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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 04-02-2011, 12:02 PM
QMAX1234 QMAX1234 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528I
Car outline with red symbol comes on

Hi everyone, I saw this link here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...t=trunk+wiring

To give you some background, i got a car outline with the red symbol at the back right side of my vehicle. This is the area where the trunk key is located or where the back right passenger lights are found. I've replaced my right turn signal and all my lights work fine. What is this problem? Is it major? Do note I can only open my trunk from the inside the BMW key I have only opens the door and not the trunk.

I did notoce that this problem may have begun after i mistakingly put my key in the trunk lock. Can someone please help.

Thanks

Q
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:32 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Did you refer to your owners manual for more details about the Graphic Display? Many owners get confused and think that the rear upper light only refers to the right rear light assembly...but according to the owners manual...the upper right rear warning light also indicates that the center brake light (the one on the rear parcel shelf) may also be burnt out:


Hopefully that's all it is,
Q (too)

BTW...it sounds like you only have a valet key (gray head)...if this is true...I hope you make haste to a BMW dealership and order a spare key. It's not neccesary that you spend the big bucks for a remote key...but you definitely need another (spare key)...and preferably a MASTER key. All of the available keys are "masters" except for the gray headed valet key which only works in the car door & ignition. It will not open the trunk or glovebox.

You have the choice of 4 different keys:
  1. remote key (master)
  2. illuminated key (master) (not listed in owners manual, but available from your dealer)
  3. spare/wallet (plastic master)
  4. valet/service key (only works in door & ignition)

Obviously the most expensive key is the remote key (approx $150-up from most dealers)...but the illuminated or (plastic) spare key can usually be had from approx $50-$100....and again, they will open everything (including your trunk)...and you really should have a spare. If you read the forum regularly...you will see that approx 4 or 5 times a year someone with only one key...locks it in the trunk or inside the car...then posts for help.


__________________
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; 04-03-2011 at 05:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:40 PM
QMAX1234 QMAX1234 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Did you refer to your owners manual for more details about the Graphic Display? Many owners get confused and think that the rear upper light only refers to the right rear light assembly...but according to the owners manual...the upper right rear warning light also indicates that the center brake light (the one on the rear parcel shelf) may also be burnt out:


Hopefully that's all it is,
Q (too)

BTW...it sounds like you only have a valet key (gray head)...if this is true...I hope you make hast to a BMW dealership and order a spare key. It's not neccesary that you spend the big bucks for a remote key...but you definitely need another (spare key)...and preferably a MASTER key. All of the available keys are "masters" except for the gray headed valet key which only works in the car door & ignition. It will not open the trunk or glovebox.

You have the choice of 4 different keys:
  1. remote key (master)
  2. illuminated key (master)
  3. spare/wallet (plastic master)
  4. valet/service key (only works in door & ignition)
Excellent info my friend. So based on this information its my brake lamp? My brake light is on. Also what is a center tail lamp?
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2011, 12:45 PM
QMAX1234 QMAX1234 is offline
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I also saw this link:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84525

Does anybody have a pic of the center tail or brake light?
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  #5  
Old 04-02-2011, 04:06 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
You have the choice of 4 different keys
This is so interesting that I added a reference to it in the bestlinks just now:

- The truth about the BMW diamond key transponder (1) and proper initializing (1) (2) and the truth about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & opening, charging, recoding, & battery replacement (1) of the new-style diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & converting the old-style 1996-2000 "square" key to a diamond key (1) & how to replace the rubber key pads in the old style keys (1) (2) & what to do if your key is locked inside your car (1) & a description of the various types of BMW "Remote", "Illuminated", "Spare/Wallet", & "Valet/Service" keys (1).

BTW, I have only two keys, both of which do everything. I wonder if I should invest in additional keys myself? I didn't know there were so many options (now I'm confused like a deer in the headlights).
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:08 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QMAX1234 View Post
... Also what is a center tail lamp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QMAX1234 View Post

Does anybody have a pic of the center tail or brake light?
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
...the upper right rear warning light also indicates that the center brake light (the one on the rear parcel shelf) may also be burnt out...

Hopefully that's all it is,
Q (too)
As stated in my first reply...it is the high mount 3rd brake light located on your rear parcel shelf. Stand behind your car, then look at the bottom center of your rear windshield...have someone turn the ignition to position 1 or 2 and step on the brake pedal...you should see a red brake light illuminate inside the car on the rear parcel shelf. Do you still need a pic?

Here's a pic of the "center tail lamp" aka 3rd brake light...plus the instructions from the owners manual on how to access the bulb if it is blown.



__________________
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; 04-03-2011 at 05:17 AM.
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  #7  
Old 04-03-2011, 05:32 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Location: Northeast Indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
BTW, I have only two keys, both of which do everything. I wonder if I should invest in additional keys myself? I didn't know there were so many options (now I'm confused like a deer in the headlights).
Blue...you're probably fine on the key front. If you have 2 of the master keys...then you're basically covered in case of an emergency where one key gets damaged or locked inside the trunk. If your "other" key was the valet...then buying another master key might be a good idea since the valet key won't open the trunk...and the trunk is the place most owners wind up accidentally locking there key inside.

The valet key is not really worth getting UNLESS you actually valet park your car and your trunk is stuffed with all those expensive shopping bags full of all that stuff women usually buy...plus all the stuff to work on your e39.

If you have another person that drives your car on a regular bases...then perhaps a 3rd key (like the plastic spare/wallet key) may come in handy to keep stored for an emergency.
__________________
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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  #8  
Old 04-03-2011, 06:52 AM
QMAX1234 QMAX1234 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528I
Great info, what bulb do I replace it with? Sant to know because I can run to auto zone and get it. I also have the bulb in my hand and it is blown out. Back covering. Please let me know what replacement bulb i can use.
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  #9  
Old 04-03-2011, 08:00 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Take the bulb with you into what ever store you're going to purchase the bulb from. Most times there's a catalog in the bulb aisle that you can reference for the various brand's bulb cross referencing.

If there's no catalog...look for a 12 volt/21 watt bulb (the wattage is listed in the owners manual)...that also has the same type of base and pin layout on the base of the bulb.

If that doesn't work, just ask a clerk at Autozone (or wherever for help)...and they should be able to guide you to the correct bulb.
__________________
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; 04-04-2011 at 09:12 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-03-2011, 02:52 PM
Jim Rolando Jim Rolando is offline
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Posts: 1,012
Mein Auto: 1999 528i
If the bulb doesn't fix the problem, check out the socket and readjust the metal contacts; they can get smashed down with time. If that does't do it, buy a new socket, about six bucks at the dealer and three seconds to replace.
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2011, 07:47 AM
QMAX1234 QMAX1234 is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
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Posts: 401
Mein Auto: 1997 BMW 528I
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Rolando View Post
If the bulb doesn't fix the problem, check out the socket and readjust the metal contacts; they can get smashed down with time. If that does't do it, buy a new socket, about six bucks at the dealer and three seconds to replace.
My body guy just did this. We went to autozone, got the bulb, fixed the sockets and viola! You guys are the best plain and simple. Thanks for directing me to the best info possible.

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  #12  
Old 10-18-2011, 11:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by QMAX1234 View Post
fixed the sockets and viola!
For the record, the melted socket got me also!
- Rear center brake light socket melting
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  #13  
Old 05-05-2014, 07:36 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > key replacement costs
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Did you refer to your owners manual for more details about the Graphic Display? Many owners get confused and think that the rear upper light only refers to the right rear light assembly...but according to the owners manual...the upper right rear warning light also indicates that the center brake light (the one on the rear parcel shelf) may also be burnt out:


Hopefully that's all it is,
Q (too)

BTW...it sounds like you only have a valet key (gray head)...if this is true...I hope you make haste to a BMW dealership and order a spare key. It's not neccesary that you spend the big bucks for a remote key...but you definitely need another (spare key)...and preferably a MASTER key. All of the available keys are "masters" except for the gray headed valet key which only works in the car door & ignition. It will not open the trunk or glovebox.

You have the choice of 4 different keys:
  1. remote key (master)
  2. illuminated key (master) (not listed in owners manual, but available from your dealer)
  3. spare/wallet (plastic master)
  4. valet/service key (only works in door & ignition)

Obviously the most expensive key is the remote key (approx $150-up from most dealers)...but the illuminated or (plastic) spare key can usually be had from approx $50-$100....and again, they will open everything (including your trunk)...and you really should have a spare. If you read the forum regularly...you will see that approx 4 or 5 times a year someone with only one key...locks it in the trunk or inside the car...then posts for help.
Here is an update today, on BMW key terminology, from this thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Don't confuse the "universal" key with the remote key fob. The universal keys are NON-REMOTE keys...and the remote keys are the more expensive ones.

BMW is now calling the illuminated key and the spare key w/metal blade..."UNIVERSAL KEYS". They now have the same "name" of "universal"...but two different part nbrs.
  • The illuminated key part nbr now is 51218205441
  • The spare key w/metal key blade's part nbr is 51218205442
  • The valet/service key (gray head) part nbr is now 51218205443
  • The spare/wallet key w/plastic key blade part nbr is now 51218205444
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
Rosero, the universal key (51 21-8 205 441) is the non remote key with the light inside called Illuminated key. The key with remote is called the Master key and $220 isn't a bad price. Some dealers charge less, but, many charge much more. The part number for the master key depends on what frequency & power level the remote transmits at (315, 315 low power, 433 or 868 MHz) and if it's the older rubber button key or the diamond key.
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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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  #14  
Old 12-09-2014, 04:17 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This thread today has a lot of good information about which component of the key does what ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Key fob question- a different twist-STILL seeking answer!! Q?

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
...just try not to mix (conflate) the operation of the 3 distinct systems in the key.

The remote key contains EWS (immobilizer), FZV (central locking), and DWA (anti-theft alarm siren) systems. EWS works totally independent of the other 2 systems in the key and is self-powered. EWS is powered thru induction by a 125 KHz AM signal that is sent from the EWS control module to the ring antenna around the ignition...which then powers the chip inside the key that has been burnt with a UNIQUE ISN (individual serial number) that only works with the car it was assigned to as it came off the assembly line. That chip (transponder) sends that data back to the EWS control module which also shares the ISN data with the DME/ECU which then allows ignition/starter & fuel to allow the car to start. Without the correct chip with the same ISN as the other EWS components...the car won't start.

The FZV & DWA features of the key transmit a 315 MHz (or 433 MHz in Europe) signal to the aerial in the rear winshield' which then goes to the receiver in the C pillar, which then sends data to the GM...from their...if the key code that was learned by the GM matches, (FZV) remote central locking will lock/unlock the doors....and (DWA) anti-theft alarm siren system will arm/disarm the siren. Both of these features are powered by the battery inside the key...AND any key from the same generation BMW (e46/e38/e39/e53) can be programmed to lock/unlock & arm/disarm ANY BMW of the same generation if the key initializing procedure is performed. Of course,one needs a working key (one with a key blade cut to fit the ignition) to get the GM into the initializing function where it can retrieve and assign the key's code...which it accepts or rejects when the 315 MHz signal is transmitted when the remote buttons are pressed.

Conclusion...yes any e46/e38/e39/e53 key can be programmed to lock/unlock & arm/disarm your car (old dyle or new style key). But do remember, the new style keys have internal batteries that are charged while in the ignition....if you program another BMW's remote key to your car...how do youkeep the battery charged?

The EWS transponder chip is unique and only works with the the BMW it was originally assigned to. There are aftermarket burners (I beleive an AK90) that can burn a new chip...but you will need software/hardware to retrieve the ISN and rolling code table...so tht it can be burned into the new chip. Or if you are good with electronics and can remove the chip and place it into a new key...good luck.

Someone mentioned contacting Scott (GM5???)...I second that. He has been fixing BMW keys for a while now...and has a Wall of Shame in his website that shows how owners...in an attempt to replace the battery in the new style keys...have ended up destroyingthe key by cutting relays and other stuff off the circuit bard...or cuttng the traces or antenna as they split the key open.
Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
There is no driveway "initializing" of the EWS "transponder" to start your car. Your key and any other e46/e38/e39/e53 remote key can be initialized to lock/unlock & arm/disarm your vehicle...this is FZV & DWA...which has NOTHING to do with EWS and the ability to start the car.

And yes...the scenario you mention should work...as long as nothing happens to the transponder as you desolder it from the original circuit board and resolder it to the replacement circuit board. Again, The EWS chip will not need any reinitializing because it is already burned with the ISN...and when the EWS control module sends it signal to power the transponder...it should respond with the same ISN...which will then release the car for starting.

The FZV/DWA features are the only ones that will need to be reprogrammed because the GM will not have the new key's (its circuit board) code...that will need to be learned along with any other remote keys you have. Any remote key not present during the programming will no longer lock/unlock & arm/disarm (FZV/DWA) the car because the old key code information will be erased and replaced during the programming session.

I hope this makes sense.
__________________
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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  #15  
Old 05-06-2015, 01:29 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
There is good information about the various frequencies, Europe and USA, over here today...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Used DME and key replacement
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See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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