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04-09-2005 03:45 PM #1
Instructions for programming E46 master key
There is a lot of baloney and speculation posted about programming a new E46 master key, whether you can even get a master key, how much it costs, where it comes from, etc.
This message is reality check time. Everything I write her I have done in the last month. No BS, no speculation, just facts.
You can get a new E46 key from a BMW dealer. They will want to see your registration or title. Only a proven owner can get a new key. A good thing. It costs about $125 and you can have it over-night. The keys come, cut, but unprogrammed, from a U.S. location for U.s. customers. The dealer will program the key for you, but you need to give him your car and any other master keys you have if you want them all to work (the remote functions). Reprogram just one key, and the others will not work.
You can also program the key yourself. All your keys get reprogrammed at the same time. Here is how it is done (I did it this morning).
Definitions: button 1 on the keys is the one closest to the metal part of the key (this is the door open button); button 2 is the middle button (the door close button).
1. Open the car doors using the remote function of your working key.
2. Get in and close (don't lock) all the doors.
3. Put the key in the ignition and switch momentarally to position 1 which is the first position when you turn the key clockwise. This is the accessory position. Don't stay in position 1 longer than 5 seconds; then turn the key back to the off position.
4. Remove the key.
5. On the key transmitter, press and hold button 2. Press and release button 1 three times within 10 seconds while still pressing button 2.
6. release button 2.
7. The system indicates re-programming by locking and immediately unlocking the door locks.
8. If you want to do more remotes, you must do each within 30 seconds of step 7 for the preceeding key. You just need to repeat steps 5 through 7 for each key after the first.
You can knock off a dozen keys if you want in a few minutes.
07-16-2009 04:12 PM #2
07-17-2009 11:14 AM #3
- Darien, CT, United StatesMember No: 19448
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09-19-2009 12:13 PM #4
09-19-2009 02:43 PM #5
- Knoxville, TN, United StatesMember No: 92682
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That key will NOT start your car...!! You can > >
probably program it to handle the remote functions but the security chip will not match up and the car will not start.
2002 525i Steptronic Sport/Premium | Build Date: 05/02
71,000 Ultimate Driving miles
Style 81s | Goodyear Eagle F1 GS-D3s
Titanium Gray | Gray Leather
35% LLumar ATR LLumaStar tint
Valentine 1 | Hardwired
Steering wheel position memory w/Alzheimers
"Lifetime" ATF replaced at 40,000
StopTech SportStop slotted rotors w/Axxis Deluxe Advanced pads
StopTech SS Braided Brake Lines
2001 E46 325i (Jet Black) Forced Retirement 6/28/09
2001 E46 325i (Orient Blue) Forced Retirement 10/09
1989 E30 325i (Alpine White) Retired
01-13-2011 04:31 PM #6
01-14-2011 08:22 PM #7
- , CA, United StatesMember No: 69301
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- Mar 2003
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Re: Instructions for programming E46 master key
The only thing I would correct is that while you may have the time to "knock of a dozen keys," the system will only accept up to 10 keys total over the lifetime of the car. I broke a key about a month after I bought my car, and when the dealer handed me the replacement (at the same $125 cost you mentioned), he mentioned that I had now used 3 "slots" in the security system, and only had 7 left ever.
01-31-2012 03:44 PM #8
03-01-2012 05:21 PM #9
It works! Give it try
I have 2000 BMW 323i and this reprogramming method worked. If any of you reading this think you need a second master key remote - you dont! Without a second master key (only having 1 that did not work), I simply unlocked all doors manually, got inside, and did the reprogramming process above. The only thing different like others have mentioned, is that I held the #1-unlock button and pressed the #2-lock button 3 times instead. - I would try this way first, if doesn't work do it vice versa.
04-12-2012 03:33 AM #10
dembooks you are a legend for posting this. Bought car only one key, lost that. So I went to BMW who ordered me a replacement. Didnt start car did it. They called me up and asked for $300 to investigate or minimum of $1200 to replace some units. Argued with them for 2 weeks about it. Basically the product did not work as adrvertised. In the end wrote a 3 page letter of who I spoke with and when and the terms of my arangement or I would be taking action. Chance happened when i handed over the letter with the above picture attached. As we were discussing the differences a young bloke over heard and came over with a technical spread of the key internals for each type of key saying the diamond shape will never start a hoop key car because its missing a chip and pointed to it. Even showed me the manufacture change over date whish is September 1999. I didnt get a copy of that sheet but I will try.
After that they replaced the key with a hoop one and it works as it should have. Even refunded my outlay for the hassles.
So if your car is manufactured before september 1999 its a hoop, after that its a diamond. if its manufactured in september 1999 like mine was... best of luck!
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