Q: If I replace the ignition switch, can I use my existing BMW Keys with remote and valet key?

asked by on September 05, 2016

2007 BMW X3. I believe my ignition switch has gone bad. Turning the key 'ON' lights the dash and the accessories work (radio, A/C, etc.). But turning the key to the 'start' position has no response. I have a remote starter installed on this car and it starts and runs fine using the remote starter, so the starter is ok. Also when remote started, and I insert the key and turn the ignition 'ON', then press the brake pedal (which shuts off the remote starter), the car continues to run with the ignition switched 'ON'. So the ignition switch works in the 'ON' position for running and accessories. It seems only to be defective in the 'Start' position (at least for now). So my major question is, if I replace the ignition switch, can I use my existing BMW Key Fobs (with transponder chip) and the valet key (with transponder chip) with the new ignition switch? Or, do I also need to purchased new BMW key fobs and valet key and have them 'programmed' into the vehicle? Thanks!

My car has 95000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Yes, you can. The ignition switch is separate from the EWS system, so replacing the switch will still allow you to use the current keys you already have. Only if you have to replace a faulty key or EWS module will you have to possibly order all new keys.

One other possibility is there is an EWS issue where the key is not being properly identified not allowing the starting sequence. This would mean ordering an EWS module or keys from the dealer. Try out all keys you have to see if any will commence in the starting sequence. If none of the keys will start the vehicle, faults should be checked to ensure there are no EWS key identification faults. If no faults are present, then most likely the ignition switch is faulty. If there are key identification faults, then it’s either a key, module, or receiver that is the issue. You may want to consult with a mechanic who has the equipment to read out the Powertrain and EWS fault memories before replacing parts.

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