e36 - How to re-program the factory alarm fobs.

Discussion in 'E36 / E30 FAQ' started by tshirt, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. 19 Mar 2012 at 7:21 PM #1
    tshirt

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    After periods of inactivity, (battery removed or flat), the alarm module will reset itself causing your fobs to no longer work (light on the fob will still flash).
    These instructions are for the factory bmw alarm made by serpi star, the fob is wedge shape and has 2 buttons, 1 red, 1 grey, this is the most common system and is fitted to probally 95% of e36 m3 from 96-99.

    Remove the glove box and locate the alarm module, its black and usually at the top of the others or on the left of them, sometimes housed in a security cage. Once you found it you need to remove the rubber bung and flick the switch inside, then press the red button on the fob, if all is well the led will illuminate, flick the switch back and re install.
    If you want to program more than 1 fob (up to 4) you need to do them all at the same time, as previous fobs are cleared whenever you flick the switch.
    If that doesnt work, remove the receiver on the module (the part with the antenna wire)(security cage will have to be removed to do this part), you will see it is only a section of the module and can be removed (careful not to bend the connection pins as you lift it off the module), make sure the module is connected when you do this or it wont reset. Leave it off for a minute, then refit and try the switch programming again.
    The ignition does not have to be on during any of this procedure.
     
  2. 1 Aug 2012 at 7:02 AM #2
    hursty

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    Just to add, if your battery goes flat, and upon recharging it /installing a new battery, the alarm may arm itself, and because the fob has lost its memory, you will need to disarm the alarm
    To do this, you need to short 2 of the pins (use a small piece of wire)
    pins 1 and 6 will need to be shorted to activate it again, then pins 1 and 8 to disarm it
    You can now re-program the fobs


    If anyone knows a better way of doing this, please shout as mine needs doing again, and i dont really want to take the black box out again, as its a pain in the arse
     
  3. 1 Aug 2012 at 7:12 PM #3
    tshirt

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    Ive never need to do that, i just use the key to turn off the siren and then re program the fobs.
     
  4. 14 Dec 2012 at 8:12 PM #4
    tshirt

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  5. 2 Dec 2013 at 12:55 PM #5
    Gumi

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    Help my comfort closing options not function when i reprogram the keyfob
     
  6. 5 Sep 2016 at 1:55 PM #6
    rikky

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    I know this thread's a bit old now but thought I would bump it up.

    Is there any other procedure required for the above method of re-syncing the keyfob? E.g. do all doors need to be open, closed, etc?

    I also have the BMW 'missing corner' / red&grey buttons key fob (Serpi Star) alarm and after locking it fine and returning a few hours later, it wouldn't unlock.

    It's going mental, i.e. needs switching off at present. I've used the circular key in the engine bay to switch the siren off for now, but the hazards and whatnot go for about 30 seconds each time, like you would expect whenever I try anything with the car.

    At present I've tried flicking the switch over to the opposite side on the black module in the glovebox, pressing the red button on the key fob once, then flicked the switch back over, but nothing happens and it remains the same. I've tried most combinations to be honest but nothing seems to make a difference. I have tried a new battery in the key fob but again remains the same. The light on the fob flashes as you would expect when you press the buttons but nothing has any effect/

    I've ordered a brand new key fob from BMW and am expecting it tomorrow (part no. 82929404882, £45.42 plus VAT).

    Can anyone add anything to the above or is it just a case of try again with the new fob and hope for the best?

    I saw the second post about shorting pins out but this concerns me doing it. But can I still sync a new key with the alarm in 'active' mode as it is at present?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  7. 8 Sep 2016 at 4:38 PM #7
    tshirt

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    You don't need to short any pins out, you just need to remove the receiver from the module for a few seconds with module still connected and powered up, to do that you need the security cage off tho.
     
  8. 8 Sep 2016 at 4:46 PM #8
    rikky

    rikky On the path

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    I've tried everything but nothing is having any effect!

    I'm told by numerous sources that you can only program new keys with the alarm deactivated
     
  9. 8 Sep 2016 at 4:52 PM #9
    rikky

    rikky On the path

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    Meant to say I've had all the cradle etc out. Tried the programming procedure and shorting pins but absolutely nothing is working
     
  10. 8 Sep 2016 at 7:48 PM #10
    rikky

    rikky On the path

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    Ok, randomly got it working again tonight but struggling still..

    Wouldn't deactivate with any of the above pins being shorted or any other method.. until I removed the PCB of the receiver from the black case and reinserted it onto the alarm module without the case. I could make sure the pins were in place right that way, even though they would have no reason to be. But then, shorting pins 1+6 switched it off and somehow has allowed the key to start working again. As soon as I took the receiver off though it locked me in the car which proved amusing.

    The key will now only seem to work from prctically right infront of the alarm module and struggles unless I really press it hard.

    So alarm is back to "normal" but hard to operate.

    Maybe a new key required after all or the receiver packing up?
     
  11. 8 Nov 2017 at 3:02 PM #11
    SLPM3

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    Old thread but very useful all the same. I found all doors had to be shut for this to work for me. Must have tried 20 or so time both with key in ignition, not in ignition, car running etc. Then tried it with no key in ignition and all doors shut, and hey presto it worked first time.
     

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