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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
UPDATE: The locks now work with the key sometimes, but sometimes they dont. Remote is still not functional. I didnt change anything to make this happen. Could there be a loose contact somewhere? maybe in the door? And also the antenna might be broken? Those two things would explain the problem perfectly but perhaps there is something im missing.
 

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I concur with Sapote

MadJoe lucky I should find your post when I did I am Hyper-aware of the GM5 module & common solutions for the issue you discussed. Even so I've had an elusive issue with my own car & wonder if you can do a test for me.

I have an Oscillocope, Key , 3x BMW E46 with GM5 in them, lots of diamond keys etc and am well read .. and still run into things I haven't figured out yet. Often another fanatic has the answer but that issue you are experiencing is around & if its got a slam dunk answer I haven't found it yet .. but I have theory I can easily test.
There is one guy who knows a ton .. its that guy that runs the GM5 site .. Scott someone. He and a few others have addressed what cannot be causing the problem .. and that is very helpful.

My car is doing the same & I need your help to test my theory ...especially for repeatability. I do not want to release accidental BS to the community before I'm 100% tested.

to be brief ,

I'm asking if you'll help me with 2 things to get my bearings:

First read this to be sure we are on the same page :
Your key has 2 separate functions, and I do mean separate. 1.) authentication 2.) remote unlock/lock successful authentication is why your car is starting. on 3rd party keys its a little black plastic thing We're working on remote .. the part that DOES have a battery (which you have changed).
As Sapote says .. part of that white box is amplifying the key signal, it gets from the tracks on on your rear glass defrost.
Many folks go straight for that amp when there's an issue .. .. I doubt it .. most of the time. I've been inside that box and used to design similar things .. it is VERY high quality.

OK so I could write a pamphlet for you but before I do can you do a little test for me & answer a couple questions
1.) Is your key FOB an OEM ?
2.) I see you're in the US. Can you find an o'reilly auto parts with a key tester? Call first where I live in AZ only about half have a working tester, but you will know right away if the FOB it transmitting or not. The tester won't tell you WHAT its transmiting . but that's OK. we just want to be certain it is. Take a 2nd known working key with you .. even if its for a different car. you want to use the known working key to "test the tester", and possible to compare the relative brightness of the indicator light on the tester.

If the remote IS working ... we'll go down my path together. If it is not working ... these guys telling to you get a new fob are likely correct .. but Im guessing you've been way down that road already. Just assure me that key is working
3.) When you are sitting in the car and try to unlock/lock the remote do you hear 1/both doors "trying" to unlock? (if you get locked in hit the inside key button 1 or 2 times then pull the door handle 2x to get out)
4.) you may not recall this but .. when the system was on its way out, did you hear (outside the car a louder sound at the trunk that sounded a lot like the truck latch being unlocked? may acutually being unlocked (not popling the trunk like the remote button, just unlocking it so its "open-able" it if you walk back & hit the button above the license plate) ?
5.) while on its way out did you ever see only the driver door unlock .. and on the second click the passenger side soemtimes .. but not always went up on the 2nd click ... but you had never used NCS to make it do that on purpose?

.6.) *** Did it almost never work in the morning first try, but worked every time later in the day or evening ?

Number 2 and 6 are the most important .. the other stuff is what my car was and is doing. Please let me know.

One more thing......do you have more than one e46 or have a friend with one?

Hope to hear from you... After I have your answers I'm hoping I've got something here that matters. Let's find out.


-ourmandan -
 

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UPDATE: The locks now work with the key sometimes, but sometimes they dont. Remote is still not functional. I didnt change anything to make this happen. Could there be a loose contact somewhere? maybe in the door? And also the antenna might be broken? Those two things would explain the problem perfectly but perhaps there is something im missing.
PS . Is that red wire I see on your board because you burnt out a plate-thru or track? If not why is it there?
 

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I haven't read the whole thread, so someone may have already suggest this. Have to had a look into the ZKE5 (general module 5) with INPA? There is a lot of digital data that you can see and key tests you can do to see what is happening or not? How to Install BMW Standard Tools

For example, the key in the door lock or the remote central locking will not lock the doors if one door is still open. With INPA you can check to see if all doors are showing as closed. So, your problem could be as simple as a door switch? Also check the door ajar lights on your dash.

Similarly, there is functionality in INPA to see when what central locking button you have pushed on the key. This tells you that the key is paired with the car and that all buttons are giving the car their signal.

With a little thought you can break the whole central locking system down and eliminate the parts that are working.
 

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An excellent suggestion.
I just did that yesterday for my Cruise control Cut-out switch.
So why yesterday when I had the issue for a long time?
I finally found an english version of INPA. Until then I had to use G-translate ..A royal pain. I had no idea where to find the ECS functionality ... until yesterday !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
I concur with Sapote

MadJoe lucky I should find your post when I did I am Hyper-aware of the GM5 module & common solutions for the issue you discussed. Even so I've had an elusive issue with my own car & wonder if you can do a test for me.

I have an Oscillocope, Key , 3x BMW E46 with GM5 in them, lots of diamond keys etc and am well read .. and still run into things I haven't figured out yet. Often another fanatic has the answer but that issue you are experiencing is around & if its got a slam dunk answer I haven't found it yet .. but I have theory I can easily test.
There is one guy who knows a ton .. its that guy that runs the GM5 site .. Scott someone. He and a few others have addressed what cannot be causing the problem .. and that is very helpful.

My car is doing the same & I need your help to test my theory ...especially for repeatability. I do not want to release accidental BS to the community before I'm 100% tested.

to be brief ,

I'm asking if you'll help me with 2 things to get my bearings:

First read this to be sure we are on the same page :
Your key has 2 separate functions, and I do mean separate. 1.) authentication 2.) remote unlock/lock successful authentication is why your car is starting. on 3rd party keys its a little black plastic thing We're working on remote .. the part that DOES have a battery (which you have changed).
As Sapote says .. part of that white box is amplifying the key signal, it gets from the tracks on on your rear glass defrost.
Many folks go straight for that amp when there's an issue .. .. I doubt it .. most of the time. I've been inside that box and used to design similar things .. it is VERY high quality.

OK so I could write a pamphlet for you but before I do can you do a little test for me & answer a couple questions
1.) Is your key FOB an OEM ?
2.) I see you're in the US. Can you find an o'reilly auto parts with a key tester? Call first where I live in AZ only about half have a working tester, but you will know right away if the FOB it transmitting or not. The tester won't tell you WHAT its transmiting . but that's OK. we just want to be certain it is. Take a 2nd known working key with you .. even if its for a different car. you want to use the known working key to "test the tester", and possible to compare the relative brightness of the indicator light on the tester.

If the remote IS working ... we'll go down my path together. If it is not working ... these guys telling to you get a new fob are likely correct .. but Im guessing you've been way down that road already. Just assure me that key is working
3.) When you are sitting in the car and try to unlock/lock the remote do you hear 1/both doors "trying" to unlock? (if you get locked in hit the inside key button 1 or 2 times then pull the door handle 2x to get out)
4.) you may not recall this but .. when the system was on its way out, did you hear (outside the car a louder sound at the trunk that sounded a lot like the truck latch being unlocked? may acutually being unlocked (not popling the trunk like the remote button, just unlocking it so its "open-able" it if you walk back & hit the button above the license plate) ?
5.) while on its way out did you ever see only the driver door unlock .. and on the second click the passenger side soemtimes .. but not always went up on the 2nd click ... but you had never used NCS to make it do that on purpose?

.6.) *** Did it almost never work in the morning first try, but worked every time later in the day or evening ?

Number 2 and 6 are the most important .. the other stuff is what my car was and is doing. Please let me know.

One more thing......do you have more than one e46 or have a friend with one?

Hope to hear from you... After I have your answers I'm hoping I've got something here that matters. Let's find out.


-ourmandan -
First of all, Thank you for helping. That was a lot to read. Also, Im currently at a very stressful time of my life and may not reply to you until next week. I will definitly reply at some point though. Secondly, here are some answers to some of your questions:
1: I do believe my key in an OEM (behind the plate on the back there is a BMW logo)
2: I actually do not love in the US, I live in Austria. I also dont know if there is a signal coming from the key and would have to test it somehow.
3: The doors either unlock normally, or there is no sound at all, no sign of anything unlocking (with the key in the door, remote is totally not working, locking button in centre works always)
4: I dont recall that unfortunately, but this problem did infact start small and get bigger (worked less often over time)
5: clicking it a second time never made any difference
6: YES! It notmally doesnt work in the morning but then works randomly thoughout the day. I must also note that it(the physical key) tends to suddenly not work after trying to reprogram the key to the car using the ignition/hold unlock and 3 times lock button trick.

also, I do have a friend with the same E46 as me. He has the diamond key.

One more thing to note: When i inspected the white box in the C pillar, i noticed that ONE of the black wired going to the defroster had broken off. The ddefroster works regardless.

Please dont expect a quick reply, I will respond within 2 weeks at most. Hope you understand
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
PS . Is that red wire I see on your board because you burnt out a plate-thru or track? If not why is it there?
The red wire is because I may have burned through a track. I put it there jsut to be sure (and made sure it was connected properly, there are no unwanted bridges). seems to work no differently than it did before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I haven't read the whole thread, so someone may have already suggest this. Have to had a look into the ZKE5 (general module 5) with INPA? There is a lot of digital data that you can see and key tests you can do to see what is happening or not? How to Install BMW Standard Tools

For example, the key in the door lock or the remote central locking will not lock the doors if one door is still open. With INPA you can check to see if all doors are showing as closed. So, your problem could be as simple as a door switch? Also check the door ajar lights on your dash.

Similarly, there is functionality in INPA to see when what central locking button you have pushed on the key. This tells you that the key is paired with the car and that all buttons are giving the car their signal.

With a little thought you can break the whole central locking system down and eliminate the parts that are working.
great suggestion. But the open door warning on the dash only comes on when a door is actually open, so the switches probably work. The INPA idea is a good one, I would have to look into that
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Don't use the key for this; too many time and it stops working and lock you out of the car, then what -- more headache.
Thanks, I have decided to always leave one door unlocked to prevent this. Open window is not an option because .. animals
 

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I'm reading this and it just blows my mind.

See posts # 6 & 10.

Furthermore your symptoms are the exact same as a bad battery. During the day (drive to work etc.) the battery charges up just a LITTLE. Then overnight it looses the very small charge it has. I see it here in the shop all the time.

Until you try another key (any diamond key with a GOOD battery will work.) I think you are chasing your self in circles.

When presented with the same here in the shop: The first thing we do is try another key. If it works, your key is bad.
Then if still no good, we open up ISTA (INPA for you.) and perform an antenna/key test.

I do realize you stated that you changed the battery. I have read MANY posts of folks that have cut open the key and replaced the battery unsuccessfully.

ANY BMW owner needs a SECOND functioning key!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I'm reading this and it just blows my mind.

See posts # 6 & 10.

Furthermore your symptoms are the exact same as a bad battery. During the day (drive to work etc.) the battery charges up just a LITTLE. Then overnight it looses the very small charge it has. I see it here in the shop all the time.

Until you try another key (any diamond key with a GOOD battery will work.) I think you are chasing your self in circles.

When presented with the same here in the shop: The first thing we do is try another key. If it works, your key is bad.
Then if still no good, we open up ISTA (INPA for you.) and perform an antenna/key test.

I do realize you stated that you changed the battery. I have read MANY posts of folks that have cut open the key and replaced the battery unsuccessfully.

ANY BMW owner needs a SECOND functioning key!
Thanks for the reply. My car actually doesnt have the diamond key, it has the older model (I think only european, see my yt video above) that is screwed together, so changing the battery it as easy as unscrewing it and swaping it. I plan on replacing my other broken key with a new working one regardless of this outcome. Also, I have replaced the battery a few times in the past and every time it worked again. The key also has a red LED that lights up when you press a button. When the battery is low it only shined a bit, but atm its shining brightly. I get what youre saying and will try putting different batteries in the key and seeing if it helps.
 

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First of all, Thank you for helping. That was a lot to read. Also, Im currently at a very stressful time of my life and may not reply to you until next week. I will definitly reply at some point though. Secondly, here are some answers to some of your questions:
1: I do believe my key in an OEM (behind the plate on the back there is a BMW logo)
2: I actually do not love in the US, I live in Austria. I also dont know if there is a signal coming from the key and would have to test it somehow.
3: The doors either unlock normally, or there is no sound at all, no sign of anything unlocking (with the key in the door, remote is totally not working, locking button in centre works always)
4: I dont recall that unfortunately, but this problem did infact start small and get bigger (worked less often over time)
5: clicking it a second time never made any difference
6: YES! It notmally doesnt work in the morning but then works randomly thoughout the day. I must also note that it(the physical key) tends to suddenly not work after trying to reprogram the key to the car using the ignition/hold unlock and 3 times lock button trick.

also, I do have a friend with the same E46 as me. He has the diamond key.

One more thing to note: When i inspected the white box in the C pillar, i noticed that ONE of the black wired going to the defroster had broken off. The ddefroster works regardless.

Please dont expect a quick reply, I will respond within 2 weeks at most. Hope you understand
I do understand. #6 is the most important match. The black wire may be an issue.

That wire will likely need to be returned to service .. I'll know for sure in 2 weeks
I've read in some cars the radio gets its own printer wire, and others share with the defroster.
The pillar opposite C often has a filter in it. This may be an indicator that the Antenna box may be sharing the wire as opposed to having its own).

When you can please count up from bottom and ID which wire it is I assume its broken on the window side

I'm tired of pushing that button & the door not opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
I do understand. #6 is the most important match. The black wire may be an issue.

That wire will likely need to be returned to service .. I'll know for sure in 2 weeks
I've read in some cars the radio gets its own printer wire, and others share with the defroster.
The pillar opposite C often has a filter in it. This may be an indicator that the Antenna box may be sharing the wire as opposed to having its own).

When you can please count up from bottom and ID which wire it is I assume its broken on the window side

I'm tired of pushing that button & the door not opening.
Its the 6th from the bottom (there are 7 total)
 

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Hello again MadJoeMak. I've been having fun with other issues but am back on locking system today. This am the car would not even recognize my remote. .. even though I'm standing there with a transmit monitor. we have the Column C open with the AMP exposed in the rear glass and the sun shines directly on it in the AM.
My AM/FM always works so that's seems unrelevant. The key fob reciever is down by the Red and Blue wires .. and has its own receive wire you can see in the photo

Please see if your rear window is also sun facing and exposed. I put the Column coer back own. lowered the windows and went to lunch. When I returned the remote worked on the 1st try reliably So .. we are testing for heat as a provocateur. in the photo here you can see the FOB decoder circuit has its own ant input.
see the lonely horizontal track at the top there just above the pot metal "I" ? it connects thru a cap to the black connector (pin 2 from the left) .
For that reason I don't think the AM/FM reception is relevant. I think what it relevant is if the rear window track is still connected to this pin. The heat may be moving the center of the notch filter I see (square) or it may be opening the connection from defrost mat to pin 2. I'm working on a test for this,
but please try operation near dusk, then cover your rear window driver side fom the sun. Leave windows down a little and see if it works the next AM.
try that test while standing by the drivers door please.
Lemme know.


Passive circuit component Circuit component Hardware programmer Microcontroller Engineering
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hello again MadJoeMak. I've been having fun with other issues but am back on locking system today. This am the car would not even recognize my remote. .. even though I'm standing there with a transmit monitor. we have the Column C open with the AMP exposed in the rear glass and the sun shines directly on it in the AM.
My AM/FM always works so that's seems unrelevant. The key fob reciever is down by the Red and Blue wires .. and has its own receive wire you can see in the photo

Please see if your rear window is also sun facing and exposed. I put the Column coer back own. lowered the windows and went to lunch. When I returned the remote worked on the 1st try reliably So .. we are testing for heat as a provocateur. in the photo here you can see the FOB decoder circuit has its own ant input.
see the lonely horizontal track at the top there just above the pot metal "I" ? it connects thru a cap to the black connector (pin 2 from the left) .
For that reason I don't think the AM/FM reception is relevant. I think what it relevant is if the rear window track is still connected to this pin. The heat may be moving the center of the notch filter I see (square) or it may be opening the connection from defrost mat to pin 2. I'm working on a test for this,
but please try operation near dusk, then cover your rear window driver side fom the sun. Leave windows down a little and see if it works the next AM.
try that test while standing by the drivers door please.
Lemme know.
Thanks. My car is always parked with the front facing the sun and it gets hot inside. I will do that test, but first I must put my car in my garage because I will get animals in my car if I leave thw window open :) My Radio works fine. So youre saying the black connector on the left is for the key signal? And at that point it should already be amplified? I have a multimetre, (Sadly no oscilloscope) and I could try seeing if there is a signal on that connector when I press the key buttons.
 

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Joe to be sure I didn't forget anything I went back to your original photo/post

and saw something I missed.
I see the two black with blue printing from Portugal.
But I also see two un-stuffed pads for 2 more relays

1.) How many relays did you change out?

2.) I know you have a 2 door coupe mine has 2 updown windows & 2 vent windows
I assume fro mteh relay count you have 2 electric windows and are missing the 2x vent windows

3.) Don't get locked in. There is a way it can happen when using remote inside the car. If you do push the inside lock button once then pull the driver handle twice & that will get you out (laughing).

If you sit in the car with remote when it is quite (early morning) when you push the lock button, do you hear (its very subtle) the relay click under glove box?
How bout the unlock ?


Thanks. I'll be watching for your reply here its important
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
No not the connector ... I'm saying that part of the circuit board to the left of the stud hole, is the key receiver .. and only the key receiver. The other compartments handle the AM/FM. The black connector on the bottom left is Power in (to the key reception circuit only). the leftmost pin in that connector is power (the wire is red on my amp). The right-most pin(blue wire on mine) is data out to the GM5 and you would see pulses there with a scope .. but there's likely no need to do so. The stud provides ground for all circuits.

It felt like an accomplishment last year when I connected to the blue wire and saw squared up data.Seeing it tells you your fob is sending something... but its hard to tell what.

From that experience I can tell you the squaring circuit is not the best so on a weak signal can cause errors. So what would cause a weak signal?
From senior fanatics I have learned the connectors to the back window "defrost" panel separate eventually & don't work. I studied mine and found the part of the panel that is my FOB antenna is not shared with the heated defrost lines at all ...

(Trusted senior fanatics told me some models share an active defroster wire. This is not the case for me (fed from a box under D ) .

The Keyfob input pin is in that black connector at the top of my photo. It is 2nd pin from the left (see the gray ceramic Cap connected to it on the circuit board).

Beep that wire over to the connector block on the rear window. If that is the wire has disconnected you have found the problem.
Even the wire beeps we don't know if the connector block is still reliably connecting it to the Antenna. It could be the block is a thermally sensitive intermittent.

I'll dream up a reliable test for you & I soon. But I think that the most likely scenario.

you might try just covering the connector part of the rear window with a blanket so its not hot in the AM.. you get the idea. That's what I'll be doing tonight.

QUESTION Does your trunk button work even when the others don't? It the answer is yes, please try this:
Click door unlock. if it doesn't work on 1st attempt try trunk open. does it work? If so then immediately try the door lock
This is for the footnote at the end of this ....

Summary

1.) A stong signal matters because it makes the the waves square on the blue wire heading to the GM5
2.) The signal is weak if you don't have a well connected path from Antenna to AMP.
3.) It's difficult to determine if your FOB Antenna is well connected to the connector block which then connects it to the ANT "AMP".
4.) Many folks say (in their own words) that connector block is a "pattern failure " for BMW, meaning they all separate eventually
5.) Keep #4 in mind if the loose wire turns out to be the #2 wire. You don't want to break the connection to the window yourself (oops!).

My Ant or the connector block appears to be heat sensitive ... as my car sits in the drive with the sun directly facing it in the AM .. and I live n a very hot state,
It NEVER works first time n the AM. Works every time starting about 10 AM.

I had the C panel removed so the sun hits the amp directly. Yesterday I put the panel back on about 10AM and 20 min later the key worked perfectly.

But one test does not an answer make. I'm about to try it this AM again and I'll be checking my wire connection. I may substitute a different antenna if I have one the right wavelength.
Will let you know.

P.S. I stumble upon and collect Keys from salvage yards I have accumulated about 5.
Recently I wanted to repurpose one of those keys so I opened it up. The key would not open the doors initially after I paired it which is unusual.

Eventually I wasted a 3 hours trying to figure it out but I 100% figured it out.
In the key are 2 x double diode chips. 3 of the 4 diodes are used and there is an unused one One diode for trunk, one for door lock, one for unlock.

It turns out 100% one of these diodes had shorted. the result of that is that 2 buttons would work, but one would not because pressing it cause 2 signals to be sent at the same time.

it is unlikely but not impossible this is a keyfob pattern fail. Due to the low current flow in the key the problem would be the result of overheating of acid leaking during manufature .. which may not manifest for years, so we must consider this possibility. That's why I want you to check your trunk. The trunk is on the double diode chip when has only 1 diode in use... so it would continue to work in all cases even though lock and unlock would be intermittient at best .. and most likely not work at all.

I have a great test for this .. but only if you are willing to slipt yor key open .. which carries its own risk.

A better test would be to ask your friend to pair his key to your car.
So you would ;plug your key into the ignition & do the pairing process (use the "position 1" , one time process on youetube unless you know your method works.

If his key works on your car .. we know its the key.
The key I have is not the diamond key but the older style one (I think commonly used on E39, idk if its euro specific).
Also I just had another look and I THINK THE SECOND WIRE FROM LEFT IS BROKEN! (as well as second from right)
Wheel Hood Automotive tire Automotive design Bicycle tire

Do you know where its supposed to go?
Oh and its the second WIRE but not the second connector pin. The first pin is not used so the broken wire is on the 3rd pin I think. I can double check in the morning
 
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