Are the keys to your BMW nowhere to be found? Or have you bought a BMW with only one key? Don’t worry, this guide will show you how to replace your BMW keys within a few hours and for only a cost of going to the dealership for replacements.
Want to know more? Keep reading.
So You Lost Your bmw Keys, then Initially You Have Options
BUY A KEY ONLINE
Buying online is the cheapest way to replace your keys, but it can take a few days to ship the new key to you and you will need to cut it and program it yourself. If you’re in hurry and need your keys straight away, skip to step two.
A LOCAL LOCKSMITH
A Location Locksmith will come out to you, cut and program a new key for you right on the spot. For most cars, it takes only a couple of hours to get you back on the road. It’s still cheaper than the dealership.
How To Buy BMW Keys Online
Option One: Amazon’s ‘My Garage’
Using Amazon is the cheapest way to replace your keys, but there are two drawbacks.
Shipping means that it can take a few days for you to get the key.
Because you’ll be getting a blank key it will either need to be programmed by either you or by someone else.
If you’re in hurry and need your keys straight away, skip to step two.
Even if you have lost one or both keys to your prized BMW, you will still be able to replace your key easily. The very first thing to do is to check out Amazon’s ‘My Garage’ where you can find ‘blank’ and ready to cut keys for your car. A blank key is literally as it sounds, it is an uncut, un-programmed key which needs to be cut and coded to your car.
This is what you do to get your key on ‘My Garage’. One the main page just submit the, model and year of your BMW. The search feature will then bring up all items available for your BMW, simply pick the key from the list, then head to checkout and select your shipping option.
While it’s very unlikely, it’s possible that you could not find a blank key for your model/year BMW or your car simply isn’t available.
If that happens, don’t worry. Just come back to this page and try the second option for getting new keys – a Location Locksmith.
Option two: The Local Locksmith
If you didn’t have any luck with Amazon or if you’re short on time and need a new key right now, then you need a Location Locksmith.
A Location Locksmith will come out to you, cut and program a new key for you right on the spot. For most cars, it takes only a couple of hours to get you back on the road.
Especially with Prestige cars like BMW’s a Locksmith can be a lot cheaper than getting a new set from a dealership (sometimes, even a couple of hundred dollars cheaper).
We can put in touch with the top 3 three locksmiths who can get you back on the road quickly and for a lot less money than a dealership would charge. Most dealerships charge several hundred dollars to replace and recode lost keys, more if you have a prestige European brand.
If you have lost only one key, or purchased a car with only one key, a location locksmith can often easily replace the key and code it for you. Yes, you could find the correct key on Amazon, but it still needs to be coded to your specific vehicle.
Below are the best locksmith companies in the USA. Most of them will cover a wide range of cars and trucks, but you may have to call one or two to find someone who is a BMW specialist.
A professional location locksmith knows what they are doing can quickly identify the key type, security system type and provide you a second (or first) key and get you on the road quickly. And the best part of location locksmiths is that they come to you, and be done in a few hours.
We love this company the are fast and professional, If it dosesn’t work for you there is another option below.
This is a very good company too, they have good coverage and do many types of car keys.
BMW is one of recognisable and desirable car brands in the world. With amazing German engineering also comes some pretty impressive security. BMWs are known for having a complex security immobilisation system and losing your keys can mean a big headache.
Even older BMWs have tougher security measures than most cars of the same age. The newer BMWs have keys that do more than just open doors and start the car. In 2015 BMW introduced a key fob with a touch screen display which shows a range and variety of features of the car.
But most BMWs come with two keys and if you do lose them as most of us do, Don’t Panic. Simply follow these steps and you’ll soon have a new set of keys to replace your old ones. Just remember – if the first method doesn’t work, simply come back here and try the next method.
You will definitely find a method that does work.
Option 3: How to program BMW keys
If you still have one key and want a second (or third) key made, then you’re in luck. BMW actually make it easy to program a second key provided you:
Have one original key
Have the second blank key, cut by a locksmith.
The first thing you need to do is buy the correct blank key for your year and model of BMW. Then you need to get the physical key in the key fob cut for your car. Remember – even some of the modern key fobs have a backup key hidden in the fob. That key will need to be cut to match your original keys.
Next, check your user manual. Some BMWs actually have reprogramming methods written in the user manuals. The manual is the first place to check.
If your manual doesn’t have any instructions, then try the following:
*warning* This method has been tried on a 2001 BMW 3 series and may not work on your car. If you try this method you do so at your own risk. This method also requires that you reprogram ALL the keys to the car including the original.
- Make sure you have your original and new key(s) with you.
- Get into the car and close all the doors.
- Turn the ignition to “Run” (in between Accessory and Start) and the turn it off quickly
Take the original key out.
- Hold the new key at eye level towards the middle of the car (this is where the signal is strongest)
- Hold down the UNLOCK button and Press the LOCK button 3 times.
After your release the LOCK button the third time the doors will lock to confirm that you have successfully programmed all the keys.
- Quickly repeat step 6 for all other keys. Do not put any of the keys back in the ignition until you have reprogrammed all your keys otherwise you will have to start again.
Once you’ve completed reprogramming all your keys, test locking, unlocking and starting the car to make sure all keys work. And then go for a short drive. If you have no problems locking, unlocking and driving your car, then you’ve just given yourself a new set of keys!
The security system for BMW is one of the more complex on the market. Your BMW has an electronically coded chip integrated into the car key. The code is twofold, one is a permanent code personalised to the car and the second is rolling code changed by the immobiliser each time the car is started.
When the ignition is switched on, the cars immobiliser first reads the personal code then asks the key for the rolling code. Only when it gets two correct answers will the immobiliser allow the car to be started.
Option 4: The dealership
Sometimes though, all your efforts don’t work out and you will end up calling the dealership.
Getting a new set of keys through a dealership, is the most expensive and time consuming method. But it is almost guaranteed to work. The great thing about the BMW dealership network is that they almost always have very high standards and are equipped to work on almost any BMW.
When calling a dealership try, to get to an authorised BMW only dealer. You may have to travel further but an official BMW dealership will have a higher chance of getting you a new set of keys quicker.