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Thread: Charging the Spare Key

  1. #1
    Z8 Madness
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    Charging the Spare Key

    Does anyone know if there is an aftermarket charger for the BMW Keys? That would be really neat.

    If not, I may take one apart and see if I can make one myself. Just for the fun of it. My guess is that it uses some sort of induction (electro-magnets) to do the job. Similar to most electric toothbrush charging systems.
    62050 - Z8

  2. #2
    Z8 Novice
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    I wonder what the future holds for the keys....

    Does the imobilizer "forget" once the key battery dies? Has anyone had a dead key battery and brought it back to life?

  3. #3
    Z8 Madness
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    What I know ...

    - The Key is not serviceable.
    - The failure modes are:
    * Key starts the car but loses user-setting memory (needs a charge)
    * Key loses synch and does not operate at all (see my next post)
    * Battery completely dead and un-chargeable (key is useless)
    - Replacement cost is $276.

    I hope this answers your question.
    62050 - Z8

  4. #4
    Z8 Madness
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    Reset Procedure

    I just tested and verified this procedure and it works.

    1) Locate both your keys.
    2) Get in the car and close the door.
    3) Insert Key #1, turn ignition on then off within 5 seconds. (No need to start the car.)
    4) Remove the Key #1 from the ignition.
    5) Push and hold the unlock button.
    6) Push the lock button 3 times.
    7) Release the unlock button. (You should hear the doors lock, then unlock.)
    8) Repeat steps 5, 6, and 7 with Key #2.
    9) Get out and lock/unlock the doors with key #1, then key #2 to verify.

    -- Notes --

    1) You have to perform this to both keys, or else the key you left out will no longer work.

    2) Don't let more than 29 seconds pass between the above steps.
    62050 - Z8

  5. #5
    Sport Button On - DSC Off
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    does the reset procedure work for euro's too?

    I just tried the procedure with both keys and no luck with either.


    Hoping I don't have to have new keys imported!

  6. #6
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    Does anyone know if there is an aftermarket charger for the BMW Keys? That would be really neat.

    If not, I may take one apart and see if I can make one myself. Just for the fun of it. My guess is that it uses some sort of induction (electro-magnets) to do the job. Similar to most electric toothbrush charging systems.

    Tony, I know that my dealer uses a (blue) key reader, I don't think that it charges the key, but maybe it does. In that case you should ask your dealer if you can buy such a reader/charger (?)

  7. #7
    Z8 Madness
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdillane View Post
    I just tried the procedure with both keys and no luck with either.


    Hoping I don't have to have new keys imported!
    It may be that a different procedure is used on EU cars. However, it is also likely that your key battery needs a recharge first.
    62050 - Z8

  8. #8
    Z8 Madness
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    Quote Originally Posted by RRZ8 View Post
    Tony, I know that my dealer uses a (blue) key reader, I don't think that it charges the key, but maybe it does. In that case you should ask your dealer if you can buy such a reader/charger (?)
    I'll try to find out. But, at $1.5-2K for one of those readers/programmers, we may be better off keeping the keys charged by using them at least for 30 minutes every six months, as suggested in the owner's manual.
    62050 - Z8

  9. #9
    Yikes, my #2 key has sat in a draw for 5 years!! I'll try it in the next couple of weeks, hopefully it can be brought back to life!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by redz8 View Post
    I'll try to find out. But, at $1.5-2K for one of those readers/programmers, we may be better off keeping the keys charged by using them at least for 30 minutes every six months, as suggested in the owner's manual.
    Everytime I drive the car, I use one key on the way to wherever I'm going and the other on the way back. After 4+ years both are nicely charged.

  11. #11
    Team Z8 RRZ8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macfly View Post
    Yikes, my #2 key has sat in a draw for 5 years!! I'll try it in the next couple of weeks, hopefully it can be brought back to life!

    Please let us know Andrew.....

  12. #12
    Sport Button On - DSC Off jpklecker's Avatar
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    Keeping keys charged

    I have regularly alternated between both of my keys; one used one time I drive the car, then the other key the next time I drive the car. I started doing this some time ago (bought the car new in October 2002) as after letting one key sit unused, it would no longer lock or unlock the doors. I have been doing this for at least three years with no key problems.

  13. #13

    Talking

    I've heard that you can fully charge the key yourself by simply putting it into the ignition & leaving it in the #1 position for 48 hours.
    BUT - you must leave it on the street for it to be effective (just kidding).

  14. #14
    Z8 Madness
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    Experiment

    I had to figure out the condition under which the key would be charging.

    So, I put together a little experiment:


    As it turns out, just leaving the key in the ignition (position 0) will charge the battery :


    And no difference if key is turned to position 1:


    Or, position 2:


    So, if you're going to charge your spare key battery, just leave it in the ignition and make sure to have your car on the battery maintainer.

    Cheers!
    62050 - Z8

  15. #15
    Thanks so much for that very useful bit of research - I just plugged in my spare key after not touching it since Jan 03, but I was amazed to find it still had enough charge to lock and unlock the doors!
    Andrew Macpherson

    Expert Z8 Inspections, with full support for both Z8 sale and purchases.

  16. #16
    Z8 Addict Z8doc's Avatar
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    Wow -- I never have used my spare key either so....

    I tried it today and was amazed -- it worked perfectly with ALL functions !!

    Thanks to the research above, it is now sitting in the ignition, off position, charging,
    just in case.
    Best Regards,

    Jeff
    61995 Silver /// Rot - Original Owner
    Z8 Club of Germany e.V. #102