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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 10-09-2011, 08:29 PM
traviss351 traviss351 is offline
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Location: ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 z3 roadster
2001 525 key fob wont work ????

i just bought my e39 a couple weeks ago and neither of my key fobs work......one looks like it was put up when the car was bought new cause it looks new! .....anyway i have been using the key that looks new hoping that it will charge up and work.....but nothing......i have the diamond shape key that is charged by the car...do i have to reprogram the key since it sat unused for so many years....is this something i can do or do i have to take it to the dealer
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2011, 12:36 PM
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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
Yes, you can reprogram the key yourself. It takes 30 hours to fully recharge a discharged key....and the new style keys w/rechargable batteries will discharge in 1.5 years if left in a drawer unused.

HINT: KL R = ignition position 1



You MUST follow the instructions below to the "T"....do not fudge, combine, skip, overlook any of the steps....

__________________
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; 11-09-2011 at 01:55 PM.
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:07 PM
traviss351 traviss351 is offline
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Location: ohio
 
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Mein Auto: 2002 z3 roadster
is there a alternative way to charge ...i need to know if this will work before it snows and icy.....need my keyless entry in case door locks freeze......30 hrs is a long time considering i dont drive it much.....i wonder if i can hook a trickle charger to the car and leave the ignition on over night in the garage for a few nights...that way i would know if i have got to buy one from bmw dealer......i tried programing it but it must not be charge enough ....it would be nice if they would have put a light on the key so u would know if it has any battery life...just kinda strange that neither key works ....is there a fuse i can check?
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:19 PM
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seemyad seemyad is offline
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Location: Seattle WA
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by traviss351 View Post
is there a alternative way to charge ...i need to know if this will work before it snows and icy.....need my keyless entry in case door locks freeze......30 hrs is a long time considering i dont drive it much.....i wonder if i can hook a trickle charger to the car and leave the ignition on over night in the garage for a few nights...that way i would know if i have got to buy one from bmw dealer......i tried programing it but it must not be charge enough ....it would be nice if they would have put a light on the key so u would know if it has any battery life...just kinda strange that neither key works ....is there a fuse i can check?
I think I read (somewhere) that an electric tooth brush charger works. The wireless charging type NOT ones with plugs or contacts.

.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2011, 11:55 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
So that we don't waste Saint Q's advice, I've added a link to this thread to the bestlinks as shown in red below ...

- How to replace the old-style BMW E39 square key battery (1) (2) (3) & how to replace the rubber key pads in the old style square keys (1) (2) & opening, charging, recoding, & battery replacement (1) of the new-style diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & how long a BMW key will last in the drawer before it needs recharging (1) & converting the old-style square key to the newer diamond shaped key (1) & the details on swapping the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & proper diamond key initializing (1) (2) & what to do if your key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & a description of the various types of BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & all about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & a description of the ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) or what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1)

BTW, I remember a thread, way back when, that explained, technically, it's not a key fob in and of itself ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wikipedia
A key fob is a generally decorative and at times useful item many people often carry with their keys, on a ring or a chain, for ease of tactile identification, to provide a better grip, or to make a personal statement.

Last edited by bluebee; 10-17-2011 at 11:56 PM.
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  #6  
Old 10-18-2011, 10:40 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740iL / 2006 X5 4.4
Quote:
Originally Posted by traviss351 View Post
is there a alternative way to charge ...i need to know if this will work...
Yes, you can use a battery tender or charger (use low amps...like 1, 2, or 3 if possible) hooked to the remote battery posts in the engine bay and turn the key to ignition POSITION 1 (not position 2 or 3).

Or you can follow seemyad's advice...if you have an electric toothbrush that recharges itself with an inductive charging base.

FYI: if you're concerned about locks freezing...then you should do a search for the WINTER (winterizing) threads. Just a little bit of preparation can prevent some terrible winter problems of freezing doors/doorlocks.
__________________
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; 10-18-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2011, 11:51 AM
traviss351 traviss351 is offline
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Location: ohio
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 2002 z3 roadster
thanks! ...got it to work...yee ha! ....no more searching for the key hole in the dark
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  #8  
Old 11-08-2011, 10:47 PM
traviss351 traviss351 is offline
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Location: ohio
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 2002 z3 roadster
Well, maybe it dont work......dont make any sense .......you can lock the doors with the remote but after the car sits for an hour or so , the remote wont work to unlock the doors.......but then after you unlock it with the key...you can lock and unlock the car fine by the remote...please help...dont know what the problem could be
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  #9  
Old 12-30-2011, 02:45 PM
EthirtyMine EthirtyMine is offline
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I think I may be on to something, as I have not seen it in the dozens of threads I've read about the subject.

I suck as soldering. Like, Hoover+Oreck+Shopvac = my level of suck with solder. I bought the battery with the off-angled posts, just like everyone else, but I'm pretty sure I've cooked it by trying to solder a leg in the new (correct) position. Someone mentioned that panasonic makes the vl-2020 with different leg configurations, so I was perusing this pdf, http://panasonic.com/industrial/includes/pdf/Panasonic_Lithium_VL_TabConfig.pdf but didn't see anything at first. Then, instead of looking at the pictures, I just scrutinized the dimensions between the legs, and Son of a Secretary of State, I found a battery where the legs are closer together than the nominal diameter of the battery. But,

BUT,



It's the fricken vertical post battery, probably something we've all already seen, and won't do us any good, right?

BUT

What if we just bend the legs 90 degrees?...!

I'm at work, and don't have a set of calipers handy, but when I get home I'll pop the key open again and measure. Has anyone already tried this? I couldn't find anything anywhere to suggest someone had.
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  #10  
Old 01-02-2012, 10:41 PM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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Mein Auto: 1999 323i
The batteries do not fail on these diamond key unless the lead breaks which I've only seen twice in dozens of key repairs. Most of the time it's an even split between a broken component, cracked solder joint, bad push button switch.
If you do have to replace the battery, don't use the vertical tab position battery shown in post #9 above. Use the horizontal lead configuration, VL2020-1HF. Use only the genuine Panasonic VL2020 Vanadium-pentoxide battery, not the CR or DL series non rechargeable lithium manganese batteries from the local store and don't use the LIP, Li-ion Li-Polymer or other batteries for sale from Chinese sellers. I've tried charging a key in my Sonicare toothbrush inductive charging base, with the circuit board out of the key/case with wires to a meter so I could monitor the charging, and finding a position that worked was more difficult that you would expect. It has to be in just the right position to charge. A little off and no charging occured. I can only imagine that it would be next to impossible with the circuit board in the key/case. If you only take short drives that's fine. Just keep using the key every day until you accumulate about 5 hours of driving and then it should be enough to do a key sync.
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