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How to start BMW if key fob is dead or not working

If the batteries in your BMW remote have died, you will not be able to start the car or unlock the doors using the keyless feature.

Follow the instructions in this guide to learn how to manually start your BMW. This guide will assist you if the key fob batteries have died or the key fob is not working.

If the main BMW battery has died, follow this guide to get into the car, then follow the instructions on this guide to jump-start a BMW with a dead car battery.


  • Can’t start BMW with key
  • BMW key battery dead, can’t start car
  • Comfort Access key does not work

How to manually start BMW

  1. Remove metal blade from key fob.
  2. Unlock the driver's door with the metal blade.  (Alarm may go off.)manually start bmw


  3. Place the key into the ignition slot.manually start bmwIf your BMW doesn't have an ignition slot place the keyfob (not metal blade) next to the right of the steering column. Note key symbol on the steering column.bmw manual start dead battery


  4. Press the brake pedal and hold it pressed. If your BMW has a manual transmission, make sure to press the clutch. Press the Stop/Start button. start bmw dead key or battery



If your BMW doesn't start, it means the key wasn’t recognized. A check control message may appear on the dashboard stating the key was not recognized. Your key may be defective or the ignition module has a problem.

Try the procedure one more time, making sure there is no more than two-second delay between steps. 

Also, try the same procedure with a spare key.

For help with changing the key fob batteries follow this guide:  How to change BMW key fob batteries.


  • Radio transmission can interfere with the frequency of the BMW key. Also, electronic devices that may be in your pocket or charging in the car can interference with the keyless key fob. 
  • Use a BMW diagnostic scanner that is capable of reading BMW specific fault codes to read DME fault codes via the OBD2 port located under the dashboard. 


Gideon, 2019-01-03

My 06 330i will not do anything when the fob id in the slot. The park indicator light stays on all the time now

Shawn, 2019-07-18

What was the resolution? I am having the same problem.

Jeff A, 2019-03-16

I tryed to program another key fob with my original key now it will not start my 2007 BMW 530i . I have power everywhere but will not do anything when I go to try and start it . Please help me .

William Trujillo, 2019-04-01

Where did you buy the key?

Visitor, 2019-10-09

The dealer after market keys will fail not if but when

Jobanjit , 2019-05-09

I have a bmw 328 xdrive my car is not working I replace a battery many of time but it show again replaced your battery

Ivy, 2019-07-22

Same here. Wondering how long does the battery last?

Benaia, 2019-07-28

I can't start my BMW 118i ,n it locks the door n the mobile key doesn't work I can't open or close the doors , PLS help I tried to start but it doesn't show anything on the dashboard

Sheila , 2019-07-30

I have a 2015 3 Series BMW that I lost my key pod to. I ordered another from the Dealership, this does not start my vehicle. I called back to the Dealership and was told to tow the vehicle in and the cost for diagnostic would be 145.00 plus145.00 to program the key pod. On top of just paying 374.00 for the key.

Ionuț cristian, 2019-08-08

I've a problem with my BMW key is 320d 2005 auto
My battery gone flat so I took apart the whole key change the battery on the weld it back
Worked 5 6 time open and close and stop working again
The battery is new .

Gaz, 2019-08-22

Having the exact same problem as you guys, have a 2005 E60 520d. Lost my 1 and only fob, ordered a new one through BMW (wakefield) Got it to the car, put it in the keyfob slot, a picture of a orange key come up with a line through it... Tried it again, nothing on dash, no sign of any response what so ever. Bmw have told me its either the key or the car.....
But i left my car unlocked at the time of losing the key for about 5 days until i got the new key, now after reading a few forums some people say that the car is not shuting down into standby mode or what ever and may have drained the battery. The indicater is green on the battery, but got a battery charger (trickler) to see if it makes any difference. I know its not the car as my old one worked fine without any issues. Reading through the comments im wondering if this is a procudure bmw pull to rake in extra money. On purchase of the replacement key, was told it would code itself to the car using the chassis....

Etownbmw, 2019-09-30

I have a similar issue. I got a mobile start put in 2 years ago and have on occasion had the car not recognize the key...after a few tries it usually would work. Recently it stopped recognizing the remote entirely. Neither my main or the spare will get any lights to light up. They both unlock, lock and open the trunk but nothing in the ignition recognizes them. Suggestions? Car is a 06 330xi E90

By YOUCANIC on Jan 29, 2019


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