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.