BMW E36 Blog

BMW E36 Keys

21st July 2008

BMW E36 Keys

posted in Interior, Technical Info, Tips & Tricks, Uncategorized |

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Today, I’ve learned about the wallet plastic key for the BMW E36 cars. These are some pictures of this emergency key. Take a look:

It’s just awesome. You’re supposed to keep this key in your wallet in case you’ve closed your car with your keys inside. So, this way, you will be able to use the plastic emergency key to solve your problem right away .. smart huh? I also learned that this key is supposed to be used only once, but I’m not sure about that. I mean about the key being disposable. anyone knows if this is true?

So, I looked in the BMW E36 owner’s manual and found that when you buy a brand new BMW E36, which is something I didn’t experience :p you get 4 keys for your car:

And these keys according to the E36 manual are:

1. Master key with battery-powered lamp (switch on by pressing the BMW symbol).

2. Master key without lamp.

3. Spare key to be kept in a safe place e.g. your wallet. This key is not intended for continuous use.

4. Door and ignition key: This key does NOT operate the locks for the glove compartment and the luggage compartment. This is useful e.g. in a hotel. wow! I love that 😀

Isn’t that great? Unfortunately, I only have one key for my car. I don’t have the other three. What about you guys?

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There are currently 16 responses to “BMW E36 Keys”

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  1. 1 On July 21st, 2008, Matt said:

    I was lucky enough to get two remote keys and one door+ignition key when I bought my e36. 🙂

  2. 2 On July 21st, 2008, DG888 said:

    I’ve got key 1 and 4..

  3. 3 On July 21st, 2008, ckw328i said:

    i have 3 for mine so looks like im missing one according to this !

    1, Master Key with light

    2, Spare Grey key

    3, Emergency plastic key

  4. 4 On July 21st, 2008, seth wakeman said:

    Here in the US, at least, the door & ignition key was known as the Valet key.

    So good call on the hotel!

  5. 5 On July 22nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @ckw328i, Matt: Lucky you!!! I want them too 🙁

  6. 6 On July 22nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @seth wakeman: That’s great!! I never thought this is available in the E36 cars. The guys at BMW are really brilliant.

  7. 7 On July 22nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @DG888: It seems I’m the only one here with master key only 🙁

  8. 8 On July 22nd, 2008, DG888 said:

    I recently checked for a replacement master key with my dealer… they quoted me $600 USD.. :-O

  9. 9 On July 22nd, 2008, Jim K said:

    Have you ever actually tried to lock your keys in your e36? Roll down a window (or use that spare key) and try it sometime, its a whole lot harder than you think…

  10. 10 On July 22nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @Jim K: I recall that I needed that once in my E30 (My previous car). But luckily, I leave a key at home just in case, so I used it and the problem was solved. In my E36, I didn’t… 🙂

    You mean the plastic key is hard to use? Why?

  11. 11 On July 22nd, 2008, Tony Sticks said:

    @DG888: Is it made out of gold? This is the only way to explain the price…

  12. 12 On July 22nd, 2008, Max said:

    Hey guys i have a question. Can I mount 18″ M6 rims on my e36?? I would like 2 know if someone could help me with this..! Thanx

  13. 13 On July 22nd, 2008, ckw328i said:

    i have a 95 328i with momo 18’s on (no probs no mods) not sure about the m6 ones though hope this helps

  14. 14 On August 3rd, 2008, ckw328i said:

    found another black master key with no light tucked away in drawer
    so think i got all 4 now does any one know if the grey one is the hotel key ?

  15. 15 On August 3rd, 2008, ckw328i said:

    found another black master key with no light tucked away in drawer
    so think i got all 4 now does any one know if the grey one is the hotel key ?


  16. 16 On August 6th, 2008, Andy Bonn said:

    speaking of key… what brand do you suggest for installing keyless and alarm for my bmw 318i sedan?
    when my lock on the drivers side stuck up. so everytime i lock the car i lock it at the passenger side…