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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:22 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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2008 Key FOB - Can you replace the battery?

I've noticed the range of being able to lock and unlock my doors via the key fob has been decreasing. For a 2008 335 can you replace the batteries or do you have to buy a whole new key fob?
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  #2  
Old 02-28-2011, 12:39 PM
Psi 5 Psi 5 is offline
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I believe the fobs have rechargeable batteries that get their juice while you drive the car. Their batteries are not replaceable. If you don't use the fob for a while, it can lose its charge. The manual says to use them regularly (swapping them on and off if you have more than one) to keep them both charged. Mike Miller from Roundel just wrote about this exact thing in last month's issue (see page 106 of the Feb 2011 Roundel).
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Old 02-28-2011, 12:51 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
I've noticed the range of being able to lock and unlock my doors via the key fob has been decreasing. For a 2008 335 can you replace the batteries or do you have to buy a whole new key fob?
You can if your car is equipped with Comfort Access, otherwise you cannot.
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  #4  
Old 02-28-2011, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
You can if your car is equipped with Comfort Access, otherwise you cannot.
This.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:21 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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My 2008 335xi does not have comfort access. Are you seriously saying that every time the battery wears out on this non rechargeable fob ( I had this one for 6 months) I have spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new one?
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  #6  
Old 02-28-2011, 02:44 PM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Since you don't have CA, your keyfob battery recharges when the car is driven. If it is malfunctioning, it should be taken care of under warranty.

Tom
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:47 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
My 2008 335xi does not have comfort access. Are you seriously saying that every time the battery wears out on this non rechargeable fob ( I had this one for 6 months) I have spend hundreds of dollars to buy a new one?
The only FOB which is not rechargeable is the Comfort Access FOB. Yours is rechargeable. If it's losing a charge you may not be driving enough with the key to charge it. You can try going for a drive to see if it will charge the FOB. If it does not then there's something wrong. A FOB should easily last more than six months.
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Old 02-28-2011, 02:55 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
Since you don't have CA, your keyfob battery recharges when the car is driven. If it is malfunctioning, it should be taken care of under warranty.

Tom
Tom thanks. What is the range of these things supposed to be? 5 feet? 15?
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2011, 02:56 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
The only FOB which is not rechargeable is the Comfort Access FOB. Yours is rechargeable. If it's losing a charge you may not be driving enough with the key to charge it. You can try going for a drive to see if it will charge the FOB. If it does not then there's something wrong. A FOB should easily last more than six months.
How long should they last on average? Assuming normal driving times (10k per year)
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:04 PM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
Tom thanks. What is the range of these things supposed to be? 5 feet? 15?
As both my BMWs have Comfort Access, I don't know about the standard remote.

My CA fobs will lock/unlock the car up to about 90 feet away, but to use the CA features (windows & top/sunroof remote operation), I need to be within 10 feet.

FWIW, the replaceable CR2032 batteries in the CA fobs last about 3 years.

Again, if you are still under warranty, why not have your dealer check it out?

Tom
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  #11  
Old 02-28-2011, 03:07 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
As both my BMWs have Comfort Access, I don't know about the standard remote.

My CA fobs will lock/unlock the car up to about 90 feet away, but to use the CA features (windows & top/sunroof remote operation), I need to be within 10 feet.

FWIW, the replaceable CR2032 batteries in the CA fobs last about 3 years.

Again, if you are still under warranty, why not have your dealer check it out?

Tom
I'm going to have them look at it Wednesday. Just thought I'd come prepared with advice from the board. Thanks!
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2011, 03:22 PM
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the keys from my E46 (coming up on 10 years old now) still charge and work.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2011, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
I'm going to have them look at it Wednesday. Just thought I'd come prepared with advice from the board. Thanks!
My X3s had the older, rechargable, non-CA keys. BRING BOTH YOUR KEYS when you have the dealer check one out. They make certain the info is updated across the keys. It is easy to get a replacement under warranty if one is not holding a charge.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2011, 06:03 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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The issue is that the range for locking and unlocking seems to have decreased. The key works up close and to start the car.

Could non metallic tinted windows be causing this perhaps?
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2011, 06:12 PM
thrush40 thrush40 is offline
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I didn't know there were different types of key fobs like that!

I've got comfort access, so the fob stays in my pocket all the time. I just put a new battery in the fob. The car told me the batter was low! Gotta love those control indicators.

Comfort access is absolutely great. I love it. You can have your nav package. I DO NOT LIKE having all that distracting stuff on my dash!!!! And it screws up the beautiful interior lines anyway.

Is this really more complicated than putting in a new battery?

I don't mean to be a jerk, I just didn't know. And I, too, have an inquiring mind.

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  #16  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:12 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrush40 View Post
Is this really more complicated than putting in a new battery?
BMW went to rechargeable batteries for the 3 series around 2000. My 1999 (1st year E46) was one of the last with a replaceable battery - but only the dealer could replace it.

With the introduction of Comfort Access, there was no way to conveniently recharge the fobs since they weren't normally inserted in the dash slot - so a user replaceable battery was introduced for CA vehicles only.

Tom
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:37 AM
thrush40 thrush40 is offline
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That makes so much sense!
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:43 AM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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What are the symptoms of a failing key fob? My car starts fine but it seems that both key fobs have decreased range now. I'm starting to think it is because of the newly tinted windows....
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Old 03-01-2011, 09:53 AM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
BMW went to rechargeable batteries for the 3 series around 2000. My 1999 (1st year E46) was one of the last with a replaceable battery - but only the dealer could replace it.

With the introduction of Comfort Access, there was no way to conveniently recharge the fobs since they weren't normally inserted in the dash slot - so a user replaceable battery was introduced for CA vehicles only.
I'd like to see the return to a user replaceable battery.
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  #20  
Old 03-01-2011, 09:58 AM
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djfitter djfitter is offline
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Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
What are the symptoms of a failing key fob? My car starts fine but it seems that both key fobs have decreased range now. I'm starting to think it is because of the newly tinted windows....
The battery in the fob has nothing to do with starting the car. It just powers the buttons. The chip in the fob is what allows the car to start.

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Old 03-01-2011, 11:49 AM
Tom K. Tom K. is offline
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Originally Posted by sunny5280 View Post
I'd like to see the return to a user replaceable battery.
There was no user replaceable battery. As I said, the very early E46 battery could only be replaced by the dealer, so after the end of the covered maintenance period, the owner had to pay for both parts and labor every year or so.

So if you want a user replaceable keyfob battery, then order CA. The CR2032 battery costs only a few dollars and is very easy to replace, even for ham fisted folks like myself.

Otherwise, it's a good idea to periodically use both fobs so that one doesn't get discharged.

Tom
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  #22  
Old 03-01-2011, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mscdman View Post
What are the symptoms of a failing key fob? My car starts fine but it seems that both key fobs have decreased range now. I'm starting to think it is because of the newly tinted windows....
if you had metallic tint installed, this would do it...
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:09 PM
AndreyATC AndreyATC is offline
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OP
I have also 2008 335i
Batteries in both remotes started to die
I just got them replaced
All good now

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DSVS8
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:03 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom K. View Post
There was no user replaceable battery. As I said, the very early E46 battery could only be replaced by the dealer, so after the end of the covered maintenance period, the owner had to pay for both parts and labor every year or so.

So if you want a user replaceable keyfob battery, then order CA. The CR2032 battery costs only a few dollars and is very easy to replace, even for ham fisted folks like myself.

Otherwise, it's a good idea to periodically use both fobs so that one doesn't get discharged.
I had the same key (1999 328i) and the battery could easily be replaced by the user. It's not user replaceable in the same sense as the CA fob (I have CA on my 330xi) but it's not too difficult for the user to replace. Certainly much easier than the rechargable keys/fobs which were never designed to have the battery replaced.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:07 PM
Mscdman Mscdman is offline
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Originally Posted by AndreyATC View Post
OP
I have also 2008 335i
Batteries in both remotes started to die
I just got them replaced
All good now

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002DSVS8
I'm assuming you have comfort access because they are all saying the batteries cannot be replaced otherwise.

Must be the windows
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