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Old 12-12-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
mgunter
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E36 key dead?

I'm posting this for a friend who has a '97 318i.

His car wouldn't start. Grabbed his spare key and it started right up. Is this normal for chipped keys to just stop working? To get another I know he has to go to the dealer but do they need to be programmed to the car or do they come programmed? (I've read different stories from my searches)
The one that stopped working was a black key with a light and his spare is a plain grey key (if that matters at all). He doesn't care about having a light either.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:42 AM   #2
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The light isn't connected to the EWS RFID transmitter which is what must've died. Leave the key in the key hole for a few minutes and try again.


Is this key not used regularly?
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:46 AM   #3
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The key is used regularly (every weekday...i'm not sure what he does on the weekends! )
And putting the key in the ignition will charge the EWS module in the key?? Does it need to be in the on position?

Thanks for the quick reply!
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Old 12-12-2011, 11:59 AM   #4
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I doubt if its the charge if its used regularly. Could be a problem with the chip in the key.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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The battery in the key is only for the light. The key doesn't need to be used everyday to work. The "spare gray" key, also called the valet key, will not open the trunk/glove box, only the doors. A brand new master key (black with a light) is around $100 from the dealer, I just got one 2 months ago from Mike@Maranello.

As to why it doesn't work - could be a bunch of different reasons but most likely the transponder (the chip inside the key) is dead. The dealer orders the new keys from Germany so it takes a while to arrive once ordered.
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Old 12-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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Do the keys come coded to the car? (as in they don't need to be programmed)
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Old 12-12-2011, 02:26 PM   #7
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Keys from the dealer come pre-coded.

I paid 57$ for a master key (non lighted) a few years ago back when phil was working at manarello, i'm sure mike can do better.
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by propr'one View Post
Keys from the dealer come pre-coded.

I paid 57$ for a master key (non lighted) a few years ago back when phil was working at manarello, i'm sure mike can do better.
Not anymore. Mike was only able to order the lighted master key, the other ones are no longer available.
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Old 12-12-2011, 05:38 PM   #9
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Well the $40 difference doesn't matter to him, he just wants it fixed.
I'll tell him to give Mike a call.

Thanks a lot guys!
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