How to Start BMW When Key Fob Battery is Dead

If your BMW key fob battery is dead and you need to start your car, you can follow these steps:

  1. Locate the integrated physical key:
    Find the mechanical key hidden inside the key fob. Most BMW key fobs have a small release button or latch on the side or back of the fob. Press this button and pull the physical key out of the key fob.
  2. Unlock the car:
    Use the mechanical key to unlock the driver’s side door. Insert the key into the keyhole and turn it to unlock the door. Some BMW models may have a hidden keyhole beneath a door handle. In that case, pull the door handle first to access the keyhole from underneath.
  3. Locate the key slot and/or start/stop button:
    Depending on your BMW model, you may have a key slot (E Series) and a start/stop button or only a start/stop button inside the vehicle (F, G, and I Series).

    If there is a key slot, insert the key fob with the dead battery into the slot and start your BMW as usual.

    If your BMW has only a start/stop button, place the key fob next to the designated spot for keyless starting (usually on the right side of the steering column). The proximity should allow the car to recognize the key fob even with a dead battery.

  4. Press the brake pedal and start the engine:
    While pressing the brake pedal AND holding the key fob against the marked area at the steering column, press the start/stop button or just press start/stop if the key is in the slot to start the engine. The car should start even if the key fob battery is dead since the vehicle’s system can recognize the key fob’s transponder signal.

Remember to replace the battery in your key fob as soon as possible to regain full functionality. It’s generally a simple process involving opening the key fob case and replacing the battery with a new one, typically a CR2032 or CR2450 lithium coin battery. Here’s the complete guide:

How to Replace a BMW Key Battery – Guide for All Models 

In case your BMW is equipped with a digital key, you can use your cell phone or key card to unlock and start your BMW. Of course, you can also unlock the car via the My BMW app with a valid ConnectedDrive contract.

Georg Meier

BMW technician since 1996, began his automotive journey in 1993 as an apprentice mechanic at Automag, the world's oldest BMW dealership located in Munich. With years of experience and dedication under his belt, Georg has garnered a wealth of knowledge about the intricacies of BMW vehicles. His profound love for the brand led him to found BIMMERIST website, where he now shares his expertise and insights with fellow enthusiasts.

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