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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 03-05-2008, 02:11 PM
andrewk9 andrewk9 is offline
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Location: Scotland
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 316i
Alarm key fob programming

I've got a 1999 E36/5 with a dealer fitted alarm/immobiliser system - the installation certificate says it is a 3G.EWS . Can anyone tell me how to program the car to respond to another key fob? The handbook just says "take it to a dealer". (Attached is a pic of the type of fob I have in case my description isn't specific enough).


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Last edited by andrewk9; 03-05-2008 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 03-05-2008, 02:50 PM
Bmwcat Bmwcat is offline
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Location: Somewhere not here.
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Mein Auto: A car.
I need help with mine, too I'll let ya know if I find anything Brother.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -Samuel Johnson
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Old 03-06-2008, 02:05 PM
andrewk9 andrewk9 is offline
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Location: Scotland
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 316i
OK, after some further googling, it seems that all you need to do to register key fobs on this one is:

[0. Make sure the alarm is off first, obviously.]
1. Remove the glovebox.
2. Locate the alarm module behind it.
3. Flick a switch on the alarm module.
4. Press the red button on each fob in turn.
5. Flick the switch back.
6. Test it!
7. Refit the glove box.

I used the instructions on the link below:

Which was linked from this forum post on another BMW owners site:

A few observations:

My dashboard and glovebox are different to those pictured in the instructions, but I took a chance that the alarm was in the roughly the same location, and it was. The instructions don't show where behind the glove box the alarm module is located. On mine, there was a different black box directly behind where the glove box came out - this looked like it might be the ECM (Engine Control Module). This was mounted horizontally in the middle slot of a plastic housing, with the top slot empty, and the bottom slot having 2 white boxes with wires going into them.

The alarm itself, which I almost missed, was down on the lefthand side with a metal bracket round it. This was secured to the side of the car with a single screw, so I took that off and pulled the alarm module out. I took the bracket off but it turns out I didn't need to as the small hole to access the coding switch is accessible with the bracket on. (Not sure if I was looking at the right thing, I took the bracket off to have a good look at the rest of the module just to make sure. This also gave me the chance to note down every number on it, in case one of them is the "secret code", which I've lost. Unless you can have zeros in this code, then I've failed on that one)!

It took me about 1.5 hours to do, in the dark with a small torch and the interior light on. The only tool I actually needed was a Philips #2 screwdriver. I'm sure you could do it much more quickly in daylight!



Last edited by andrewk9; 03-06-2008 at 02:12 PM.
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