You may need to reset password if you are having login issues.
Due to software update, some stored passwords may be in a format not readable to server.

Are there are two or more types of keys for E28's?

E28 technical advice asked and given! Troubleshooting, modifications and more.
FastFiver
Posts: 1716
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: The murder mitten

Are there are two or more types of keys for E28's?

Post by FastFiver »

I have a smaller key for my E28 than I've seen used in other cars. I also can not use my key to activate the deadbolt in the driver's side door. I'm thinking I have some sort of backup or valet key... anyone know about this?
John in VA
Posts: 5012
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Leesburg, VA

Post by John in VA »

I thought there were the lighted key, rubber-headed key and headless key. I don't have the last style, but the other 2 operate the doors (+ deadbolt), trunk, and glovebox.
FastFiver
Posts: 1716
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: The murder mitten

Post by FastFiver »

John in VA wrote:I thought there were the lighted key, rubber-headed key and headless key. I don't have the last style, but the other 2 operate the doors (+ deadbolt), trunk, and glovebox.
mine has a small head on it.. maybe the size of a nickel. doesnt operate dead bolt...
RetiredDoc
Posts: 1200
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM

Post by RetiredDoc »

When delivered new in 1986, my car came with 4 keys.

1. lighted key which operates deadbolt function.

2. key with black plastic head (not lighted) which also operates deadbolt.

3. a valet key with a round head which operates door locks-not deadbolt-and will not open the glovebox door lock.

4. a wallet key with a tiny triangular head - functions like key 1 and 2
M635CSi
Posts: 1587
Joined: Apr 09, 2006 6:25 PM
Location: .From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by M635CSi »

RetiredDoc wrote:When delivered new in 1986, my car came with 4 keys.

1. lighted key which operates deadbolt function.

2. key with black plastic head (not lighted) which also operates deadbolt.

3. a valet key with a round head which operates door locks-not deadbolt-and will not open the glovebox door lock.

4. a wallet key with a tiny triangular head - functions like key 1 and 2
Are all these available from the dealer as a set?
KillerPM
Posts: 3200
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Contact:

Post by KillerPM »

RetiredDoc wrote:When delivered new in 1986, my car came with 4 keys.

1. lighted key which operates deadbolt function.

2. key with black plastic head (not lighted) which also operates deadbolt.

3. a valet key with a round head which operates door locks-not deadbolt-and will not open the glovebox door lock.

4. a wallet key with a tiny triangular head - functions like key 1 and 2
I can confirm this.

I still have all these keys.
Jeremy
Beamter
Beamter
Posts: 15841
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Connecticut

Post by Jeremy »

You guys are forgetting something that came on that original key ring. The key code tag!

My 535is had all the originals with it:

Image

I thought it was cool as hell to have the complete set.

I have no idea about current availability of the blanks or BMW's ability or willingness to cut them. The two "normal" keys are of course available and fairly easy to obtain factory cut, but I'm not so sure about the valet or wallet keys.

Jeremy
M635CSi
Posts: 1587
Joined: Apr 09, 2006 6:25 PM
Location: .From Sea to Shining Sea

Post by M635CSi »

Jeremy wrote:You guys are forgetting something that came on that original key ring. The key code tag!

My 535is had all the originals with it:

I thought it was cool as hell to have the complete set.

I have no idea about current availability of the blanks or BMW's ability or willingness to cut them. The two "normal" keys are of course available and fairly easy to obtain factory cut, but I'm not so sure about the valet or wallet keys.

Jeremy
Jeremy, I hope you haven't just given the keys to your car to everyone on the board. :laugh:
Jeremy
Beamter
Beamter
Posts: 15841
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Connecticut

Post by Jeremy »

No, let me make that clear before anybody gets any "smart" ideas. The keys pictured are to my 535is, which got into an accident, was sent off to the junkyard, and no longer exists (it was crushed).

So even if you were industrious enough to replicate one of those keys, they would do you absolutely no good in trying to get into one of my vehicles.

Jeremy
legolas120
Posts: 378
Joined: Jul 14, 2006 3:04 PM
Location: Springfield, MO

Post by legolas120 »

Jeremy wrote:You guys are forgetting something that came on that original key ring. The key code tag!

My 535is had all the originals with it:

Image

I thought it was cool as hell to have the complete set.

I have no idea about current availability of the blanks or BMW's ability or willingness to cut them. The two "normal" keys are of course available and fairly easy to obtain factory cut, but I'm not so sure about the valet or wallet keys.

Jeremy
This full set of keys AND tag came with my e28 as well, and I just bought it this year. Thank God for detail oriented PO's.
tsmall07
Beamter
Beamter
Posts: 12774
Joined: May 22, 2006 4:32 PM
Location: Springfield, vA

Post by tsmall07 »

is there any way to get the key code if you don't have the tag? i didn't even get the lighted key with my car :(
pdx 528e
Posts: 3034
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Post by pdx 528e »

tsmall07 wrote:is there any way to get the key code if you don't have the tag? i didn't even get the lighted key with my car :(
I think that if you rip open a lock cylinder, each of the "pins" has a number stamped on it.
MarkD in NJ
Posts: 865
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Mount Holly, NJ

Post by MarkD in NJ »

legolas120 wrote:
Jeremy wrote:You guys are forgetting something that came on that original key ring. The key code tag!

My 535is had all the originals with it:

Image

I thought it was cool as hell to have the complete set.

I have no idea about current availability of the blanks or BMW's ability or willingness to cut them. The two "normal" keys are of course available and fairly easy to obtain factory cut, but I'm not so sure about the valet or wallet keys.

Jeremy
This full set of keys AND tag came with my e28 as well, and I just bought it this year. Thank God for detail oriented PO's.
My 533i has all of the same keys and code tags that Jeremy has and one additional - a key with a small round rubber coated head that operates everything just like the keys with the larger heads. I use this one since it takes up a lot less space in my pocket than the ones with larger heads.

About 5 years ago I replaced the ignition lock cylinder in my E30 and the keys that came from BMW both have small round rubber coated heads.

Mark
BMWCCA2
Posts: 3599
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Central Virginia

Post by BMWCCA2 »

MarkD in NJ wrote:About 5 years ago I replaced the ignition lock cylinder in my E30 and the keys that came from BMW both have small round rubber coated heads.
That's just an older style. Probably the lock was old-stock.

The "valet" key is the all-metal round-head key, and is often stamped with the letter "I". The master keys for dead-bolt cars are stamped with "S". The valet blanks have a taller center ridge that won't allow them to fit in the trunk or glovebox lock. They are also shaved flat where the "nodes" are on the tip to activate the dead-bolt system so they can't do that function either, for security reasons if you leave you valet key with a valet and they were to copy it. They're also shorter, like all non-dead-bolt blanks stamped with "I", so there's not enough key to cut it to fit the deadbolt cylinders in the doors. All blanks are still available and can be ordered uncut or cut to code. Your code should be available from any BMW dealer (show proof or ownership) for cars of this age through the dealer computer system unless they were military purchase in Europe, any Euro-spec, or (in some cases) even if bought through the BMW NA Tourist Delivery Program. There should be no charge for supplying this information.
MarkD in NJ
Posts: 865
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Mount Holly, NJ

Post by MarkD in NJ »

BMWCCA2 wrote:
MarkD in NJ wrote:About 5 years ago I replaced the ignition lock cylinder in my E30 and the keys that came from BMW both have small round rubber coated heads.
That's just an older style. Probably the lock was old-stock.

The "valet" key is the all-metal round-head key, and is often stamped with the letter "I". The master keys for dead-bolt cars are stamped with "S". The valet blanks have a taller center ridge that won't allow them to fit in the trunk or glovebox lock. They are also shaved flat where the "nodes" are on the tip to activate the dead-bolt system so they can't do that function either, for security reasons if you leave you valet key with a valet and they were to copy it. They're also shorter, like all non-dead-bolt blanks stamped with "I", so there's not enough key to cut it to fit the deadbolt cylinders in the doors. All blanks are still available and can be ordered uncut or cut to code. Your code should be available from any BMW dealer (show proof or ownership) for cars of this age through the dealer computer system unless they were military purchase in Europe, any Euro-spec, or (in some cases) even if bought through the BMW NA Tourist Delivery Program. There should be no charge for supplying this information.
Phil, I'm not doubting your information, but this is interesting since both my 533i and E30 keys with the small round rubber-coated head are stampped with an 'I' but are identical to the master keys and work as master keys.

Mark
BMWCCA2
Posts: 3599
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Central Virginia

Post by BMWCCA2 »

MarkD in NJ wrote:Phil, I'm not doubting your information, but this is interesting since both my 533i and E30 keys with the small round rubber-coated head are stampped with an 'I' but are identical to the master keys and work as master keys.
Sure, but they don't activate dead-bolt locks. I'm not saying all "I" keys have the valet profile, just that some later valet keys may have the "I" profile since they don't need the extra length to activate the deadbolt feature. Does that make sense? The OE-BMW round-head WITHOUT the rubber cover is always a valet key with the raised center ridge.
DMNaskale
Posts: 1686
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Tampa Bay USA

Post by DMNaskale »

Since we are talking about keys, has anyone ever heard of this problem?

My wife lost the only remaining key to her '91 E30 recently (I had been bugging her for a while to go get some spares). She went to the local dealer and ordered new keys from the VIN. When they showed up, they would only work the ignition and the trunk, not the doors or glovebox. She went back to the dealer and they reordered them, same problem. The old key was the original with lighted head and it worked everything. WTF??
EuroShark
Posts: 1425
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Colorado

Post by EuroShark »

My 533i came with only one key, and it appears to be the valet key, but it operated all of the locks and ignition. I don't think it's stock though, it says "X59 BMW2" and "ilco" on it... I want a new key, this thing sucks to turn, it's high effort :laugh:
wkohler
Posts: 50579
Joined: Oct 05, 2006 11:04 PM
Location: Phönix, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Post by wkohler »

EuroShark wrote:My 533i came with only one key, and it appears to be the valet key, but it operated all of the locks and ignition. I don't think it's stock though, it says "X59 BMW2" and "ilco" on it... I want a new key, this thing sucks to turn, it's high effort :laugh:
That was probably made at a lock shop or hardware store. It may resemble the stock key, but it isn't It was probably made from a master key, but since every lock shop cannot stock every kind of key, that is the one you got. At least it works.
Dave_in_VA
Posts: 425
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Baltimore, MD

Post by Dave_in_VA »

All keys are available from your local dealer as long as the key codes for your year haven't been purged.

I have been able to get keys cut for as far back as 84.

Once you have the key code you can always get more keys from the dealer.

The prices are reasonable, the most expensive one is the lighted master it was like $30.
pdx 528e
Posts: 3034
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Post by pdx 528e »

Dave_in_VA wrote:All keys are available from your local dealer as long as the key codes for your year haven't been purged.

I have been able to get keys cut for as far back as 84.

Once you have the key code you can always get more keys from the dealer.

The prices are reasonable, the most expensive one is the lighted master it was like $30.
If I determine a key code and bring it in to a Dealer, can they then provide me with new keys? Last time I went they said I was SOL, and directed me towards the closest locksmith that still cuts steel keys.
Dave_in_VA
Posts: 425
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Baltimore, MD

Post by Dave_in_VA »

If you have the BMW key code they can order the keys.
stuartinmn
Posts: 8977
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Minneapolis

Post by stuartinmn »

Yeah, Ilco is a standard brand for aftermarket keys like you get from the hardware store.

Was the lighted key standard issue for all years? How about euro cars? I have all the other keys (and the tag) for my M535 but no lighted key. I suppose it could have been lost over the years but the previous owner was pretty picky about that sort of thing.
wkohler
Posts: 50579
Joined: Oct 05, 2006 11:04 PM
Location: Phönix, Arizona, USA
Contact:

Post by wkohler »

My parents bought both their 320i's new in 1980 and only the 320is came with the lighted key. Granted that was a 3 series, I would guess there is a chance some cars would not come with the lighted key.
pdx 528e
Posts: 3034
Joined: Feb 12, 2006 1:00 PM
Location: Idaho Falls, ID

Post by pdx 528e »

wkohler wrote:My parents bought both their 320i's new in 1980 and only the 320is came with the lighted key. Granted that was a 3 series, I would guess there is a chance some cars would not come with the lighted key.
Our 1983 eta (base model considering the 533i came out that year) had a lighted key. Perhaps they made them standard in the 5 series by then.
Post Reply