Red Light - Keyless - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 5:28 pm Thread Starter
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Red Light - Keyless

I've been searching and not found an answers to what this might be.

For some reason in the mornings when I attempt to turn on my bike I get a red circular light that flashes then stays solid for a few seconds and then goes out. Once it turns on, I can shut off the bike and turn it back on without any issues. It seems to only do this in the mornings after the bike has been off for an extended amount of time.

At first I thought it might had been related to my key less ignition and the key not being close enough. So this morning I put my key on the gas cap and pushed the ignition and it did the same thing, few blinks then solid and off. I pushed my central locking button and it unlocked my bags, pushed the ignition again and it turned on this time. In the past I've tried pushing the ignition button multiple times, just gives me the red blinking light till eventually it finally turns on the bike. Believe yesterday I had to do it 5 times before it actually powered on the bike.

Any ideas??? Is this an alert for a low battery?? The transmitter will arm/disarm from distance like it has always has so I've assumed its not a fob battery.
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post #2 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 7:15 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabish View Post
I've been searching and not found an answers to what this might be.

For some reason in the mornings when I attempt to turn on my bike I get a red circular light that flashes then stays solid for a few seconds and then goes out. Once it turns on, I can shut off the bike and turn it back on without any issues. It seems to only do this in the mornings after the bike has been off for an extended amount of time.

At first I thought it might had been related to my key less ignition and the key not being close enough. So this morning I put my key on the gas cap and pushed the ignition and it did the same thing, few blinks then solid and off. I pushed my central locking button and it unlocked my bags, pushed the ignition again and it turned on this time. In the past I've tried pushing the ignition button multiple times, just gives me the red blinking light till eventually it finally turns on the bike. Believe yesterday I had to do it 5 times before it actually powered on the bike.

Any ideas??? Is this an alert for a low battery?? The transmitter will arm/disarm from distance like it has always has so I've assumed its not a fob battery.
Bet you lock the forks every night. That little red light is telling you your forks are locked when you do a quick push of the ignition. You need to push and HOLD the ignition button for a couple of seconds until you hear the fork lock "ziiit" and release. Next time you push it, the ignition works.
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post #3 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 8:02 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by Rainman48 View Post
Bet you lock the forks every night. That little red light is telling you your forks are locked when you do a quick push of the ignition. You need to push and HOLD the ignition button for a couple of seconds until you hear the fork lock "ziiit" and release. Next time you push it, the ignition works.
I normally do lock my forks at work, but I never lock them at home which is where I'm getting this issue. The last few days I've not been locking my forks at all cause I have noticed it blinking like that if they were locked and I did not hold down the button all the way. A few weeks ago it was doing this at work, where I'd have to push the button 3+ times. But now its just doing it in the mornings and I've not had it do it anytime outside of the first turn on of the day.

Potato video I took this morning. It looks like I push the button longer but I don't, I just left my finger hovering over it. And if I remember right, you have to hold down to unlock the forks, then you push it again to power on. Or maybe it will do it with one push if you hold it long enough never tried lol

Actually after just watching the video I see it flashing as I push the button and right before it turns on.. Not sure if that is normal??

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post #4 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 10:03 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Iím not at home at the moment otherwise Iíd do a little experiment myself. Could it have anything to do with the alarm being on but not deactivated via the key fob before you go into your start up procedure.?

Ian

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post #5 of 27 Old Oct 29th, 2019, 10:35 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

You don't say what year your bike is however it looks to be a weak fob battery. The red light is the system telling you it can't unlock the bike because it can't the read fob or it isn't close enough.

I've also heard of issues like that caused by a weak bike battery.
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post #6 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 3:28 am Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by garr2 View Post
Iím not at home at the moment otherwise Iíd do a little experiment myself. Could it have anything to do with the alarm being on but not deactivated via the key fob before you go into your start up procedure.?

Ian
I don't think I ever have disarmed the bike with the fob. I always just push the ignition switch once, it will disarm then I push it again to power it on. That said, I typically don't turn on the alarm at home, garage is alarmed so I don't worry about it.

And the bike is a 2017, just seems weird, battery is for sure the first and easiest thing to try. I was just curious if anyone else has had the issue, I'll try and get a battery tomorrow after work. Last thing I'd want it to do is not to start because of a dead fob battery lol
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post #7 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 9:43 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

I don't think that it's FOB battery, since you will get a warning icon on the dash as the FOB battery is about ready to expire.

Pad. Gajajiva
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post #8 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 2:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Did the same thing this morning, had to press the button 3 times before it would power up the bike. Went to the gas station, bike turned on first push. I did notice though, the light blinks 1 time when you push the ignition button then the dash lights up. Where in my video the first power on of the day it blinks multiple times before it actually powers on the bike.

Have a feeling the bike is trying to tell me something, I just don't know what. Going to be an odd one to send to the dealer since it only does it 1 time a day. I'm doing a video every morning this week to show the issue. If I have to end up going to the dealer hopefully that will be enough for them to acknowledge an issue as the bike is still under factory warranty.
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post #9 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 4:08 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by Kabish View Post
...Going to be an odd one to send to the dealer since it only does it 1 time a day. I'm doing a video every morning this week to show the issue. If I have to end up going to the dealer hopefully that will be enough for them to acknowledge an issue as the bike is still under factory warranty.
If it does it in the morning, leave it at the dealer over night. It should do the same thing for them the next morning.


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post #10 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 6:05 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Next time you take a video, could you please shade the dash first like sit on the bike? There are more reflections of some building behind your bike than useful observation of the dash indicators.

Thanks


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post #11 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 6:43 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

I had the same light red on my RT, changed to FOB battery - no more light

I did not think it was the FOB battery, but I had an extra battery and changed it, light solved
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post #12 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 6:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by Rainman48 View Post
Next time you take a video, could you please shade the dash first like sit on the bike? There are more reflections of some building behind your bike than useful observation of the dash indicators.

Thanks
Will do, that is why I called it a Potato video lol I plan on getting a fob battery tonight, so if that does not fix it I will post a better video of the dash booting up.
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post #13 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 8:53 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

According to the manual (Pg 22 in my manual for my 2015), that light is a dual-purpose light. If you have the OE anti-theft alarm installed (and activated), it indicates which motion sensor was set off. Or -- most likely -- with Keyless Ride option -- it is the indicator that the key is out of range, and your BMW is searching for it. Once your key is detected, the light goes out. (pg 47 of the manual). This can happen if your main battery is not @ full strength or your key fob has a weak battery or your key fob is more than 1m (3 feet) away from the antenna, or is inside your rear topbox, or a myriad of other reasons.

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post #14 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 9:51 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Ya I did not get a manual for mine when I purchased it. :-\ I actually downloaded a manual from an unknown year today at work, just had not had time to dig through it yet. I just picked up a new fob battery so we will see how it goes in the morning.

Oddly enough, it did not want to turn on tonight when I got off work. I left work late tonight and the sun is setting sooner now than it has so it was darker. I noticed the light flashing as I was walking around the front of the bike without touching anything. So I'm guessing it is battery related...You would think there would be a key fob icon indicating low battery like cars, guess a random flashing red light with no context is what we get lol

I'll let you all know how tomorrows start up goes. If nothing else, maybe this post will help someone else down the road when searching for the same issue.
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post #15 of 27 Old Oct 30th, 2019, 10:44 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Your RT does have an icon to let you know your key fob battery needs replacing -- it's an icon of a key over a battery bar that's half-full, and displays in the area of your dash just to the right of your trip odometer. If it's the only icon showing, it will be the top icon in that panel. If you see the key icon with a "?" below it, it usually means you have started your bike, then moved the key out of range. When this icon appears, don't shut off the bike unless you know where your key fob is. Worst case -- you laid your key fob on top of the gas pump at that last fuel pump, then rode off with the key still there. Bike still runs, but won't restart (unless you have your emergency key and know how to use it). Can be a bad situation if you don't have enough gas to get back to where you left your key. (No, this hasn't happened to me -- yet!). I keep my key fob in my front pants pocket, and it only comes out if I need to lock my 28L topcase, which is not part of the central-locking system on the bike.

BTW, I've had that red light pop up when I've pushed the "Ignition" button and my key fob is either hidden by the gas tank and my tank bag, and is right at the limit of the 1m (3.3ft) range.

Hope you have the "right" manual (mine is dated -- on the back cover -- 09.2014, for my 2015 bike).
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post #16 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 6:03 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by JC-RT View Post
I had the same light red on my RT, changed to FOB battery - no more light

I did not think it was the FOB battery, but I had an extra battery and changed it, light solved
Same experience I had

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post #17 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 9:52 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Try to start with fob away from bike and you will get the same light. Change the battery.
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post #18 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 4:03 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Try to start with fob away from bike and you will get the same light. Change the battery.
And make sure you remove(d) any plastic tab on the top of the battery that protects the positive side.

JTLYK, I made this mistake on a security sensor in my house and the central system kept saying the sensor battery was still dead. I cursed the sensor out until I took the cover off and saw what I'd forgotten to do.


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post #19 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 6:09 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

So new battery and it turned right on this morning.

I find it odd that it would only do this once and in the morning only. I mean if its a battery issue, one would assume that the issue would continue every time I started the bike. If anything, I would expect the issue to get worse throughout the day after the bike had been started a few times.

I most defiantly was not getting any icon indicator that the battery was low. I watched the video that I took yesterday and the dash was normal, actually took a picture of it as well which I double checked and there was no indicator.

So.. Flashy red light when you push the ignition button = replace fob battery
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post #20 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 9:22 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by Kabish View Post
So new battery and it turned right on this morning.

I find it odd that it would only do this once and in the morning only. I mean if its a battery issue, one would assume that the issue would continue every time I started the bike. If anything, I would expect the issue to get worse throughout the day after the bike had been started a few times.

I most defiantly was not getting any icon indicator that the battery was low. I watched the video that I took yesterday and the dash was normal, actually took a picture of it as well which I double checked and there was no indicator.

So.. Flashy red light when you push the ignition button = replace fob battery
Just saw this thread. As you have learned, it's the FOB signal being too weak because of a low battery.

A very wise old fart told me when I bought my 15 keyless, go directly to Walgreens and buy a few spare 2032 batteries and keep them with you on the bike. I found out he knew what he was talking about.

Word to the wise - carry spares.

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post #21 of 27 Old Oct 31st, 2019, 10:29 pm
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YES ! Already used one spare, another still in my tankbag. Bought my bike in Nov 16, and first used spare 2032 is down 1/2 right now..

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post #22 of 27 Old Nov 1st, 2019, 9:19 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabish View Post
So new battery and it turned right on this morning.

I find it odd that it would only do this once and in the morning only. I mean if its a battery issue, one would assume that the issue would continue every time I started the bike. If anything, I would expect the issue to get worse throughout the day after the bike had been started a few times.

I most defiantly was not getting any icon indicator that the battery was low. I watched the video that I took yesterday and the dash was normal, actually took a picture of it as well which I double checked and there was no indicator.

So.. Flashy red light when you push the ignition button = replace fob battery
That low battery icon only shows up when you first turn the RT on, and it goes away within a few seconds. Very easy to miss. Typically, I change my battery as soon as I see that icon shows up, and it had in the past.

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post #23 of 27 Old Nov 1st, 2019, 9:24 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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Originally Posted by steveaikens View Post
Just saw this thread. As you have learned, it's the FOB signal being too weak because of a low battery.

A very wise old fart told me when I bought my 15 keyless, go directly to Walgreens and buy a few spare 2032 batteries and keep them with you on the bike. I found out he knew what he was talking about.

Word to the wise - carry spares.
Another advise - do NOT buy the cheap 2032 battery! I have a stash of the particular battery on hand, since I have several devices (including my computer) that uses the same battery. A few years ago, that stash of battery was the cheap unknown brand ones. The first time that I needed to replace my FOB battery, I found out that the cheap battery didn't have sufficient charge for the FOB to even work! It's all name-brand ones now!!!
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1960 Triumph Bonneville (T120)
1960 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
1952 Triumph Thunderbird (6T)
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post #24 of 27 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 11:45 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

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And if I remember right, you have to hold down to unlock the forks, then you push it again to power on. Or maybe it will do it with one push if you hold it long enough never tried lol

Actually after just watching the video I see it flashing as I push the button and right before it turns on.. Not sure if that is normal??

https://youtu.be/u0AxmcmfWJM

You have to press and hold to LOCK the forks. To unlock and start, you push and release once (normally) and you can hear it unlock, then the second push and release powers the bike on and it's ready for ignition.
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post #25 of 27 Old Nov 3rd, 2019, 9:35 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

As mentioned in earlier replies, the red light flashes when the key fob can't be found by the receiver (located behind the instrument panel). Lots of things can cause this disconnect --
- too far away (key fob should be with 1m of the receiver)
-weak battery (but not so weak the "low battery" icon lights)
-interference from another e-key in your pocket
-even a cellphone between your key fob and the receiver can cause interference.

I keep my key in my jeans pocket. I then don my overpants. In my overpants pocket I put my cell phone. I sometimes hit the "start" button while standing on the left size of my '15. Occasionally the red light flashes and nothing happens. In measuring from key fob to receiver, I'm right at the 1m mark. And the cell phone, tank bag, fuel tank, and other items are between the fob and the receiver. Yes, a fresh battery (I use Duracell exclusively) can overcome some of the "failure to read" symptoms.

By the way, the "low battery" icon WILL NOT show unless the receiver can read the key fob and analyze the signal.

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post #26 of 27 Old Today, 9:53 am
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Don't store the spares for very long....they, too, will trickle down. I rode with a guy whose fob battery failed. He had several spares at the bottom of his Harley's saddlebag. None of them worked. They's been there for "a few years" according to him. I made a run to the nearest grocery store, picked up a new battery, and it worked fine. Fortunately, these batteries are pretty common, available at most places that sell batteries. They're relatively inexpensive....I replace my spare about every 2 years. Also, another trick is to not store your fob on your bike. If it's within range, it communicates with your bike every few seconds, causing it to drain fast.
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post #27 of 27 Old Today, 5:01 pm
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Re: Red Light - Keyless

Because I like beating dead horses, I was seeing the same thing recently, but I believe the cause was due to the main battery being dead/very low charged. It spent a couple of days on the charger and that fixed it.

Those who say that it can't be done shouldn't interrupt those who are doing it.

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