Are you a BMW owner that has called everywhere to get a spare key to your car? If the answer is yes then chances are that you’ve called everybody and their brother and they have all referred you to the BMW dealer. The BMW dealer isn’t necessarily a bad option really. You need your ID, proper car ownership documentation, a day or two to wait, and a couple hundred bucks.
Why is it that the dealer is seemingly the only option? The truth is that 99% of locksmiths you find program keys into cars using 3 tried and true methods.
- On-Board Programming. This method involves performing manual procedures in a very specific order such as: (Turn the key to the on position, hit the gas pedal and brake pedal at the same time, open and close the doors 2 times, etc.)
- Computer programming through the OBDII port. Hooking up a computer to the standard On Board Diagnostics (OBDII) port is the most common way to program keys into today’s cars (in America anyway).
- Key Cloning. This technically isn’t programming a new key into your car. It digitally copies the transponder data to a suitable emulator. So basically, you may be holding a key in your left hand and a clone in your right, but the car only sees one key.
A very short history of BMW keys
BMW started putting chips into their keys back in 1995 here in the US and they work in a different way to the chips you will find in other manufacturers like Ford and General Motors. BMW keys from 1995 till about 2005 do not support any of those 3 programming techniques. You can’t clone them, there is not on board procedure and there is no access to the EWS unit (the module that stores the key information) through the OBDII port.
BMWs made from 1995 to about 2005 came with a capacity for 10 keys. When the car is made all 10 keys are programmed directly into the computer. The original owner was issued 4 keys and the other 6 are stored in a warehouse. When you go to the dealer they run your VIN number and have one of your keys mailed to the dealership. The key will come out of the mail magically working your vehicle.
What happens when you lose all 10 keys and go to the dealer? You get to buy a new module and 10 keys costing a small fortune! What happens if you have a salvage title and go to the dealer? You don’t get keys at all.
The BMW dealer is NOT your only option!
Enter the locksmith. We don’t have your keys mailed to us while we twiddle our thumbs and leave you without a car. We don’t care if you have lost all 10 of your keys, we don’t care if you have a salvage title. Simply put, if you show us proof of ownership of your car and proper ID, we can manually make keys to your car. We can pull out the EWS and write to any of the 10 key slots manually. The fact of the matter is, you will be driving again. If you drive a BMW between the years of 1995 and 2005 and would like a spare key or if you have lost your last key, you have other options! Give us a call.
BMW Programming for EWS equipped vehicles is only for our local Kansas City area customers. We do perform programming services for qualified locksmiths if they wish to send us the EWS through the mail.