325i Key Initialization/programming - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 02:52 PM
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I recently purchased a used 2002 325i sedan. It came with (2) Master keys. Each key has 3 buttons on it. One remote works fine whereas the other key's buttons do not function at all.

Upon checking the manual, it indicates this key is automatically charged by using the key in the ignition with the engine running. I've been told charging takes approximately 8 hrs of continuous driving for a complete charge. Perhaps the first owner never used this key and it simply needs recharged. (Side note: If this is the case, this is an extremely is stupid way of key design - Has BMW heard of NiCad batteries before?)

Regardless, I'm uncertain if I indeed have a key that is not properly charged or instead a key which may simply need to be "initialized" followed by programming for seat settings, etc.

Has anyone experienced a similar issue? Unfortunately, I have a poor BMW dealership in my town, so I did not purchase the car from them. However, I am aware the car is still under factory warranty as it only has 25K miles on it.

Will the original factory warranty cover such a problem, or am I on my own? Or does anyone have procedures to initialize this key? Any advice would be appreciated.

I've attached a image file with the type of key in question.

Steve

[attachmentid=15248]
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 06:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by swall1965@Nov 19 2004, 01:52 PM
Perhaps the first owner never used this key and it simply needs recharged. (Side note: If this is the case, this is an extremely is stupid way of key design - Has BMW heard of NiCad batteries before?)
I think you hit the nail on the head. I guess the first owner never used the key, has kept it as backup in case of emergency and the rechargable battery inside fully drained over time.

My fear is that it has reached the critical condition where it won't accept any further recharging. I hope that's not the case. Maybe the battery can be recharged even after years of idling in some drawer. I dunno. Depend on what kind of battery they used.

Maybe all the info is on Flash-Memory somewhere in the key and the battery is solely used for tranmission and not data-keeping. In that case, all the security codes and stuff should be retained even if the battery is drained.

When I first bought the car and read the manual, I decided to use both master keys alternatingly, in order to keep them both alive. Now that I read your post, I think my worries were spot on. Please, if you can recharge and kick-start the dead key, let us know. Best of luck !

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-19-2004, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by AIO+Nov 19 2004, 06:16 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(AIO @ Nov 19 2004, 06:16 PM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-swall1965@Nov 19 2004, 01:52 PM
Perhaps the first owner never used this key and it simply needs recharged.* (Side note: If this is the case, this is an extremely is stupid way of key design - Has BMW heard of NiCad batteries before?)
I think you hit the nail on the head. I guess the first owner never used the key, has kept it as backup in case of emergency and the rechargable battery inside fully drained over time.

My fear is that it has reached the critical condition where it won't accept any further recharging. I hope that's not the case. Maybe the battery can be recharged even after years of idling in some drawer. I dunno. Depend on what kind of battery they used.

Maybe all the info is on Flash-Memory somewhere in the key and the battery is solely used for tranmission and not data-keeping. In that case, all the security codes and stuff should be retained even if the battery is drained.

When I first bought the car and read the manual, I decided to use both master keys alternatingly, in order to keep them both alive. Now that I read your post, I think my worries were spot on. Please, if you can recharge and kick-start the dead key, let us know. Best of luck !
[snapback]234030[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]


AIO,

Thank you so much for your advice and experience. I think it borders on silly an engineer would conceive of such a method to keep your key fob functioning. Ah well, I will get off my soapbox.

Since I do mostly in town driving and my wife puts on highway miles, I will switch keys with her to see if it charges. I did find procedures on the forum on how to initialize a key by placing the key in the ignition, pressing the appropriate buttons and it syncs with the car. I haven't tried this yet, so that may resolve it. Although I'm not too hopeful.

I suppose if I have to purchase a new one, I will. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it will cost me $100+. Any comments on the cost?

Again, I appreciate your input and I'll let you know how things turn out.

BTW, how do you like your 325i? Has the reliability of it lived up to the reputation? I traded in a 99 VW Jetta VR6 and I had several expensive repairs.

Steve
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#4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
I suppose if I have to purchase a new one, I will. However, I wouldn't be surprised if it will cost me $100+. Any comments on the cost?
I think it is closer to $250.
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 01:17 AM
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Warranty will cover the keys if 1 is bad. 1st try initializing all the keys at the same time. this may fix the prob.

link to key initialization procedure


I think the buttons may be reversed on your car from the 97' model that is described in the link (ie switch lock for unlock or vice versa)


Give this a try of it doesnt work take it to the dealer and they should take care of it under warranty.

DT

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#6 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 02:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by swall1965@Nov 19 2004, 05:48 PM
BTW, how do you like your 325i? Has the reliability of it lived up to the reputation? I traded in a 99 VW Jetta VR6 and I had several expensive repairs.
I used to drive a second hand 1994 model E36, which I had bought in 1996, and the car had all sorts of problems. This summer I sold it and got myself a brandnew E46 (2005 model) and the car is flawless. 2005 is the last model in E46 series so the bugs must have been ironed better than former E46s.

I know it's early to comment on durability but it feels like that I won't be having the same problems in two years time. So I've decided NEVER EVER TO BUY A USED CAR again. You never know what the former driver did to the car.

If there are two cars you can trust on this earth, one of them is BMW, (and the other is Mercedes-Benz, hehe). All you gotta do is to buy a BRANDNEW one.

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#7 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dirty_Tool@Nov 20 2004, 01:17 AM
Warranty will cover the keys if 1 is bad. 1st try initializing all the keys at the same time. this may fix the prob.

link to key initialization procedure


I think the buttons may be reversed on your car from the 97' model that is described in the link (ie switch lock for unlock or vice versa)


Give this a try of it doesnt work take it to the dealer and they should take care of it under warranty.

DT
[snapback]234198[/snapback]
AIO,

Thanks for the advice. The procedures posted by Beau appear to be slightly different than the ones I obtained yesterday. And no, the first ones I found yesterday did not work. So I will give these a try.

As for buying a used one, this is the first used car I've ever purchased. I agree one never know's a previous driver's habit/treatment to a vehicle. We did pay an independent mechanic (whom we trust very much and repairs foreign cars) to test the car for engine compression, leaks, integrity, possible body repairs, suspension, brakes, signs of wear, etc. prior to purchase.

He was impressed by the state of the car beyond words. Engine compression results were above spec and no problems could be found. Everything tested out superbly and he recommended purchase. So, we took the dive and bought it. My wife loved the car, and I knew it would be a tough sell to let it go! So, all I can say is, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out.

The outcome of this car's reliability will likely dictate whether I purchase a BMW in the future. I learned a very expensive lesson buying a new Jetta, and I know VW will never earn my business again.

Happy driving....

Steve
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-20-2004, 11:44 AM
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Originally posted by swall1965@Nov 20 2004, 10:25 AM
The outcome of this car's reliability will likely dictate whether I purchase a BMW in the future. I learned a very expensive lesson buying a new Jetta, and I know VW will never earn my business again.
What a coincidence! I used to drive a Jetta, a 1982 model diesel, between 1986 and 1991. Ah, the car was a trouble-maker. You can safely expect the BMW, even a used one, to be more reliable than the Jetta. There's no doubt about it. Good luck with the key.

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-04-2004, 01:50 AM
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if your key can start the car, its been activated... If it cant start the car, its not activated and thats the prob.
the security codes are not in flash or ram, they're a passive rf device, and dont need power to operate (you have to activate valet keys and emergency keys too, and they dont have remotes in them!)

it should charge almost instantly, they use an inductivley charged cell that is essentially a high capacity capacitor, not a rechargable batery in the ni-cad sense... shouldn't have a 'memory effect' - if it cant charge, its more seriously damaged
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