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hbharani 12-28-2012 02:24 PM

Unable to open Trunk
Hello everyone,

I have a 1995 740i. The car has some battery drain problem I guess and it dies every day or two. The battery is just 6 months old so I guess its not an issue with the battery itself.

The real problem is I cant open the trunk to analyse the battery.

Fortunately I have left my doors open so I can open the car and the bonnet to jump start the car.

When I try to jump start the car nothin happens, I use a booster to jump start the car and it usually shows me the voltage available in car's battery. But now it shows nothing. I am guessing either the car's battery is totally dead or there is some electrical connection problem. When I hook up the booster and turn it on nothing happens. There are no lights in dashboard and I cant open the trunk using the button above the brake pedal.

One more weird thing is I dont have a key slot in my trunk. I just have a push button with a hole. So I can not open the trunk manually using the key either.

Are there some other ways you can open the lid? I saw few people suggesting to drill a hole under the license plate and pull the wire underneath it to open the trunk. I live in Calgary and its mostly -10C or worse during this time of the year so it makes more difficult. I cant work on the car for more than 15 or 20 minutes.

Any help is greatly appreciated.


joyism5 12-28-2012 05:24 PM

Yes, that's the way to do it. There is a brief explanation how to do that, it's posted either on or If the actuator is not working at all, I think that's the only way to go. I assume, you already checked the fuses...
Maybe is frozen. Have you tried to wash the car with hot water and operate it? Or park it overnight in a heated garage?

hbharani 12-28-2012 05:41 PM

Thanks for the message, I cant wash or move the car as it doesnt start.

A stupid question, Is there some specific part of the vehicle that I could wash with hot water and try it? Or should it be the whole car. The car is parked on the street and am not sure how effective it will be to use hotwater as the temperature outside is always around -10C.

I checked the fuses in the engine compartment, but I can not check the fuses in the trunk as I cant open it. Do you think there might be a problem there? What fuses should we check for specifically?

joyism5 12-28-2012 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by hbharani (Post 7276372)
Thanks for the message, I cant wash or move the car as it doesnt start.

You could jump start the car and take it to a carwash. It should start from the engine compartment, if you use the right cables.
About the fuses I don't know exactly which one, since I don't have the diagram handy. I would try anyway to throw some hot water on the trunk lid where the locker is, using a plastic bucket. It worth a try...

hbharani 12-28-2012 05:48 PM

I cant jump start the car as nothing happens when I do it. I have a booster to jump start. I connect it to the positive and strut, but nothing happens. The booster does have around 13.1 V. Not even the dashboard lights come on.

I will try the hot water on trunk and see what happens

joyism5 12-28-2012 05:57 PM

Unless some fuses are blown, the car should start using a donor car with the engine running for power. If the battery is completely dead a "walmart" booster will not do it. Depends on the booster here...
If you hook the cables again while another car (recommended a pick-up truck) is charging for 15 minutes, and try again, you might be able to start it. Cables have to be thick, hard to bend, so the amperage can be transferred.
If you don't have any power when you get the cables from another car with the engine running, some fuses might be blown somewhere.

E36 Phantom 12-28-2012 06:00 PM

Call a locksmith before you drill into your trunk......

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hbharani 12-28-2012 06:02 PM

Let me double check the fuses in the engine compartment and see.

But if the fuse is blown in the trunk do you have any other suggestions except for drilling to open the trunk?

joyism5 12-28-2012 06:24 PM

This reminds me about a similar discussion a while back

hbharani 12-28-2012 06:34 PM

Thanks JOY. Do you still have the pictures with you? I will try jumping the relay

setconstr 12-28-2012 08:56 PM

Jump your car with another vehicle let the other car run at about 3000 rpm for like 10 minutes then give it a shot with the jump car running at that rpm. When my battery was out it would not start with a booster only with another vehicle and your trunk lock will be the first thing not to work with a dead battery ( at least on my car ) don't drill anything you will get it open once the battery chages up abit. Just like Joyism5 said a donner vehicle is the way to go and these cars need to be driven or add a trickle charger. I've had my car since 2001 and i bought a new battery every 3 years because it seems in my case that his how long they last

BMWFatherFigure 12-29-2012 01:03 AM

Can you get a battery charger to the car for a day. OK I understand you will need to keep your eye on it as it is in the street. Does your car have the Pre-heater? That should warm things up, even in the boot (trunk).

hbharani 12-29-2012 02:11 PM

Thank you all!! I was able to open the trunk using a screw driver. I just rotated the push button for couple of times and it opened. I dont have a key hole for the trunk instead there is a push button with a hole- weird eh I didnt realise this will bring me trouble while buying the car.

I tested the battery and it shows just 5.6 V. I checked the fuses in the engine compartment and the trunk everything looks fine except for cigarette lighter fuse.

I am not sure if I have to buy a new battery or charge this one and use it again. This was bought by the previous owner when I bought the car and I don't have a receipt for it. But I know it was new when I got the car. It was from Costco and it has 1000 CA and 850 CCA but no vent tube.

Any suggestions? Also will the cigarette lighter fuse cause battery drain?

setconstr 12-29-2012 03:16 PM

I buy interstate batteries I think their on sale now and they have a 3 year full replacemnt warranty and 2 years more pro-rated. Also you need to vent your Battery or take the chance of having it explode. i would replace that trunk lock with the oem lock

hbharani 12-29-2012 03:38 PM

Thanks!! I will check them out..

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