Remote starting is becoming increasingly popular, especially during cold weather conditions when standing outside to warm up a car seems almost unbearable. However, not everyone knows how to remote start their BMW with key fob, which can be frustrating.
Fortunately, with this secret unlocked, you can do it effortlessly without any challenges. All it takes is a few simple steps and knowing your way around the key fob’s functions. Once done correctly, you’ll experience the convenience of warming up your BMW from inside while enjoying that cup of coffee without delay.
“The beauty of remote-starting your BMW with key fob lies in having full control of your vehicle’s temperature, regardless of where you are or what you’re doing.”
By mastering remote start with key fob, you also eliminate any chances of hurting your hands or fingers by getting into a cold steering wheel or seats during winter after parking your car for long hours.
In this post, we will explore different approaches to remote start your BMW using your key fob adequately. Whether you own a sedan or an SUV, whether it’s a recent model or not, these fundamental techniques remain the same—so let’s dig in!
Understanding BMW Remote Start
What is BMW Remote Start?
BMW remote start is a feature that allows you to start your car’s engine remotely using the BMW key fob. This feature enables drivers to warm up their cars during cold winter mornings or cool down the vehicle during hot summer days before getting inside.
To use this feature, the BMW owner needs to have a compatible key fob and activate the remote start function through the car’s iDrive display screen.
How Does BMW Remote Start Work?
The BMW remote start system uses wireless communication between the key fob and the car’s engine control unit (ECU) to allow remote starting. The ECU receives the signal from the key fob and starts the engine without turning on any of the accessories, such as air conditioning.
If the car has automatic transmission, the driver needs to ensure it’s in park mode before using the remote start feature. Additionally, for safety reasons, BMW remote start systems will shut off the engine if the car remains idle for too long or someone attempts to drive it without the presence of the actual key fob.
- Step-by-step guide:
- Select “Vehicle” on the iDrive display screen
- Select “Vehicle Settings”
- Select “Climate/ventilation”
- Select “Engine preheating/cooling”
- Select preferred time duration for remote start
- Press and hold the lock button on the BMW key fob until the lights blink twice
- Press and hold the circular arrow button on the BMW key fob until the engine starts
Please note that BMW remote start is not available on all models and may require additional customization. Before attempting to use the feature, make sure to read your owner’s manual for step-by-step instructions specific to your model.
“Remote starting technology offers drivers an added convenience, allowing you to get behind the wheel of a vehicle that has already been warmed up or cooled down, saving you time in inclement weather.” -Karl Brauer, Forbes Contributor
BMW Remote Start makes it easy for owners to remotely start their cars from a distance of up to 1,000 feet away, making it convenient to have a warm car ready during winter months or cool car in summer without having to experience temperature extremes while getting into the car.
Preparing Your BMW for Remote Start
Checking Compatibility for Remote Start
If you are wondering how to remote start BMW with key fob, the first step is to check your vehicle’s compatibility. Remote start functionality is not available on all BMW models, and even if it is, certain trims or years may have additional requirements.
To be sure, consult the owner’s manual or contact a BMW dealer directly. They will be able to advise whether your car can be remotely started and any necessary details to proceed.
Activating Battery Saver Mode
Before trying to remote start your BMW through the key fob, make sure that battery saver mode is enabled. This feature automatically turns off any electrical systems after five minutes of inactivity to conserve energy.
To activate this feature, press the engine start/stop button twice quickly without pressing down the brake pedal. The green light will illuminate on the dashboard indicating battery saver mode is active.
This is particularly important for remote starting as it decreases the likelihood of the battery dying and also ensures that there is enough power to start the vehicle once activated.
“Battery issue” was one of the main reasons cited for BMWs failing during ownership. Proper usage of features like battery saver mode can go a long way in avoiding such issues. -AutoWise
If the battery saver mode is not engaged, press the button again until the yellow light comes on. This indicates that the function has been turned off. If you forget to reactivate the battery saver mode, your car will sound three warning chirps when attempting to use the remote start feature.
Another useful tip to keep in mind before using your remote start feature is to keep track of the weather conditions. Extremely cold temperatures could cause your car’s battery to lose power faster, which may lead to difficulties in starting the engine remotely.
It is also worth noting that if you have a modern BMW with an electronic key fob, it will not work if it has been exposed to temperatures below -20° C. If this happens, ensure it warms up before attempting remote starting.
“A cold-weather battery can act as though it’s dead when temperatures dip below freezing, even if it’s relatively new or fully charged.”-Popular Mechanics
With these precautions taken care of, you are now ready to attempt to remote start your BMW through the key fob! Always double-check that the vehicle is parked securely and there is no one sitting inside before doing so.
Programming Your BMW Key Fob
The convenience of remote starting your car with a key fob cannot be overstated. It allows you to start your BMW from inside your home, without leaving the comfort of your seat or battling harsh weather conditions outside. Programming your BMW key fob will enable you to remotely activate essential functions such as locking and unlocking doors, activating panic mode, opening power tailgate, and more.
Locating the Key Fob Battery
If your key fob is not functioning correctly, it is necessary to check if the battery needs replacing first. A weak or dead battery can prevent the signal from transmitting between your key fob and car receiver.
To locate the battery on your BMW key fob, slide the release button located at the back, then pull off the back cover. The battery used in most BMW models is the CR2032. To replace the battery, insert the new battery positive side up into its designated slot, and snap the cover back into place. If replacing the battery does not solve the problem, follow the instructions below to program your BMW key fob.
Initiating Key Fob Programming Mode
To initiate programming mode for your BMW key fob, simply sit in the driver’s seat with all doors closed and place the key fob near the steering wheel. Start by inserting the key into the ignition barrel, turning it to the accessory position (position 1), and turning it back to off (position 0) ten times within fifteen seconds. On the tenth turn, leave the key in the off position. You should hear an audible tone indicating that the car has entered programming mode.
Note: In some BMW models, instead of turning the key to accessory position one may need to press the push-start button three times. Therefore, it is essential to consult the owner’s manual for accurate instructions regarding your model.
Programming Additional Key Fobs
If you are programming additional key fobs, press the unlock button on the first key twice and then immediately do the same with the second key. Repeat this process for all the other keys that you want to program. It is crucial to remember that a maximum of four key fobs can be programmed to each BMW car receiver.
Resetting the Key Fob
If you accidentally set up your key fob incorrectly or need to reprogram it entirely, resetting the key fob will erase any old settings stored in it. To reset your BMW key fob, position yourself inside the car, close all doors, and turn over the ignition ten times within fifteen seconds. Once done, leave the key in off mode. You’ll hear an audible tone once your car enters programming mode.
“The safety and comfort advantages associated with remote start and easy access make mobile apps and keyless entry popular among drivers.” -Brian Moody
The ability to remotely control your vehicle using a key fob has become standard practice across numerous car models today. These devices aid drivers in accessing car features without too much stress. By following the steps outlined above, you can easily program your BMW key fob and enjoy the convenience of starting your car from the comfort of your home without ever leaving your seat!
Activating Remote Start on Your BMW
Remote start is a convenient feature that allows you to start your car’s engine from a distance, even when you’re not inside the vehicle. This can be particularly useful during cold winter months or hot summer days, as it helps to regulate the temperature inside your car before you get in. BMW offers remote start functionality through its key fob and ConnectedDrive app.
Using the Key Fob to Activate Remote Start
The key fob is a small device that comes with your BMW and serves as a wireless transmitter for various features of your car. To activate remote start using the key fob, first make sure that your car is locked by pressing the lock button on the fob. Then, press and hold the circular arrow button at the bottom of the fob for approximately three seconds until the lights on your car flash. After a few moments, your car’s engine should start up and begin warming up or cooling down, depending on your previous settings.
It’s important to note that not all BMW models support remote start via the key fob. Those that do typically require that you’ve been within range of the car and have used the same key fob to initiate the last drive cycle. Additionally, some newer BMW models may come equipped with the Comfort Access keyless entry system, which allows you to unlock and start the car without having to physically use the key fob.
Activating Remote Start via BMW ConnectedDrive App
BMW ConnectedDrive is a suite of app-based services that allow you to remotely interact with your BMW from your smartphone or tablet. To activate remote start using the BMW ConnectedDrive app, first download and install the app on your device and log in using your BMW ID or connected service account. Then, navigate to the “Vehicle” section of the app and select “Remote Services.” From here, you should see an option to start your car remotely.
Just like with the key fob method, not all BMW models may support remote start via the ConnectedDrive app. Additionally, using the app requires that your car has been registered and activated for BMW’s Remote Services feature, which typically involves signing up for a subscription-based service plan. However, once activated, this feature can be incredibly useful in helping you stay connected with your car while on the go.
“In the case of remote starting, applications such as My BMW App essentially ‘talk’ to the vehicle via the cloud and tell it to start,” says Kieran O’Hara, a technician at German Auto Center in Austin, Texas. “If the vehicle is compatible there’s even two-stage heating so owners can get in to a warm car.”
- Make sure your car has enough fuel to complete its journey.
- Always lock your car before initiating remote start.
- Never leave your car running unattended for extended periods or overnight.
No matter what method you use to activate remote start on your BMW, it’s important to always take safety precautions whenever leaving your car running unattended. This includes making sure that your car has enough fuel to complete its journey, double-checking that the doors are locked before initiating remote start, and never leaving your car running for extended periods of time or overnight.
Common Issues and Troubleshooting
Key Fob Not Working
If your key fob is not working, it may be due to a dead battery or a malfunctioning fob. The first step in troubleshooting this issue should be to replace the battery in your fob. Be sure to use the correct type of battery as specified in your BMW owner’s manual.
If replacing the battery does not solve the problem, then there may be an issue with the fob itself. Try reprogramming the fob by following the steps outlined in your owner’s manual. If this still doesn’t work, then you may need to have the fob replaced by a BMW dealership or licensed mechanic.
“If your car won’t start with the fob, especially if you thought you might have left a light on or enough charge for any other electronic device, then the battery could just be flat.”
Remote Start Not Working
If your remote start feature is not working, there are several possible causes. First, make sure that you are pressing the correct button sequence to activate the feature. Check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to use the remote start function on your particular BMW model.
Another common cause of remote start failure is a weak signal from the key fob. This can be caused by low battery levels in the fob, or interference from other electronic devices. To address this issue, try standing closer to the vehicle when using the remote start feature, or moving away from other sources of electromagnetic interference.
In some cases, a malfunctioning ignition switch or starter motor can also prevent remote start from working properly. If none of the above solutions works, take your BMW to a qualified mechanic who can diagnose and repair these more complex issues.
“It is important to remember that in some markets, remote start will not be available as a standard feature on all BMW models.”
If you have recently upgraded your BMW’s audio or multimedia system, it is possible that your key fob and remote start features may no longer work properly. This can happen if the new equipment uses different wireless technology than your vehicle was designed for.
To address this issue, check with your mechanic or dealership to see if there are any software updates or compatibility patches available for your particular BMW model. Be sure to provide them with information about any aftermarket upgrades you have made to your car, so they can determine the cause of the compatibility issues more accurately.
“Incompatibility between parts of modern cars is an even bigger issue in 2021 due to how interconnected everything is now.”
System Malfunction Error Messages
If you receive a system malfunction error message when trying to use your remote start or key fob features, it could indicate a wide range of potential issues. Some common causes of these error messages include faulty wiring, damaged sensors, or outdated software in your BMW’s onboard computer.
To diagnose and repair these more complex issues, you should take your BMW to a licensed mechanic or dealership who specializes in working with European luxury vehicles like BMWs. They will have the specialized knowledge, tools, and diagnostic equipment needed to identify and fix these problems quickly.
“Modern cars rely heavily on various computers, sensors and modules throughout the vehicle to function correctly.”
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the steps to program a BMW key fob for remote start?
To program a BMW key fob for remote start, first, insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the accessory position. Then, press and hold the unlock button on the key fob and press the BMW’s start button. Release both buttons and wait for the car to start. Finally, turn off the ignition and test the remote start feature.
Is it possible to remote start a BMW without a key fob?
No, remote starting a BMW without a key fob is not possible. The key fob is required to send the signal to the car’s computer to start the engine. Without the key fob, the car’s computer cannot be accessed to start the engine remotely.
How do I troubleshoot if my BMW’s remote start is not working?
If your BMW’s remote start is not working, first, check if the key fob battery is low. If the battery is fine, try reprogramming the key fob. If that doesn’t work, check the car’s fuse box for any blown fuses. Finally, consult a BMW technician to diagnose and fix the issue.
Can I remote start my BMW from a long distance?
Yes, some BMW models allow remote starting from a long distance using the BMW Remote app. The app can be used to start the car from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. However, it’s important to note that remote start range may vary depending on the BMW model and the app’s capabilities.
What safety precautions should I take while using BMW remote start feature?
While using the BMW remote start feature, it’s important to ensure that the car is parked in a safe and open area. Never remote start the car in an enclosed area, such as a garage, as this can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Additionally, never leave the car running unattended and always make sure the car is locked before leaving.