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2002 318ci Convertible / 2003 318ci Coupé
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

For the past few months, I've been experiencing a bizarre problem with the keyfob (diamond) of my car. I do have only one unfortunately, the rest are MIA.

The car is a pre facelift '02 Right Hand E46 318Ci Convertible, with hardtop attached (im mentioning this in case it's affecting the following description).

I bought the car April of 2019, i had no issues with the fob ever since. Until a few months ago, i started having issues with it.

The issues are:

1. The range of which i can press the buttons, has significantly decreased (almost about from touching the car with the blade, up to 2 meters away). I did try the good ol' chin trick, does nothing to fix the issue.
2. Pressing the buttons, rarely work in addition to the above and that leads to unlocking it manually, which we all know puts stress on the lock.
3. If i press the unlock button for it to roll down the windows (when it works) it cuts off midway, from top to bottom and vice-versa.
4. Sometimes when i unlock the car (when it works again, single press) and open the driver's door, the window rolls down by it's self (just the driver's side)

I did try re-initializing the key (turn 3 times then rapidly lock while holding unlock etc. etc.) Sometimes that does help but briefly, nothing significant.

I coded the comfort access options, a few months after the purchase, in PAsoft (roll up/down the windows/top) which for a weird reason my car didn't have them beforehand, just the normal lock/unlock. This was maybe shy of 2019 Christmas.

Everything was working flawlessly, but now it just doesn't work as before.

To be honest, I'm not sure if the problem started after the hardtop installation, which was a year ago, or the problem existed but i just didn't noticed it that much (because maybe it didn't happen very often to notice)

Maybe it's the fob's battery, or a faulty GM5 or even the rear view mirror.
All i know, is that it drives me crazy. Especially the range part, which is ridiculous holding the key next to the door lock for it to decide to unlock.

Thank you for your time.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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11,387 Posts
Did you (ambiguous) code in the option for the hardtop? Does not come from the factory that way.

Does sound like a weak key battery.
 

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2002 318ci Convertible / 2003 318ci Coupé
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you (ambiguous) code in the option for the hardtop? Does not come from the factory that way.

Does sound like a weak key battery.
Besides mounting it, there's a coding option aswel? That sounds odd. I knew about some verts that don't have the mounting slots (requiring retrofit), but having to code the car that's something i never thought about.


I did code the soft top to open/close wirelessly with the key, but i didn't see any hardtop related options.
 

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2002 330 Ci
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2,541 Posts
It's the key fob. Battery is weak. I had the same exact issues with mine after buying my vert.

I bought new keys and programed them with an ak90.

I have no issues now.
 

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Besides mounting it, there's a coding option as well? That sounds odd.
Yes. And although I cannot be certain, my guess is that when coded for a Hardtop, the convertible buttons become inactive to prevent damage to the mechanism if the buttons were pushed when the Hardtop is on. The coding could also be to activate the Rear Window Defrost for the Hardtop and deactivate the convertible defrost. Both of these are guesses.
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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11,387 Posts
Yes. And although I cannot be certain, my guess is that when coded for a Hardtop, the convertible buttons become inactive to prevent damage to the mechanism if the buttons were pushed when the Hardtop is on. The coding could also be to activate the Rear Window Defrost for the Hardtop and deactivate the convertible defrost. Both of these are guesses.
Exactly
 

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2002 318ci Convertible / 2003 318ci Coupé
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As far as for now, after i mounted the HT everything works perfectly. No error codes, the ST buttons don't work while the HT is on, the defroster works flawlessly. I suppose the car already came coded‽
 

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2002 318ci Convertible / 2003 318ci Coupé
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's the key fob. Battery is weak. I had the same exact issues with mine after buying my vert.

I bought new keys and programed them with an ak90.

I have no issues now.
From the official dealer, the keys cost €260, that's maybe around $300.

Since im in the EU, my sources would be a little bit "limited" from the US.

Where did you buy the keys from, did you cut them aswell? I heard about the ak90 but i would definitely need more info on it (how to use it). I mean, if i could code keys cheaper than the dealer? and probably sell them, that would be a cool mini buisness.. there are shops around town that they sell coded and cut keys for €150~ ($175~).
I mean, if there's a way to get a key cheaper...
 

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As far as for now, after i mounted the HT everything works perfectly. No error codes, the ST buttons don't work while the HT is on, the defroster works flawlessly. I suppose the car already came coded‽
If you car originally shipped with a Hardtop then yes, it would have been coded as such. Have you done a VIN check to check that? A PO also could have coded it for the HT.
 
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