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Abstract: Initializing BMW remote key (new style, as of 2000 model year)

Applies to: BMW E38, E39, E46, E52, E53 (Additional Models: E60, E61, E90, E91, E92, E93)

As of September 1999, a new generation of radio transmitters was introduced into series production. This key uses a rechargeable vanadium-lithium* storage battery

This article does not apply to push button start  (key slot) vehicles

Key operation

  • Press button 1 two times: The interior protection / tilt sensor is deactivated.
  • Press button 2 briefly: Central locking system opens, interior lighting switches on, the DWA is deactivated.
  • Press button 2 and hold in: Central locking system, side windows and sliding roof open ("convenient opening").
  • Press button 3 briefly: Trunk lid opens.
  • Press button 3 and hold in: Panic Mode is activated.

In ignition lock position 1 (terminal "R"), the storage battery is charged inductively. The charging process is via the EWS ring antenna of the ignition lock and via the coiled antenna integrated in the radio transmitter. An electronic charging unit in the key controls the charging process.

The battery is designed for a very long service life. The key must be used to prevent discharge . If keys are not used, the storage battery is discharged after 18 months. With completely discharged storage batteries, the full charging period will be approx. 30 hours (to maximum battery charge).  After charging for 30 minutes, the remote control can be actuated approximately 15 times.

If low voltage of the key has been reached, the central locking system can no longer be locked using the remote control. The "convenient opening" can no longer be used, nor can the radio transmitter be initialized.

Each time a key button is actuated, the storage battery voltage in the key is monitored. Once the "low key battery" signal is contained in three consecutive key transmissions, it is stored together with the corresponding radio transmitter key number for diagnostic purposes in the general module. The low voltage entry is automatically deleted when five consecutive key transmissions no longer contain the "low key battery" signal.

System initialization

In order for the key transmitter to communicate with the vehicle, each individual key transmitter must be initialized with the receiver module. Up to four radio transmitters can be initialized and used per vehicle.
Since each key transmitter has its own key code, all existing radio transmitters must be reinitialized when, for example, a new key transmitter is to be added.
Initialization procedure:
1. Open the central locking system (ZV) using the car key.
2. Get into the car and close all the doors.
3. Using the car key, switch the ignition briefly to ignition lock position 1 and then switch off again. The switching time must remain under 5 seconds, otherwise the system is not ready for initialization.
4. On the key transmitter: Press button 2 and hold in.
5. Press button 1 three times (within 10 seconds). Button 2 must remain held in.
6. Release button 2.
7. The central locking system confirms a successful initialization by "locking" and immediately "unlocking" the doors automatically. If the doors do not "lock and unlock" automatically, initialization must be restarted.

Before Performing any Work

Please read Cautions and Warnings before proceeding with any work on your vehicle

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BMW Initializing Remote Key - from MY2000

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