my car. when i lock with the key i have the rapid blinking for 10 seconds then slow continuous....

all doors are locked and closed including fuel door.

what does this mean?

this is my first time running across this ill try searching as well.

thank you!
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:34 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
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Posts: 5,963
Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Just as it states...one or more of the "monitors" is not registering that it is closed (even though the ones you mention are). You'll need to find out which of the monitors is registering that it is open.

I'm not sure how this can be done (conclusively) without diagnostic equipment. Remember, the FZV & DWA (central locking & anti-theft alarm siren system) are completely independent systems...but work in conjunction with each other and share some components (monitors & GM). Below is some info on how the DWA system works...and as you've stated, you do have one or more "monitors" not closing. Doors, hood, & trunk monitors are SHARED by both FZV & DWA. The interior motion & tilt sensors are DWA's...and the fuel filler door actuator is part of FZV (central locking) system:

(DWA) Anti-theft Alarm Siren System


Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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Old 01-31-2013, 12:57 PM
daytradeoil daytradeoil is offline
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Location: Canada's Mexico
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 525i

i saw several of your posts elsewhere on this topic.

this is will at least keep me busy until my new battery comes.

although im thinking my keyless entry issue is just the battery. because i had disconnected the hood alarm sensor for months and the keyless entry worked fine. with this disconnected it SHOULD have the same 10 second rapid blink correct?

i then adjusted the sensor and hooked it back up. keyless entry worked fine for months after. then it just started crapping out on me. some times it would work. some times would. sometimes it would work with the key to throat trick also.

so this leaves me to the battery or the module in the pillar.

cheaper fix always comes first.

however ill recheck all fuses and try to find and reseat alarm sensors.

thank you for your help
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Old 02-01-2013, 06:56 PM
Mybmw525 Mybmw525 is offline
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Location: Valencia California
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2003 525i
I wanted to thank the guys for the info on the site. Unfortunately I could have
saved myself $200 if I would have come here first. Thinking the remote had gone dead I purchased a new remote from the dealer only to find out that they could not program the remote. I have a 2003 525i I started reading this site and found that the gas cap actuator was the cause of the problem. The old number 53 fuse was blown , I changed the fuse, reprogrammed the remote using the instructions I also received here and problem solved. It could have only cost me $1.50 for a new fuse. Expensive lesson. Thanks all
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:54 AM
hallm16 hallm16 is offline
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Location: Mogadore, OH
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2001 530i
Smile Thought key batteries were dead...

Thanks to every who posted the re-initialization procedure. I bought my '01 530i with two intermittently working master keys in early 2011 that eventually went dead after a few weeks. I just thought the keys were old and going dead. After, 2 years of putting it off with other car issues, I finally have it running well (brake pads are coming in the mail) and decided to look into a possible DIY key-battery replacement. Luckily, I tried re-initializing both first thing and like magic they are fully functional again!

I read somewhere in another post, by pressing pressing the buttons from far away/out of range will cause the frequencies to go bad. Whatever it was, it seems as though the keys just needed to be re-calibrated. It's amazing that for a 12 year old vehicle and one that I've had for two years now that I am still learning new things about it!
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Old 02-26-2013, 11:37 AM
Massari Massari is offline
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Location: Toronto/Canada
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 2001 E39 525i Black
Thank you very much! my car's battery died and keys didn't work after. Just reprogrammed and heard the lock/unlock after and it workd!
2001 E39 525i
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Old 03-03-2013, 03:22 AM
aman.sehdev aman.sehdev is offline
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Location: new zealand
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Mein Auto: 525i
Many thanks guys. It all worked out perfectly for me, I changed the batteries and reprogrammed the key and it was all good to go. No issues at all. You are super stars.


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Old 03-03-2013, 08:04 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,502
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Originally Posted by aman.sehdev View Post
Many thanks guys. It all worked out perfectly for me, I changed the batteries and reprogrammed the key and it was all good to go. No issues at all. You are super stars.
No pictures for the team by way of thanks?
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
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:07 AM
PatrioticRick PatrioticRick is offline
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Location: Rigby, Idaho
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 8
Mein Auto: 2000 540i/6
Had same problem with my 2000 540i e39, fuel door not locking etc. fuse #53 in the trunk looked good, but then tested it and it was bad, put in a new fuse, reset the key and doors locked, everything works except the fuel door lock, so maybe that's what caused the fuse to blow in the first place.
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Old 05-20-2013, 03:31 PM
eviltwin10 eviltwin10 is offline
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Location: Alabama
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2005 530i
Hi, I have a 2005 530i. I am also having an issue with my key, but a little different that yours. Two days ago I was driving, and the light came on that shows the key with the slash over it. My screen says that the remote control is not in the ignition and that I should not turn off the engine as it may not restart! I read my owner's manual, and it says that if i experience this malfunction, to lock and unlock the doors with the key. The key will do that.... all day long, but the car is giving me the same message and won't start. If I can lock and unlock with the key, isn't the remote control fine? Anyone with experience please tell me what to do! I'm a single mom with a recent graduate... that means I'm broke! Help!!
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Old 06-15-2013, 12:53 AM
Kriss Bidoo Kriss Bidoo is offline
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Location: Mauaritius
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: bmw e39 525d
bmw e39 525D 2001

Hi everyone i have some problem with my remote key diamond type, i change the battery and do the reprogramming procedure, i got a successful respond as the door lock and unlock..
But the problem is i can only UNLOCK the door and the back boot but not able to LOCK the car with remote.... i can lock and unlock with key without any problem and my fuel filler door unlock and lock without any problem..
I also notice that the rear view mirror light for alarm are not working when lock with key...

Please anyone can help me to solve this............ need help.....

thanks in advance guys....
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Old 10-10-2013, 11:36 AM
Laurentino Laurentino is offline
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Location: pretoria
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: bmw 320d E90
bmw remote key not working

Hey guys,im having problems with locking and unlocking my bmw using the remote key,please help me on this one
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Old 11-14-2013, 03:45 PM
Endtor Endtor is offline
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Location: Norway
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 3-series E46 2004
Hi guys,
I have a 316 2004, whit bruken remote funksjon.
When i try to do the re programming it wont work, but the EML light go's on.

Anyone having or have heard about that ?
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Old 03-28-2014, 04:31 PM
ELCID86 ELCID86 is offline
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Location: VA, USA
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 19
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
This is not a knock against you or your abilities...but everytime I read a post like yours...I'm afraid to reply...hoping not to offend.

The programming of the car keys to lock/unlock & arm/disarm the alarm calls for a specific and detailed procedure. Just saying that you programmed the keys and it didn't work leaves no room for anyone to suggest that there's a possibility that a step was overlooked etc because we are not there with you to see what was done or not done. So a blanket statement that you tried and failed (without any step by step details) makes me go ...should I suggest to try again and be careful to follow the instructions exactly?

As you can see in the instructions below (from the BMW TIS)...programming FAILED if you don't get the confirmation from the system (step #7) and MUST be restarted. Also, all the instructions at the bottom must be considered...all keys must be done in the same reprogramming setting and within the time constraints...ONLY the 1st key can be put into the ignition...the ignition MUST be turned to POSITION 1 (not position 2)...the doors must be LOCKED & UNLOCKED first with the key...the doors MUST be closed etc.

Follow all these instructions again and make sure you FOLLOW THEM to the "T"!
Thanks. Worked when one key got unprogrammed.
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Old 07-03-2014, 05:26 AM
Dusty B Dusty B is offline
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Location: CT
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1998 540i
Didn't want to bump an old thread...

But, as a new member here I wanted to thank Qsilver for all his informative posts. I was afflicted with the "Key works to start car but remote and central lock button does not work" condition. After reading this thread yesterday, I walked out to my car after work and did a quick unlock and relock; checking the fuel door lock function. When I found this to be operating properly, I performed the key cycle, with button press pattern. Once programming phase was over, my remote key now operates as it should, and my central locking button is operational. Now, I actually have all electrical items in the cabin functioning!

I will review the thread and forum, but my next task will be to get a spare key and have/get it programmed to the vehicle. I do not like having only 1!
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Old 08-10-2014, 06:52 PM
r0b3rt0lusr3 r0b3rt0lusr3 is offline
Location: gilroy
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2001 bmw 530i
I tryed that method on my 2001 bla 530i but nothing will work.only if I use my key manually.any help please I'll ipreciated
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