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When I picked up my '05 MINI Cooper from the dealer, I was given two remote keys and a wallet (or I was told "emergency" key). I was told that the "emergency" key was to be used only in an emergency and that it was set to deactivate (or not work) after 5 or so uses.

Does anyone know whether this is in fact the case? I know of others with such a key (e.g., for a BMW) for whom the key has worked regularly, much more than 5 times. I would rather be able to keep this with me to use in emergencies without the "fear" of it deactivating at some point.

Thanks!
 

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Sounds like crap to me! When I picked my 05 MCS up I too was given one and just told it was for emergencies. I was definately not told that it would not work after five uses. That sounds ridiculous!
Heck I thought it waw pretty cool to have a back-up...it's in my wallet right now.
 

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well on my 03 MCS ive used the emergency key more than 5 times. infact i used it about 20 times in one day (key sharing at a MINI festival).. ive had no probs... if it deactivates it would have to hold a chip or such in it. otherwise its just a dumb piece of plastic..:)
 

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As far as I know the key DOES have a chip inside which the car recognises
 

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The emergency key does have a chip which the car recognises. I'm fairly sure that neither the chip nor the car counts the number of uses.

However, the key itself is plastic and will wear out much faster than the brass ones, so you shouldn't use it lots, especially as you have to use it 3 times each time you use the car (unlock door, operate ignition and lock door) while the keys with a radio remote are usually only used once.

If you want a wallet key that you can use lots, get a copy cut in brass and keep the two keys on the same ring. The chip in the plastic one will be close enough to the lock for the car to see it.
 

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PMOhio said:
When I picked up my '05 MINI Cooper from the dealer, I was given two remote keys and a wallet (or I was told "emergency" key). I was told that the "emergency" key was to be used only in an emergency and that it was set to deactivate (or not work) after 5 or so uses.

Does anyone know whether this is in fact the case? I know of others with such a key (e.g., for a BMW) for whom the key has worked regularly, much more than 5 times. I would rather be able to keep this with me to use in emergencies without the "fear" of it deactivating at some point.

Thanks!
I'll try to shed some light on this.
Normal keys have a metal part which fits the steering lock, its a bi metal construction , so it can collect a current from the lock mechanism and so keep the key battery charged.

Lets look at the emergency key, its as someone else says plastic, and as such will not conduct electricity (easily), and so will not be able to charge up by using it in the ignition. It does have a chip in it, its about the size of a grain of rice, and a small one at that. It also has a power supply of sorts, but the communication with the car when it gets used takes a small chunk of its life away. I think 5 times is a little on the low side, I've used the emergency key for almost two weeks when I lost my main key, (It took that long for a replacement to arrive) and it worked faultlessly. thats around 30-40 operations of opening doors, starting car and locking doors doors again.

Its the same key as supplied with the BMW's (or those that have dont have keyless entry anyway), and I've not heard of any limited life with them. The Handbook would warn against it if it was the case, otherwise there would litigation from , er somewhere across the pond.
 

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I don't understand this. How can a chip in a plastic key commumicate with the car? I was always under the impression that the plastic key was only able to unlock the doors, not start the car as well. :confused:
 

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Hickster said:
I don't understand this. How can a chip in a plastic key commumicate with the car? I was always under the impression that the plastic key was only able to unlock the doors, not start the car as well. :confused:
Its an emegency key, to get you to your dealer in an emergency, so you can order a new key and wait 2 months for it to arrive. It does everything a normal key does for a while.

But if you lose your wallet with the key in it, now that would be a problem:eek:

Footnote :
All ovet the country, maybe even the world, MINI owners are checking out the little plastic keys, even here :cool:

Its yet another 'Tipping Point' (obscure book reference just put in to see if anyone else has read it :eek: )
 

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Yes, I DID just pull out my '05 emergency key to look at it.

I vote "No" on the embedded chip, there isn't one. Clearly, this is just a cheap, plastic key to be used on a limited basis. And, I'm sure it will last more than 5 uses.

Kind of nice, fits in the wallet, won't tear the wallet as easily as a metal one would.
 

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There is an embedded chip.. transponder type otherwise the car wouldn't start!! The immobaliser wouldn't let ya!
 

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Wallet & Emergency Key stolen

goonery said:
But if you lose your wallet with the key in it, now that would be a problem:eek:
Greetings oh great one, a friend of mine HAS had his car broken into, rear window smashed, and his wallet (complete with emergency key) was knicked; chances are the scallies who did it will recognise an 05 Black Cooper with window tints and silver union jack roof if they see it again .... plus the key has the MINI logo on it .... so, can he get the car / keys reprogrammed ?
 

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goonery said:
I'll try to shed some light on this.
Normal keys have a metal part which fits the steering lock, its a bi metal construction , so it can collect a current from the lock mechanism and so keep the key battery charged.

It does have a chip in it, its about the size of a grain of rice, and a small one at that. It also has a power supply of sorts, but the communication with the car when it gets used takes a small chunk of its life away. the pond.
Well, first off, unless you have a different key to the one I've used, they take "button" batteries, CR2025's I believe, which are not rechargable. And a bi-metal key? bi-metal or not, to do what you're describing would require the two metals to be insulated and again, the key I've used doesn't exhibit this sort of construction.

Second, automobile security keys of this type use mini-transponders which don't have a power source of their own, but are activated by a transmitter in the vehicle. The transmitter sends out a code to the chip, which activates the transponder, recognizes the transmitter and "answers" it, thus enabling the ignition system. I had a third party system in a vehicle that used this technology encapsulated in a keychain with no batteries and it worked for over 5 years before I replaced it with a keyless entry system.

Of course, my experience with MINI keys is with a 2003 MCS (which I'm buying soon btw) so perhaps the keys you describe are with the new key and if so, never mind :)

As for does the emergency key have a chip in it? Yes, it does. I've seen an x-ray picture somewhere, maybe on this site, of the key where you can see it.

Cheers.

J\
 

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Chip's don't need a direct power source to operate these days. They can be powered from a magnetic field.
 

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goonery said:
I'll try to shed some light on this.
Normal keys have a metal part which fits the steering lock, its a bi metal construction , so it can collect a current from the lock mechanism and so keep the key battery charged.

Lets look at the emergency key, its as someone else says plastic, and as such will not conduct electricity (easily), and so will not be able to charge up by using it in the ignition. It does have a chip in it, its about the size of a grain of rice, and a small one at that. It also has a power supply of sorts, but the communication with the car when it gets used takes a small chunk of its life away. I think 5 times is a little on the low side, I've used the emergency key for almost two weeks when I lost my main key, (It took that long for a replacement to arrive) and it worked faultlessly. thats around 30-40 operations of opening doors, starting car and locking doors doors again.

Its the same key as supplied with the BMW's (or those that have dont have keyless entry anyway), and I've not heard of any limited life with them. The Handbook would warn against it if it was the case, otherwise there would litigation from , er somewhere across the pond.
I'm sorry but that is wrong. I've designed and built readers for the type of chips in car keys and that is not how they work.

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64378

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58167&onlybyuserid=0&page=2&pp=15

The plastic key has a transducer in it that reads just like the one in the big key.

The life limit come from wear on the plastic key in a metal lock.

The transducer is powered by the car. The coil in it forms a transformer with the coil around the ignition lock. The same technology allows pets to be chipped, electric toothbrushes to be charged without opening the plastic housing, and the signal to get to and from the rotating heads of a video recorder.

The keyless entry systems are similar, but larger transducer and reader coils give a bigger range.

The remote radio transmitter that it only in the standard key does nothing unless a button is pressed. The battery powers that and it will need changing eventually, but if that part stops, just put the key in the lock. BMWs charge that battery from the car, and it is rumoured that MINIs will get that feature sometime.
 

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Malin Dixon said:
I'm sorry but that is wrong. I've designed and built readers for the type of chips in car keys and that is not how they work.

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64378

http://www.mini2.com/forum/showthread.php?t=58167&onlybyuserid=0&page=2&pp=15

The plastic key has a transducer in it that reads just like the one in the big key.

The life limit come from wear on the plastic key in a metal lock.

The transducer is powered by the car. The coil in it forms a transformer with the coil around the ignition lock. The same technology allows pets to be chipped, electric toothbrushes to be charged without opening the plastic housing, and the signal to get to and from the rotating heads of a video recorder.

The keyless entry systems are similar, but larger transducer and reader coils give a bigger range.

The remote radio transmitter that it only in the standard key does nothing unless a button is pressed. The battery powers that and it will need changing eventually, but if that part stops, just put the key in the lock. BMWs charge that battery from the car, and it is rumoured that MINIs will get that feature sometime.
You can all prove this to yourselves, too. Enter your MINI on the drivers side and leave the door open. Now when you insert the regular key into the ignition, the car 'bings' at you to alert you that the key is in the ignition. What is actually happening is that the car is powering up and sensing the presence of the chip. Now if you take the key out of the ignition, but hold the 'fob' part next to the ignition lock, the car once again 'bings' to alert you that it senses the key in the ignition (even though all it's doing is powering up the chip).

If you do this to the emergency key, you'll get the same results.

-Paul!
 

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Similar proof as above, but even better.

Sit in your car, take both a remote key and the plastic emergency key. Close the doors, and lock the car using the remote key.

Take the plastic key, hold it near the igition, the doors will unlock when it gets close enough for its transponder to work. A hunk of plastic would not do this. And I'm pretty sure only your key, with the correct chip would unlock your doors like that, but I haven't actually tried that part yet.
 
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