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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 09-30-2012, 09:18 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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2003 525i E39, remote/central lock and unlock not working

i have a 2003 BMW 525i. i had the car for 9 months and no issue at all. until one month back, the alarm appear to go off without reason, I am certain all doors, roof and windows are fully closed. Sometimes it will go off within sec after I lock the car with my remote. sometimes it is minutes after. one day the remote lock/unlock of my keys (both keys) stopped working but still works for the trunk. The central lock button inside car stopped working also. I can lock/unlock manually with my key still and the fuel door DOES lock when the car is locked. I do not know if the alarm and the locking issues are related but I deactivated the alarm by unplugging something under the hood which I learned from youtube . So now I need to fix the central lock issue. Can anyone help? How should I troubleshoot? Thx.
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2012, 09:38 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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I read other posts about resetting keys and checking fuses and I have a couple questions about them
1)since my remote key works for the trunk, is there still a need to try reset the keys?
2)I opened up the trunk and see there are fuses above the battery and found a sheet listing the fuse number for the central lock. How can I validate that fuse is malfunction or blown? And is that the only fuse I need to be concern about? If not which other fuses I should check? Thx. Sorry for asking dumb questions
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2012, 11:15 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Can anyone help? Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2012, 03:47 AM
veneficus veneficus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
I read other posts about resetting keys and checking fuses and I have a couple questions about them
1)since my remote key works for the trunk, is there still a need to try reset the keys?
2)I opened up the trunk and see there are fuses above the battery and found a sheet listing the fuse number for the central lock. How can I validate that fuse is malfunction or blown? And is that the only fuse I need to be concern about? If not which other fuses I should check? Thx. Sorry for asking dumb questions

Fuses have a small wire in them that 'breaks' when the fuse is blown. if the wire is broken in the fuse, then it needs to be replaced.

have you checked the anti theft sensor under then bonnet? ive hear of people having issues with it if they have insulation damage under the bonnet.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2012, 04:08 AM
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The alarm and locking issues are related. I believe that when you lock the doors using the key, the alarm is engaged. If the door lock fails to engage (button stays up), the alarm becomes very sensitive to any vibration. When my actuator was failing, my alarm would go off at random when I locked the car via the key remote but the drivers door would not actually lock (button did not go down). I cannot help you with your central locking issue. But make sure it is not your actuator failing. If you lock your car and your actuator dies, you CANNOT open the door without destroying your inside door panel. If the button fails to go up or down, then it is your actuator. I recently posted a DIY for replacing it. Do a search.
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  #6  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:52 AM
acoste acoste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
The central lock button inside car stopped working also. I can lock/unlock manually with my key still and the fuel door DOES lock when the car is locked.
First I was thinking it is the general module. When you push the lock button inside the car, that's connected to the general module which has direct wires to the rear door's lock. So even if other parts are broken, the rear doors should lock with the lock button if the general module is working. Now the strange thing is, that you say the tank flap works. The tank flap actuator is hardwired to the rear door lock. These receive exactly the same signal. However the supply voltage comes from different fuses. Tank flap has a relay in the trunk and a fuse (F53), the general module (and rear door lock) is supplied by the fuse F4, F27, F11, F38.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
I can lock/unlock manually with my key
By turning 45 degrees (easy) or 90 degrees (mechanical lock)? Are all the doors locking unlocking in this case?


Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
I do not know if the alarm and the locking issues are related but I deactivated the alarm by unplugging something under the hood
The alarm issue and the central lock issues are not related. The culprit for the alarm was the hood switch which very often fails. By disconnecting it your alarm still works except monitoring the hood.

Last edited by acoste; 10-04-2012 at 09:53 AM.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:01 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veneficus View Post
Fuses have a small wire in them that 'breaks' when the fuse is blown. if the wire is broken in the fuse, then it needs to be replaced.

have you checked the anti theft sensor under then bonnet? ive hear of people having issues with it if they have insulation damage under the bonnet.
Thanks. Do I need to disconnect the battery to check the fuse? Now that my alarm does not go off randomly, I am not concern about the alarm or anti theft issue but I will definitely check it out. I am now in need of fixing the central lock issue. Thanks for your advice
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  #8  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:04 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
The alarm and locking issues are related. I believe that when you lock the doors using the key, the alarm is engaged. If the door lock fails to engage (button stays up), the alarm becomes very sensitive to any vibration. When my actuator was failing, my alarm would go off at random when I locked the car via the key remote but the drivers door would not actually lock (button did not go down). I cannot help you with your central locking issue. But make sure it is not your actuator failing. If you lock your car and your actuator dies, you CANNOT open the door without destroying your inside door panel. If the button fails to go up or down, then it is your actuator. I recently posted a DIY for replacing it. Do a search.
Thanks. As stated, I can lock/unlock manually with the key so the mechanical part of the door lock do function. Except, I cannot lock/unlock using the remote + the central lock console inside the car. Does it mean my actuator is not failing? Thanks again
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  #9  
Old 10-04-2012, 08:14 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acoste View Post
First I was thinking it is the general module. When you push the lock button inside the car, that's connected to the general module which has direct wires to the rear door's lock. So even if other parts are broken, the rear doors should lock with the lock button if the general module is working. Now the strange thing is, that you say the tank flap works. The tank flap actuator is hardwired to the rear door lock. These receive exactly the same signal. However the supply voltage comes from different fuses. Tank flap has a relay in the trunk and a fuse (F53), the general module (and rear door lock) is supplied by the fuse F4, F27, F11, F38.


By turning 45 degrees (easy) or 90 degrees (mechanical lock)? Are all the doors locking unlocking in this case?

Yes, manually turning with car key, all the doors locks and unlocks properly flawlessly. The only problem is I cannot lock/unlock with the remote and the central lock console inside car. To clarify, when I said my fuel flap works, I meant when locking/unlocking with my car key manually. I actually witness the flap works as I left the fuel door opened and lock my car mannualy and I saw the fuel flap rod extending out which supposed to lock the fuel door. The central console and remote does not work with the fuel flap. Does it sound like an actuator or fuses or others? I certainly hope it is not an expensive fix. Thanks.



The alarm issue and the central lock issues are not related. The culprit for the alarm was the hood switch which very often fails. By disconnecting it your alarm still works except monitoring the hood.
Ever sinse I disconnected the connector inside the hood, the alarm hasn't went off randomly. Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2012, 12:51 AM
acoste acoste is offline
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o.k.
just to make a summary here:
whenever the general module receives a command on

- P-BUS (the manual lock unlock with the key), everything works.
- remote control direct wire to general module, works for trunk only
- lock button direct wire to general module, never works.

So I think:
- all the lock actuators are o.k.
- remote control most likely o.k. ...
- general module most likely not o.k. (is there something which prevents it from working? supply, ground, battery voltage!)

> start up the engine and try to lock the doors with the lock button between the seats. If it works, then you have a battery voltage issue.

Last edited by acoste; 10-05-2012 at 12:56 AM.
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
Thanks. As stated, I can lock/unlock manually with the key so the mechanical part of the door lock do function. Except, I cannot lock/unlock using the remote + the central lock console inside the car. Does it mean my actuator is not failing? Thanks again
Failing actuators is one possible cause of this problem. See this thread for a similar problem and "fix". http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=649945 Multiple simultaneous actuator failure would be rare so a different cause is likely. Please post back your findings.
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2012, 02:13 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acoste View Post
o.k.
just to make a summary here:
whenever the general module receives a command on

- P-BUS (the manual lock unlock with the key), everything works.
- remote control direct wire to general module, works for trunk only
- lock button direct wire to general module, never works.

So I think:
- all the lock actuators are o.k.
- remote control most likely o.k. ...
- general module most likely not o.k. (is there something which prevents it from working? supply, ground, battery voltage!)

> start up the engine and try to lock the doors with the lock button between the seats. If it works, then you have a battery voltage issue.
Great summary, thanks. When my car started, the central lock button in the car between the front seats do not work. BTW, when I tried unlock using the remote, the driver seat moves due to memory. In this case it would not be voltage issue right? What else should I do to trouble shoot? When you said general module, is it an actual part and how to validate whether it is functioning or not? Thank you
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2012, 03:32 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Could it be a low battery issue?
A new battery just fixed my car alarm issues.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2012, 05:45 PM
acoste acoste is offline
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When the engine is running, the supply voltage is good regardless of the condition of the battery as long as the alternator is o.k. So I don't think it is a battery issue.

General module is a unit which controls the doors and windows. It does have a part number and is located behind the glove box.

Try resetting it by leaving the battery disconnected for an hour.
Or get another one and see if that works. Don't unplug the module with the battery connected.

Note:
Turn ignition off, open the trunk, wait 16 minutes and then disconnect the battery.




Sent from my ADR6350 using Bimmer App
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  #15  
Old 10-06-2012, 03:52 AM
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I don't mean to "bogart" your thread, but I have a question....my center lock button only works when the car is on and I'm inside with all doors closed. I do not have a voltage issue from my battery. I have 12v and I can turn the key on and listen to the radio for hours and have left my lights on for long periods with no problem starting the car.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggyd357 View Post
I don't mean to "bogart" your thread, but I have a question....my center lock button only works when the car is on and I'm inside with all doors closed. I do not have a voltage issue from my battery. I have 12v and I can turn the key on and listen to the radio for hours and have left my lights on for long periods with no problem starting the car.
Which door are you trying to lock in the situation you presented in your question? BMWs have had a driver's door lock-out feature for decades...I remember a friends 1978 e21 320i having this feature. If the driver's door is OPEN...it can not be locked...this prevents accidentally locking the keys in the car if using the driver's door.

Even if the car has been shut off and the driver's door is open...as long as the car hasn't gone to SLEEP (takes 16 minutes with no actions to WAKE the car...by pulling on the door handles or using the remote functions of the key or opening a window etc.)...you should still be able to UNLOCK the remaining doors by pressing the central lock/unlock button...sometimes you may need to press it twice depending on the last request you made of the central locking system.
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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)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

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  #17  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:17 AM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acoste View Post
When the engine is running, the supply voltage is good regardless of the condition of the battery as long as the alternator is o.k. So I don't think it is a battery issue.

General module is a unit which controls the doors and windows. It does have a part number and is located behind the glove box.

Try resetting it by leaving the battery disconnected for an hour.
Or get another one and see if that works. Don't unplug the module with the battery connected.

Note:
Turn ignition off, open the trunk, wait 16 minutes and then disconnect the battery.




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OMG, I reset the battery and bingo!!! The the lock/unlock from my remote and central lock works again!!! It is like magic, thank you so much. One thing I did try was to locate the fuse 53 for central lock system from the trunk but I could not find it. Where is it? The fuse box under the glove compartment is very clearly labeled but there is no fuse 53. BTW when I reconnect the battery I see that I need to reset the clock and seat memory but the preset radio station is still there. Anything else I need to reset?? Again, thank you do much!!!!
BTW, I reconnected the plug for the alarm under the hood and no false alarm yet so I just wonder if the two issues by chance are related as they occurred on the same day....

Oct 10th update: the alarm went off again so I disconnected the plug under the hood...so afterall, perhaps the two problems are independent..

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Last edited by cidernet; 10-09-2012 at 08:43 PM.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2012, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cidernet View Post
1. ...fuse 53 for central lock system from the trunk...I could not find it. Where is it? ... the glove compartment is very clearly labeled but there is no fuse 53.

2. BTW when I reconnect the battery I see that I need to reset the clock and seat memory... Anything else I need to reset?? ...
1. Do you have the fuse index on the back side of your battery compartment door? If you do...you should see a list of all the trunk's fuses in alphabetical order...with the fuse location listed. There is also a diagram that shows the location nbr of the fuses within the fuse box along with the amperage. You should be able to figure it out by counting from the first location (from the left)...as well as by the amperage of the fuses within the box. If fuse #53 is really missing...you can check the glove box location to see if you have a SPARE 7.5amp fuse still there (BMW threw in a few spares for emergencies):



(in this index below for my 99 Touring...fuse #53 is the 8th fuse from the left and is a 7.5 amp fuse)


2. You may want to check your sunroof...see the instructions below from the owners manual:

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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)

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  #19  
Old 10-09-2012, 08:41 PM
cidernet cidernet is offline
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
1. Do you have the fuse index on the back side of your battery compartment door? If you do...you should see a list of all the trunk's fuses in alphabetical order...with the fuse location listed. There is also a diagram that shows the location nbr of the fuses within the fuse box along with the amperage. You should be able to figure it out by counting from the first location (from the left)...as well as by the amperage of the fuses within the box. If fuse #53 is really missing...you can check the glove box location to see if you have a SPARE 7.5amp fuse still there (BMW threw in a few spares for emergencies):



(in this index below for my 99 Touring...fuse #53 is the 8th fuse from the left and is a 7.5 amp fuse)


2. You may want to check your sunroof...see the instructions below from the owners manual:

Thank you for your notes. I did see the fuse index in the trunk and I did not know that the right side of the fuse index is indeed the order of the fuses in the fuse box. I expected the fuse no would be clearly labeled as the fuse box under the glove compartment. Thanks for pointing this out and it is also the 8th fuse for my car.
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