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Seek to understand,^Value
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For the record, another mechanical key lock opening problem was reported today:
Gentleman, I hope someone can help me out.

I have a 1999 540i Touring (or sports wagon as you call it), with only a driver side lock. So no lock on the trunk, unfortunately...

Battery is dead, couldn't open the door. Searched the internet and stumbled upon this thread on how to open my car.

Initial findings: 90 deg clockwise (lock) I can turn the key. Counterclockwise 45 deg, and no way past that. Even after lubricating the lock very well with WD40 with a straw... (Yeah we got that stuff over here as well).

After further research I found this thread on this board: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=498390

And that's probably my problem as well. Last winter the interior door handle broke off. I replaced it myself (found a DIY on YouTube). And most probably the cable connecting to the interior door handle is misplaced. According to the above posting, that's why I can't turn the key 90 deg counterclockwise and unlock.

The big question: how do I get into my car without smashing a window??? Does the 540 have a connection under the car just like the 6-cyl??? Can't find it anywhere online...Car is parked curbside at the driverside, so getting under the car to have a look on that side is kinda hard...
 

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Yup bmws security system can be a pain in the butt. Couldn't you unscrew the back seat and go into the trunk that way. It sounds like you still had access to the car

Or were u locked out with the key locked in it
 

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... Couldn't you unscrew the back seat and go into the trunk that way. ...
Unless you have the fold down rear seats (or a Touring)...no, you can't just remove the seat cushions to access the trunk. Behind the cushions is a welded piece of metal (#4) that goes from side to side & includes the rear parcel shelf and the section behind the upper cushion of the rear seeat...with only the cut-out for the ski boot:

 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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Behind the cushions is a welded piece of metal
Lots more on that backplate over here ...
- Rear center cushion armrest customizations (1) (2) (3) (4) & the E39 rear ski-bag arm rest pass-through retrofit DIY (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9).



See also:
- What to do if your only key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1) & what to do if your entire BMW E39 is stolen out of your driveway (1)
 

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Is it possible to incorrectly code the same key numerous times? In other words, would more than 10 attempts at programming a key (outcomes unknown of said attempts) ender the key and EWS toast? do you have unlimited attempts with one key- just don't cut 10 keys and try to program them?
 

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This thread today has a lot of good information about which component of the key does what ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Key fob question- a different twist-STILL seeking answer!! Q?

...just try not to mix (conflate) the operation of the 3 distinct systems in the key.

The remote key contains EWS (immobilizer), FZV (central locking), and DWA (anti-theft alarm siren) systems. EWS works totally independent of the other 2 systems in the key and is self-powered. EWS is powered thru induction by a 125 KHz AM signal that is sent from the EWS control module to the ring antenna around the ignition...which then powers the chip inside the key that has been burnt with a UNIQUE ISN (individual serial number) that only works with the car it was assigned to as it came off the assembly line. That chip (transponder) sends that data back to the EWS control module which also shares the ISN data with the DME/ECU which then allows ignition/starter & fuel to allow the car to start. Without the correct chip with the same ISN as the other EWS components...the car won't start.

The FZV & DWA features of the key transmit a 315 MHz (or 433 MHz in Europe) signal to the aerial in the rear winshield' which then goes to the receiver in the C pillar, which then sends data to the GM...from their...if the key code that was learned by the GM matches, (FZV) remote central locking will lock/unlock the doors....and (DWA) anti-theft alarm siren system will arm/disarm the siren. Both of these features are powered by the battery inside the key...AND any key from the same generation BMW (e46/e38/e39/e53) can be programmed to lock/unlock & arm/disarm ANY BMW of the same generation if the key initializing procedure is performed. Of course,one needs a working key (one with a key blade cut to fit the ignition) to get the GM into the initializing function where it can retrieve and assign the key's code...which it accepts or rejects when the 315 MHz signal is transmitted when the remote buttons are pressed.

Conclusion...yes any e46/e38/e39/e53 key can be programmed to lock/unlock & arm/disarm your car (old dyle or new style key). But do remember, the new style keys have internal batteries that are charged while in the ignition....if you program another BMW's remote key to your car...how do youkeep the battery charged?

The EWS transponder chip is unique and only works with the the BMW it was originally assigned to. There are aftermarket burners (I beleive an AK90) that can burn a new chip...but you will need software/hardware to retrieve the ISN and rolling code table...so tht it can be burned into the new chip. Or if you are good with electronics and can remove the chip and place it into a new key...good luck.

Someone mentioned contacting Scott (GM5???)...I second that. He has been fixing BMW keys for a while now...and has a Wall of Shame in his website that shows how owners...in an attempt to replace the battery in the new style keys...have ended up destroyingthe key by cutting relays and other stuff off the circuit bard...or cuttng the traces or antenna as they split the key open.
There is no driveway "initializing" of the EWS "transponder" to start your car. Your key and any other e46/e38/e39/e53 remote key can be initialized to lock/unlock & arm/disarm your vehicle...this is FZV & DWA...which has NOTHING to do with EWS and the ability to start the car. :)

And yes...the scenario you mention should work...as long as nothing happens to the transponder as you desolder it from the original circuit board and resolder it to the replacement circuit board. Again, The EWS chip will not need any reinitializing because it is already burned with the ISN...and when the EWS control module sends it signal to power the transponder...it should respond with the same ISN...which will then release the car for starting.

The FZV/DWA features are the only ones that will need to be reprogrammed because the GM will not have the new key's (its circuit board) code...that will need to be learned along with any other remote keys you have. Any remote key not present during the programming will no longer lock/unlock & arm/disarm (FZV/DWA) the car because the old key code information will be erased and replaced during the programming session.

I hope this makes sense. :)

See also:
- A description of the various types of radio frequency RF BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a description of the two-button IR infrared key in Japan (1) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & what you need to know about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & the proper diamond key initializing or programming sequence (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & what is this ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) & what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1) & what to do if your only key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & what can go wrong with a key and where to send it for repair (1) (2) (3) (4) & how can you replace the rubber key pads in the square keys (1) (2) & diamond key to square key retrofit questions (1) & how to swap out the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & a square key to diamond key retrofit and transponder swap (1) (2) (3) (4) & what does the red LED indicate on the old square key (1) & what battery to use in the new style 2000+ BMW E39, E46, E53, E85, etc. diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how can you replace the old-style BMW square key battery (1) (2) & how long will your key last in the drawer before it needs off-the-car recharging (1) & what to do if your entire BMW E39 is stolen out of your driveway (1)
 

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This similar thread was posted today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Locked keys in MY TRUNK HELP ME HELP ME PLEASEEEE!!!!!!!
I locked the keys in my trunk last time I had to break the window I really don't want to do that again
I need help soo bad
Take off the back number plate, drill a small hole, use something to fish around for the rod that moves your actuator. You can also call a lock smith and give him such instructions. They will drill the car with your permission.. Also when he is done, head to your local dealer with your registration and proof of insurance and order a second key, ask for the cheap non remote master key, most dealerships charge about 45 bucks for this simple key, I keep mine hanging in my garage.
Hole placement:

Horizontal: 1 inch to the right of trunk centerline.
Vertical: 3 inches from the bottom edge of the lid.

I believe a ½ inch hole would be sufficient, maybe even smaller.

I have even read a couple of old posts where the owner mentioned finding a hole already behind the license plate.

Be sure to rustproof the raw metal.

BTW, how can someone actually lock their keys in the trunk? Was this a result of a senior moment?
And is it the screw hole at the bottom or top
Get an extra key from dealer for $45, cheaper than breaking window.
Seriously, this has been discussed here more than 100x.
You need to search for solution first.
Do you not have a trunk release button on the drivers side next to the hood release? Or do you not have this option
 

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Seek to understand,^Value
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This was posted today ...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Where to drill a hole in E39 trunk to open
Hi,
i have a 1997 E39, 523i.

I removed the battery to charge it, the trunk key is broken. Tried to connect battery to the terminal connectors under the hood but no luck - perhaps the loose battery cable is connected to the body in the trunk.

Would drilling a hole help, like this video:

But where would i exactly need to drill on an E39?

Thanks in advance.
2nd post so I assume you are new. Welcome! PLEASE do not drill hole! Read posts by member Quick Silver in particular about being locked out. Key for trunk is OFTEN very hard to turn. Some feel they will break key before truck will release. Just be sure you are turning in correct direction (I forget which as I have never had to do it-believe it is perfectly horizontal or parallel to the earth turned CCW). You have many options you have not considered. You will forever regret drilling a hole. I would access from behind rear seat EVEN if (assume you do not have folding rear seats) I had to cut a large enough hole to crawl through with a jigsaw before I would drill a hole which still may not get you access if not exactly right. SLOW DOWN and pay very close attention to QuickSilvers posts on the subject of gaining access to car with keys locked in trunk for just one. If hood connections which lead directly to battery are really bad, you can hook up at starter. You will regret that hole for as long as you have car no to mention loss of resale. Search feature is your friend. If you can just wait a day or two, I am quite sure even if you can't find posts, QuickSilver will see this post and help you. PM him if necessary
540iman is right on the money. Drilling a hole in the exterior body is bout the last thing you want to do. If you had to drill, as he has said, going through the inside would be far better.

Trunk key is broken. Could you please elaborate? The ignition key will open the trunk, there is no separate key for the trunk. You might already know this, but in case you don't, the trunk lock is quite different than most trunk locks. You turn the key to the L nearly 90* before it is ready to engage the lock. It feels like you will break the key but it will turn another 15* and then unlock the trunk.

doc
I typed key locked in f3 in the bestlinks and this popped up:
- What to do if your only key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & how to unlock the older E39 if the key is locked inside the trunk (1) (2)

See also:
- A description of the various types of radio frequency RF BMW Remote, Illuminated, Spare/Wallet, & Valet/Service keys (1) (2) & a description of the two-button IR infrared key in Japan (1) & a list of diamond key EWS, FZV, & DWA functions (1) (2) & what you need to know about the 10-key limit to programming your own keys at home (1) & the proper diamond key initializing or programming sequence (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) & what is this ignition key ISN (individual serial number) ten-second rule (1) & what to do if you lost your only diamond key (1) & what to do if your BMW key was stolen (1) & what to do if your only key is locked inside your bimmer (1) & what can go wrong with a key and where to send it for repair (1) (2) (3) (4) & how can you replace the rubber key pads in the square keys (1) (2) & diamond key to square key retrofit questions (1) & how to swap out the BMW diamond key transponder (1) & a square key to diamond key retrofit and transponder swap (1) (2) (3) (4) & what does the red LED indicate on the old square key (1) & what battery to use in the new style 2000+ BMW E39, E46, E53, E85, etc. diamond key (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) & how can you replace the old-style BMW square key battery (1) (2) & how long will your key last in the drawer before it needs off-the-car recharging (1) & what to do if your entire BMW E39 is stolen out of your driveway (1)
 

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Not sure how thieves broke into my car last year, but it was locked in a secure garage. Thieves broke into many cars that night, and drove off with a new Jag and went off to commit more crimes. My car was opened, ransacked, and they tried taking the wheels off! But they must have heard a noise or something because they only started unbolting one wheel before they took off.

But, no broken windows, and no scratches on my paint. The tow truck driver said it was "not hard" to get into these older cars.... I didn't inquire further 8-|
 

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It's too complicated for me for a problem I don't have, but this post today may help explain the 10-key programming limitation...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Used DME and key replacement
I haven't seen a thread with your specific problem, but what the dealers are telling you does make sense.

When a car was built, the EWS was "burned" with 10 security codes, which BMW stored against the VIN. BMW also stored a code for the key blade, i.e. the lock cylinder configuration. The factory made 4 keys using the first 4 security codes in the EWS. When one orders an additional key, BMW looks up its records and makes a key using the 5th code. The crucial step is when BMW "burns" the 5th code into a security chip in the new key. This chip with that code is what the EWS reads to decide whether to start the engine. Order another key and BMW uses the 6th code, and so on up to a maximum of 10.

BMW of course doesn't want to sell a key to someone who simply reads a VIN# from the windshield VIN plate and then shows up at the owner's house after midnight ... They also don't know if the DME/EWS pair now in your car was stolen and sold on to you. So they demand proof of ownership for the car that the EWS was originally installed in at the factory.

There are people who can apparently either read or fiddle the EWS and produce a key that will start the engine. For example
http://www.keys4cars.ca/
That guy won't be any help for you since he's on the wrong side of the continent. But he may be able to suggest someone in your area or where you might look.

You could also try searching BMW forums & a google search for variations of "BMW replacement key","DME swap" "DME replacement" etc. I have seen vendor sites which claim to be able to make keys if you send them your EWS. Some people use them to get around the 10 key limit, i.e. duplicate an already used security code. Sorry, but don't have any links.

If you could find one of those aftermarket key vendor you could probably get keys with the new EWS codes but the old lock cylinder shape. Re-install the old ignition lock cylinder and you'd be back to one key does all. :D

Or, any chance you could get the ownership for the car that your new/old DME came from? The car isn't likely on the road. Unless the owner did an engine swap and had the DME/EWS left over.

If not, you might try an appeal directly to BMW NA explaining your dilemma. The dealer might help in this. Some diagnostic software can read the original (donor) car's VIN from the DME/EWS now in your car. Then perhaps a search could be done to verify that that car isn't stolen &/or that it's retired or scrapped. Or, BMW might accept a trail of evidence from the original VIN's ownership to you. Perhaps it would help if you apologized for not buying a brand new, full price, DME/EWS from the dealer. :rofl:

BTW, the remote function is completely separate from the EWS engine starting. You'll have to be aware that many references to "programming" keys will be about the remote, not about the EWS security chip in the key.

Last, if you wish you can program your new key's remote to open & lock the car by yourself in a few minutes. Search the forum for DIYs.
 

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This quote today is a good reminder for those with only 1 key...
> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Unique trunk release problem
Make sure that the trunk lock cylinder is turned vertical ( | ) ...this keeps the trunk connected to the central locking system.

If you keep the trunk lock cylinder turned horizontal ( -- ) ...it separates it from the central locking system (valet mode) and the interior trunk release button will not unlock the trunk. This is NOT the position you want to keep the trunk lock cylinder if you also have only 1 key. Because if you lock the key in the trunk...you're screwed if the doors are unlocked because you won't be able to pop the trunk open with the interior trunk release button.
 
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