BMW 523i 1997 E39 Key Repair Notes

The remote key rubber pads wore down and water got in. This is the process to fix it:

Step 1: Replace key fob rubber buttons.

  • – Car Remote Key FOB 3 Button Rubber Pad Replacement For BMW E38 E39 E36 Z3 E46 for AU$1.33.BMWKeyFob
  • Had to cut it a little to fit the original Shell. Looks perfect.

Step 2: Replace Battery:

  • Genuine Panasonic Lithium Batteries CR2016 or CR2025 3V button cell coin battery. $4.95 for the pack.
  • Car is locking and unlocking again! Yay. However buttons are not working perfectly. Found the Carbon strips on the plastic buttons are no longer making the electrical connections.

Step 3: Touch up plastic wire connections on “32” plastic button.

  • Researched on bimmerforums and found:
  • Electric Wire Draw Circuit Repair PCB Conductive Glue 18ml. $5.50
  • Tried it but glue wasn’t flexible. As the plastic top needed the connection, the glu quickly broke off.
  • IMG_3153

Step 4:

  • Look for a replacement.
  • Found the exact same Key:
  • Found instructions for connecting  a new key:
  • Initialize rubber E38 Key
  • After much searching. I couldn’t find JUST the plastic. However I can get a replacement Key for:
    AU $18.90

Better image from Bimmer forums:

How To Initialize Old and New Style Remote Keys

Step 5:

Leave it be Until I can find a way to recoat the plastic. Or purchase the replacement Key.

I have another working key. So it isn’t a big issue. Just would be nice to finish this little project.

Little extra research:

  • $15 for a tube. But it can wash away with water. Not sure if it will last.
  • There are many options on (as always) and cheap, nothing that ships to AUS yet. Next time I head to US, might order one of these to fix it.
  • or next time in Dublin, maybe look for parts.


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