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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 01-03-2013, 06:41 PM
e39ers e39ers is offline
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Location: California
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Mein Auto: 1999 540i
Car battery is dead and cannot open doors! Please Help!

Hi,

I have a 1999 540i and left the lights on for one night. The battery is only a few months old but I cannot unlock the doors using the remote or by manually keying into the drivers door. I can open the trunk but I don't think the back seats fold down from the trunk.

I need to open the car in order to open the hood and then charge the battery, if there are any suggestions besides calling AAA it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 01-03-2013, 07:02 PM
s-thetikz s-thetikz is offline
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Location: Amherst MA
 
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Mein Auto: 325is
The battery is in the trunk, use your key to manually open the trunk. Good luck!
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2013, 07:06 PM
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Albo Albo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s-thetikz View Post
The battery is in the trunk, use your key to manually open the trunk. Good luck!
+1 ....recharge from the battery in the trunk.
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:02 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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To unlock the door you just need to insert the key and turn a full 90 degrees counterclockwise. The manual operation can be very stiff if it has never been used or lubricated.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:31 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
To unlock the door you just need to insert the key
These threads are starting to give me a laugh.
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #6  
Old 01-03-2013, 08:42 PM
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G-Moussa G-Moussa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
To unlock the door you just need to insert the key and turn a full 90 degrees counterclockwise. The manual operation can be very stiff if it has never been used or lubricated.
I had that problem recently, had to force it a bit to get the manual door unlocking to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
These threads are starting to give me a laugh.
haha i was thinking the same thing.
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  #7  
Old 01-03-2013, 09:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Moussa View Post
haha i was thinking the same thing.
I think it was Saint Q who remarked at one of these threads that we're so used to pushing the button on the key fob that we don't think about the fact that we used to open car doors with the key all the time, way back when.

Anyway, to the OP, you're not the first person (nor the last) to ask this question:
- How to open the hood (1) or trunk manually when you have a dead 12v car battery (1) (2) (3) & how to unlock the older E39 if the key is locked inside the trunk (1) (2)
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #8  
Old 01-04-2013, 07:01 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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These threads have been beating to death haha!

OK, if you turn the key manually and the door does not open, then your door tumbler is frozen from years of non-use.

Anyway, the quickest way to solve the problem is:
- Jack the Left Front up (no need to remove the wheel), support with jackstand for safety.
Or rest the wheel down on a wood ramps etc.
- Under the car is the starter motor. Look for the RED cable feeding the starter motor.
- Connect Red to Red (from donor battery)
- Ground is ground.
- Then hit the remote. You will likely need an assistant for this job.

The location of the Red terminal is at the same area as the aft part of the tire. Locate the aft part of the tire and move inward, you will see it:

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