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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:25 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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another key thread

My key has been acting up for some time now and I'm finally getting tired of unlocking and locking my doors manually.

I've read a thread where a person used a soldering iron to fix an old cracked solder, and that worked for him. I have a different type of key ( the older partially round 315 mh key) I can use a mini screwdriver to open it but I cant get to the circuit board to look at any of the old soldering points. I've replaced the battery, and reprogrammed the key. I got the reprogramming confirmation of the locks jumping, but the key works very rarely.

I've looked at realoem and I cant seem to figure out what this part is called or a part number for it. The circuit board has several numbers on it and I don't know which one is a part number.

Does anyone know if I can replace just this part of the key? And if i can where to get it?

Or does anyone have an idea of how to get to the circuit board? I've tried without being too rough and have had no success.

Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks for stopping by
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:31 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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It is very possible I can score you a used key and send it to you for testing purposes.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:40 PM
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Dave 330i Dave 330i is offline
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I'm not familiar with your key style, but if you do a google search, there are several videos that show how to replace the battery rather than replacing the key. I doubt you can replace just the circuit board as BMW wants to sell you a new key, for about $200 now?

My '01 E46 key is not accessible to the battery. The video shows that I have to slice open the clam shell if I want to get to the battery.
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Last edited by Dave 330i; 01-21-2013 at 04:47 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2013, 04:49 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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That would be helpful Smolck!

I could also scan eBay I guess..

Since I need to enter and turn the key to the first position and remove the key to program it, would I just insert and turn my key then program your circuit board?
or how would that work?

@Dave, yeah I think they are charging $200 or more for a key.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
That would be helpful Smolck!

I could also scan eBay I guess..

Since I need to enter and turn the key to the first position and remove the key to program it, would I just insert and turn my key then program your circuit board?
or how would that work?

@Dave, yeah I think they are charging $200 or more for a key.
I do know that guys have reportedly (according to the thread I read somewhere, sometime in the distant past) that you can buy the newer style key, have it laser cut by certain locksmith places, and then just swap the "chip" in your existing key and voila, you have a new looking key that works.

I have not confirmed that personally, but I do remember it being done.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:12 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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The problem is that I believe it to be my chip that is bad.

I get a red light confirming that the battery is good or at least putting out enough juice to light the indicator on the key.

But nothing happens as far as my locks go.

There doesn't seem to be any used keys on eBay with the chip unless I want to but an ignition or something else.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenj View Post
The problem is that I believe it to be my chip that is bad.

I get a red light confirming that the battery is good or at least putting out enough juice to light the indicator on the key.

But nothing happens as far as my locks go.

There doesn't seem to be any used keys on eBay with the chip unless I want to but an ignition or something else.
Pretty sure the chip is the part that forces you to replace your key. I will ask my buddy who runs the BMW salvage and see if he knows a remedy for you.
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:22 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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Does anyone have a key for sell with the chip remaining, and in working order?
This style with the arrow pointing in the same direction?
I'd like to just swap the chip and reprogram it.


According to realoem the direction of the arrow indicates the frequency.

I also have a better brand of battery (Energizer) in the mail coming to me. I'm thinking maybe these Japanese brand batteries that I have are not doing the trick.

I'd hate to spend anywhere close to $200 for the luxury of locking/unlocking my car with the remote. It's that exact reason why I have been using the key to manually unlock/lock my car for as long as I have (about a year)

I may as well be using the valet key, I can still get into the trunk with it. Just unlock the door twice so all doors unlock, (or use center console button) then the trunk actuator button works.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:25 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Pretty sure the chip is the part that forces you to replace your key. I will ask my buddy who runs the BMW salvage and see if he knows a remedy for you.
Probably...

Since the chip is removable it would seem like a viable option to buy a used key from a salvage yard (assuming the chip works in said key).

Thank you Smolck!
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2013, 05:40 PM
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kbeamer kbeamer is offline
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After a year of my key dying I caved in and bought a new one from the dealer for 139$. No issues with my new key at all. My old key no longer unlocks my doors but still starts the car which I think is odd.

I have seen multiple threads on what you are speaking about through YouTube. Have you tried googling it?
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  #11  
Old 01-22-2013, 01:46 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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These references from the bestlinks might be useful:
- How to replace the old-style BMW 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 to recharge off your BMW and how long a BMW key will last in the drawer before it needs that off-the-car 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)
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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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  #12  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:43 PM
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stevenj stevenj is offline
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The Energizer brand batteries are working!

I chucked the Japanese one and replaced it with an Energizer battery, and my remote is working for the time being.

I don't know if my remote is just burning through batteries, but I suspect the off brand batteries to be the culprit.

I'll check back in if problems arise.
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  #13  
Old 06-12-2014, 01:01 PM
nicolas.beaulac nicolas.beaulac is offline
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