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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-22-2013, 01:46 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
e61 tailgate problems

I can't seem to get the automatic tailgate to close on my 530xi Wagon. The electronics seem to be operating normally but the latch does not lock when the tailgate is in the down position. It pops back up about an inch and stays there . The interior lights won't shut off for about 20 minutes until the car goes into sleep mode which eventually is going to kill the battery. I'm away from home, 200 miles from the nearest BMW dealer and to make matters even more fun, its 10 below zero and I'm try to fix this beast outside. Any ideas?The lock mechanism does not appear to be frozen. I can move the latch easily with my frozen fingers.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2013, 05:12 PM
greenX3 greenX3 is offline
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Location: Louisville, KY
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 136
Mein Auto: 2008 Deep Sea Blue 535xiT
Stupid question, I'm sure, but have you traced a path around the entire opening of the hatch (including the top part) to ensure there aren't any obstructions (including ice)?
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2013, 06:24 PM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 2006 530xiT
Run thru this thread http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=613180 and see if there's any help. When mine died, it was July, but still a pain.
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2006 530xiT 6MT - 124k miles - 3rd owner - sport & cold packages
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
No obstructions. I put a heat gun to the latch mechanism and it is not frozen or at least not anymore. Thanks for the link toga94m. My tailgate motor is working fine though. It raises and lowers but does not lock. One of the posts about taking the mechanism apart was helpful and that will be my next step today.....

Update: I've tried everything mentioned in your post to get the rear window to open and it will not open. I was able to unplug the rear cargo area lights so at least my battery isn't going to die. Does anyone know if there is a manual release for the rear window?

Thanks for all the responses.

Last edited by ironman; 01-23-2013 at 10:13 AM.
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  #5  
Old 01-23-2013, 02:17 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
e61 rear window

Still trying to get the rear window open so that I can remove the panel to access the tailgate lock mechanism. Anymore ideas? Since the tailgate won't lock (only manually) the car does not recognize it as being locked and thus won't release the rear window. The electronics on this car are ridiculous. Is there a way to bypass the tailgate lock to get the window open?
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2013, 04:38 PM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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Location: Upstate NY
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 2006 530xiT
From the aforementioned Bimmerfest thread........

Quote:
During the twiddling, I found that if I pushed the manual "lever" (pin) in the opposite direction of unlocking, I got a few other motor noises, and found that the glass window would now open (yay!). So I decided there was a missing/broken return spring inside the mechanism on the hatch. Pushing the lever further back (like the spring should) tells the computers that the lid is securely locked shut. Without knowing this, the car won't arm the alarm, and you can't open the glass window, and you'll get complained at from the dashboard if you try driving.
So sitting in the cargo area, legs outside, hatch mostly closed on your legs, remove the 1" square plastic cover to access the lower latch. This might even be covered in the manual, on page 36 in my PDF -

Quote:
In case of an electrical defect:
1. From the cargo area, press out the cover 1 on the tailgate with a screwdriver.
2. Press the locking bar 2 in the direction of the arrow.
Pushing it in the other direction will help the car think the hatch is closed and latched, so you can request an opening of the window from the smarter-than-any-of-us computer. You can also use this trick to make the car think it's secure so you can arm the alarm, even when the hatch is held closed with a shoestring because you didn't have any rope with you at the time. Go ahead, ask me how I know.
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2013, 09:54 AM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
I've read the post (many others as well) and I've tried everything suggested in multiples of 10 and still nothing. This leads me to believe that something else is going on here or your computer is just smarter than mine. To make matters worse, I'm on a ski vacation and it was -31 degrees last night and I'm twiddling with this outside.
I've disconnected the cargo area lights from behind the rear panel so at least I do not have the battery drain issue to contend with. I can turn off the rest of the interior lights manually after I open the door. At this point I think I'll wait until I get home next week or until it warms up a bit. Thanks for getting back to me.

Last edited by ironman; 01-24-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2013, 06:52 PM
ironman ironman is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 530 xi wagon
e61 tailgate problem update/resolved

If anyone has an e61 tailgate latch issues there is hope. I've been dragged through the mud (or snow in my case) with this one. Now that it is above freezing I've had some time and cooperative weather to figure this thing out .. Toga94m was correct in his post. If you move the manual release mechanism to the right (left opens, pg 36 owners manual) it will send a message to the computer that the tailgate is closed and that in return will shut off interior lights etc...and more importantly allow you to open the rear tailgate window to access the screws to remove the latch. In my case a small piece of aluminum (which I found out later) that holds the latch mechanism spring in place broke off and got wedged between the manual release lever and the housing . At this point the tailgate would not open or close because the latch would not release or move either way. I could also see there was a spring (one of two in the mechanism) floating around in there. I sprayed WD40 in the latch and since I suspected the problem was mechanical I had nothing to loose so I wacked it with a hammer and screw driver (gently) and eventually dislodged the metal. Once the manual release lever was free to push to the right, the rear window opened and it was a fifteen minute job to replace the whole mechnaism. If you are lucky enough not to have something lodge the manual release lever this is a simple job. I paid $143 for the latch (dealer only part as I could not find it on the internet elsewhere) and a done deal. Once I got the whole thing working I drilled the two rivets on the old latch to see what was going on in there. It is a fairly simple mechanism but the aluminum part that holds the spring in place was definitely the culprit. I'll repair the old latch at some point and have a spare . Thanks to all for the help!
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