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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new Bimmer has the homelink (Universal Transceiver). However I notice that it's range is quite short. This is in comparison to my previous car - a Nissan Altima. I used to be able to open the garage door before I turned onto my street, (I'm the 2nd house in), and therefore the door was open as I pulled into my driveway. Now I have to be on the street - maybe 100 feet or so from the house, which means I have to wait for the door to open while I'm sitting in my driveway. Does anyone else have this short range problem?
 

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Ubergeek
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Yes... it's a known issue.

A few years ago, someone said that they were able to call homelink and get the company to send him some sort of new antenna for the unit.
 

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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KrisL said:
Yes... it's a known issue.

A few years ago, someone said that they were able to call homelink and get the company to send him some sort of new antenna for the unit.
Got anymore details?
 

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24/7 Bimmer Addict
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icemanjs4 said:
My new Bimmer has the homelink (Universal Transceiver). However I notice that it's range is quite short. This is in comparison to my previous car - a Nissan Altima. I used to be able to open the garage door before I turned onto my street, (I'm the 2nd house in), and therefore the door was open as I pulled into my driveway. Now I have to be on the street - maybe 100 feet or so from the house, which means I have to wait for the door to open while I'm sitting in my driveway. Does anyone else have this short range problem?
I noticed that, even the remote control on the key has a short range.
 

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Grinning from ear to ear
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
sunnykk said:
I noticed that, even the remote control on the key has a short range.
Oooh I agree. I used to be able to unlock my car from across the parking lot. Now I have to be within maybe 100ft to unlock. WTF!!
 

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Yep, I think my (seperate) e36 remote is WAY to short on range... the e46 in key remote makes the e36 look like a long distance contender! Sucks. I was hoping for more range in the new car. No dice

First picture is me trying that CHIN thing to get more range out of the remote.

Second is where the car was in relation to the bridge I was walking down.
 

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There and back again
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icemanjs4 said:
Oooh I agree. I used to be able to unlock my car from across the parking lot. Now I have to be within maybe 100ft to unlock. WTF!!
Aside from the chin trick, the best location to unlock the car is at the left rear since that is where the antenna for the key receiver is.

There are some locations with lots of radio interference. I have only found one, but it is a pain - right in front of Amanda's 5th Avenue apartment. I need to be right up against the antenna in order to lock / unlock the car. Sometimes even that won't work and I have to use the key (which will set off the alarm).
 

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ex-M couper
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Remote control devices are intended to be short-range to minimise interference, but longer range comes in very handy when trying to locate your car (a nondescript rental in this case) in the middle of a pitch-dark parking area in Gettysburg,PA after a day of re-enacting! Gray car, unfamiliar car, new moon, no lights --- hitting the remote and seeing the parking lights blink was wonderful!
 

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Padawan
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e36M3r said:
First picture is me trying that CHIN thing to get more range out of the remote.
Did it work?

--J.
 

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icemanjs4 said:
My new Bimmer has the homelink (Universal Transceiver). However I notice that it's range is quite short. This is in comparison to my previous car - a Nissan Altima. I used to be able to open the garage door before I turned onto my street, (I'm the 2nd house in), and therefore the door was open as I pulled into my driveway. Now I have to be on the street - maybe 100 feet or so from the house, which means I have to wait for the door to open while I'm sitting in my driveway. Does anyone else have this short range problem?
Several years ago, I contacted the company (www.homelink.com) and they sent me a free (if I remember correctly) "upgrade" (which was basically a piece of aluminum foil with adhesive) that enhanced the range (slightly) on my 330Ci. I don't know if they'll still do it, but it might be worth visiting the site or giving them a shout.
 

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short range key

sunnykk said:
I noticed that, even the remote control on the key has a short range.
try the chin trick or the tongue trick. Stick the tip of the key against your tongue and try it - triples the range.
 

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Just got this reply from Homelink today

Thank you for visiting our HomeLink website and for your inquiry. Unfortunately we do not offer that external fix any longer, all new Homelink system for BMW(since 2001) have had that device implemented into the unit. I have a few suggestions you might try to help with the issue you are having with your Homelink and garage door opener.

**Put a new battery in your hand-held transmitter. Training the HomeLink system
takes more power from the battery than when you push the button to open
the door. Sometimes by putting a new battery in the hand-held transmitter, will
send a stronger signal and increases the range on the hand held transmitter.

**Retrain the HomeLink at different lengths and angles. Start by holding
the hand-held transmitter 3-4 inches away then 5-6, even 6-8 inches from
the buttons.

**Try a second hand held transmitter with new batteries.

**Straighten the antenna wire that hangs down from the garage door
opener motorhead in the garage.

**Try programming all 3 HomeLink buttons.
 

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Ubergeek
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rjh325 said:
**Put a new battery in your hand-held transmitter. Training the HomeLink system
takes more power from the battery than when you push the button to open
the door. Sometimes by putting a new battery in the hand-held transmitter, will
send a stronger signal and increases the range on the hand held transmitter.
Apparently the person that answered your inquiry did not understand the issue. All of the solutions given are great if you're having a problem training the homelink.
 

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Padawan
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KrisL said:
rjh325 said:
**Put a new battery in your hand-held transmitter. Training the HomeLink system
takes more power from the battery than when you push the button to open
the door. Sometimes by putting a new battery in the hand-held transmitter, will
send a stronger signal and increases the range on the hand held transmitter.
Apparently the person that answered your inquiry did not understand the issue. All of the solutions given are great if you're having a problem training the homelink.
Not really; read it carefully (the last "hand held" may be a typo; then it makes sense)

I think what they are saying is, put new batteries in the transmitter you are using to train the homelink in the BMW. I just "re-trained" the homelink in our '02 Lexus LS430 a couple weeks ago. I remember from the instructions in the owner's manual that it says "replace the batteries first" in the unit you are using to send the signal to the car's homelink system (I didn't really pay attention--who has time for this; it works doesn't it?). I guess maybe it does make a difference! It appears the signal strength that it receives for programming has a direct correlation to the signal that it puts out afterwards.

I think they are saying also that the angle that you hold the transmitter to the car's homelink when programming has an effect on the signal strength that the car will put out.

Wow, this is really interesting! I had no idea how the Homelink system works, but it kinda makes sense if you think about it. I'm going to replace all of our transmitter batteries and reprogram everything!

--J.
 

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yeah Jonathan, that's what i took from it too.

I'll see how it works...nothing to lose

JonathanIT said:
Not really; read it carefully (the last "hand held" may be a typo; then it makes sense)

I think what they are saying is, put new batteries in the transmitter you are using to train the homelink in the BMW. I just "re-trained" the homelink in our '02 Lexus LS430 a couple weeks ago. I remember from the instructions in the owner's manual that it says "replace the batteries first" in the unit you are using to send the signal to the car's homelink system (I didn't really pay attention--who has time for this; it works doesn't it?). I guess maybe it does make a difference! It appears the signal strength that it receives for programming has a direct correlation to the signal that it puts out afterwards.

I think they are saying also that the angle that you hold the transmitter to the car's homelink when programming has an effect on the signal strength that the car will put out.

Wow, this is really interesting! I had no idea how the Homelink system works, but it kinda makes sense if you think about it. I'm going to replace all of our transmitter batteries and reprogram everything!

--J.
 

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Rest in peace, Coach
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Part of the problem, is that Homelink basically "clones" the signal of the remote you're trying to program. So, weak original remote, weaker homelink signal.

Replace the battery in your remote, then program homelink to learn the signal. That should boost the range of the homelink device.
 

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just copacetic!!!
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The range on my X5's remote and UGO are noticeably better than that of my E46's. I can open and lock with the X's remote a good 3X further than the E46's. The UGO on the X came factory installed but I installed the one in the 325i myself, not sure if the factory installed unit is better? :dunno:
 

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The X5 is also higher up and that probably does make a difference in range.

Anyway, the "upgrade" is a piece of foil as said before. Go cut some foil and wrap it around a few times to extend the range. I've read on the forums it can work hundreds of feet further than without the foil upgrade.
 
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