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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 09-05-2016, 03:59 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
Only have one key, need another one...cheap?

I just purchased a 2003 530i and it came with one key only.
I have used the "search" feature on this forum with little success (on any topic).
I must be searching incorrectly.
This question must have come up may times.
Can I purchase a key form a source other than the dealer and have it work?
Can I program it? I saw a link that had a way to do it but it sounded sketchy.
Scary having only one key for my Son's car.
He has it hooked to a giant day-glow disc right now so he cannot possibly lose it.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2016, 04:04 PM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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As I recall you can purchase a spare key from BMW for reasonable price...***** one w/o battery and remote functionality, they're not costly.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2016, 05:49 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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If you buy a full-service key without the remote functions, it is $50 at dealer (the small key in the photo posted by Wgosma above).
Don't waste your time messing around with software, different vendors etc.
It is easy at dealer, $50 and you are all set.
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2016, 05:58 PM
spoddye39 spoddye39 is offline
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I bought one from this place:

http://pielmeier.com/

It was a full key with remote and I didn't think it was an outrageous price given the other options. Worked like a charm, no problems at all.

Spod
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2016, 06:01 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Try google...and EWS is what complicates buying keys off the internet. Jan/1995 BMW debuted EWS II, which includes a transponder chip with a specific ISN (individual serial nbr) that must match the same ISN burned into the EWS control module & the DME/ECU. If they don't match the car won't start.

Also, many uninformed Internet sellers mislead buyers into thinking that the procedure to initialize the other 2 features of the remote key (FZV & DWA) is the same as EWS...these are completely 3 different features of the remote keys.

As already mentioned, non remote keys can be purchased from a BMW dealership for way less money than the remote keys...but all are ordered based on the car's VIN...where the EWS ISN is kept in their database.








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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; 09-05-2016 at 06:13 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2016, 06:41 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Great information.
All we need is a spare so a non remote is fine.
I'll try the local dealer tomorrow.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2016, 07:04 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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I recommend NOT ordering the VALET key (has gray head) because it won't open the trunk. And 99% of the time...the trunk is where most people lock their keys.

Then they make things worse by disconnecting the trunk from central locking by keeping the trunk lock cylinder horizontal ( -- ). So when they try to use the interior trunk release button...they still can't get into the trunk.

If you do get the valet key...it's imperative to keep the trunk connected to central locking by keeping the trunk lock cylinder turned vertical ( | )...this way, if you need to get into the trunk and the only key you have is the valet key...you still can open the trunk using the interior trunk release button:

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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; 09-05-2016 at 07:10 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2016, 07:52 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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1+,

Avoid the valet key.
Get the full-service key sans remote.
When you go to the dealer, bring your registration and proof of ownership for obvious reasons.
Price should be around $50 or so.
If the price is too high, try another dealer.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2016, 09:24 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Very good to know.
What about the wallet key?
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2016, 10:02 PM
noodlesandsam noodlesandsam is offline
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Wallet key is for amusement. Go either with the full service sans remote, or pony up for a full function key. A full function key is in the $200 range, but compare that to a call to a 24 hour locksmith......
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2016, 10:39 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
Very good to know.
What about the wallet key?
The wallet key is all plastic...the head is plastic and the blade is plastic. If your plans is to rarely use the key...and it will sit in a drawer for 98% of its like just as a spare/backup key...then okay.

But if you intend to use it for any length of time even for a short period but regularly...then spring for either the illuminated key...or see if they can order the spare key with the metal blade and black head (this key may only be available for early builds prior to the facelift). But press the BMW counter person to see if it is available for the facelift. If not, then the illuminated key would be the non-remote key to spring for.

Good luck.

PS...again, the valet key is doable...but you just have to be always conscious of keeping the trunk connected to the central locking system (vertical) ( | )...because the day you set the trunk lock cylinder to valet mode (horizontal) ( -- ) will be the day that you set your remote key down inside the trunk then slam it closed...then it's UH OH! time...because you just screwed yourself into a big inconvenient and frustrating situation. There's no way into the trunk unless you drill a hole (or you have the folding rear seat option and you did NOT lock them, too).

If you don't have folding rear seat option, there is a metal barrier between the rear seats and trunk. And there's still no way into the trunk unless you have the small ski pass opening...or a sawzall.
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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; 09-05-2016 at 10:49 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-06-2016, 09:03 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I was thinking of the wallet key as a third key.
My Son will have his key and I will have the spare.
I thought the wallet, if cheap, would be his emergency key.
I do believe the rear seats are the fold down.
Only have had the car for two days, so still discovering things.
Thanks for all the information.
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  #13  
Old 09-06-2016, 10:29 AM
noodlesandsam noodlesandsam is offline
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The Wallet key is PLASTIC - if you tweak it, in a moment of panic to get in, your situation will be worse. That is why I say it is for amusement
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2016, 02:48 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noodlesandsam View Post
The Wallet key is PLASTIC - if you tweak it, in a moment of panic to get in, your situation will be worse. That is why I say it is for amusement
Just to clarify...I totally agree with you...that's why I emphasized that it is really an emergency back up key to be used only in rare cases...it's not intended for any type of regular use/abuse due to it being made of plastic.
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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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  #15  
Old 09-06-2016, 03:22 PM
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Roku35 Roku35 is offline
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What! $50 is really cheap. I just paid almost $200 at our local Cheatership. We only have one on island.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2016, 05:33 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I just paid $78 out the door at the dealership for a non remote.
The guy tried an up sell by telling mY Son that he will wear out his door lock if he doesn't buy the $330 remote key!
We get it in two days.
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  #17  
Old 09-07-2016, 12:54 PM
Rogerthat Rogerthat is offline
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You will need to provide the frequency as indicated on the back of the key fob portion.
I have ordered and they are double cut key's and work just fine.... $20.00

http://www.ebay.com/itm/171797178339...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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  #18  
Old 09-07-2016, 12:59 PM
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Wgosma Wgosma is offline
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78 bucks....special price for Bay Area folks
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  #19  
Old 09-07-2016, 01:23 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
I just paid $78 out the door at the dealership for a non remote.
The guy tried an up sell by telling mY Son that he will wear out his door lock if he doesn't buy the $330 remote key!
We get it in two days.
Wow...that's worth a good laugh.

Glad it worked out for you. And just a thought from another perspective about "wearing out the door lock"...more than likely it's better. I say that because the emergency unlock procedure (when there's no electrical power to actuate the door locks)...requires that you manually insert the key into the driver's door lock cylinder...and turn it a full 90 counter-clockwise.

Over the decades on the forums...you hear of owners that have come back to their cars and the battery is dead and the car is (double) locked. The only way in is to do the aforementioned method for unlocking...but they write back to say that their keys won't turn 90...it will only go approx 45.

This probably comes from the lock never being used...nor receiving any annual maintenance (lubrication etc). It usually takes a lubricant (with a little time to penetrate)...then the lock actuator will eventually turn further to the emergency unlock position.

Same goes for the trunk lock cylinder..."use it...or lose it"...better yet...give it an annual maintenance lubrication.



__________________
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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  #20  
Old 09-09-2016, 09:47 PM
s12512 s12512 is offline
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I need another key as well. May go this route instead of the full remote
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