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      07-04-2013, 10:33 PM   #1
rallybull
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Unhappy Key fob wireless range is abysmally low?

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Never realized this before due to the comfort entry feature, but the other day I tried to unlock the car remotely using my key fob and it would not work. Realized that I needed to come as close as about 20-30 feet for it to work.

Also, panic mode is barely useful while trying to find your car in a busy parking lot since you got to be really close to the car for the alarm to go off.

With all my previous cars the key fob had a range of at least 100 to 150 feet.

Not sure if the key fobs are defective. Do you'll have the same observations too?
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      07-04-2013, 10:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tojo_m View Post
Never realized this before due to the comfort entry feature, but the other day I tried to unlock the car remotely using my key fob and it would not work. Realized that I needed to come as close as about 20-30 feet for it to work.

Also, panic mode is barely useful while trying to find your car in a busy parking lot since you got to be really close to the car for the alarm to go off.

With all my previous cars the key fob had a range of at least 100 to 150 feet.

Not sure if the key fobs are defective. Do you'll have the same observations too?
I consider it a security feature - if the transmission level is low, then the chance of thieves scanning codes is very low.

I guess I've never lost a car in a car park, but I'm relying on the Remote app to deal with that - flash the lights or sound the horn if I ever get that separated from my car.
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      07-04-2013, 11:00 PM   #3
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have you tried the top gear key FOB trick?
just put the key to your head

http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE
[u2b]http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE[/u2b]
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      07-04-2013, 11:26 PM   #4
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Lol does that really work? Ive had the same problem with my F30 I was kind of lost at one of those huge outlet malls and I was about 100ft away and the panic button wouldnt work, I tested the range and the car would not start beeping until about 15-20 away.
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      07-05-2013, 12:29 AM   #5
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yeah i've had the same issue, first world problems haha
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      07-05-2013, 03:28 AM   #6
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I came to know about the chin-antenna technique just a couple of hours back while I was researching more on this topic. Wonder if the brains get fried a bit each time you use the head as an antenna!!
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      07-05-2013, 06:13 AM   #7
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it should work for all key fobs! not sure on the brain part... used it many times and i'm still sane........ (as far as i can tell)
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      07-05-2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombat View Post
have you tried the top gear key FOB trick?
just put the key to your head

http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE
[u2b]http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE[/u2b]
I'll have to try this!
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      07-05-2013, 08:23 AM   #9
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.. and my gf calls me crazy every time i do the chin-antenna trick.. but screw her, it works

yes, i noticed the range is pretty weak but it doesn't bother me too much
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      07-05-2013, 09:58 AM   #10
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range is pretty far from my end... i furthest i have seen is about 30 yards
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      07-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tojo_m View Post
I came to know about the chin-antenna technique just a couple of hours back while I was researching more on this topic. Wonder if the brains get fried a bit each time you use the head as an antenna!!
+1 on chin technique
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      07-05-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wombat
have you tried the top gear key FOB trick?
just put the key to your head

http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE
[u2b]http://youtu.be/_jACSPipPSE[/u2b]
I love Top Gear. Clarkson never fails to amuse me.
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      07-08-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
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Same problem, except way worse. My wife keeps the key in her purse on her lap and she could not start the car this morning. I just checked both battieries and they read ~3v. I also bought a new battery just in case. Tested using both key fobs with the new battery and I can't unlock the car doors outside of 6 feet using the button. Can't re-lock the doors without standing 3 feet from the car. We'll be taking it to the dealer because this is obviously a problem.

Car is a 2012 328i built sometime in or right after April.
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      07-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #14
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My range is pathetic. Let us know if someone finds a fix
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      07-08-2013, 07:50 PM   #15
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btw lock range is much longer than unlock range. most likely security feature.
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      07-08-2013, 10:26 PM   #16
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I locked and unlocked my car from the eleventh floor of my office building to the third floor of the parking garage two blocks away, unobstructed save for the Window.
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      07-09-2013, 07:22 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bizzyqu View Post
I locked and unlocked my car from the eleventh floor of my office building to the third floor of the parking garage two blocks away, unobstructed save for the Window.
Michael Knight could do the same with his car remote, but then KITT drove over to him, to pick him up in the eleventh!
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      07-09-2013, 09:47 PM   #18
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BMW remote apps on IOS , unlock anywhere and lock from anywhere. Good tool to use if you have doubt you didn't lock the door.
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      07-09-2013, 10:29 PM   #19
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I feel better now!! I thought mine was an isolated issue!!
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      07-10-2013, 12:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrbob
BMW remote apps on IOS , unlock anywhere and lock from anywhere. Good tool to use if you have doubt you didn't lock the door.
The current BMW remote app will no longer unlock your doors. Instead it instructs you to call BMW Assist and provides you the phone number. Also with mentioning, the BMW Remote app does not enable the car alarm if you use the remote app. Not sure why. -- use an older version of the BMW remote app to have unlock capabilities.
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      07-10-2013, 11:18 PM   #21
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Another reason why the smartphone app needs to work correctly - including turning on AC via smartphone in the USA. Ridiculous it works in Europe and not USA.
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      07-11-2013, 01:15 PM   #22
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My FOB range also seem unusually short, always has been. When I've had non-F30 BMW loaners, the range has been longer. Also, the alarm "beep" seems to be quieter than other BMW loaners I have had recently. Neither has been a problem, just a minor quibble for me.
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