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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 04-08-2012, 01:20 PM
busted_5 busted_5 is offline
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Mein Auto: 530xi Wagon
Exclamation Calling all WAGON owners -- HELP!!!

Hello all!

I drive a wonderful 2007 530xi Wagon. It's my baby, I've treated it extremely well, even when it got off warranty and.... now the automated lift gate (at the rear of the car) has ceased to work.

When I mean it has ceased to work, I mean: The lift gate is stuck, latched into the bottom lock, and no matter how many times I press the open button, it squeals and tries to open, but stops before any real progress occurs.

Here's the lowdown: One day I was loading stuff out the back, and then I pressed the red button on the bottom of the gate to automatically close it, all standard procedure up to here. But this is where it got weird. It closed normally (or so I thought), however when I locked the car with my key (wirelessly) walking away, I didn't hear the beep signifying a full lock. Therefore I checked all the doors to see if one was open, and all of them were closed... but the rear gate was slightly gapped away from the car. Like, maybe a quarter of an inch away. So I tried to unlock it using the key (wirelessly, as there is no manual key on the trunk for the wagons) and it squealed and tried to open, and I could see it moving, trying to open, but it got stuck (sensed some sort of impediment) and stopped trying.

Now it has been stuck that way for about a month because I don't dare to take it into a dealer and have them stick me with a bunch of charges for something I can probably fix myself.

HAS ANYONE (a wagon owner of some sort) EXPERIENCED ANYTHING LIKE THIS AT ALL? It sucks! Not only will my trunk not open, everytime I start the car, it chimes at me saying the rear is open, and the rear interior lights stay permanently on until they shut themselves off. I'm wasting battery and I don't have the use of my rear lift gate and thus my trunk area.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 04-08-2012, 01:33 PM
bimbox bimbox is offline
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Location: Edmonton, Alberta
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 530xi Sports Wagon
This must be maddening and reinforces my gladness that I've just bought a very lightly-optioned e61, without the admittedly handy tailgate lift. Can you still operate the glass-only hatch, from the switch on the underside of the wiper post? This may sound like a dumb question but I read another post here recently, from a new owner who was unaware of this convenient feature of their Sports Wagon.
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  #3  
Old 04-08-2012, 01:48 PM
busted_5 busted_5 is offline
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After this, I don't want any technology. Give me an old E30, I don't care how hard it is to find replacement parts, as long as I know what is actually wrong when something breaks, I'll be much happier.

As for the current situation for BIMBOX (thank you, btw!) -- No. I can't open the glass hatch. When I pressed the button (in the past) it would pause a little, I would feel the electronics releasing a latch somewhere, and then it would pop open and be able to be moved freely. As of now, when I depress the button, nothing happens, I feel nothing, I hear nothing, I just merely pushed a button in.
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  #4  
Old 04-08-2012, 05:00 PM
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TLO03 TLO03 is offline
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Do you have the cargo mat sometimes mine jambs up the normal operation.
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  #5  
Old 04-08-2012, 10:08 PM
Chemech Chemech is offline
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Location: California
 
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Mein Auto: '07 530i (E60)
Quote:
Originally Posted by busted_5 View Post
After this, I don't want any technology. Give me an old E30, I don't care how hard it is to find replacement parts, as long as I know what is actually wrong when something breaks, I'll be much happier.

As for the current situation for BIMBOX (thank you, btw!) -- No. I can't open the glass hatch. When I pressed the button (in the past) it would pause a little, I would feel the electronics releasing a latch somewhere, and then it would pop open and be able to be moved freely. As of now, when I depress the button, nothing happens, I feel nothing, I hear nothing, I just merely pushed a button in.
First off, try the release button on the dash down below your left knee - probably won't work, but it's a quick test to find out if the electronics are working.

Next, can you crawl into the back and reach the manual release cable? This should override all of the latching systems, and let you open the trunk - kind of necessary if you are going to check the fuse for the electronic latch system, since the fuse block is in the right rear fender.

The fuse list is *supposed* to be with your tool-kit / first aid pouch... If not, google on "BMW E61 fuse chart" and do a little sifting through the links. I found the attached file that way, no guarantees...

You'll want to check the alignment of the tailgate latch - they get banged around, so they are relatively easy to adjust if you have a mechanic's tool set.

Finally, you may have a dead solenoid. It's been a few years since I last replaced one, and it wasn't on a BMW, or a station wagon even.

You should be able to get the destructions from TIS: http://tis.spaghetticoder.org

It's kind of annoying, but you should puzzle it out in an evening or Saturday afternoon...
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  #6  
Old 04-11-2012, 07:26 PM
scriss scriss is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 530xiT
Check your owner's manual for opening it manually. Not quite as easy as a "manual release cable" as a sedan would have for a trunk, but you just pop the cover of the latch mechanism and hit a lever and it should free itself.

In my 2006 manual, it's page 36.

I remember this happening to me once, where the lock essentially jammed closed - but the tailgate was completely open at the time, so it wouldn't close at all. But once I manipulated it manually, it worked again. Sounds like this could be the case here. If you can get it open from the inside, it will probably reset itself.

It does surprise me though, that you can't open the window - though I've never tried opening the window when the tailgate it open; maybe there's an electronic nanny that won't let that happen, and since your car thinks your tailgate is open, that's why.
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Last edited by scriss; 04-11-2012 at 07:29 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-09-2012, 07:53 PM
toga94m toga94m is offline
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Mein Auto: 2006 530xiT
Wagon Hatch Latch

This sounds like part of what my car is doing today. With the hatch open, staring at the latch mechanism, I can close the locking lever with my finger, and it locks in place. Pressing the electric 'open' button on the outside of the car will click the latch open, but it doesn't open all the way, so if I shut the hatch it bangs on the post in the bumper.

I also can't pop the glass lid, probably because the electronics know the hatch isn't secure.

I removed the small internal access cover and twiddled the "lever" that's supposed to be a manual release (according to my manual). Eventually I got the latch to open all the way, and told the hatch to close (electrically). It motored down, latched, stopped moving, then after a second's pause it tried to open again. But it was latched, so in 1-2 seconds of pushing (and warping the whole hatch!) it gave up. Triggering the outside unlock button unlatches the lock and the hatch opens.

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.

I removed the cover panel, about 10 screws, two plastic rivets, the internal 'close' pushbutton and light, and the cover over the rear wiper motor (need the glass open to find this!) which exposed the last two screws. Then the whole back trim panel came off.

Photos (taken from inside the car) - 1513 shows the latch thinking it's holding the hatch shut. 1514 shows the latch where it stops on its own, which isn't open enough to latch onto the post. 1515 shows it fully open, after poking more at the "lever". When the bumper pin presses up on the latch in this orientation, the latch swings around and locks onto it.

With the trim off, I was able to unplug the wires from the latch, remove 3 screws and remove the latching mechanism. At that point I could hear loose bits rattling around inside - turned out to be one of the four big Torx screws that hold the assembly together (you can see it missing in all the photos). A plastic pin that holds one end of a coilspring was also broken off and rattling around. It took a LOT of force to get the other three Torx screws out, so I'm surprised the fourth had worked itself loose, even over 6 years.

Since I can't take the housing any further apart, I'm going to take the bits to BMW and see if they'll cover it under defective workmanship/materials, even though it's not CPO and I'm the 3rd owner. It'll be my first visit to the dealer, so they might want to make a good first impression.
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  #8  
Old 07-10-2012, 10:46 AM
terrystu terrystu is offline
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Mein Auto: 1985 M635csi, 2008 535xit
Quote:
Originally Posted by TLO03 View Post
Do you have the cargo mat sometimes mine jambs up the normal operation.
I know this is OT, but I love the stance on your touring. Since mine is the same year and
model, could you tell me what kind of front springs you chose to accomplish this?
Thanks.
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  #9  
Old 01-11-2013, 07:09 PM
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stewthebassman stewthebassman is offline
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Location: Hudson, Quebec
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Mein Auto: 07 E61 530xiT 2004 E53 X5
So what happened with the mess you brought your dealer? My pushbutton is acting all weird now too!
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:07 AM
JMac1 JMac1 is offline
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Location: Maine
 
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Mein Auto: 2006 530 XiT
Calling all wagon owners

Hi Busted 5
i am now experiencing the exact problem you described last year. The BMW tech bulletins (according to my mechanic) pointed to a broken trunk latch. Sadly, i have replaced the latch with no fix! It feels more like a computer problem to me.
were you able to solve the problem?
thanks, JMac1
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:26 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrystu View Post
I know this is OT, but I love the stance on your touring. Since mine is the same year and
model, could you tell me what kind of front springs you chose to accomplish this?
Thanks.
Terry, he has KW V3 coil overs set very low and with 20" rims.
I am going to add coil overs to our E61 as well, but I may settle on the KW Street Comforts since it is primarily wife's car. They run around $1,800 but the ride is completely transformed.
All the Xdrive cars sit high and could benefit from a 1.5" drop.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:32 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TLO03 View Post
Do you have the cargo mat sometimes mine jambs up the normal operation.
+1. Sounds like something is stuck in the locking mechanism or along the edge. try to unlock it with the key fob while pulling up on the liftgate. You can open the window and push from the inside. Also check all fuses.
Another idea is to have a diagnostic reading done to see if there are any error codes stored.
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:19 AM
Phoenix1 Phoenix1 is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 2008 E61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
Terry, he has KW V3 coil overs set very low and with 20" rims.
I am going to add coil overs to our E61 as well, but I may settle on the KW Street Comforts since it is primarily wife's car. They run around $1,800 but the ride is completely transformed.
All the Xdrive cars sit high and could benefit from a 1.5" drop.
OT - I have not pulled the KW plug yet - maybe in July.

Where did you find $1800 KW Street Comforts for the E61? All I can find is $2500 Kw3's...

I was looking at the following replacement sway bars as a (relatively) inexpensive to reduce body roll. Any thoughts?

http://aakmotorsports.com/rd-sport-a...61-xdrive.aspx

Thanks!
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2013, 11:29 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Phoenix,

We are hijacking this thread which is about a problem with liftgate.

But,... I met up with Booyaaza in California and rode in his car with KW V2s. It GLIDES over the road, yet stays planted in hard cornering.
He is hooked up with a KW contact and passed along some amazing deals. Suggest you pm him.
I would hold off on sways until you see how the car handles with new coil overs. Then maybe do the front with an H&R bar. Booyaazaa's car stayed pancake flat in corners, but if you tighten down the suspension too much, then you lose some absorption and the car feels too slammed. I think the goal is to have a performance oriented car that still feels comfortable and luxurious.
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2014, 10:22 PM
hf1 hf1 is offline
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Location: Northeast USA
 
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Mein Auto: 06 530xi Wagon
My lift gate open/closes fine but I can not open the glass window hatch. Push the button and nothing happens. Any idea how to resolve this? Is it a mechanical or an electrical problem? I need to open the glass window to get access to the diversity amplifier on top under the spoiler.

Last edited by hf1; 09-25-2014 at 10:57 PM.
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  #16  
Old 09-26-2014, 04:50 AM
Blacksaph10 Blacksaph10 is offline
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Location: MN
 
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Mein Auto: '10 E61 535i xdrive
Can't say for sure but seems electrical/switch related, mine seems to pause a split second before releasing, like it's waiting for the okay that the key is in my pocket.


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  #17  
Old 09-26-2014, 05:18 AM
hf1 hf1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blacksaph10 View Post
Can't say for sure but seems electrical/switch related, mine seems to pause a split second before releasing, like it's waiting for the okay that the key is in my pocket.


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Makes sense. But now it's a catch 22 for me. Can't open the window latch because the remote key is broken and can't fix the remote key (diversity amplifier) without opening the window latch. Quite the predicament. What's a guy to do?

Any way to bypass the remote and to force-open the window latch mechanically?
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  #18  
Old 09-26-2014, 05:29 AM
Blacksaph10 Blacksaph10 is offline
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I may be mistaken but I think my diversity antenna is in the shark fin on top of the car, not in the rear window spoiler.



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  #19  
Old 09-26-2014, 05:44 AM
hf1 hf1 is offline
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Location: Northeast USA
 
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Mein Auto: 06 530xi Wagon
The diversity AMPLIFIER is under the spoiler. Replacing it requires the opening of the rear window. Saw this on a thread here but can't link to it since typing this on mobile. Look at the noob (me) already telling people what's what.

EDIT: And I think my (e60) antenna is also under the spoiler. Don't remember seeing a shark fin. (Car not near me atm.)

Last edited by hf1; 09-26-2014 at 05:48 AM.
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  #20  
Old 09-26-2014, 08:25 AM
hf1 hf1 is offline
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OK, my e60 also has a shark fin antenna, but that one is for satellite/GPS and cell phones. The AM/FM antenna is under the rear spoiler. I'm may be a noob but I slept at the Holiday Inn last night. Plus, I have the service manual.
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