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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-08-2004, 11:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can someone help me with what I think should be a simple question? I bought a used 1998 series BMW three years ago from a private seller. This morning, the battery is dead, so after a jump start I get the battery replaced. As I am trying to leave Sears, the alarm goes off and I can't start my engine.

I didn't even know I had an alarm- I had been driving the car for three years. The old seller never mentioned it (and the seller was not the original owner so may not have known either), and I do not have the key fob for the car. After maybe half an hour of randomly pressing what I think the valet button is up and down (and I don't know which is the proper setting for the switch so if someone could tell me I would really appreciate it), I am able to start the car and drive home. The stereo doesn't work and says something like "code waiting" or waiting for code.

1) How do I turn the alarm off? I suspect it is a BMW alarm system because I now notice that there is a small white decal on the rear driver side door that says it is protected by a BMW system. I just want to drive it the way I did for the past few years.

2) How do I get the stereo code? I suppose I have to go back to the dealer for the code? If they will charge me for the time, should I just pull it out myself? I noticed that there are little screw or allen wrench holes.

3) Does this mean if I get the key fob I now have a working alarm system?

4) which direction should I keep the valet switch?

Thanks for any advice any of you can offer.
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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raido code should be with your manual and stuff. if it isnt pull the raido and ask the dealer for the code. you may have to take it and your car in but the shouldn't charge for labour at that point.

if you get a fob. you should be able to program it to have a working alarm

i know nothing about the valet switch...
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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You talking about that little switch between the driver's window switch and rear passenger window switch (on the 4 doors) I been wondering what the hell that thing does.

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Old 05-09-2004, 06:42 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I guess the interior light switch!??
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Old 05-09-2004, 09:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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my car doesn't have a switch...I feel left out

The code should be with your manual. You shouldn't have to take it to the dealer. But again if you want to be sure, go for it. They shouldn't charge you anything, unless they are really stuck up.

I find it hard to believe that you never knew about the alarm before. Sometimes those alarms go off easily. Did you buy the car privately or from a dealer? You'd think that the dealer would have known something, even before the other owner had it...definitely get a key fob though your local dealer, you will have a working alarm. I actually have to buy new ones for mine cause they keep breaking. Hopefully it won't cost more than $75. Good luck!



oh yeah, Kevin, digging the strong bad icon!!! Great Jeaorb!
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So if I know the stereo code, will that also disable the alarm? Can I just take a fuse out or something to shut the alarm off?


I actually bought it from a private person, who bought it at an auto auction, fixed up a few door dings, and resold it to me. I doubt he knew about the alarm because he didn't have the car all that long, and I have driven the thing for 3 years and never knew I had an alarm.

Maybe the easiest solution is to get a new key fob from the dealer. I usually feel like I have gotten ripped off every time I go there, but at least for the cost of a fob I will get a "free" alarm system.

thanks.
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kevin325i@May 8 2004, 10:43 PM
You talking about that little switch between the driver's window switch and rear passenger window switch (on the 4 doors) I been wondering what the hell that thing does.

Kevin
that just it the lock to rear seats cant play with the windows...
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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if it is a factory alarm it should live behind the glove box. So take the glove box out and disconnect the alarm until you get fobs so you can drive it.

check ebay and bavauto for fobs.
you will prolly want to know the part/model number for the alarm to get the right fob(s).
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hmm I see. Now I know.

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Old 05-09-2004, 04:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bluhorshue@May 9 2004, 10:45 AM
So if I know the stereo code, will that also disable the alarm? Can I just take a fuse out or something to shut the alarm off?


I actually bought it from a private person, who bought it at an auto auction, fixed up a few door dings, and resold it to me. I doubt he knew about the alarm because he didn't have the car all that long, and I have driven the thing for 3 years and never knew I had an alarm.

Maybe the easiest solution is to get a new key fob from the dealer. I usually feel like I have gotten ripped off every time I go there, but at least for the cost of a fob I will get a "free" alarm system.

thanks.
the stereo code is just for the - audio system. try to look at the manual and a buch of cards - in the size of a calling card. try to look for a white one printed with anti-theft stuff. i believe it is a five digit code. if it is not there then probably the previous owner simply heeded to the advise to keep it in a safe place - outside the car!!

anti-theft devices use fuse no 47 and 43. however the latter is also used by others that you would not want to shut off.

fobs are a plenty at ebay....
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Old 05-09-2004, 10:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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An simple way to take out the factory alarm is to disconnect the horn which sit next to the headlight passsenger side. The alarm light will go off but there woulnt be a sound. My 328 is so sensitive when it rains and snow. And you can plug it back in when youre in a bad hood.
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