I have 2006 BMW 330xi whose car-keys (the automatic one) is dead. I think its batteries are dead. What are my options?

I tried driving around to charge it but that didn't work.


You should be able to get the battery changed, either by an automotive locksmith or by your nearest BMW dealer. The batteries are usually standard coin cells, but I wouldn't try changing one without checking first as you might find it will need to be re-programmed afterwards.

Try a locksmith first as they will probably be a lot cheaper than BMW!

  • I went to BMW dealer and got the battery changed for 20 bucks.
    – hari
    Jan 26 '12 at 15:28

Not sure on your 330, but on my E39 the the battery in the key is automatically recharged when it is in the ignition. There's a clever induction system that keeps the battery charged.

Your battery may not work that way and may have died.

You may also have somehow gotten the car security system to "forget" your keys, so it isn't responding to them any longer. Some BMWs have a process where you can re-learn your keys without needing to take it to the $tealer.

  • 1
    Note that rechargeable batteries are only good for so many charge cycles. Eventually the battery will need to be replaced. Jan 26 '12 at 13:36
  • True, although if his keys are only 5 years old the batteries are likely still ok if the are rechargeable. The batteries in my E39 keys will be 11 this spring and they're still working. Jan 26 '12 at 22:24
  • Actually, you sound like a lucky one. Rechargeable batteries in a daily use situation rarely last more than 5 years. However, on occasion, I have seen them go over a decade. It's rare however. :-) Jan 27 '12 at 13:00

I know this is an old thread, but I am disheartened by the inaccuracy of the replies. Your "key" which is really a fob, runs on a coin shaped battery, namely, a CR2032. They can be purchased most anywhere (picked my two-pack at W-Mart).

Google replacement of the battery for this fob and you will find more than adequate info on how to proceed - it is really very simple.

Good luck (you've probably solved your problem by now, but perhaps others can benefit - I know I did from other similar threads).


  • 1
    We appreciate the answer, but was wondering how your answer is really any different than the accepted answer (other than calling out the specific battery model, which it may or may not be)? Oct 18 '15 at 23:21

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