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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 10-04-2006, 08:21 AM
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Brian530i Brian530i is offline
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replacing battery in key

Ok, I tried searching, tried to take it apart... no luck..



How do you replace the battery in a E39 key/remote?



thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2006, 09:17 AM
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I think your key's battery gets charged only when it's in the ignition.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2006, 09:26 AM
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Brian530i Brian530i is offline
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Originally Posted by Asharus View Post
I think your key's battery gets charged only when it's in the ignition.
Hmmm interesting....

Im having range problems, other times its ok. Doesn't matter where the car is.. I figured the battery was gettin weak...
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2006, 11:05 AM
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Mister Chow Mister Chow is offline
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You can charge the key using an electric toothbrush stand.

If your electric toothbrush charges on the stand without any electrical contacts it "should" be able to charge your key. Just rest the key between the "probe" and the body of the charger. Leave it overnight and see if that helps.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2006, 11:11 AM
Chenz Chenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian530i View Post
Hmmm interesting....

Im having range problems, other times its ok. Doesn't matter where the car is.. I figured the battery was gettin weak...
its not range problems .. its user ERROR.
lol
I feel your pain cause sometimes mine works all the way accross the parking lot.. other times i gotta be almost leaning on the car.
Its just a number of factors.
yes the remote gets recharged everytime you drive.
Its most likely the ANGLE or position of the CAR or Your remote.
These things dont work off sat's. they're not GPS enabled or something.
Just "like" a TV remote (not the same) .. you gotta point it at the TV for it to work.
Sometimes there are things that BLOCK the signal .
Sometimes Your just not in the path of the sensor.
Its life.


Not to thread jack.. BUT....
anyone know how to take the case off?
mines pretty beat and i wanna order a used one from ebay and swap the housings.
ne idea's on how? I dont wanna break the thing.... Ive already popped off the bmw lock button but that doesnt seem to prove usefull.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2006, 11:30 AM
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OlyVR OlyVR is offline
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To extend the range, hold the key against your chin, your noggin will act as an antenna.

Go ahead and laugh now, but when you go out to your car today and it works - come back here and let us know.

Check this out:
http://www.remcom.com/examples/varip...oduct=Varipose
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Last edited by OlyVR; 10-04-2006 at 11:32 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2006, 01:31 PM
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530dsport 530dsport is offline
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OlyVr s theory works, or point key at your car!!

Last edited by 530dsport; 10-04-2006 at 02:28 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2006, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 530dsport View Post
OlyVr s theory works, or point key at you ar!!

You said AT not UP your ar__ right? Whoops, wrong forum
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2006, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chenz View Post
its not range problems .. its user ERROR.
lol
I feel your pain cause sometimes mine works all the way accross the parking lot.. other times i gotta be almost leaning on the car.
Its just a number of factors.
yes the remote gets recharged everytime you drive.
Its most likely the ANGLE or position of the CAR or Your remote.
These things dont work off sat's. they're not GPS enabled or something.
Just "like" a TV remote (not the same) .. you gotta point it at the TV for it to work.
Sometimes there are things that BLOCK the signal .
Sometimes Your just not in the path of the sensor.
Its life.

Your key operates on radio frequency (omnidirectional). Your TV remote (typically) operates on infrared light (hence why you must "point" it). So no need to "point" the key at your car. But interference / obstructions will affect the range.

And OlyVR's chin method does work. Your melon is a good antenna. (your results may vary).

Brian- it appears you have a 2001 530, so it should be the key variety that charges every time it's in the ignition. (key fob has colored roundel logo). 97-00 have colorless fobs and require battery replacement.

HTH-

Cago
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  #10  
Old 10-04-2006, 03:14 PM
LaVaDog LaVaDog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyVR View Post
To extend the range, hold the key against your chin, your noggin will act as an antenna.

Go ahead and laugh now, but when you go out to your car today and it works - come back here and let us know.

Check this out:
http://www.remcom.com/examples/varip...oduct=Varipose
I'm not laughing because I know that works!
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  #11  
Old 10-04-2006, 04:07 PM
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Brian530i Brian530i is offline
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Thanks for all the input, I know the logic behind the chin/antenna gig as a friend owns a stereo shop and years ago told me this. Although all I wanted to do is replace the battery in the remote as in my other car, to enlargen the range. I wonder if there is a cover over the alarm module or any mods that can be done to increase its range or maybe add to the antenna, etc... Not a big fan of having to put my remote to my chin to unlock the doors...
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2006, 04:31 PM
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mvallido mvallido is offline
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There is a plastic tab on your keys. Lift it and you should be able to open and replace the battery with a small philips screw.
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2006, 08:26 PM
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cagoguy cagoguy is offline
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Brian-

If you have this key, which based on your model year- I would expect you do:
Click image for larger version

Name:	bmw-key 01-03.jpg
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ID:	87348
Then your key battery is self-charging and is NOT replacable.

If you have this key (which would be surprising):
Name:  bmw-key 97-00.gif
Views: 108183
Size:  10.7 KB
Then your key battery is a standard thin button battery- replacable through the back flap/door.

The crux of the chin thing is more of a principle. (tallest part of your body... extend the range...) Try just putting a finger along the key blade itself, that extends it, too.

But if you're saying you're too fashion conscious to proudly plug your key to your chin like the rest of us... then... FINE!

You could always build a gain amp circuit for your key. That would theoretically extend your range BIG TIME. Course, it would reduce your battery life, probably fry your jewels if you put the key in your pocket, and your key fob would look something like this:
Click image for larger version

Name:	Monster gain amp key.jpg
Views:	829
Size:	9.0 KB
ID:	87349

The choice is yours.

-Cago
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1997 e39 528iA - SOLD @ 145k miles.
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2006, 08:33 PM
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Brian McKinney Brian McKinney is offline
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mine doesnt work either $140 through the dealer to get a new one, it only came with one
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2006, 07:20 AM
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Brian530i Brian530i is offline
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Cago, you crack me up

I have the first style key and certainly don't want to add that thing to it
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	Key.jpg
Views:	1245
Size:	4.0 KB
ID:	87373  
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2006, 07:27 AM
dboy11 dboy11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian530i View Post
Thanks for all the input, I know the logic behind the chin/antenna gig as a friend owns a stereo shop and years ago told me this. Although all I wanted to do is replace the battery in the remote as in my other car, to enlargen the range. I wonder if there is a cover over the alarm module or any mods that can be done to increase its range or maybe add to the antenna, etc... Not a big fan of having to put my remote to my chin to unlock the doors...
Brain

Check your manual mine has instructions as to what to do
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2006, 08:09 AM
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tjh530i tjh530i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OlyVR View Post
To extend the range, hold the key against your chin, your noggin will act as an antenna.

Go ahead and laugh now, but when you go out to your car today and it works - come back here and let us know.

Check this out:
http://www.remcom.com/examples/varip...oduct=Varipose
Any study on how soon I can expect a golf-ball-sized tumor to start growing on my chin???
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  #18  
Old 10-05-2006, 08:10 AM
Chenz Chenz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjh530i View Post
Any study on how soon I can expect a golf-ball-sized tumor to start growing on my chin???

no sooner then the one growning in your pants since the key usually sits in our pockets.
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  #19  
Old 10-13-2006, 10:31 AM
ehummelman ehummelman is offline
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if it's the non-replaceable battery type...

like mine (02 530i), you have to figure out which end of the system is not working. In other words, it's either the transmitting end (the key) or the receving end (the module in the car - actually in the rearview mirror housing). If one of your keys works and the other one doesn't , it's your key. If neither works, it's the module. Either way, the dealer will be happy to take your $ for a replacement. In my case, I only have one key, so I couldn't tell which component was bad. They ordered me a new key (which I would like a spare anyway if my key actually works) and will test the new key to see if the module is working. Hopefully, that's the deal, otherwise I will need a new module as well as the new key I just bought!:
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  #20  
Old 10-13-2006, 12:10 PM
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dagoo98 dagoo98 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cagoguy View Post
Your key operates on radio frequency (omnidirectional). Your TV remote (typically) operates on infrared light (hence why you must "point" it). So no need to "point" the key at your car. But interference / obstructions will affect the range.

And OlyVR's chin method does work. Your melon is a good antenna. (your results may vary).

Brian- it appears you have a 2001 530, so it should be the key variety that charges every time it's in the ignition. (key fob has colored roundel logo). 97-00 have colorless fobs and require battery replacement.

HTH-

Cago

coorection, 97-99 have the colorless fob. 2000-2003 all have the same keys.
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  #21  
Old 10-13-2006, 03:57 PM
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mark_m5 mark_m5 is offline
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It could just be that in the places where it doesn't work, there is significant electronic "noise", which makes it harder for the car to detect the signal...

I used to do the chin thing with previous vehicles, and have no dain bramage to speak of...
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  #22  
Old 10-13-2006, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dagoo98 View Post
coorection, 97-99 have the colorless fob. 2000-2003 all have the same keys.
I stand coORected!

-Cago
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  #23  
Old 10-14-2006, 05:21 PM
John2kx John2kx is offline
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I have a 2000 540 with a key fob issue. The key will activate the alarm when inserted into door lock but will not perform any of its functions with the fob (lock, unlock, truck release, windows down ect.) I too only have one key and can't test the module vs. key.

On another thread, I read where a faulty gas door lock part could cause a problem with the key fob. Just checked my gas door and it stays unlocked all the time (with car locked and alarm activated).

I'm a do it yourselfer but have not done well with electrical issues. Any recommendations or pointers on the gas door lock causing my key fob problem would be appreciated.

John
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  #24  
Old 10-16-2006, 07:40 AM
ehummelman ehummelman is offline
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I read the gas door issue, too, so checked it out. Mine was not locking either, so I replaced the gas door actuator and the fuse. Reinitialized the key and everything works. I did blow 4 fuses trying to get it all working again, so I have no clue how long it will work before going out again. I have another issue, though with my trunk that is pissing me off. It may be related to the fuse issue, and thus the central locking issue, but I haven't confirmed that yet. I am going to post separately on the trunk issue so as not to hijack the thread.
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  #25  
Old 12-06-2008, 04:57 PM
phill1203 phill1203 is offline
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Thanks for all of the post they are extremely helpful I to only have one key so I will test the gas door
if all goes well my key will return to normal. Thanks again for all the information!!!!
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