How to Use a BMW With Comfort Access Technology

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The BMW comfort access technology was introduced in 2002 as a keyless remote system that uses sensors to detect where the owner is in proximity to the vehicle within 1.5 meters (about 5 feet), allowing him or her to access the car and trunk virtually hands free. Since the technology has improved since 2002, rather than pushing the unlock button on the key to unlock the car (keyless entry), the owner simply has to approach the vehicle, put his or her hand on a door and it will unlock. The back of the car has sensors underneath the rear bumper, and when the owner waves a foot underneath it, he or she can access the trunk.

Also, when the smart key system has detected the driver in the cabin, it unlocks the stop/start button, which engages or disengages the vehicle. If the system detects that the owner has left the vehicle, he or she can lock it by simply touching the door handle from the outside.

Lastly, the smart key can save up to 11 personalized settings for the seat, steering wheel, and mirror adjustments. Whether you have a newer model BMW or an older one, the information below will highlight the steps you need to take in order to use your comfort access technology hassle free.

Method 1 of 1: Using your BMW comfort access technology

BMW smart key

Step 1: Lock and unlock doors. If you have an older version BMW that does not have door sensors, you will have to click the respective button for each function.

To unlock the door, simply touch the top button with the arrow. Once you hear the car beep two or three times, the driver’s side door will unlock; touch the button again to open the passenger doors. In order to lock the doors, click the center button, which is the round BMW logo.

drivers side with comfort access

Step 2: Approach the car and grab the handle. Simply approach the vehicle with the smart key in one of your pockets and touch the inside of the handle to unlock the door.

To lock the door again, exit the vehicle with the key in your pocket and touch the ridged sensor on the upper right side of the handle and it will lock. If you have more advanced comfort access technology on a newer BMW model, you do not need to press the buttons on the key, but the option is there if you prefer.

  • Tip: If you’re not sure of the level of comfort access technology your car is equipped with, consult your vehicle’s manual.

Step 2: Access the trunk on older models. Simply press the bottom button on your smart key, which should show a picture of a vehicle, and the trunk will unlock.

foot underneath trunk

Step 4: Unlock using comfort access. Approach the trunk with the smart key in your pocket, wave your foot underneath the back bumper, and the trunk will unlock.

Step 5: Start your vehicle with older version. With key in the ignition with the buttons facing upwards and with your foot on the brake, press and release the “Start/Stop” ignition button.

This button is to the right of your steering wheel and, after pressing it one time, the vehicle should start.

console and smart key

Step 6: Start car with newer version. With the smart key in your pocket in the center console and with your foot on the brake, press and release the “Start/Stop” button.

This is to the right of your steering wheel. Press it one time and the vehicle should start.

Step 7: Stop with an older version. With your car parked and the parking brake engaged, press and release the “Start/Stop” button one time.

The engine should turn off. Once the engine is off, press inward on the key first, and then pull outward to release it and put it in a safe place so you do not misplace it. Don’t forget to lock the vehicle by touching the center button on the smart key when you leave.

Step 8: Stop with newer version. Park your car and engage the parking brake and press and release the “Start/Stop” button one time.

Make sure you take your smart key with you when you exit the vehicle, and don’t forget to lock it by touching the top right part of the handle from the outside.

BMW’s Comfort Access technology is useful to anyone when they are bringing home groceries and have their hands full, or even just for general ease and convenience. If you are having issues with your Comfort Access technology, Ask a Mechanic for some helpful advice and be sure to have your battery inspected if you notice it acting unusually.


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