Many modern cars now have technology installed that remotely opens your garage doors and gates when you’re nearby. This article’s instructions relate to modern BMW vehicles, though the instructions will be the same for any vehicle with remote garage door and gate opening technology fitted. Needless to say, programming your garage door opener to your car saves you a lot of time and hassle, and doesn’t require you to take your garage door remote around with you in your car (where you could possibly lose or damage it) so it’s a good idea to go ahead with this programming.
Programming your garage door opener to your car first requires you to clear your car’s memory of any past programming settings. This is especially important if your car is second-hand, as it may
contain now-worthless codes from previous owners. To erase all prior programming from your car, first find the 3 Home Link buttons, which usually are on the underside of the rearview mirror or on the vehicle’s top console. Next, simultaneously press and hold down buttons 1 and 3 for around 15-20 seconds. After 15-20 seconds, the adjacent LED light should blink. This signals that your car’s memory has erased any prior codes and programming from old garage doors and gates. To check you have done this correctly, hold any of the buttons (not at the same time) and the LED light should blink slowly to indicate that no programming is present for that button.
Next, you want to create a new set of programming for your garage door opener. To do this, you’ll need to be sitting in your car with your garage door remote handy, fairly close to your garage door when the garage door itself is in close position. Press and hold the open/close button on your garage door remote whilst simultaneously pressing and holding your button of choice on the rearview mirror. After around 5 seconds, the rearview mirror’s LED light should flash quickly, indicating that the programming has been successful. This process is similar to that of programming a gaming controller to synch up with a games console, or many other similar products.
If you’re having difficulties with this stage, try adjusting the distance between your garage door remote and your rearview mirror. A few inches further away (or a few inches closer) may be the key to getting it to work. If that doesn’t work, check that your garage door remote’s batteries are charged, and check that your car’s electronics are on (i.e. your car isn’t completely off). If you experience further problems, consult the car and garage door motor manuals.
Programming newer garage door opener units
If you have an older garage door model, the previous steps should suffice. However, newer garage door models often come with systems which require a further step. This is likely to be the case if your home or garage unit is fairly modern. Programming Alternating Code Remotes (also known as Rolling Code Remotes or other similar names) are modern remote systems which constantly vary the codes required for entry. This is done largely for security reasons, meaning that only your remote/vehicle should ever be able to open your garage door. While this is great, it means that we have to do one more thing now.
Look on the back of your garage door motor unit and you’ll probably find a SMART button. This is a prominent button that is often distinguished by nearby text or instructions. In some models, it may also be called a LEARN button. The process for this step may differ from model to model, but the overall idea is very similar. At this point, it’s helpful to ensure that your garage door motor’s antenna is hanging down and unobstructed, as you want the best possible reception for the next step. Important: if your garage door opener has yellow LEARN button, cars manufactured before 2013 may not be programmed.
First of all (once again) you need to clear the car’s Home Link of any pre-existing or incorrect codes. To do this, hold down buttons 1 and 3 for around 15-20 seconds. After 15-20 seconds, the adjacent LED light should blink fast. This indicates that your car’s Home Link memory has erased any prior codes. To make sure that you have done this right, ho
ld any of the Home Link’s buttons (not at the same time) and the LED light should blink slowly to indicate that no programming is present for that button.
Now you’ll need 2 people for this next part, which is admittedly a little inconvenient! One person should be seated in the car, pressing and holding the open/close button on your garage door remote whilst simultaneously pressing and holding your button of choice on the car’s Home Link/rearview mirror. After around 5 seconds, the Home Link/rearview mirror LED light should flash quickly, indicating that the programming has been successful (once LED light flashes quickly, one should release the button). Next, the person situated behind the garage door motor unit should see an LED light starting to blink on the motor unit (in some models). Press and hold the garage door motor’s SMART/LEARN button, and the LED should remain solid for that time. At this point, the person at the motor unit should instruct the person in the car to push and release the Home Link’s button that they have been programming, for periods of 3 seconds each time (should work after 2-4 times).
Voila! Your garage door should now open on command via your car! If the programming did not work at the first time, try to repeat these steps:
- Reset the car’s Home Link/rearview mirror by holding 1+3 buttons simultaneously until LED light flash quickly.
- Press and hold open/close button on your garage door remote whilst simultaneously pressing and holding your button of choice on the car’s Home Link/rearview mirror.
- Once the car’s Home Link/rearview mirror LED light flashing quickly, release the buttons and push the garage door motor’s SMART/LEARN button.
- Push and release the desire Home Link’s button for periods of 3 seconds each time (should work after 2-4 times).
As always, refer to the car and garage door motor manuals if any problems arise. Also, troubleshoot basic things such as batteries and whether the car’s electrics are turned on if you are experiencing any issues. If your car wouldn’t program after few attempts, your system may be faulty. Try troubleshooting garage door will not close or garage door will not move. In some cases, garage door repair may be required due to defective circuit board or receiver.