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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 05-09-2015, 02:54 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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How to Test Key Fob Charging System

I have seen many threads regarding the key fob and battery replacement. Has anyone discussed how to verify that the key fob charging system inside the steering column is actually working?

Are there any troubleshooting or testing techniques that can readily determine if the charging system for the key fob works AND if so to what extent i.e. 100%, 80%, 50% etc.?

If this information is already available, a simple link will suffice. Thank you.

Last edited by seemyad; 05-09-2015 at 02:55 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-09-2015, 07:09 PM
edjack edjack is online now
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Why do you suspect the key charger? I've seen no reports of failure, nor test procedures.

The problem crops up when the battery inside the key wears out, and cannot accept a charge.
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Last edited by edjack; 05-09-2015 at 07:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 05-10-2015, 01:42 AM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Why do you suspect the key charger? I've seen no reports of failure, nor test procedures.

The problem crops up when the battery inside the key wears out, and cannot accept a charge.
Thank you for your response.

To that I will say, it appears that everyone ASSUMES the issue with with the key fob battery and NEVER considered the possibility that the charging system is the actual problem. If the charging system is never tested, why ASSUME it is working?

I find it interesting that to date, we always blame the battery without ensuring the charging inductance coil is fully operational.
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2015, 05:34 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seemyad View Post
...I find it interesting that to date, we always blame the battery without ensuring the charging inductance coil is fully operational.
That is basically the stance forum member ScottJon (spelling?) repeats often...he repairs bmw keys on the side as well as GMs. There's more info on his site http://www.bmwgm5.com/Key_Repair.htm as well as a wall of shame where he shows examples of how owners have destroyed their keys prying it open to replace a battery that's usually not dead.

I'll say it again...I prefer the old style remote key with its easily removable back, the 2016 battery you can buy at Walmart's watch counter & pop in, the red status LED that let's you know a signal is being transmitted as well as the status of the battery, & you can get replacement button pads for approximately $3-$5 on ebay when the old buttons have worn down. Oh yeah...when the battery voltage gets low in the old style key...you get a check control warning, too. The aforementioned is why my feelings about the diamond shaped key is that its a step backwards....but it does have that "pretty" little Roundel button in the middle...ooooo...so cute.


(the old style remote key lets you know when it's time to change its easy replaceable 2016 battery)
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
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Last edited by QSilver7; 05-10-2015 at 06:50 AM.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2015, 06:36 AM
KRUZNBY KRUZNBY is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
That is basically the stance forum member ScottJon (spelling?) repeats often...he repairs bmw keys on the side as well as GMs. There more info on his site http://www.bmwgm5.com/Key_Repair.htm as well as a wall of shame where he shows examples of how owners have destroyed their keys prying it open to replace a battery that's usually not dead.

I'll say it again...I prefer the old style remote key with its easily removable back, the 2016 battery you can buy at Walmart's watch counter & pop in, the red status LED that let's you know a signal is being transmitted as well as the status of the battery, & you can get replacement button pads for approximately $3-$5 on ebay when the old buttons have worn down.
Excellent info! I had no idea that most key failures are not due to battery failures.
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