Keys, Keys, what the heck is so difficult about Keys? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 01-12-2007, 05:59 PM
psychowon psychowon is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 2
Mein Auto:
Keys, Keys, what the heck is so difficult about Keys?

I have an 01 540i with one key. I bought a new key off ebay with matchin numbers. Now, the local BMW states they cannot do (more like will not) anything with it.

I see there are many threads that mention taking to the local dealership for getting the unit matched to the car. Well, I called them and they told me it was a drive through thing and didn't cost anything.

I found a locksmith who states they can cut the key if it is not steel (it is not). Should I let him cut it then take it to the local BMW or just suck it up and pay their $250 for a key?
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:30 PM
tommy1 tommy1 is offline
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Location: Northern VA
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: '97 528i

I have a 97 528. I was told day one that there were a limited number of matching chips for my car, and they were retained in MUNICH.
Could be BS, but it took a couple of weeks to get a new key when I (ahem) left my keys in the garden for a few weeks.
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Old 01-17-2007, 06:50 PM
Tyrone Tyrone is offline
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Location: Orange, CA
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 954
Mein Auto: '97 540i
You need to order a new key. Unless you copy the metal part from your existing key, take apart the key you just bought, and find a way to put the metal copy in it, it will be of no use to you. It is not worth the trouble or time to do that of course.

In response to the other message, it is true that there are only 10 keys that can be assigned to a particular vehicle. If you ever exceed that, the entire EWS system and locks on the car would need to be changed.

After you get your new key, have the dealer deactivate the codes in your car for the missing 3 keys, so that whoever has them will not be able to start your car. Also, initialise both the new key and the one you have at the same time, starting with your original key. It needs to be done this way so that both keys work, and work properly with the car/key memory system.
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Old 03-23-2007, 09:18 AM
jgayanelo1 jgayanelo1 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4
Mein Auto:
Hi Everyone,
I recently acquired an '04 530i here in Manila, but the unit was directly imported from Germany, not through the local dealerships.

Can anyone help me with info on how I could get a spare key. I only have 1 key as the previous owner lost the other keys.

The local dealerships do not welcome servicing imported units as they consider these to be from the GRAY market.


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