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Thread: Wireless Key Takes a Bath

  1. #1

    Wireless Key Takes a Bath

    Yesterday the wife calls me at work and says, "Close the door, and try not to get mad." She expected me to turn the air blue and go into a major rant. She told me she found my wireless key in the bottom of the clothes washer. Surprising her, I said it should be OK.
    Well that was the correct answer, and it works just fine right now. Good news was I was able to find out how that gismo is supposed to work. First, both the owners manual and service manual kinda sorta suck. You have to pry open, not "push up" the door to the battery. A small knife works great. Also, if your key battery is stone cold dead, you are NOT stuck. The bike will start if you put the key next to the antenna under the fender. Tested the emergency key and it does work as advertised. The radio key is kinda sorta water proof, just don't let it fill up with water. When I replaced the battery, I blew out any drops of water with a hair dryer. Then I put the disassembled key in a tupperware container filed with dry rice. It had to sit most of the day and I put an electric heating pad around it it to help the drying process.

    Bottom line is the wireless key system is a nice toy, but I wish I had just an old fashioned key.
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Good info
    More and more vehicles will be using this feature.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  3. #3
    Registered User lkraus's Avatar
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    You said and did all the right things. I'm glad you saved your key and marriage especially since you are probably the one that did not empty your pockets.

    The most important part of saving dunked electronics is getting the battery out ASAP. Electrons taking the short circuits through water drag along metal from the conductors, leaving behind conductive traces even after the moisture has been removed, resulting in a unrepairable device. This is especially important in small devices like this where the components are tightly packed together. Removing the battery stops the current immediately and greatly increases the chances of recovery.
    Larry
    2006 R1200RT

  4. #4
    Registered User zenwhipper's Avatar
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    A quick fix is to throw the device in a ziplock with uncooked rice. Let it sit for a few days. The rice will absorb the water - acting as a desiccant.
    I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.- Mark Twain
    Past bikes: 2001 Kawa ZR750S, 2002 VFR, 2006 V-Strom, 2008 FJR

  5. #5
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    Great advice, guys. You know, I've said some unkind things about BMWMOA, but stuff like this forum makes it worth every cent.

  6. #6
    Registered User beemermyke's Avatar
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    So THAT'S how you get the battery cover off! I was going to replace the battery "just because", and the booklet was of no help whatsoever.
    Motorcycling is my passion because golf is far too dangerous!
    2016 R1200GSW

  7. #7
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    Just replaced the battery in my keyfob a week or so ago. It was frustrating, until I realized that "pushing the top up" really means "UP" with the key laying flat on the table with the pushbutton key release on the top. Prying it open with a pen knife or small screwdriver may damage the seal to the battery case.
    J Goertz
    BMW MOAL
    2015 BMW R1200RT
    2012 Triumph Bonneville SE

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenwhipper View Post
    A quick fix is to throw the device in a ziplock with uncooked rice. Let it sit for a few days. The rice will absorb the water - acting as a desiccant.

    Save those silica gel packets that come with new electronic products and put them in a ziplock with the wet item.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jgoertz View Post
    Just replaced the battery in my keyfob a week or so ago. It was frustrating, until I realized that "pushing the top up" really means "UP" with the key laying flat on the table with the pushbutton key release on the top. Prying it open with a pen knife or small screwdriver may damage the seal to the battery case.
    LOL I think that BMW service and owner manuals were crafted by computer translation from the original German. Having broken untold amounts of things by applying brute force I was hesitant to mess with the keyfob. I too had to apply a pen knife to get it open.
    Old But Not Dead
    Semper Fi

  10. #10
    DesmoDerek desmoderek's Avatar
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    Great info indeed. Used the desiccant bags and dry rice in a ziplock a few times to save iPhones from the trash can.

    My only question with reference to the keyless key, is what are the other two buttons for? They seem to have no purpose I can find.
    Andrew
    MOA # 210167
    Mars Red RT White Multistrada 1200 Enduro Bonbler Black i.e. Bonneville Black Scrambler (carb)

  11. #11
    Registered User c4golf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by desmoderek View Post
    Great info indeed. Used the desiccant bags and dry rice in a ziplock a few times to save iPhones from the trash can.

    My only question with reference to the keyless key, is what are the other two buttons for? They seem to have no purpose I can find.
    I believe they use the same fob across the models. On my K16, BMW button is to lock the side cases and second or double press, sets the alarm. Other button disarms and unlocks cases.
    Tim C
    2016 K1600GTL
    Matte Ocean Blue

  12. #12
    Registered User wbrownell9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewbacca View Post
    ... The bike will start if you put the key next to the antenna under the fender. ...
    Antenna is in a different location for each of the bikes that have keyless. K16 is by the gas cap; GS/GSA is under the rear fender, and the RT is behind the dash. Why BMW couldn't pick one easily-accessible location for all bikes baffles me. The K16 location makes the most sense to me, RT the least.
    2016 R1200 GSA

  13. #13
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wbrownell9 View Post
    Antenna is in a different location for each of the bikes that have keyless. K16 is by the gas cap; GS/GSA is under the rear fender, and the RT is behind the dash. Why BMW couldn't pick one easily-accessible location for all bikes baffles me. The K16 location makes the most sense to me, RT the least.
    On the R1200RS it's were the rider seat meets the pillion seat. I tried the plastic emergency key at this spot to make sure it worked.
    Lee
    2016 R1200RS
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes: 2011 K1300S, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  14. #14
    Thanks for the informative thread. Good things to know.

    Nevertheless, whose idea was to make a motorcycle without a key? I rather have a key and depend on myself than a little black plastic box and depend on...come to think of it, I have no idea who is responsible for starting my bike.
    "...whether is clear to you or not, the universe is unfolding as it should"

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