Instructions for programming E46 master key

There is a lot of baloney and speculation posted about programming a new E46 master key, whether you can even get a master key, how much it costs, where
it comes from, etc.
This message is reality check time. Everything I write her I have done in the last month. No BS, no speculation, just facts. I wish someone had posted something like this for me to find when I was looking for the info. That's why I post this.
You can get a new E46 key from a BMW dealer. They will want to see your registration or title. Only a proven owner can get a new key. A good thing. It costs about $125 and you can have it over-night. The keys come, cut, but unprogrammed, from a U.S. location for U.s. customers. The dealer will program the key for you, but you need to give him your car and any other master keys you have if you want them all to work (the remote functions). Reprogram just one key, and the others will not work.
You can also program the key yourself. All your keys get reprogrammed at the same time. Here is how it is done (I did it this morning).
Definitions: button 1 on the keys is the one closest to the metal part of the key (this is the door open button); button 2 is the middle button (the door close button).
1. Open the car doors using the remote function of your working key.
2. Get in and close (don't lock) all the doors.
3. Put the key in the ignition and switch momentarily to position 1 which is the first position when you turn the key clockwise. This is the accessory position. Don't stay in position 1 longer than 5 seconds; then turn the key back to the off position.
4. Remove the key.
5. On the key transmitter, press and hold button 2. Press and release button 1 three times within 10 seconds while still pressing button 2.
6. release button 2.
7. The system indicates re-programming by locking and immediately unlocking the door locks.
8. If you want to do more remotes, you must do each within 30 seconds of step 7 for the preceding key. You just need to repeat steps 5 through 7 for each key after the first.
You can knock off a dozen keys if you want in a few minutes.
Cheers.
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these are the steps for initializing a key not changing the program functions, you need a BMW key reader for that. and why do all that when the dealer will do it no charge for you?
snipped-for-privacy@canada.com

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The point was not to reprogram the key functions; it was to add a new key to an existing car/key combination. I bought the (used) car with one key and the selling dealer paid for a new key.
As I said, the BMW dealer will do it for you if you give him your old key, new key, and car. I happen to live two hours from the dealer and did not really want to do the 4 hour round trip just to program a new key.
Make sense to you? Made sense to me...and the dealer who supplied the needed info, for that matter.
- GRL

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Out of curiosity, what functions other than doors open, doors lock, and trunk open would you program to the three buttons anyway? I would not care to lose any of those three myself.
- GRL

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Hi,

You do not programm the Buttons, but you CAN programm certain Functions of the Car via the Key. Perhaps wether or not you want to active certain features of the Anti-Theft-System, what sort of signal the car gives when you lock / unlock it and so on.
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Not sure if all models have this feature - but my mates 2003 325 ci se did - if you hold down the door unlock button after the doors are unlocked - front windows will open until you release the button at the desired height (also opens rear 'vent' windows on coupe if electric)
or am i just statin the obveous?
Rick

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On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 23:18:58 -0000, "RickH"

get. For example, while the windows down option works here, our remotes won't raise the windows. I think there are other functions we don't get.     You can also have the key programmed so that using it changes the seat and mirror settings.     Emanuel
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Neat, thanks. I live a ways from the dealer and work in the opposite direction, so bringing my car in is a big hassle. That might come in handy.
Peeve: why the hell are dealer repair shops only open M-F? I WORK during the week, a hundred miles from my dealer, so I don't really havethe luxury of taking time off work when I need something done. Most people work M-F, why don't the dealers work Saturday and Sunday, when people can easily be there? Sheesh.
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Jason G
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    Note: the instructions below contain an error. You're supposed to hold down the UNLOCK button and press the BMW logo/LOCK button three times, not the reverse as stated below. I tried using this post minutes ago and after it failed several times, did a web search that showed the mistake.     Emanuel
wrote:

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"GRL2" wrote: > There is a lot of baloney and speculation posted about > programming a new E46 > master key, whether you can even get a master key, how much it > costs, where > it comes from, etc. > > This message is reality check time. Everything I write her I > have done in > the last month. No BS, no speculation, just facts. I wish > someone had posted > something like this for me to find when I was looking for the > info. That's > why I post this. > > You can get a new E46 key from a BMW dealer. They will want to > see your > registration or title. Only a proven owner can get a new key. > A good thing. > It costs about $125 and you can have it over-night. The keys > come, cut, but > unprogrammed, from a U.S. location for U.s. customers. The > dealer will > program the key for you, but you need to give him your car and > any other > master keys you have if you want them all to work (the remote > functions). > Reprogram just one key, and the others will not work. > > You can also program the key yourself. All your keys get > reprogrammed at the > same time. Here is how it is done (I did it this morning). > > Definitions: button 1 on the keys is the one closest to the > metal part of > the key (this is the door open button); button 2 is the middle > button (the > door close button). > > 1. Open the car doors using the remote function of your > working key. > > 2. Get in and close (don't lock) all the doors. > > 3. Put the key in the ignition and switch momentarily to > position 1 which is > the first position when you turn the key clockwise. This is > the accessory > position. Don't stay in position 1 longer than 5 seconds; then > turn the key > back to the off position. > > 4. Remove the key. > > 5. On the key transmitter, press and hold button 2. Press and > release button > 1 three times within 10 seconds while still pressing button 2. > > 6. release button 2. > > 7. The system indicates re-programming by locking and > immediately unlocking > the door locks. > > 8. If you want to do more remotes, you must do each within 30 > seconds of > step 7 for the preceding key. You just need to repeat steps 5 > through 7 for > each key after the first. > > You can knock off a dozen keys if you want in a few minutes. > > Cheers.
I have tried this procedure, both the way you are instructing, and also by reversing the 1 and 2 button as suggested by another author. Neither way is setting my master key. I get no reply from the vehicle. (I.E. the doors locking and unlocking).
I only bought my 325i a few days ago, and somehow de-activated the master key when trying to set the 2nd key provided. The dealership made it sound so simple over the phone to fix. Have I somehow deactivated the entire system? :roll:
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http://www.autoforumz.com/BMW-Instructions-programming-E46-master-key-ftopict111602.html
HI everyone, I recently bought a 2001 e46 but the previous owner had the other 3 stolen during a house robbery. I found a couple of keys on ebay. They look like the master keys but some are from previous years. What I was wondering about is, if they can be reprogrammed by ME to use in my bmw ie make them exactly like the one that I have or would I have to go to BMW to get this done? Thanks for your help. Regards, Raphael
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