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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:40 AM
alfonso12 alfonso12 is offline
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Battery dead, how to open trunk to get at battery.

My dad left the 540i (99) sitting in the garage for a few months. Now the batteryt is dead and he can't open the trunk. Is there a way of openning the trunk to get at the battery? This is plan A. Plan B is boosting via hood.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:48 AM
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02BMW530 02BMW530 is offline
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Jump start it under the hood and pop the trunk. Does the key not turn in the trunks lock or something?


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  #3  
Old 02-21-2011, 11:58 AM
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Put key in lock in trunk turn it like you would normally unlock then turn it just a little more to use the mechanical lock
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2011, 12:03 PM
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BentValve BentValve is offline
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Your key doesn't open the trunk? Mine does even when all the doors are locked. Then again, my keyless entry doesn't work.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2011, 01:01 PM
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beewang beewang is offline
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Why can't you open the trunk like normal people... by using the key??!!
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2011, 01:03 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Turn the key to the left until it's horizontal.
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  #7  
Old 02-21-2011, 03:55 PM
alfonso12 alfonso12 is offline
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Thanks gents. Going left was stuck but now fixed.
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  #8  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:29 PM
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If it makes you feel any better, lotsa' people have this problem.

They don't turn the key "all the way" left (until it's flat).

Details from the VERY best of E39 Links
- How to open the trunk when you have a dead battery (1)
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  #9  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:37 PM
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Edgy36-39 Edgy36-39 is offline
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Quote:
If it makes you feel any better, lotsa' people have this problem.
But we all inevitably experience dead battery, and we find out! Is funny how often this question comes up.

FWIW, when the FSU bug totally drained my battery, I could not jump from the front. Had to connect directly to the battery in trunk.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
Is funny how often this question comes up.
Yes, it is funny that the problem so often comes up & the solution is always the same (although some love to complicate it).

What's more, I think it hilarious when the people finally realize they they simply didn't turn far enough ... but ... (to save face I guess) ... they come back (sometimes) with excuses as to "why" it wouldn't go at first.

Some "battery died ... how do I open the trunk" threads go on (and on and on and on) 'cuz the guy doesn't want to admit that the problem was one of merely not turning the key far enough.

Happens to all of us (the first time).

For almost a year, with my trunk loom wires in disarray, the "only" way I could open the trunk was with the key ... so I'm an expert at it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
I could not jump from the front. Had to connect directly to the battery in trunk.
Hmmm.... why wouldn't jumping from the engine bay work?
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  #11  
Old 02-21-2011, 10:27 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
Hmmm.... why wouldn't jumping from the engine bay work?
Many times owners "think" that it doesn't work because their battery is actually DEEPLY discharged...and they hook the jumper cables up and try to start the car immediately.

If the battery is deeply discharged...it may take approx 5 minutes or more with the two cars connected (2nd car running) to get the discharged battery charged up enough to start the car.

Opening OBC TEST 9 can be helpful during this time...because you may see that the battery's voltage may be between 10.8 volts-11.89 volts...and if the voltage is that low...you can watch the battery voltage rise as the two cars are connected. Then you can also wait until the battery voltage rises before trying to start the car. You may also have to re-unlock the OBC, too...because if the battery voltage drops really low...the OBC may relock itself...so knowing what your "magic number" is may help...if not, just remember that the magic "unlock" number is the SUM of the last 5 digits of your car's VIN.
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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
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99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2011, 07:59 AM
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Quick to the rescue again! That was probably it, been a while so I don't remember if I waited long or not, probably not.

But what's the difference between the locations? I'm pretty sure I didn't wait after connecting straight to battery either.
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2011, 08:21 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
just remember that the magic "unlock" number is the SUM of the last 5 digits of your car's VIN.
It seems, in my E39 anyway, that even locked, TEST 01 seems to work. And, that test gives you the last 7 digits of your VIN ... so you don't even have to remember your VIN ... you just have to remember your "old-school math".

As for the "difference" between locations ... hmmm... I dunno. Probably nothing. If I could actually "read" the diagram below, I might be able to tell you ...

NOTE: The Bentleys say to jump from the engine because of the risk of hydrogen gas exploding.

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  #14  
Old 02-22-2011, 09:00 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgy36-39 View Post
But what's the difference between the locations? I'm pretty sure I didn't wait after connecting straight to battery either.
Im not specifically sure...but there seems to be less danger of voltage spikes that can damage many of the car's electronic components when using the posts in the engine bay versus hooking directly to the battery. I don't know if there is something "in-line" or if it's just the distance that dissipates a voltage spike (let the electronic gurus chime in (or rip my theory to shreds). And as Bluebee mentioned...there is less chance of an explosion if there happens to be an accumulation of off gases (and then a spark from the jumper cables).

As far as the wait...it could be as simple as the time it took to get out of the car, unhook the cables from the engine bay...rehook them directly to the battery, then walk around to the car to try again...was enough "time" that the battery's power was sufficient to start the car.

Or if you weren't using the hex bolt on the shock tower...you may NOT have connected to a sufficient ground (this is just speculation though since we weren't there & that was the 1st possibility that popped into my head).

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 02-22-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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  #15  
Old 05-18-2014, 05:47 PM
blackblacke38 blackblacke38 is offline
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help battery dead?

I have read the prior postngs...but my hood will not open and i cannot turn the key at all to get in my trunk...is the keyhole suppossed to be stationary?? mine is out alil bit and lets you push it in but doesnt stayed pushed in...is there another way to jump this car....its weird that my hood popper wont even work
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