Parallel question, 99 was the last year they used this type key. The 00 models used a newer key fob that was easier to use (the bmw symbol in the center is color and easy to find while still in your pocket). Does anyone know if the newer key fob will work with the 99 E46???? I have heard both yes and no, so I'm looking for someone who has actually done it...
Yeah, I'm pretty confused too. I have a friend with a mid 90's 5series and her keyeless entry is a key with three black buttons at the base of it. Then last night my friend took me out in his '99 3 coupe (old body style) and his keyless entry was a regular BMW key with a small BMW symbol in the middle, and then another "clicker" that was black and had these horendously ugly light blue buttons on them. I was sure that it was an aftermarket system but he said it wasn't.
But these days they have the controls on the key around the BMW symbol, right? It's confusing... some pictures? Ahh please!
i have aaked this question to bmwna before. and what they said was it was impossible to switch between keys. (i personally think it would work if you take it apart and do some custom job but i dont think thats really worth it)
to my knowledge there are 4 recent keys. first are the new 7 series keys. they are square shaped, very much like the audi keys. the second key is what everyone has now. diamond shaped with the bmw logo in color in the middle, with a button on top and bottom. third key is the big all black key; it has 3 black buttons, one with smooth and ridges that symbolizes the bmw logo. and fourth is the key that only has a bmw colored roundel button, which is the button for the little lightbulb on the key. when you push it the light turn on on the key. (this key was conjunction with the bmw alarm system (the one with the extra remote). This key came with our 2000 M roadster.
left is the current new models. diamond shaped. (i think from 1999 on get these keys)
right is the old style. i think its from 1999 and below.
no pictured: "lit key", basically it looks like half a diamond with a single bmw logo in the center. when the logo is pushed, a small orange/yellow bulb lights up. the bulb is embedded on top of the key's base/handle, and it lights up the metal part of the key.
"new E65 7" gets a special key. rectangular in shape like audi/vw/benz keys. i think its a blue colored with silver accents.
Ahh, thanks for taking the pics and posting. Seems a little strange that they would have updated the body style and everything else with the E46 and not changed the key at the same time? Fangs says he's got a 323i which is E46.. anyone else have a 99/00 and can relate?
no i dont think you can update the new key for an older bmw. ive tried asking the dealer, they said no. but what does the dealer know?
it seems that in the year 1999-2000, they started to phase in with the new key. i have a 2000 323Ci, dec/1999 production built. i know the 323i sedan came out first with the E46 style and my guess would be that when the first 323i sedan came out, they used the current (at that time) the larger key. when the coupes came out in late 1999-2000, the phase started to the new keys.
my 00 323Ci dec/99 production date has the new diamond shape key.
our 95 740i has the older big block key
our 00 M Roadster has the semi new key with the yellow light in it. it comes along with a separate keyless entry remote.