How do I program a 1998 BMW fob?

Written by luther blissett
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Few things are as frustrating as being unable to get the keyless entry on a car working. Fortunately, BMW takes advantage of user-programmable key fobs that allow programming without a visit to the local dealership. While the process for programming a BMW key fob is certainly lengthy, performing the tasks yourself cannot do any damage to the car and may very well prevent a costly visit to the dealership.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

Things you need

  • 2-button BMW remote

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  1. 1

    Close all of the doors, boot and bonnet. Open the boot lid and then sit in the driver's seat and close the door. Insert the key in the ignition. All of these steps must be completed within 45 seconds.

  2. 2

    Cycle the key in the ignition from the "Off" position to the "Almost Start" position five times. This sequence must be completed within 10 seconds. Open and close the driver's door.

  3. 3

    Locate the BMW remote. Press the large button and then the small button. Press and hold the large button until it flashes once and then press and hold the small button until it flashes once.

  4. 4

    Open the driver's door. Without closing the driver's door, exit the car and close the boot lid, then close the driver's door.

  5. 5

    Test the newly programmed remote. Everything should function properly if the steps above were performed correctly.

Tips and warnings

  • If the remote is not working at the end of the process, simply repeat the process, paying special attention to the timing aspects of certain steps.
  • These directions only work with E36 BMW models from 1996 to 1999. Other BMW models require their own separate instructions.

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