BMW uses a high-security car immobilizing system to protect its cars from being snatched away by random people and, of course, thieves. This ’car immobilizing system’ or simply called an immobilizer is an electronic device providing high-end security to the car. It consists of an instrument that is fitted to the car so that whenever a trespasser with a makeshift key tries to switch on the ignition button, a signal is sent to the system and it either sends off an alarm or simply refuses to start. In some advanced models of BMW, a satellite signal is triggered in such cases and the owner’s mobile receives a warning that his or her car has been hijacked.
The original electric immobilizing system was designed by St. George Evans and Edward Birkenbuel which they patented in 1919. It originally comprised of a 3×3 grid which was mounted on a panel inside the car. These were further connected to the spark plugs which are used to rev up the engine. Now if the wrong key went inside the engine, the battery switch was immediately activated, prompting off the alarms to blare. These ancient prototypes had to be set up each time the car was driven. However, the modern-day cars thankfully come with an in-built automatic immobilizing system that is activated on its own.
The antiquated system of functioning was to put a static code in the BMW FEM key that was readily read by the keyhole-barrel and was also matched with the Electronic Control Unit of the automobile. But this also ran the risk of being prone to copying by tech-savvy thieves. The recent models of BMW use a combination of rolling code and advanced encryption to combat this problem. BMW immobilizers (e.g. models EWS1, EWS2, EWS3) have been using the BMW Software since 1996. The car models that have these features are the models E38 (7xx) and 39(5xx), E36, E46 (3xx) and E53. Also some other cars that are the products of collaborative efforts of BMW are Range Rover, Mini Cooper and Rover 75. The BMW Key Programmer with BMW ISN Reader also is supported by notifications on the immobilizers EWS1, EWS2, EWS3 ETC.
If the car is not pre-programmed with an immobilizer, there is no need to worry. This is because immobilizers are also available as add-ons. However, these have to be pre-certified from the Motor Insurance Repair Centre at Thatcham in England. These must be self-arming immobilizers, with the capacity to intercept at least 2 circuits. These are the low-voltage ignition and the high-voltage fuel pump circuits. Immobilizers are to be inserted compulsorily in German cars from 1998 onwards, in the UK cars since 1998 and in Australian cars since 2001, as per the revised safety norms with BMW ISN Reader Software
As soon as the BMW FEM key is matched, an electromagnetic field triggers the microcircuit to operate which helps to flow a channel of current. This activates the key to respond and the binary code generated by the key is identified by the ECU. It is the ECU that validates the code’s authenticity and triggers the fuel engine to respond. Thus, the FEM key helps in a secured ignition of the engine.
The Key Programmer,BMW ISN Reader is compatible with unloaded PCF7935 and all kinds of authentic BMW keys.
The functions of the Key Programmer are:
- To facilitate the addition of new FEM keys, to identify the EWS format of the dump automatically with BMW ISN Software.
- To add the already used keys especially those with passwords
- To clean efficiently the used keys including passwords
- Rejuvenating the used key’s synchronization
- To access the vehicle’s keys so that the user is able to block or unblock its passwords
- To facilitate the access to data codes for each car so that the user is able to read or alter them according to his own discretion
- To enable alteration of the electric wiring system including the product manufacturing date, its number and so on
- Even changing the VIN number which is stored in the electric wiring system
- To be able to change the VIN numbers recorded in the key.