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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Tue, Mar-13-2018, 06:38:20 PM   #11
oceansize
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
IIRC the ecu can only pair with up to 10 keys. Is there any way to reset that?
Maybe there is a way? Search the page for 10 key limit.
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2018, 07:33:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Originally Posted by Obioban View Post
IIRC the ecu can only pair with up to 10 keys. Is there any way to reset that?
After 10, bmw will want you to order a new EWS/key set. So you can either do that or use a solution like the OPs to make clones.
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2018, 07:55:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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I just went through this. Evidently there are two independent circuits, one for unlocking/locking and one for starting the car. I actually took apart the Key Fob so that I could measure the voltage across the battery and visually inspect for something obvious. Voltage should measure around 3.2 if I remember correctly. After finding nothing wrong and several attempts to reprogram I ended up having to order another key.
Thanks. I figured there were two things going on, locking independent from starting the car.

But I still don't get it. What breaks down? Is the key physically bad?

Also, how can a valet key, with no brain, start the car? Wouldn't a normal key that's not communicating effectively be a valet key?
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Old Tue, Mar-13-2018, 08:07:21 PM   #14
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Originally Posted by TboneM3 View Post
Thanks. I figured there were two things going on, locking independent from starting the car.

But I still don't get it. What breaks down? Is the key physically bad?

Also, how can a valet key, with no brain, start the car? Wouldn't a normal key that's not communicating effectively be a valet key?
I can't answer what goes bad. Valet key does have a transponder though.

One of my keys went wonky and I had to do the good one first followed by the bad one. I'm sure you did this but in case others see this and haven't:

1. Good Key in ignition to position one and then out.
2. While holding down unlock button press center button three times.
3. Let go, doors should lock/unlock automagically.
4. Now do steps 2 and 3 with bad key within 30 seconds. (don't put bad key in ignition).
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 01:52:09 PM   #15
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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You can get new keys from thebmwminipartstore.com for around $130, and the valet keys for about $40.
Whats the valet key part number?
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 01:56:59 PM   #16
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Whats the valet key part number?
Metal: 51218236594
Plastic: 51217127047

Both are the same price, so get the metal one
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 02:18:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Originally Posted by TboneM3 View Post
Also, how can a valet key, with no brain, start the car? Wouldn't a normal key that's not communicating effectively be a valet key?
Valet key does have an RFID transponder
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 03:38:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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There's nothing wrong with my key except the center button is yellow and I only have one. It would be nice to have a spare.
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 04:59:23 PM   #19
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

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Metal: 51218236594
Plastic: 51217127047

Both are the same price, so get the metal one
Yessss, time to spend money on the car! Who do you recommend purchasing from? Main concern is will they program them.
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Old Wed, Mar-14-2018, 06:26:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA

Key has two parts to the transponder system: one part just handles the locks and alarm system, the other for the ignition system. You can code most '90s/'00s BMWs key that has the right frequency to the car's lock/alarm system with a few steps, no special software required. The ignition system has 10 transponders pre-coded to it that are specific to only those 10 keys. Seems like today they can actually code any key one of the exact transponder codes in your car, which is what some providers are doing. Just to get the list of codes, you have to verify ownership so they don't inadvertently give thieves access to anybody's BMW.

If you wanted to change any of the 10 preset codes, you need a special chip programmer that actually goes over the top of the chip contacts. I actually own one of these that I bought for this purpose and to code a couple new keys for myself (all equipment and a couple key blanks were half the $250 price the dealer wanted). You can see it in the frozen picture of the youtube video from an earlier post (it's a cable with a square end piece plugged into the small PC board).
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Discussing $250 Dealership cost to replace key? Contact Bimmer Tech in Irvine CA in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)