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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 12-09-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
MEC
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 330i SMG
Passenger door stuck closed

Hey everyone,

Last night I had a date, went and picked up the girl, we get into the car, and the passenger door just bounces off the frame, doesn't latch. I'm thinking just my luck haha. I decide well I will just push the door closed and see if it locks. It does, so we drive off. Once at the restaurant, I unlock the car, she pulls the inside handle and nothing. We can't get the door open, so my date has to crawl across to the driver side to get out. Needless to say the date went well. But I still can't open the door, and I have looked around on this forum and other, most recommend the zip tie solution, but I need to get the door open so I can take the panel off and take a look. any suggestions? I am pretty sure the locks are working properly since it locked the door shut, and I can see the lock move and hear it.

Thanks

Myles
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
rkreimer10
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Racine, Wi.
Posts: 94
My Ride: 2001 325i
I'm having this exact same issue. I was able to get the door panel off from inside the car. You have to unbolt the seat and get it as far backing the rear seats as possible. Be careful not to rip your leather. Then remove all the screws and stuff so you can take the panel off as you would if the door was open. Now pull the bottom of the door card to separate it from the door. Once the bottom is separated, hold it out and hit the bottom upwards to get it off the top clips. Once it's off the top clips pull the door card towards the rear of the car and it should come out. You will break plastic clips holding the door on that are by the dashboard. And you may break the door card itself.

Now that the panel is off remove the airbag(make sure you disconnect the battery first.) You will now need to remove the vapor barrier on the right side of the door. You must heat up the edges to make the gummy black glue separate. Do not just try to pull it off or you will rip the foam vapor barrier. Once it's off and you can get your hand in the door, follow the cable that goes from the outside handle to the latching device. It should have a yellow casing on it. Grab the cable by the latching device send pull. Your Door will pop open.

You will still have problems after you do all this as I haunt figured out what needs to be replaced yet. It is either the cable from the outside handle or the the latching device. I tried spraying all components with white lithium grease and it still happens. One person said that the cable has started to get moisture iinside and it freezes the cable. And another company said the latching device is summed up with debris. The latest attempt I tried was I sprayed everything with pb blaster, I even got the cable off the latching deviceband sprayed it down the sheathing of the cable. I have not opened the door since. It will be best to keep your door panel off and a 10mm socket in your car. Once I nail down the problem ib will let you know, or vice versa.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #3
MEC
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 330i SMG
Hi Rkeimer,

Shortly after having the car problem I brought it into my garage, and started pulling the door apart like you described. About 30 minutes into the job I happen to try the door again and voila it opens. I left the car in the garage over night thinking it might be moisture of a weird build up of ice. Over the next couple of days I drove the car around and periodically checked the passenger door, with no problem. About a week after this I was picking my father up from something and boom door doesn't work again. I then realize that the day I'm picking my father up is a pretty cold day about -25 C and that the few days where it worked it was a warmer but still below freezing. I assumed moisture in the cable or housing, or on the release mechanisms.

So I decided to pull my car into the garage once again, after about 30 minutes the door thaws and voila it opens. I then decided to take the door apart and I proceeded to take the rubber covers off of the cable housing ends. I then sprayed the entrances to the cable housing and the mechanism itself with sea foam deep creep and worked the outside door handle back and forth. I did this for about 20 minutes and put it all back together. It worked! I'm guessing that it was moisture inside the cable housing which would allow you to pull the handle and open the door, but then the ice would not allow the spring to return it to the original position.

It has worked ever since, I did it just before Christmas, you'll have to forgive me for taking so long to reply, I will blame it on hectic holidays. This morning it is -27 C and no problems .

Cheers
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:29 AM   #4
rkreimer10
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Racine, Wi.
Posts: 94
My Ride: 2001 325i
Thank you for the reply. I havn't checked it since I sprayed the cable out of fear.lol hopefully it's fixed
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Old 02-02-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
rkreimer10
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Racine, Wi.
Posts: 94
My Ride: 2001 325i
Looks like the pb blaster was a no go. Cable got stuck again last night. Looks like im headed to get some sea foam deep creep today. When you sprayed the cable, was it still attached to the handle and latching mechanism?
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:14 AM   #6
MEC
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 330i SMG
when I sprayed the cable it was still attached to everything. I did however removed the latching mechanism from the door itself. I then put the straw through the lock bolt hole to spray one of the cables.
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