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Thread: E34 EWS keyless entry/alarm problem - alarm stays on

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831

    Default E34 EWS keyless entry/alarm problem - alarm stays on

    Well, the black Bavarian bomber has been running smoothly up until yesterday...in the Costco parking lot, no less... *sigh*

    1995 540i/6, build date 10/94, EWS with the 3 button (large roundel, and smaller unlock (left) and panic (right) buttons) rubber key fob.

    Symptoms: whenever the battery is hooked up, the alarm sounds and engine won't turn over. After the 30 sec "silence" (four ways still flashing), any attempt to start the car (key in posn 1 or 2) will re-trigger the alarm.

    When it first happened: After I unlocked the car normally with the key fob (usual double chirp) and then attempted to start the car -- car wouldn't start and the alarm triggered as soon as I moved the key to "1".

    Attempted actions to reset alarm:
    - pulling 32, 33, 34, 37 and as a last resort, the GM -- all to no avail, only disconnecting the batt neg terminal stopped things.
    - I had the car towed home, left the battery disconnected overnight (neg and pos veh leads connected), then tried things again this morning -- no joy, alarm triggered as soon as I hooked up the battery.
    - No number of tries with the lock, unlock or panic button on the remote would de-arm the alarm.

    I have not pulled the alarm system's fuse (the blue fuse visible in Shogun's post here) and don't know if that would help...all the other fuses don't stop the alarm.

    The key fob is #18 per the key diagram on RealOEM's parts listing, even though it indicates it should be #7 (I recall #18 was for 1/95 production date and later, but I think my Cdn-spec, 10/94 production veh may have been equipped with the later model EWS key system, I definitely have the #18 3-button fob.) I tried to re-synch the key using the ign pos 0-1-0, hold button 3, press button 1 three times, method, but again, no joy on that.

    At this point, since I am travelling and have other transportation, I will call on Otto's BMW in Ottawa (closest dealer to me in Kingston) and see if there is either (re?)programming of the key fob, that may be required to solve the problem -- since the car is quite immobilized, I can't bring it to the dealer (without getting a car dolly and towing it to the dealer -- hoping that's not required) and am hoping that they should be able to work something with the VIN. I was considering removing the alarm module and bringing it with me, but something tells me that if there is something that needs to be done to it (programming-wise) that it would have to be in the car anyway (for interaction with the rest of the EWS system)

    If anybody has any tricks or hints, I'd be rather grateful. I've run through about 10-12 searched posts here about other systems, (including Rockyfella's horror story...*ugh*) and there is nothing that solves my specific problem.

    Thanks guys, in advance.

    Cheers,
    Duey

    1995 540i/6 Sport Pkg w/E.A.T. chip and Nikasil injection Duey's Gallery

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    46

    Default

    The blue alarm fuse will stop the alarm and you will lose OBC function, however you will be able to drive it - the lights flashing will continue though.

    I had the same thing happen to me. I've just disconnected the alarm module (stops lights too) until the lack of OBC annoys me to the point of going to dealer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jofusfarr
    The blue alarm fuse will stop the alarm and you will lose OBC function, however you will be able to drive it - the lights flashing will continue though.

    I had the same thing happen to me. I've just disconnected the alarm module (stops lights too) until the lack of OBC annoys me to the point of going to dealer.
    Thanks, jofusfarr! I was thinking that would be the last resort to get the car at least functional. I can live without the OBC for a bit.

    By "disconnect the alarm", do you mean the 10-pin connecter beside the blue fuse? I figure BMW made it almost impossible to get to for a reason.

    I suppose central locking will be disabled as well...oh well, better than a 3800 lb lump of steel in my driveway.

    I have to say, the Bomber's been trouble free for the four years I've owned it, so this is small potatoes for something that puts a smile on my face and keeps it there.

    Cheers,
    Duey

    1995 540i/6 Sport Pkg w/E.A.T. chip and Nikasil injection Duey's Gallery

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    46

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    As far as I can tell, if you disconnect the module, only the OBC is disabled. Central locking still works on my car.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    831

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    Yup, you're right...at first I only pulled the fuse...lights didn't blink...a few days ago, started blinking, so I had to contort to undo the connector. Haven't talked with the dealer yet about the reprogram...

    Cheers
    Duey

    1995 540i/6 Sport Pkg w/E.A.T. chip and Nikasil injection Duey's Gallery

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    46

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    I have successfully disabled the alarm and restored OBC function.

    Apparently, you can disable the alarm by leaving the key in position 1 for an extended time (15 minutes I'm told, I did it an hour to be sure):

    I plugged everything back into alarm module (removed fuses for highbeams and hazards, also disconnected siren in the cowl - all to minimize disturbance), put down driver's window, got out, reached through and turned key to position 1 (only OBC lights up and steering wheel unlocks), and let it sit for an hour. Only the dash light and relay clicks are going off since fuses are pulled and siren is disconnected.

    Came back, dash light has stopped blinking. I reached through window and started car - no alarm, and none since.

    However, I don't believe you'll be able to initialize the key after this "emergency disarm" procedure - so you WILL need a dealer after doing this, as far as I understand. I'd rather not use that ancient alarm anymore...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6

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    Well, I just had the same thing happen to me today in the Canadian Tire parking lot in Aurora. Fortunately I live only 5 minutes away so my wife came and picked me up after I spent 30 minutes trying everything under the sun, including other remotes and keys, to no avail. In my case the engine turned over but it wouldn't start. Thank goodness for this web site because it only took me a couple of minutes searching to find this thread. I pulled the blue fuse under the rear seat as recommended and the car started right away with no flashing headlights and no hazard flashing. I'm going to miss having the OBC though so I'd appreciate knowing if anyone fixed the problem and if so, what was involved and what did it cost?

    Thanks again,

    CG
    Last edited by CanuckGold; 01-26-2008 at 01:56 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Aurora, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Here's an update on my problem. After trading private messages with jofusfarr for clarification, I performed the emergency disarm procedure to try and recover my OBC. I'd previously tried it with the hazard and headlight fuses removed but it didn't work. Unforunately it didn't work using his specific instructions either, ensuring all fuses are plugged in and turning the ignition key to position 1 for 15+ minutes. What did happen though was this time after removing the secret blue fuse, the car now wouldn't start. I was turning the air blue at this point but then thought I'd go through the disarm process again with the fuses out, because at least after the previous attempt the car had started. While this was going on I thought I'd just try the remote again as well and Hallelujah it worked. When I pressed the unlock button, the siren stopped. I put the fuses back in, the car started and the OBC was working. That was on three days ago and I haven't had a problem since, though I now lock the car with the key and only use the remote to unlock it.

    I must say that this web site is incredibky supportive and a mine of information. Recieving feedback for anyone having problems is extremely encouraging and I really appeciate that the knowledge is shared.

    CG

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

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    Hello, I know this is an old thread but it's very relevant to the problem I'm having now.
    Preparing the car for the MOT, I noticed a small build up of water in the battery area under the backseat so I took it out, gave it a charge and put it back in. My car hasn't started since. My key's do not have a remote button.

    The alarm sounds as soon as battery is connected if I have the green (36 radio) fuse in.
    With the fuse out, the alarm only sounds when key is turned.
    I tried the key position 1 for 20 mins but alarm does not stop and car is still immobilised.

    First time itís gone wrong in four years and Iíve never looked in the fuse box before. I'm following the instructions above but I must be missing something.
    - Would you telling me the disarm procedure? Iím not quite sure in what order to do things.
    E34 20i SE '95

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    4,374

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    Did you work out how the water got in there? It is bad news if it just turned up, you need to address the hole/leak, etc. Any water coming in the roof, pilars or into the floorpan area will end up there...

    Join the Aussie
    540i LE yahoo forum

    08/88 535i e34 M30+miller MAF, 'stiens, tints & teeth!

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