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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 01-26-2005, 11:08 PM
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Bob Clevenger Bob Clevenger is offline
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Why seat position key memory?

BTW, I have searched for this and found one thread about it that has been closed, so I can't reply to it.

I just got the seat position key memory enabled at my dealer.
This "feature" seems to be severely crippled!
It only "remembers" the position where the seat was left. DUH! The seat is already IN that position, so why bother memorising it?
Yeah, if I switch between keys it goes from one setting to the other -- big deal.
If the seat gets moved (by perhaps a valet or car wash guy), pressing the "unlock" button on the key I use does absolutely NOTHING! Locking and unlocking does nothing either.
So I have to use the seat buttons to reset everything. That works, but the key memory for the seats is USELESS as it now is.

This "feature" was promoted as allowing you to return the seat and mirrors to your memorised settings as you unlock the car. Why doesn't it do that?

Or did my dealer screw up? If so, what do I tell him to do to fix it?

Sorry for the rant, I'm just a little upset about this, even though it's not a big deal.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2005, 12:15 AM
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The basic answer to your question is that if there are multiple drivers for the same car, they each take one of the keys. Then the seats (and whatever else) return to the position programmed in to each key when that key gets used. So every driver is happy that the seat is just waiting for them exactly where they last left it. Now, in practice sometimes this doesn't work as well as it should as some things don't reposition themselves properly for each key, either due to not being in the set of things which can do that or due to software errors in the car's computers.

As for what does or does not get repositioned (when all things are working correctly) besides the seats... I haven't the foggiest since I'm the only driver of my car so all keys are programmed the same and I have never bothered to play around with different settings tied to the different keys.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2005, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by operknockity
The basic answer to your question is that if there are multiple drivers for the same car, they each take one of the keys. Then the seats (and whatever else) return to the position programmed in to each key when that key gets used. So every driver is happy that the seat is just waiting for them exactly where they last left it. Now, in practice sometimes this doesn't work as well as it should as some things don't reposition themselves properly for each key, either due to not being in the set of things which can do that or due to software errors in the car's computers.

As for what does or does not get repositioned (when all things are working correctly) besides the seats... I haven't the foggiest since I'm the only driver of my car so all keys are programmed the same and I have never bothered to play around with different settings tied to the different keys.
Good explanation. The fundamental limitation of the feature is that it changes only with the keys--so if you leave the key in teh car for the valet, or for your wife when you switch off--it won't function. Of course, how's it to know that you switched drivers? that's what the buttons are for.
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2005, 08:59 AM
trikerider trikerider is offline
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I've been playing with a few things and have come up with a system that works the way I want it to.

The qoal was to have the seat slide all the way back when I get in and out of the car - then, I wanted it to move into my preferred setting.
  • Seat Memory Button #1 is set to my preferred seat setting
  • Seat Memory Button #3 is set to having my seat all the way back
  • My key remembers the same settings as Seat Memory Button #3.

When I unlock the car, the seat moves all the way back.

When I'm settled in the seat, I hit Seat Memory Button #1 to move into my preferred settings.

When I'm ready to get out, I hit Seat Memory Button #3

#750
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2005, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trikerider
I've been playing with a few things and have come up with a system that works the way I want it to.

The qoal was to have the seat slide all the way back when I get in and out of the car - then, I wanted it to move into my preferred setting.
  • Seat Memory Button #1 is set to my preferred seat setting
  • Seat Memory Button #3 is set to having my seat all the way back
  • My key remembers the same settings as Seat Memory Button #3.

When I unlock the car, the seat moves all the way back.

When I'm settled in the seat, I hit Seat Memory Button #1 to move into my preferred settings.

When I'm ready to get out, I hit Seat Memory Button #3

#750
I discovered the "issue" with the seat key memory the day after I picked up my car last month. I tried to use #3 for the same purpose you do, but I gave up temporarily. I'll retry it. But, I still think Key #1 (my main key) should reposition the seat to seat memory setting #1. That way, if I choose to hit memory button #3 when I get out, the next time I unlock the door, it would automatically go back to my preferred #1 setting. I think the implementation of the feature tried to do something convenient but it backfired as far as I'm concerned.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2005, 11:09 AM
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My understanding of this key memory thing is as follows:

The key remembers the position the seat/mirrors are in at the time the key is used to LOCK (by remote) the car. Hence, if the valet moved the seats, etc. then locked the car, the key will remember his/her seat position. When the valet delivers the car to you, the seat is set to his/her position and you have to reset it to your preference...I do that by hitting the #1 (or#2 or #3 button). When I leave the car, I lock by using the key's remote and it then remembers the seat/mirror positions I just used. Problem has been that when you come home and park in the garage, you usually don't lock the car (at least I don't)...so, the key still remembers the seat settings used by the valet (the key/car doesn't know who the driver is).
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2005, 11:20 AM
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Doesn't anyone use the valet key for parking valets?

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Last edited by JonathanIT; 01-27-2005 at 11:23 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2005, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanIT
Doesn't anyone use the valet key for parking valets?

--J.
Hmm, makes sense so that your key is not re-programmed. Only thing is that the valet key is all plastic and I wonder about the longevity of the key if it is used more frequently (not that I would let a valet park my car, if I can help it).
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2005, 11:55 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndDown
My understanding of this key memory thing is as follows:

The key remembers the position the seat/mirrors are in at the time the key is used to LOCK (by remote) the car. Hence, if the valet moved the seats, etc. then locked the car, the key will remember his/her seat position. When the valet delivers the car to you, the seat is set to his/her position and you have to reset it to your preference...I do that by hitting the #1 (or#2 or #3 button). When I leave the car, I lock by using the key's remote and it then remembers the seat/mirror positions I just used. Problem has been that when you come home and park in the garage, you usually don't lock the car (at least I don't)...so, the key still remembers the seat settings used by the valet (the key/car doesn't know who the driver is).
And that's why the feature is flawed. If you choose to change your seat from the memorized setting (1,2,3) that's "your problem". The key should not remember a custom setting. It should return the seat to the memorized seat settings.

The only time I would see the feature as beneficial is for the rare occasion that you lend someone your car (and your key) and they move the seat to where they want it. They lock and then when they unlock, the seat will basically remain where it is instead of moving the the pre-memorized driver setting (1,2,3). That would mean every time they unlock the car they'd have to move the seat again to where they want it. They're not the owner, so they can/should live with the inconvenience.

Can anyone explain why the current implementation is a good thing? I can't figure out a beneficial purpose.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2005, 04:37 PM
blockpavick blockpavick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53
And that's why the feature is flawed. If you choose to change your seat from the memorized setting (1,2,3) that's "your problem". The key should not remember a custom setting. It should return the seat to the memorized seat settings.

The only time I would see the feature as beneficial is for the rare occasion that you lend someone your car (and your key) and they move the seat to where they want it. They lock and then when they unlock, the seat will basically remain where it is instead of moving the the pre-memorized driver setting (1,2,3). That would mean every time they unlock the car they'd have to move the seat again to where they want it. They're not the owner, so they can/should live with the inconvenience.

Can anyone explain why the current implementation is a good thing? I can't figure out a beneficial purpose.
For what it is worth, Mercedes-Benz offered this memory key feature too, but has dropped it because it was the source of so much confusion and many customer complaints, as well as plenty of 'phantom' seat movements.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2005, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blockpavick
For what it is worth, Mercedes-Benz offered this memory key feature too, but has dropped it because it was the source of so much confusion and many customer complaints, as well as plenty of 'phantom' seat movements.
I had a C240 but didn't have the full power seat option. I've had GM cars where the keys were linked to the seat memory positions, and that's how I assumed all key/seat memory systems operated. Actually, that's how I thought the MB system worked too, but not sure. I'm going to ask a couple old friends from the MB board!
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2005, 03:07 PM
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I have been driving E46’s since 1999 (99 328i, 01 325i, 04 330Cic) and seat memory is a mystery to me.
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Old 01-28-2005, 03:36 PM
LDV330i LDV330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trikerider
I've been playing with a few things and have come up with a system that works the way I want it to.

The qoal was to have the seat slide all the way back when I get in and out of the car - then, I wanted it to move into my preferred setting.
  • Seat Memory Button #1 is set to my preferred seat setting
  • Seat Memory Button #3 is set to having my seat all the way back
  • My key remembers the same settings as Seat Memory Button #3.

When I unlock the car, the seat moves all the way back.

When I'm settled in the seat, I hit Seat Memory Button #1 to move into my preferred settings.

When I'm ready to get out, I hit Seat Memory Button #3

#750
I do exactly as you do though I did not have Key Memory activated since I did not see any benefit since I am the only driver of the car. In your case I assume that you share your car since want the seat to move to position #3 (which is where YOU left it) when it is your turn to drive the car.
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Old 01-28-2005, 07:29 PM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Shoot, I guess I've forgotten about seat memory... j/k.

Actually, the way it works for me is as follows:

- Mrs Wingspan opens the car with her fob, the seat moves to her position.

- If I open the car the next day, with my key, the seat moves to my position.

- etc.

I never have to hit the buttons on the seat itself, unless I make an adjustment to "my" setting (which I have not done for a year or so.) I am not sure whether from what you describe it works as above, but I believe this both makes sense to me and is how it should work...
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:06 PM
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machmeter machmeter is offline
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I love my key memory. Works perfectly.

For the seat to return to memory position when you press the unlock button on the key, the dealer must program this option.
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Old 01-28-2005, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machmeter
I love my key memory. Works perfectly.

For the seat to return to memory position when you press the unlock button on the key, the dealer must program this option.
Here's the thing... if it worked the way I want it to (and IMO, the way it should), I could use button #3 as my "exit" position to move the seat back when I leave the car. I then lock it. When I return and unlock, it should automatically move to my preferred memory position #1. The current implementation won't do this -- I need to manually press the #1 memory button when I get back in to move the seat back to where I want it. That, IMO, is a bizarre implementation .
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  #17  
Old 01-28-2005, 10:09 PM
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machmeter machmeter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53
When I return and unlock, it should automatically move to my preferred memory position #1.
It will do this IF you have the dealer turn this feature "ON." The default setting is "OFF."
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:23 PM
LDV330i LDV330i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53
Here's the thing... if it worked the way I want it to (and IMO, the way it should), I could use button #3 as my "exit" position to move the seat back when I leave the car. I then lock it. When I return and unlock, it should automatically move to my preferred memory position #1. The current implementation won't do this -- I need to manually press the #1 memory button when I get back in to move the seat back to where I want it. That, IMO, is a bizarre implementation .
.
I would want a variation of your logic since it is not easy for me to get into the seat if is in position 1, it should remain in position 3 to be able to get seated. My preference is that the seat return to positon 1 upon inserting the key into the ignition..
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Old 01-28-2005, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDV330i
.My preference is that the seat return to positon 1 upon inserting the key into the ignition..
I understand that you can have that option, if you request that your car be so programmed.
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Old 01-29-2005, 02:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by machmeter
I love my key memory. Works perfectly.

For the seat to return to memory position when you press the unlock button on the key, the dealer must program this option.
So let me get this right. Your seat returns to its memory position when you press the unlock button on the key even after it has been moved (as by a car wash guy) and the second key has not been used? That's what I want (even though some of the other options that folks here have asked for are good too). I had my dealer program this option to be active when unlocking, but it only works when one key is used and then the other one is used. If I move the seat manually it does not return to the memory position when unlocking with the same key. If I use the other key it goes to that key's memory position just fine, but alternating keys seems silly.

I think this is just a badly designed feature, but if yours actually works in the preferred way then I know it IS possible and I can have my dealer try to figure it out.
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Old 01-29-2005, 04:35 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Clevenger
So let me get this right. Your seat returns to its memory position when you press the unlock button on the key even after it has been moved (as by a car wash guy) and the second key has not been used? That's what I want (even though some of the other options that folks here have asked for are good too). I had my dealer program this option to be active when unlocking, but it only works when one key is used and then the other one is used. If I move the seat manually it does not return to the memory position when unlocking with the same key. If I use the other key it goes to that key's memory position just fine, but alternating keys seems silly.

I think this is just a badly designed feature, but if yours actually works in the preferred way then I know it IS possible and I can have my dealer try to figure it out.
Bob - Just to help out and give you another data point. My car is an '03 E46 sedan.

- I can unlock the car with my key.
- If I move the seat a bit manually, then lock and unlock the car, the seat does not move to "my" setting.
- If I lock the car with my key, then unlock with Mrs. Winsgpan's key, the seat moves to her setting
- If I lock the car with her key, then unlock with mine the seat moves to my setting.
- This is repeatable

So if this is what you are seeing I agree it is odd the car does not "always" move to the seat to the "key" position when that key unlocks the car. It seems like the car "knows" that there is a difference between manual and automatic seat movement.
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Old 01-29-2005, 06:37 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Clevenger
So let me get this right. Your seat returns to its memory position when you press the unlock button on the key even after it has been moved (as by a car wash guy) and the second key has not been used? That's what I want (even though some of the other options that folks here have asked for are good too). I had my dealer program this option to be active when unlocking, but it only works when one key is used and then the other one is used. If I move the seat manually it does not return to the memory position when unlocking with the same key. If I use the other key it goes to that key's memory position just fine, but alternating keys seems silly.

I think this is just a badly designed feature, but if yours actually works in the preferred way then I know it IS possible and I can have my dealer try to figure it out.
TO EVERYONE>.....

It's as simple as this..... when the key seat memory feature is activated, the seat will return to ITS LAST SETTING WHEN THE CAR WAS LOCKED WITH YOUR KEY, whether that position was your preset memory setting or a "custom" setting. If you move your seat off of your preferred memory setting and then lock your car, it will NOT return to the memorized setting upon unlocking -- it will stay where it is (assuming no one used key #2 in the meantime). Go try it and report back on any discrepancies!

Here's another example...
Say you drive your car and don't lock it. Your wife uses key #2 and drives after manually pressing her memory #2 button on the seat. She returns. She doesn't lock the car. Later you are outside and realize it's not locked so you lock it with your #1 key. When you next unlock with your key it WILL NOT return to memorized position #1, it will remain in your wife's position because that's where it was when you last locked it with your key, #1. Get it?

So, in the simplest terms, just pretend the memory buttons don't exist on the seat. The key has its own memory and remembers where the seat is when locked. That is the position it will move to when subsequently unlocked. I repeat, it is a STUPID implementation of the feature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by machmeter
I understand that you can have that option, if you request that your car be so programmed.
This is not correct -- you can choose to either have the key memory for the seat on or off and it will work as I've described. You can also choose, if the feature is activated, to have the seat move as soon as you press the unlock, or when you open the door.
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Old 01-29-2005, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53

Here's another example...
Say you drive your car and don't lock it. Your wife uses key #2 and drives after manually pressing her memory #2 button on the seat. She returns. She doesn't lock the car. Later you are outside and realize it's not locked so you lock it with your #1 key. When you next unlock with your key it WILL NOT return to memorized position #1, it will remain in your wife's position because that's where it was when you last locked it with your key, #1. Get it?

So, in the simplest terms, just pretend the memory buttons don't exist on the seat. The key has its own memory and remembers where the seat is when locked. That is the position it will move to when subsequently unlocked. I repeat, it is a STUPID implementation of the feature.

Simple solution: HIS and HERS Bimmers!
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  #24  
Old 01-29-2005, 09:48 AM
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johnnygraphic johnnygraphic is offline
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Ugh. If the keys did what you wanted it to, then, there would be somebody out there complaining about it. Can't please everybody eh? Making it do what YOU want it to do vs what somebody else wants it to do is called a compromise. There is no way for it to be logical 100% of the time to all people.

Get over it. It is just a seat.
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Old 01-29-2005, 11:44 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnygraphic
Ugh. If the keys did what you wanted it to, then, there would be somebody out there complaining about it. Can't please everybody eh? Making it do what YOU want it to do vs what somebody else wants it to do is called a compromise. There is no way for it to be logical 100% of the time to all people.

Get over it. It is just a seat.
I am over it, I just have never seen another car work this way. Our Acura and other cars I've owned (GM) work where the key activates the actual memorized seat positions which were set with the memory buttons on the seat.

But, now that you mention it, what would be cool is another user selectable choice which would either link the keys to the seat memories or not -- hmmm...
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