What happens if I lose the key to my BMW?
If you’ve bought a BMW car in the past 20 years or so, you got more than just a key to your new car. The key came as a FOB, which is thought to come from either the Middle English word “fobben” or German “Fuppe,” meaning sneak-proof. What is the ‘sneak-proof’ feature of a BMW key fob? Programming – you need BMW key fob programming for the fob to work.
Are BMW key fobs universal?
BMW key fobs have an ever-growing list of functions today. It is no longer just a remote unlock like the E46 model BMW key fob. Programming a BMW key fob today can include many other useful features – everything but taking your shirts to the cleaners! They now offer keyless entry with the BMW Comfort Access, and even a touchscreen Display Key that is full-feature on the latest BMW models.
Other quirks of the BMW key fob programming features include:
- Keeping the key charged
- Pairing it with a vehicle
- Keeping it safe
Every generation of BMW key fob programming has new quirks, so no matter how frequently you trade up your BMW, you’re going to have new stuff to learn about your fob. Even if you’re just having your current BMW key fob replaced, you’ll likely have to learn new programming.
Today, BMW key fob programming includes multiple keys being paired simultaneously to multiple key fobs. This means a household that has several BMWs can all use their own key on each BMW in their garage. However, the BMW key fob programming is different and unique in other ways too.
Can you start a BMW without the key fob?
Thankfully, while BMW key fob programming is designed for your BMW car safety, when the battery in the FOB dies, you can still gain entry manually. No, your BMW remote lock won’t work – however, you can use the internal key blade that is located in your BMW key fob. Steps include:
- Slide the internal key blade out of the fob bottom
- This internal key blade can be used like a traditional key to unlock your BMW
- Typically, the BMW keyhole isn’t visible on the door. There is a small hole on the bottom side of the door handle you can use.
- Insert the BMW key blade in the hole and pry the trim panel off – you’ll see the keyhole.
- Now unlock your vehicle by inserting the remote key fob into the ignition slot.
- If there isn’t an ignition slot, hold the key markings to the steering column side.
- From there, you can start your BMW from the dashboard’s start/stop button.
How do I reset my BMW key fob?
Bavarian Motor Works, or as the German manufacturer of luxury and performance vehicles is typically known, BMW, now has keyless entry and ignition of their automobiles. And no, that doesn’t mean just any one can walk up to your BMW, get in, and drive off.
BMW key fob programming prevents that from ever happening. Even if you own the BMW! Yes, even as the owner, if your BMW key fob needs resetting, you aren’t getting inside the car and driving off, either. So, what do you do when the unlock functionality of your BMW key fob programming stops working? Follow these steps to unlock your BMW key fob:
Step One: Use the metal blade located in the bottom of your BMW key fob to open
Step Two: Insert the key into the ignition and turn to “on”.
Step Three: Turn the key to “off”.
Step Four: Take the key out.
Step Five: Press the “Unlock” button on your BMW key fob and hold it down.
Step Six: Press the “lock” button three times and your BMW key should be functioning now.
Can I program a BMW key myself? How do I program my BMW key?
While it is a secure way to keep your BMW safe from theft, BMW key fob programming for the keyless entry feature isn’t as difficult as you may think. You can program your own BMW key in two ways following these steps:
PROGRAMMING A NEW BMW KEY
- Insert the key into the ignition and turn back and forth rapidly to position 1 five times.
- Remove the key.
- While holding the unlock button, press the BMW logo three times and then let off the unlock button.
- From the original key, repeat step three within 30 seconds if you have additional keys that need BMW key fob programming.
- Turning the ignition on will complete the process.
PROGRAMMING ADDITIONAL BMW KEY FOBS
These steps will walk you through adding an additional BMW key to a working BMW key fob:
- Get inside the BMW you’re programming and close all the doors and windows with all the additional key fobs.
- Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to position one. This should turn the accessories and dash lights on.
- After turning the key back, remove it.
- Hold the unlock button down on the working BMW key while pressing the BMW logo lock button three times and release. The doors will lock and unlock automatically.
- Hold the unlock button down on the new key as you press the BMW logo three times, then release. The doors should then lock and unlock, indicating you have successfully programmed the key.
How do I replace the battery in my BMW key fob?
When you realize the battery is dead to your BMW car key fob, you’re likely frustrated. However, it isn’t the end of the world! Here are the steps to changing the battery for different BMW key fobs:
THE SMART KEY FOB BATTERY
The BMW Smart Key FOB Battery is a CR2450 and it can be replaced with these steps:
- Remove the metal key blade from the bottom of the key fob
- Remove the back cover
- Remove the old BMW key fob battery
- Replace with a new CR2450 key fob battery
THE COMFORT ACCESS BMW KEY FOB BATTERY
For most BMW models, including the 1, 3, 5, 7, X3, X5, and X6 Series, you’ll need a CR2032 battery. If the key doesn’t open, you’ll need the non-comfort access version that has a built-in rechargeable battery. This will require taking it to a BMW dealer. For the CR2032 battery, to change the BMW key fob:
- Press the small tab on the key fob then pull the tab to remove the valet key
- With the valet key removed, take off the cover to the key battery through the small access port on the BMW key fob.
- Remove the old battery and insert the new BMW key fob battery.
THE NON-COMFORT ACCESS KEY BATTERY
If your BMW key has a side indent, this is a rechargeable battery, and you’ll need to take it to a BMW dealership.
How do I get a new BMW key fob? How do I order a new BMW key fob?
No matter how careful we are, remote key fobs get damaged, lost, or maybe you just need a spare set up for a family member. No worries – getting this done for your BMW key fob, programming and all, isn’t impossible. Any BMW key fob can be ordered from any authorized BMW dealer. Some locksmiths are authorized for BMW key fob programming and replacement too.
How much does it cost to replace a BMW key?
A BMW Dealer will typically charge anywhere from $400 up to $650 for a new BMW key fob programming set to your BMW car. A display BMW key fob for higher-end BMWs will cost around $1,000.
In The End
Owning a German-made luxury car is often an indication that the car owner has “arrived”, but when you have issues with your BMW key fob programming, or the key itself, you will quickly realize your car is just another car. Fortunately, a BMW car owner will have some perks that come with owning a luxury car.