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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 08-29-2012, 12:05 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Power door lock button on console has no effect

My master key locks and unlocks all doors and latches fine however the button on the center console does nothing. I've checked three fuses 6, 27, 29 but they seem intact and fuctional.

Has anybody run across this and have a remedy. Or maybe you know what the pinout is for this button? I'd like to rule out the button itself by jumping across the three wires with a thin copper conductor if possible.

My local dealer(Irvine, CA) seems nuts, wants $105 for part # 61 31 8 360 828. It also seems to be ridiculously pricey through online parts depots and I sort of have the feeling it's not the button anyway.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 12:15 PM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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you could pull button and shrt wire

Quote:
Originally Posted by z_driver View Post
My master key locks and unlocks all doors and latches fine however the button on the center console does nothing. I've checked three fuses 6, 27, 29 but they seem intact and fuctional.

Has anybody run across this and have a remedy. Or maybe you know what the pinout is for this button? I'd like to rule out the button itself by jumping across the three wires with a thin copper conductor if possible.

My local dealer(Irvine, CA) seems nuts, wants $105 for part # 61 31 8 360 828. It also seems to be ridiculously pricey through online parts depots and I sort of have the feeling it's not the button anyway.

Thanks!
and see if it then works.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2012, 02:17 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Pull button and short pins

So far I've done this... tried shorting between pin number 1 and 2, then shorting 2 and 3 and finally shorting between 1 and 3. Still hasn't locked or unlocked anything. Should I try shorting all 3 at once? I guess it can't hurt at this stage but I'm sort of reluctant knowing the cost of a 2 dollar switch is 50 fold at the dealer.

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2012, 04:52 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Why not measure for continuity between pins as you actuate the switch?

The central lock button provides a ground to the GMIII module when pressed. Check the brown wire on the connector to see if it's connected to ground. If it is, and the switch checks okay, there may be a problem in the General Module.

Does the emergency flasher switch work? If not, some fool splashed a soft drink on the switches.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2012, 07:19 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Why not measure for continuity between pins as you actuate the switch?

The central lock button provides a ground to the GMIII module when pressed. Check the brown wire on the connector to see if it's connected to ground. If it is, and the switch checks okay, there may be a problem in the General Module.

Does the emergency flasher switch work? If not, some fool splashed a soft drink on the switches.
Thanks, for the ideas. I'll need to get a hold of a volt/ohm meter to check the continuity.

Emergency flashers do work now but they've had more than their fair share of sweetened softdrinks judging by the quantity of the gunk I've had to remove.

BACKGROUND: It's a car I bought 2 weeks ago and I'm still cleaning carpets, seats and buttons. Nice thing is, not much was broken, just grimy in the cracks. 2 bottles of Oxide Orange cleaner and some 15 to 20 terry and microfiber rags later, it's looking quite nice.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2012, 08:11 AM
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tmvE39/E53/Z32 tmvE39/E53/Z32 is offline
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i cant help with your problem but I get curious about your screen name. What Z do you drive?
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  #7  
Old 08-30-2012, 09:40 AM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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370 someday

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmvE39/E53/Z32 View Post
i cant help with your problem but I get curious about your screen name. What Z do you drive?
Ah ha! I also noticed the Z in the middle of your sig... almost expected the question to come up at some point. I don't actually have a Z. It's more of a quip about driving a german car and commuting from LA to Vegas. Feel like a robot sometimes taking off at 8, pulling in 'round midnight.
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  #8  
Old 08-30-2012, 10:09 AM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Does the emergency flasher switch work? If not, some fool splashed a soft drink on the switches.
Ed, on the topic of flasher switch... what is the normal mechanical action of this button like? My flasher sort of acts like the glovebox and ashtray doors. As if it's oil dampened. Slow down, slow up. As I mentioned above it works fine now that I cleaned the heck out of it and it's socket on the console. It would probably have to come apart if that's not the way it is supposed to move.

Thanks!
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  #9  
Old 08-30-2012, 12:41 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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Sounds like they're both gunked up. Mine both work "snappily," w/o delay.

Some people who drive cars are pigs. I'm so glad the original owner was as fastidious as me, maybe more so. The car was 4 years old when I got it, and it was absolutely pristine.
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  #10  
Old 08-30-2012, 01:20 PM
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Andreas540i Andreas540i is offline
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Do you know if any other electrical problems are apparent? I know that my door lock button quit working along with the auto up and down on the windows, horn, auto tilting mirror when in reverse... and I'm sure some others. It turned out to be that I shorted the diagnostic plug when trying to reset the service light.
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2012, 02:12 PM
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The button is just a little pricey (just over 60 bucks, found HERE). If you know someone with an E38 or E39 the button is shared in both vehicles, due to it's price I'd highly suggest finding a known good one to switch in to insure it's the button not something deeper in the wiring.


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  #12  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:19 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andreas540i View Post
I know that my door lock button quit working along with the auto up and down on the windows, horn, auto tilting mirror when in reverse... and I'm sure some others. It turned out to be that I shorted the diagnostic plug when trying to reset the service light.
Hmm, interesting. The passenger side window does not want to auto up but all other windows work flawlessly. I have been led to believe this is a feature that can be programmed by putting the key into position 1 and rolling up the window and holding the button 30 seconds extra. So far that hasn't worked but I've not been too worried about that one window. The other similarity is the horn isn't working but I "believe" that's the extent of electrical issues.

Passenger side Reverse tilting mirror, radio, cd, computer, interior lights, exterior lights, seats, alarm, flashers, all work fine.

Wonder if it could've just been a shorter short?
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:26 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECSTuning View Post
The button is just a little pricey (just over 60 bucks, found HERE). If you know someone with an E38 or E39 the button is shared in both vehicles, due to it's price I'd highly suggest finding a known good one to switch in to insure it's the button not something deeper in the wiring.
Good idea, but at present none of my friends have the e38 or e39 but that's sort of where I was heading with the pinout schematic. Test it before investment. That is the best price I've come across however. Thanks.
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  #14  
Old 08-30-2012, 06:42 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
Sounds like they're both gunked up. Mine both work "snappily," w/o delay.
Ok, thanks! Makes sense after all.

Quote:
Some people who drive cars are pigs. I'm so glad the original owner was as fastidious as me, maybe more so. The car was 4 years old when I got it, and it was absolutely pristine.
Nice. My previous car was like that. An immaculate Mercedes w124 from an AA airline pilot. Every service recorded, done on time and to the letter. Always garaged, or under a car cover. Perfect inside and out. And I kept it up... until a F350 4x4 rear ended me at a stoplight from 60mph while he was talking on the phone. Sold that beautiful piece of junk for $600 and the guy drove it away. Now I'm looking at $105 for a button?

Last edited by z_driver; 08-30-2012 at 06:45 PM.
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  #15  
Old 08-31-2012, 02:29 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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I was mistaken, the horn works fine.

Andreas: Which diagnostic plug did use when you caused a short? My understanding is the General Module 3 is the controlling device for power door locks.

Btw, upon further checking... with the exception of the passenger side front window not automatically raising on the second detent, the rest of the electrics and electronics seem to be working fine. Just need to get the doors to lock/unlock from the console now.

Last edited by z_driver; 09-01-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2012, 05:56 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Amazing

Hey, got it working guys! However I have no idea of what did it. Here's what happened just in case it helps someone down the road. I took the switch out and tried to jump it every which way. No go. Then, checked for continuity but the pinouts are so tiny I didn't get too far. Checked the wires for ground etc.. nada. Gave up and left it for later.

A few days went by and I tried to reset the "brake" notification on the dash by turning the key on all the way and leaving it just before starting it for 1 minute or more without starting the vehicle. I noticed that the ignition switch and bezel mechanism isn't very easy to feel on my car, it's difficult to diffenticate between the #1 and #2 detents. I played around with the key for a while which didn't fix the "brake" indicator but the next day the power door lock/unlock button worked???

I'm sure it's something that not many pay attention to, but that button is REAL convenient, especially if you have the 5 km autolocking feature.

Last edited by z_driver; 09-07-2012 at 10:36 AM. Reason: changed key switch to ignititon switch for the search engines
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  #17  
Old 09-06-2012, 08:08 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Well, maybe your ignition switch is actually the culprit. But that one would be a first (as in symptom). Usually it acts up when you lower the pass side visor and open the vanity mirror. But stranger things have happened......
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2012, 09:18 PM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Well, maybe your ignition switch is actually the culprit. But that one would be a first (as in symptom). Usually it acts up when you lower the pass side visor and open the vanity mirror. But stranger things have happened......
Wait, can you go over that again? What acts up when you play with the vanity mirror? The power door switch?

I'm asking because I may have touched the 'driver side' visor and vanity mirror in the day or so prior to the switch magically fixing itself.
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  #19  
Old 09-06-2012, 10:42 PM
edjack edjack is offline
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There is a traditional E39 test for diagnosing random electrical gremlins. When they occur, you turn on the passenger visor lamp. If this has an affect on the gremlin, it usually points to a worn-out ignition switch, the electrical portion.

For those on the wrong side of the road, it may be the driver's visor lamp.
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Last edited by edjack; 09-06-2012 at 10:43 PM.
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  #20  
Old 09-07-2012, 01:01 AM
z_driver z_driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjack View Post
There is a traditional E39 test for diagnosing random electrical gremlins. When they occur, you turn on the passenger visor lamp. If this has an affect on the gremlin, it usually points to a worn-out ignition switch, the electrical portion.

For those on the wrong side of the road, it may be the driver's visor lamp.
Wow, that's some wicked voodoo! I'll have to look into this further. Pretty sure it's the original ignition switch and the car's got 147K miles.
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