It’s just another normal day when you head out to your car, hit the key fob, and… nothing. No matter how many times you click the button, your door doesn’t unlock and the car won’t start.
Your key fob battery is dead, and you’re left wondering what to do about it.
The good news is you can still unlock and start your BMW with a dead key fob – and once you’ve picked up a new battery, it’s fairly simple to replace it. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Open and Drive Your BMW With a Dead Key Fob
If your key fob stops working, you might wonder whether you’ll still be able to unlock and start your car. While you won’t be able to unlock your vehicle remotely and your keyless entry may not work if your key fob battery dies, you can still use your key to open the door and start the car manually.
To do this, you’ll press and hold the key release button located at the base of your key fob. This will make the internal key blade slide out. Then, use it like a traditional key to open the door. If you don’t see a keyhole in the door of your BMW, you’ll likely find a small hole in the bottom of the handle. In this case, you’ll need to insert the key into the hole and use it to pull off the trim panel, which will reveal a keyhole.
Once inside, you can start your BMW by inserting the key into the ignition slot and turning it. If you don’t have a key slot, just hold the key fob against the markings on the side of the steering column and then press the stop/start button.
Signs Your Key Fob Battery is Low
While having a dead key fob battery isn’t the end of the world, it’s an inconvenience most of us would rather avoid. Watching out for common signs that your battery is getting low will allow you to replace it before it fails completely.
If you notice that you have to get closer to your vehicle before your key fob will lock or unlock the doors or remotely start the engine, this could be a sign that a low battery is causing a reduced signal. Your key fob should also consistently work with one click of a button. If it sometimes fails or requires multiple clicks, this is also an indication that your battery strength is getting low.
How to Find a New BMW Key Fob Battery
Finding the right battery for your BMW key fob requires you to know what type of fob you have. Typically, a Smart Key has a CR2450 battery while the Comfort Access BMW key fob and the sleek slant-shaped key fob use a CR2032 battery. You can typically find both of these in any auto shop or department store for relatively cheap.
A non-comfort access key fob typically uses a rechargeable battery that automatically charges when the key is inserted in the ignition. If this key fob battery dies, you’ll need to take it to a BMW repair shop, like The Haus. Diamond key fobs are also not meant to have their battery replaced. To access the battery, you would have to cut the case, which is not recommended. If either of these types of fob fail, you may need to replace the entire thing, which could be pretty expensive.
Steps for Replacing Your Key Fob Battery
To replace your BMW key fob battery, simply remove the back cover of the key fob, take out the old battery, put in the new one, and ensure the case is securely closed. The process for removing the back cover varies depending on the type of key fob you have.
If you have a Smart Key, you’ll need to remove the metal key blade, then remove the back cover. For the Comfort Access and sleek slant-shaped key fob, start by pressing the tab on the fob to release the valet key. Removing the key will reveal a small access port. Use the key or a flathead screwdriver to remove the battery cover.
Note that if you’re not able to easily remove the cover, you may have a rechargeable key fob. Do not try to force it as this could cause damage. Instead, bring your key fob to the Haus so we can diagnose and repair the problem.
Our BMW-certified mechanics can take care of everything from key fob battery replacements to engine and transmission problems. No matter what you need, you can trust the experts at The Haus. We have two convenient locations to serve you and we’re committed to offering the area’s best prices for BMW repairs and maintenance. Contact us today to schedule your VIP appointment.