BMW Keys Replacement

Blog Post

Looking to replace your high security BMW keys? As a luxury brand, you may be receiving mixed messages about who is able to make replacements and what the process requires.

LAN Locksmith has the answers for BMW owners! And, as a leading auto locksmith in Louisville KY and surrounding areas, we’re here when you’re ready to get your replacement.

Transponder key replacement for BMW

If your BMW was made sometime between 1990 and the early 2000s, your car probably uses a transponder chip key. This style of key uses a high security blade with an attached fob at the top. Inside the fob, there is a transponder chip that communicates with your car’s operating system.

Earlier versions of these keys used a standard code that could easily be cloned onto a blank. Later on, car manufacturers started using rolling codes, which change with each use. Either way, transponder chip keys utilize fairly simple programming that can be duplicated by most auto locksmiths.

High security BMW key fob replacement

As car key security and design have advanced, BMW has moved away from transponder chip keys to keyless entry and start fobs. Unlike transponder chip keys, these look like a fob without a key (although there is a physical key housed within the fob in case the fob battery dies).

These devices have a more technologically complex connection to your car’s operating system than a transponder key. As such, they require a specialized programming machine and technical knowledge to duplicate. For this reason, you may find some auto locksmiths who are able to replace transponder chip keys but not modern BMW key fobs. 

What makes a BMW key high security?

Both BMW transponder chip keys and later fobs are considered high security, so what does that label actually mean?

When it comes to car keys, high security refers to the blade itself. These types of keys are laser cut by a specialized machine that offers better security. You can tell the difference between a high security key and earlier keys because the cuts will run down the midline of the key blade instead of on the edges.

Can you replace a BMW key on your own?

There are two reasons why BMW keys aren’t something you can replace on your own:

  • The high security blade. As we mentioned, high security keys are cut by a machine that you’re only going to find at an auto locksmith shop, some mechanics, or your dealership. When you order a key online, the blade won’t yet be cut to your specific car.
  • The technology in the fob. The second hurdle is the software inside the key fob. Some very early versions of transponder chip keys may be able to be duplicated without a programming machine, but almost every model after the 90s will require the help of a technician to duplicate new keys. Even if you manage to get the new high security key cut, without programming, it won’t be recognized as viable by your car.  


Why can’t all locksmiths duplicate BMW keys?

Maybe you’ve called around to a few locksmiths only to learn that they don’t duplicate BMW keys. This is likely because they don’t have the car key programming machine needed to code a blank key to your car. Or, they may have the machine but not the specific software released by BMW. So, they may be able to duplicate some kinds of car keys, but not European brands or luxury models.

Does your high security BMW key need to be replaced or fixed?

In some scenarios, your high security BMW key might not require replacement, but rather repair! Maybe the battery in your fob died or something electrical has been knocked loose inside the casing. In this kind of situation, our auto locksmiths may be able to get your fob in good working condition again to save you the expense of a full replacement. 

How long does BMW key replacement take?

In the case that you do need a BMW key replacement, you might be wondering how long it will take. Here are a few factors that could help determine the timeline:

  • Whether we have a blank key in stock. Here at Lan Locksmith we have an inventory of blank keys on hand that may work for your BMW model. But if we don’t, we’ll put in an order right away. Because we know exactly where to look and what to look for, we can get you the best priced blank key or fob as fast as possible.
  • The experience of the auto locksmith. A locksmith who is trained in car key duplication should be able to cut and reprogram a new car key in less than an hour. This is true for a range of different scenarios such as an all keys lost situation, broken key, and even retiring of old key codes. Our team at Lan Locksmith is experienced in all of your car key needs; there’s no duplication issue that can slow us down!
  • Your schedule. We’re open 7 days a week to be able to offer you car key duplication when it’s convenient for you. But, life gets busy! We’ll work with you to find about an hour in your day for us to reprogram your key on site.


Can you drive your BMW with a fob that’s not working?

Let’s say that you’re having issues with your fob and need a replacement. Can you drive your car to the nearest dealership or auto locksmith to get your keys replaced? 

The answer is: probably! Each BMW fob comes with a physical key that you can use to unlock your car. Even if your BMW has a push button start, you should be able to place the fob in the regular position and start the car. 

But, if you want to save yourself the hassle of driving out of your way to get your key replacement, call Lan Locksmith! We offer mobile services to all of Louisville and surrounding cities including Memphis, Borden, Crestwood, Hillview, and more.

We’ll come to you with everything we need to cut and reprogram your high security BMW key!