BMW Remote Key Slot Replacement

Order parts for this project

  • BMW E90 3-Series (2006-11)
  • BMW E91 3-Series (2006-12)
  • BMW E92 3-Series (2007-13)
  • BMW E93 3-Series (2007-13)

    Project Time: 2 hours Tab: $200 TalentTools: Phillips & flathead
    Parts Required: Key Slot Performance Gain: Repair faulty key slot Complementary Modification: Replace Start Stop switch

The remote key slot replaces the ignition lock cylinder on 3-Series models prior to E90.

It is a slot, or docking station in the dashboard for the key. The key slot works as the ignition switch, notifying the car access module the key is inserted, then pressing the Start Stop switch turns the ignition ON. The key slot tends to wear out over time and can be easily replaced. When the key slot fails, you will remove your key from the slot and the instrument cluster will illuminate showing the key is still in the slot. The key slot should hold the key in place until you eject it, but as it wears the key can be removed with the slot still engaged. Therefore, creating the false key in ignition warning.

In this tech article I will go over how to replace the remote key slot on BMW E90 vehicles.

Work carefully when handling the ribbon cable harness.

Wayne R. Dempsey, Co-Founder & DIY Expert

Nick Czerula, DIY Expert

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Parts for this project

Parts for this project

Comments and Suggestions

January 15, 2022

We have a 2006 330i. We are assuming that the key switch is bad what other models would work for that car I have access to a 2001 and a 2012

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

2007- 2007 might be the same part #. After the LCI update it may change. With your vehicle info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. — Nick at Pelican Parts

December 10, 2021

I have a 2008 328ix. BMW. My Ken fob was stuck in the slot. When I disconnected the battery and put a new one in. Now when I put the fob in it starts and shuts off but the accessories stay on the car with fob out and I have a yellow key light on also in the cluster. Why is my acc staying on ?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Could be an issue with the harness or the CAS module. I would start by checking the vehicle for fault codes. If the system is not working properly, a fault code will be set. This will be your best bet when diagnosing. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 27, 2021

I replaced my fob key slot and it still won’t eject the key and turn car off.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Could be an issue with the CAS module. Check for fault codes. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 22, 2021

Have a problem with e90 2007 model car was idling and the key was pulled out. The car dont want to start but the dashboard lights is on

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Sounds like a fault with the key slot or the CAS. I would use a scan tool to check for fault codes as well as check if the key is still seen in when removed. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Is there a way to start the car when my slot is complete ly broken

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

No, unfortunately not. — Nick at Pelican Parts

2009 E90: Key slot failed and «locked» the key into the dash. My wife gave the key an extra «tug» and pulled the key from the dash. not an issue since the assembly failed and needed to be replaced anyways. However, now the car thinks the key is in the assembly still. even thought its not in the car. I assumed the issue was the key assembly. but the assembly has been replaced and the car still thinks the key is in the car. Any suggestions?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Did you check for fault codes? You may have to clear them. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 26, 2020

I’m not totally sure if this is my problem yet or not. My key fob has been dead for years, I’ve been just manually unlocking the door. However, today I washed the “dead” key fob and now all of sudden the fob isn’t clicking into the compartment. If I play with it for awhile, I can click it in & out and it’ll actually stay. But then it’ll stop again.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I would assume it is no longer being recognized by the vehicle and has failed. I would suggest getting a new one. — Nick at Pelican Parts

I pulled out the key fob on accident while charging my phone and my 2006 bmw s3 325i has now lost all power nothing works! Did I damage ignition causing my ibs to cut all power?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I don’t see how that would cause that, the phone should not draw that much power. Start by checking the fuses. — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 5, 2020

If I install a new key slot will it work with my existing key? Or does the key slot need to get programmed?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

It should plug and play. With your vehicle info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 4, 2020

My key fob is getting stuck in the slot. If I jiggle it and get it right it comes out. The keys work fine but have been getting stuck.
If I replace the key slot will I need to reprogram anything? the car starts fine with the key in but just wont eject the key fob.. what do you suggest I do? order a replacement key slot and good to go?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

It should plug and play. With your vehicle info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. — Nick at Pelican Parts

December 3, 2019

Thanks , it was the starter , combination of time , wear n tear and cold start fried it , used other thread to reference , swapped it out and I’m running fine now thanks

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the follow up. We appreciate it. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 30, 2019

Hi again , thank you for advice on changing the key slot, I was successful following your steps, swapped it out on Thursday, parked car in garage overnight as I didn’t want to chance it Friday morning before work, excitedly fri night left car outside overnight to test if it was issue, sat morning go to car, put key in it recognizes immediately , press start , super sluggishly it tries to crank over a couple times , nothing, did this a couple times maybe 4xs? And decreasingly less crank, till eventually I press start I hear an click, then a pause then another click at end of start cycle , but nothing else , all functions work, ie lights stereo , windows, put my jump starter on car , absolutely nothing , jumper cables to my other running vehicle , nothing , battery was replaced at bmw about 2 months ago , not that ! Is it the starter fried durning attempts to start?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Starter can be ruined if overrun. I would first check battery voltage and voltage drop to the starter. It is possible a cable is loose. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 16, 2019

Question . Have a 06 330xi sedan, been having this issue for months, seems if I park vehicle outside overnight , on colder nights , I get up in morning to go to work , unlock vehicle using fob , get in put key in slot and tells me no keykey with slash I will have to for the next 20 min or so continuously insert and eject key 100’s of times before it finally accepts and starts key ; replaced battery on all my fobs as it’s not specific to fob , and only when temperature drops below 0 degrees Celsius , all button functions work on fob but won’t allow to recognize key

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

This is likely a faulty key slot. With your vehicle info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. — Nick at Pelican Parts

September 3, 2019

Hi. bmw e90. my car reject the key. doen’t lock the key inside. it’s like when you put another key. doen’t show anything.
I do have powerr to all component in the car. all lights. put i cannot put ignition on. because it’s like you don’t put the carr in the slot. doesn’t lock the key in.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Do you have a second remote key to test? If not, you’ll have to try to use a scan tool to see if the remote key is recognized, if it is not, the remote key may be faulty. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Key slot keeps rejecting new key fob on2002 745li

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Does it work with other keys you have? — Nick at Pelican Parts

I have a 2006 bmw 325i if I chsnge the skit for the key fob to in can I use the same key with the new one

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Yes. — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 20, 2019

If I replace the key slot, will I be able to turn my car on right away? You mentioned that the keys needed to be reprogrammed by bmw dealer or someone with advanced bmw scan tool. I don’t want to change the part and then not be able to start my car to take it the keys to be reprogrammed to the new key slot.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

If just the slot, yes you should be able to start the vehicle. — Nick at Pelican Parts

September 22, 2018

If I am replacing the key holder, do I also need to replace start/stop switch?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

No. — Nick at Pelican Parts

BMW 2007 3 series convertible key slot is built in to the trim.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Key slot leaves my breaks on sometimes. Any ideas?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Can you restate the issue. Not sure I follow. — Nick at Pelican Parts

January 28, 2018

Good morning need some help here, I have the BMW E90 320d Msport reg FMO7JKN My fob key won’t go in the slot keeps popping back out, and I’m not sure what needs replacing and what and where I can find the part number please help thank you so much

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Sounds like a faulty key slot. With your vehicle info handy, give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. — Nick at Pelican Parts

October 25, 2017

Having trouble with ignition lock assembly in dash key holder. if I replace it with a new one will I have have it synced to my car. 2006 330i.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

The key slot should be programmed. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Has anyone installed a used ignition assembly from a junkyard or such? Let me know if it worked please!

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I think the slot will work from a used car but it might need to be coded to the vehicle using a BMW scan tool. — Casey at Pelican Parts

Do I need to have the dealer program the new key slot?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

A shop with an advanced BMW scan tool can do it. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Tried to jump start my car and when I put the key in all I get is a key symbol, radio works that’s it. replacement battery still same issue spare key same issue please help

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Sounds like the key is not being recognized. Check the vehicle for fault codes to see if start is being blocked by anti-theft. — Nick at Pelican Parts

hey. i put my key in to a key slot and it do not accept any key. i have tried and a key form different e90. i was looking for problems with autel diagnostic and again nothing. instrument cluster shows nothing :/ what can i do more?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

May be a fault with the CAS or key slot. I would scan the vehicle using an advanced BMW scan tool. There is likely a fault code the Autel can’t see. — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 4, 2016

I have a 2006 BMW-530XI. It just happens today that the key does not stay in the key slot and there is an error message with yellow key crossed out sign. I tried both of my key FOBs and they kept falling out. How to find out whether the key slot itself was wore out, or whether someone broke it? I let my brother borrow my car yesterday.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I would assume it is the key slot if both keys pop out. You can check for fault codes using a bMW scan tool. If no codes are present, it is likely a mechanical issue with the key slot. — Nick at Pelican Parts

January 27, 2016

need a spare key for my 325 s1 2009 model

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 21, 2015

Managed to change my key slot without removing hazard light or any other trim. Using just a couple of screwdrivers. 😀
Your site helped me both diagnose and fix problem 👍 keep up the good work

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 20, 2015

Do i need to take the keys to the dealer so i can get them programmed — Many thanks

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Yes, or a shop with an advanced BMW scan tool. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 19, 2015

do u need to program the new key slot or reprogram the key so the key can work with the new key slot . thank u

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

GOing by memory, only the keys have to be programmed, not the slot. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 19, 2015

do u need to program the new key slot or reprogram the key

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

GOing by memory, only the keys have to be programmed, not the slot. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 17, 2015

will this part work on the right hand drive version of the car?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

The article may, but not sure on the part. You will need to check with your vehicle VIN and the part number. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 12, 2015

wow i just had my lockl assembly replace at nalley bmw on decatur st, in Atlanta they charged me 339.00 for a 30mins job just totally ripped me off, and to see this guide that is such a simple repair just makes me sick

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I wouldn’t say they ripped you off. Working on your own vehicle saves a lot of money, mostly due to lack of overhead. No insurance, rent, benefits, taxes, employees, expertise, tools, etc etc. next time, check here first and see if maybe we have something that may save you time and money. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 1, 2015

I have 2006 bmw 325 xi wagon key symbol comes on dash plus I replace alternator and starter still dash lights flicker car goes dead what could be problem

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

A faulty battery cable. I would voltage drop the battery cables. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Hi, question, if I am only replacing the key slot with a new one and
not replacing the old ribbon cable, do I have to remove the dashboard trim strip?

I am guessing I don’t have to, right?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I don’t know how else you would get to the connector, the strip has to come off. — Nick at Pelican Parts

September 18, 2015

Thanks for the info but facing problem nearest dealer that can read codes is 3 hours away and car isn’t running currently.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

maybe check with an independent shop. — Nick at Pelican Parts

September 17, 2015

I have an 08 335xi, I too have had the key with slash through it. Tried both keys happened suddenly. Had mechanic take it apart and he assumed it was the key holding part. Ordered it and hooked it up. Now it still won’t work. You can wiggle it some and the car will start every now and then. Starting to think maybe the plug? Any suggestions?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

You will need to check the vehicle for fault codes to see what is set. If the key is at fault, a code will be stored noting that. It could be the slot as well. — Nick at Pelican Parts

How to replace battery in key fob for 2006 325i?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

If you have comfort access, the rear cover slides off once the emergency key is removed. If you do not have comfort access, the battery is not replaceable. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Hi i just recieved a similar part for my e87 slightly different. should the key fob lock into the slot before it is installed ? The key is not locking into the part i have purchased and i don’t want to replace the old one if this one is faulty too. Thanks

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

I don’t believe so. However, I have never tried. I think the locking is an electrical function. — Nick at Pelican Parts

There is nothing wrong with the keys. The only problem is that the In-dash key holder does not take in the key. If the key is pushed and held, the car starts. Once the car starts it works normally, but the key does not stay in the key holder.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

You tired a second key and the warning light is ON? To be sure, you will need to read the fault codes using a BMW scan tool. Otherwise you are guessing. The light you have means the key is wrong. At this point some testing needs to be performed. — Nick at Pelican Parts

I have a 2006 330i. As of today, the keyless remote malfuntion is showing with a yellow key crossed out sign. I could enter the car the key works for entry & locks but the key did not go all the way into the slot. If the key is pushed in half way, the car can be started and now the car runs without the key in the slot. Is this also a «in-dash key holder» or remote key slot issue? Please help!

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

That message means the vehicle has detected the wrong remote key. Do you have a second key to try? — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 5, 2015

Actually no.it was baught at a bmw junkyard.it was cheaper.it came with the whole peace wich i installed perfectly but none responce.could it be the battery to remote is dead?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

If that key is not for your vehicle, it will not work. As far as the key slot, I don’t have any experience with installing a used one. — Nick at Pelican Parts

February 3, 2015

I just did everything step by step and it shows the key sign with a check over it and it won’t start the car. Must it be programmed or what?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

The key isn’t being read. Did you use a new part? — Nick at Pelican Parts

January 22, 2015

Can this be done by just «Working at the key slot, lever out the trim cover using a plastic prying tool. The cover is held in by three retaining tabs, you’ll want to lever at each side of it to detach it.» AND not removing any other trim piece?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

No, you need to have access to the connector. The other panel has to come off. — Nick at Pelican Parts

December 10, 2014

Hi. That was some great info. Thank you. But I have one question. Once the key slot is changed. Does the car have to be recoded? Once again thank you.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Not for the key slot. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 21, 2014

I have a 06 BMW 325i. My key slot just does not completely eject the key. I has happened a few times. How would I check the power and ground to the key slot. Thanks for your help!

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

You will need a DVOm and a wiring diagram. I would grab a repair manual. It will have the wiring diagram. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 20, 2014

My key has got stuck a few times. Every now an then when I turn the car off the key will not eject and car acts like it lost power. so I have to just open the door then shut the door Then the car acts normal and I can eject the key. Do you think if I replaced mine this will fix this problem.

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

You didn’t mention what vehicle you have. Most times when the slot if faulty, it does not hold the key securely, it will come out will little effort. Your issue could also be the slot, it would be worth checking power and ground to the key slot. — Nick at Pelican Parts

November 2, 2014

Just replaced my key slot. Simple job made super easy by these instructions. Thanks

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. — Nick at Pelican Parts

October 27, 2014

Hi where abouts are you guys located?

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

October 13, 2014

Great instructions, just finished the job in 40 minutes and saved over $200

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Is this the part number for this project? It wasn’t specifically called «remote key slot»

Part #: 66-12-9-172-371-M9
Ignition Lock Assembly — In-Dash Key Holder

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

SOunds right. To be sure; Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part. — Nick at Pelican Parts

Awesome write up! Replaced quickly and saved a bunch of $$$! Thanks!

Followup from the Pelican Staff:

Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help. — Nick at Pelican Parts