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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 09-29-2012, 10:41 PM   #1
VintagePleasureLA
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Angry Car side driver lock broken. Locked out, help!

So there is damage the my key FOb and because of this I've been using my key to unlock my door manually for a couple months now. This morning I went out to my car to go to work and when I inserted my key and turned I felt no resistance. I can turn my key 90 degrees in either direction but nothing happens. I looked it up and this seems to be a common issue, something about a metal rod breaking in the lock's actuator. Here's where my problem starts. I called AAA thinking they could just come and unlock my door and I'd just have to drive around without the ability to unlock my door, no big deal. But when AAA came out thy were unable to get my door unlocked. They tried reaching in with a metal pole and just pulling the inside handle (which has worked previously when I locked my keys in the car) but when they did this nothing happened. So they tried again on the passenger side and still nothing! I'm able to open my trunk but My rear seats do not fold down from the trunk area so I don't know what to do. Help advice!?
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #2
VintagePleasureLA
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Since I didn't get a reply to the above question, can someone just tell me will my car unlock if I get a new functioning key fob despite the cylinder being broken
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:36 PM   #3
warriorpluto
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Yes just get another key to remotely unlock your door

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Old 09-29-2012, 11:45 PM   #4
curca
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I had same problem with my door, my key battery was shot and I was opening manually with key, one day I tried to open in sub zero weather and when i turn key i heard snup and key did not have any resistance, I called AAA and they managed to open it, make sure you unlock doors why pushing unlock button on middle console and they try pulling on door handle inside
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Old 09-29-2012, 11:49 PM   #5
VintagePleasureLA
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The center unlock button doesn't function because it came unplugged. From what I've read this is caused by a faulty clip under the center console. #bmwdriverproblems
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:27 AM   #6
curca
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take your car pink slip to a dealer and order a new key
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Old 10-01-2012, 12:52 AM   #7
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Well a new key will not help you here. It will need to be synchronized to the keyless entry system which requires access inside the car.

You could possibly try to carefully cut your current key open and replace the battery and HOPE the keyfob works to unlock your car door.

You have to be VERY careful not to cut yourself or the EWS components on the keys circuit board.

You really need to order another key anyway, $160 for a new keyfob from the dealer is typically a good price. Shop around if they want more.

With the replacement keyfob, if you screw up the EWS circuit on the old key you will be able to start the car with the new key once you get in the car.

I have not confirmed this will work, but search Car Kracker on the forum here, it appears if you had a Car Kracker module and you could tie into the Ibus in the trunk, you might be able to use a computer to open the car doors??

The problem is the Car Kracker circuitry, the software, the computer and will it really work?? It should, but I have not confirmed this.

In order to unlock the doors with the interior handles, you need to push the central lock button first. Sounds like you are SOL as your central lock button is broken also.

This is a CLASSIC case that we are seeing over and over again of 2nd to 5th owners with one key and the keyfob does not work and/or the drivers door lock linkage is broken and/or the only key is lost or locked in the trunk.

EVERY E46 OWNER NEEDS 2 WORKING KEYFOB AND A WORKING DRIVER DOOR LOCK!! The $200 you spend now will save you plenty more money and time in the future. BUY ANOTHER KEYFOB AND MAKE SURE YOUR DRIVERS DOOR LOCK WORKS NOW!!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...484&highlight=

Good luck. Hopefully it will not be hammer or brick time??
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:52 AM   #8
epse30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Well a new key will not help you here. It will need to be synchronized to the keyless entry system which requires access inside the car.

You could possibly try to carefully cut your current key open and replace the battery and HOPE the keyfob works to unlock your car door.

You have to be VERY careful not to cut yourself or the EWS components on the keys circuit board.

You really need to order another key anyway, $160 for a new keyfob from the dealer is typically a good price. Shop around if they want more.

With the replacement keyfob, if you screw up the EWS circuit on the old key you will be able to start the car with the new key once you get in the car.

I have not confirmed this will work, but search Car Kracker on the forum here, it appears if you had a Car Kracker module and you could tie into the Ibus in the trunk, you might be able to use a computer to open the car doors??

The problem is the Car Kracker circuitry, the software, the computer and will it really work?? It should, but I have not confirmed this.

In order to unlock the doors with the interior handles, you need to push the central lock button first. Sounds like you are SOL as your central lock button is broken also.

This is a CLASSIC case that we are seeing over and over again of 2nd to 5th owners with one key and the keyfob does not work and/or the drivers door lock linkage is broken and/or the only key is lost or locked in the trunk.

EVERY E46 OWNER NEEDS 2 WORKING KEYFOB AND A WORKING DRIVER DOOR LOCK!! The $200 you spend now will save you plenty more money and time in the future. BUY ANOTHER KEYFOB AND MAKE SURE YOUR DRIVERS DOOR LOCK WORKS NOW!!

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...484&highlight=

Good luck. Hopefully it will not be hammer or brick time??
Apparently that is exactly what time it is when 3 failsafe systems fail. and that is according to a friend who is an engineer at BMW.

A) keyfob battery dies.

Failsafes:
#1) back-up key gone.
#2) manual entry fails due to lock cylinder failure
#3) break-in method of pushing center console button, double pull on door handle fails due to broken bottom on console switch...

= Brick through cheapest window. which is the big window behind the driver.
Not the small one, it's glued in and costs more in labor to fix.

Maybe make a sticky of that highlighted bit for those of us who didn't want to buy one of those damned expensive fobs.

Regards, Eric_nr_
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:15 AM   #9
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I dont know, but if you have folding seats get(or send someone small) inside from the trunk and open the doors from inside.
Anyway get a new key whether you are able to change the battery or not.
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:02 AM   #10
jfoj
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I do not recall if you turn the ignition on if the door will partially unlock??

Remember the center console button does not work.

If he gets a new key, again, I have not tired to resync a keyfob without opening the drivers door, but if you get inside the car you should be able to put the windows down.

Can you say Bo & Luke Duke?
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 03-17-2013, 10:31 AM   #11
dancmos
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My key would turn 90 degrees left and right but did nothing. I found a post in the lock cylinder. That was it. I found the part for $29 on EBay.

Here's the process for removing it.
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Last edited by dancmos; 03-17-2013 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:27 AM   #12
epse30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dancmos View Post
My key would turn 90 degrees left and right but did nothing. I found a post in the lock cylinder. That was it. I found the part for $29 on EBay.

Here's the process for removing it.
Works if the door is already open... For those of us locked out, not so well.

Regards, Eric _nr_
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:41 AM   #13
Mflara20
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If your key fob worked and your car had been coded to roll down the windows with your key maybe that would be your solution.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mflara20 View Post
If your key fob worked and your car had been coded to roll down the windows with your key maybe that would be your solution.
I tried that and it doesn't work. There is absolutely no connection to the key chamber and the tumbler. That is why the key spins freely. No connection is being made.





Quote:
Originally Posted by dancmos View Post
I repaired my lock cylinder, but then my son was locked out (of course our fobs are long since dead). When I took the cylinder out, it turned freely, but didn't appear broken. However when I pushed in, gently, it turned left and worked. I did it over and over. I am wondering if the replacement spring is the culprit? Perhaps it doesn't have enough tension in it to allow the mechanism to work. Has anyone else had this issue? Again, it's not broken, just not reliably turning.


The dealership service department told me that these cars are NOT designed to be continuously locked and unlocked with the key in the key hole. Overtime the tumbler components WILL wear out and break down. They also scolded me in saying that is why we are supposed to spend hundreds of dollars replacing our master keys immediately when the battery dies because sooner than later your tumbler goes and your remote is already dead and your key just spins and you are locked out.

The tumbler kit is $30 on ebay and takes less than 10 minutes and a simple allen wrench to replace.

However, The BMW Dealership Service Dept. will have you replace $500 in parts with new keys ($200+) and labour ($200+).

Most local shops who are keen on making easy coin seem to charge $100 to $300 to fix it.

But I'm sure they all go on eBay and spend $30 on the same part and take 10 or less minute to replace the tumbler but they bill you for hours of labour and hundreds of dollars for parts!

shame shame shame!
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Last edited by delmarco; 04-07-2013 at 01:36 PM.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #15
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The ebay parts are the only way to go, otherwise you have to purchase the engine lock cylinder from the dealer that will likely be $150 or more??

The link is designed weak and to break to help reduce theft.
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Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

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Old 04-07-2013, 03:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
The link is designed weak and to break to help reduce theft.
Yeah this is what the Service guy said.

Designing a weak tumbler that is fairly cheap and easy to replace (versus replacing components lost from a break in) kind of makes sense.

When I do the write up for this project I will be sure to mention when your key fob battery dies be sure to change the battery as soon as you can ($40 for the eBay mail in your key repair service) or buy a new key ($200) because sooner than later your lock tumbler will go next and you will be locked out of the car (for those without fold down seats) and have to replace the tumbler and the keys and possibly have a tow truck bill.
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Old 04-07-2013, 07:40 PM   #17
leblancrene
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All this is making me lock out paranoid.I think i am going to run some secret wires to a door window motor. At least i could get in with 12volts
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:54 AM   #18
dancmos
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Originally Posted by Mflara20 View Post
If your key fob worked and your car had been coded to roll down the windows with your key maybe that would be your solution.
It appears the battery in my fob is dead, both of them, or it could be the GM5. The center button in the console always works. I keep the car locked up in my garage. I'm fixing the window regulators also.

Last edited by dancmos; 03-17-2013 at 10:54 AM.
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:54 PM   #19
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Did you ever got it fixed?
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Old 03-27-2013, 08:14 PM   #20
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This just happened to me...so I suppose calling AAA is not going to get me into the car?
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