Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:36 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Question Key does not lock/unlock (both remote and physical key)

I just bought a used 2003 325i and was told that the battery in the key was dead so the remote doesn't work and there is only one key. Okay, no problem I thought.

Now that the car is mine, I come to find out that the physical key itself does not at least lock the driver's door either when inserted and turned either way.

Okay, the seller got away with this sale without full disclosure and I'm eating the cost on getting this fixed.

My Googling discovered that for the remote part, the embedded rechargeable battery eventually fails requiring a brand new expensive master key from the dealer (alternatively, there are DIY instrux available to replace the battery).

But are there any general ideas on why the key physically can not lock the door via the cylinder? I can't believe it would also have something to do with the dead battery, so there must be another defective component(s) somewhere. I came across a site mentioning that this issue could be due to a faulty GM5 module (which also controls the interior lights, wipers, alarm-none of which I'm aware of having any issues with). This is getting me worried at the potential costs and the seller's words of "there's absolutely nothing wrong with the car but my wife loves her new Camry") comes back to haunt me...

I've had a 1993 318is long ago (my one and only BMW) and never experienced anything like these key problems.

Help!
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:41 PM
bmw330ci04's Avatar
bmw330ci04 bmw330ci04 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 462
Mein Auto: 04 330Ci 6 Spd, 07 335Cic
this might be a stretch but i still think that the key needs to have some power in order to unlock the car via the doors, because when i turn my key in the doors it still sounds the same (like if i just pushed the unlock button), which leads me to believe that I am not physically unlocking the door, but the car is doing what it normally does, the key is just in the door.. i could be totally wrong though, just a thought

i guess all you can do is replace the battery, youve got nothing to lose
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:49 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Yea, I was going to replace the battery, but also buy a new master key in order to have at least two keys on hand in case I ever lose one (happened to my girlfriend once). I truly hope that's what it is, but does the special "Spare Master Key" that can fit in your wallet also contain a battery? The FOB head looks awfully tiny to house a battery, at least as depicted in my owner's manual...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-04-2013, 08:57 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Upon further reading of my "new" owner's manual, utilizing the key in the physical door lock cylinder offers many different options: turning once unlocks driver's door; twice unlocks all doors; open the power windows and sunroof by holding the key in the unlock position; close the power windows and sunroof by holding the key in the lock position.

Thus, it seems to confirm your suspicion that the door lock cylinder is not physically attached to the door locking mechanism and is just another electrical device that sends signals to the Central Locking System. Meaning, if the battery in a Master Key is dead, it will no longer respond as a security precaution.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-04-2013, 10:55 PM
mofunk mofunk is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 201
Mein Auto: 2004 325ci
Only time I can think that my key didn't work in the door was when I put the key inside a car door that wasn't mine. I've put my 328ci key inside a 645 and it wouldn't turn duh. lol

I've had the key battery die on me and I was still able to unlock the car. Also was able to unlock the door when the car battery was disconnected. Your key doesn't have to have power to open the door manually.

Maybe the previous owner put in the wrong cylinder in? I would have someone check it before you spend any money.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-05-2013, 11:44 AM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Quote:
Originally Posted by mofunk View Post
Maybe the previous owner put in the wrong cylinder in? I would have someone check it before you spend any money.
The door cylinder turns with the key but neither locks nor unlocks the door.

I talked to a repair shop owner this morning and he tells me that the key nor battery has anything to do with the door cylinder failing to lock/unlock; the problem could be with the cylinder and/or the lock actuator ($300 in parts), the Central Locking System or General Module. He also could order a new cut and programmed key, but needs my registration (I still only have the pink slip as the DMV is closed) and driver's license; hopefully, this will be cheaper than thru the dealer.

He will look at it no charge Monday morning and at least test if the remote portion of the key just needs to be reinitialized, so I'll keep y'all posted...

Last edited by Augster; 05-05-2013 at 11:57 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-05-2013, 07:52 PM
mofunk mofunk is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 201
Mein Auto: 2004 325ci
Cool keep us posted. I knew it didn't have to do with the battery. Like I said I've opened my car plenty of times with a dead key battery and the car battery unplugged.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-17-2013, 04:07 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
The shop finally got the part and replaced the cylinder and voila! Door locks/unlocks with keys!

Whew.

Now to get a new key ordered so I get a working remote. I will also DIY battery replacement on the original key so as to have two working keys on hand.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:08 PM
JKRIT JKRIT is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Hollis, NH
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 576
Mein Auto: '03 525i
You might just want someone like a dealer diagnose your remote. On our touring, it took two new remote sensor modules and a new rear corner window (has the key sensor antenna in it) to get it working again. It "ain't" always the battery in the key. We also needed the cylinder in the door for manual unlocking. Total: $2,000.
__________________
'03 525i Sapphire Blu/Grey, SP, Nav
'03 530i Sterling Gray/Blk, SP
'02 525it Titanium Silver/Grey, SP
'02 325it Orient Blu/Grey, SP, Nav
'01 M3 Laguna Seca Blu/Grey
'95 M3 Cosmos Blk/Blk
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-17-2013, 05:17 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Wow. Well, I'm just hoping that because the car (and ergo, the key battery) is over 10 years old, that it has to be the battery. A buck-fifty for a new key isn't really a waste as I want two keys anyway, so if it ends up being more problematic, then I will address it then.

Thanks for the heads-up tho!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-19-2013, 07:54 PM
milkyway1977 milkyway1977 is offline
Registered User
Location: QUEENS, NY
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 11
Mein Auto: 2003 330 XI
I had the same issue, key wouldn't lock/unlock then the cylinder to manually lock and unlock goes out. I ordered a new battery but that didn't work. The end result
was paying BMW $200 for a new key, just happy I am able to lock/unlock my doors now and be at peace.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 05-20-2013, 08:16 AM
hoodlum hoodlum is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: austin
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 121
Mein Auto: 325ci
Just a thought

Just something to ponder, but was the car ever in an accident? Maybe the door replaced? Maybe a half way job was done replacing the door but not the key cylinder? Sounds like the key belongs to another door? Or the door belongs to another Key!
Hoodlum.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 05-24-2013, 10:01 AM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
I checked my door thoroughly, and if it was off another car, I couldn't tell. The hinge nuts do not look like they were disturbed at all: the original paint appears to be intact and there is no evidence of repainting or overspray anywhere around the door, hinges and body door opening.

Regardless, the new key works like a charm and I'm glad to have remote lock/unlock capabilities once again (my, have I gotten spoiled since my first car: a 1966 Mustang GT fastback, A-code with manual everything).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 06-03-2013, 06:00 PM
selfkeymaker selfkeymaker is offline
Registered User
Location: seremban
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: e39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
Wow. Well, I'm just hoping that because the car (and ergo, the key battery) is over 10 years old, that it has to be the battery. A buck-fifty for a new key isn't really a waste as I want two keys anyway, so if it ends up being more problematic, then I will address it then.

Thanks for the heads-up tho!
A buck-fifty meaning USD 50 ?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 06-03-2013, 06:51 PM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
$150. It actually came out to $160 exactly.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 06-03-2013, 07:35 PM
selfkeymaker selfkeymaker is offline
Registered User
Location: seremban
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 13
Mein Auto: e39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
$150. It actually came out to $160 exactly.
A new key with $160 is really really cheap in your country. In Malaysia this key cost more than $300 from BMW Germany.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 06-05-2013, 05:40 AM
ForTheWife ForTheWife is offline
Registered User
Location: Western Australia
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 3series,Vito Van,Cruiser
Howdy guys, i bought a 99 316 4door for the wife (hence Tag )(though it will become daughters car one day and its a Manual for teaching her to drive too)
Just recently the central locking started to play up a bit.
When you press unlock once (sometimes) the front drivers door unlocks,
Occassionally pressing the second time the other doors unlock (as standard)
But most times...pressing the second time nothing happens!.. but when held down a third time all the windows and sunroof open (as standard!)
I replaced the C2016 battery in the one of our keys, but no apparent improvement. Can you explain, the logic behind your problems again.
I get that the door mech must be an electronic switch (see note below about windows),and when a key is inserted in the door lock its like turning an electronic switch! When i insert the key and turn nothing happens! either direction same. But where does the problem lie????????and what can you explain what components you think exist in this system?

Window controls...IN my LandCruiser and Merc Vito, there is a computer in each door. It controls the electric window (and maybe locks-not sure of that) but sometimes if the battery has been flatten (lights left on etc) the door computer needs resetting for the windows to work correctly. to Reset, push window button Down until it stops, then Hold Button Up unitil it reaches the top and continue holding for further Ten seconds, at this time the computer resest the window limits and the auto up/down function and upper and lower limits work correctly. I know this is the same for other cars also (Mitsubishi Prado etc)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 06-05-2013, 08:35 AM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Post

What you need to do is isolate the problem in one of the three potential failure areas:

1) Malfunctioning remote (battery, transmitter)

2) Remote key receiver (antenna in driver's side A-pillar for coupe or mirror for convertible, wiring)

3) Central Locking System (electronics unit)

I would first test the key manually in the door cylinder by performing the following steps:

1) Open any window/sunroof. Turn the key to lock AND HOLD IT IN THE LOCK POSITION. All open windows/sunroof should automatically close.

2) Turn the key to unlock AND HOLD IT IN THE UNLOCK POSITION. All windows/sunroof should automatically open.

3) Turn the key twice to unlock position and release. All doors, trunk lid, and fuel filler door should unlock.

4) Turn the key once to lock position and release. All doors, trunk lid, and fuel filler door should lock.

If all the above works, then your door cylinder and central locking system appear to be in order so it would be either the antenna/wiring (rare) or remote (likely).

Regarding a possible malfunctioning remote, since you already replaced the battery, I think the only way to determine that its the key is to have another fully functional key on-hand. If you don't have one, then that means buying a new OEM key (I always recommend having at least two keys just in case you accidentally lose one, especially for the E46 as it can take a few days before you get a replacement). Mine cost me $160. I do on occasion experience a no-response from my new remote or even just the driver's door unlocking, but it seems to be when I'm right at the driver's door with the key about door handle height. Maybe the signal is being interfered with in some way that close to the receiver antenna. The remote works just fine later on (perhaps it was low on power and needed to be charged in the ignition switch).
__________________
2008 335i Sport Sedan AT

Last edited by Augster; 06-05-2013 at 08:40 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 06-05-2013, 06:14 PM
ForTheWife ForTheWife is offline
Registered User
Location: Western Australia
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 3series,Vito Van,Cruiser
Awesome Augster, thanks for that i have printed it out and will give it a go tonight, and let you know how i get on.
One thing i note from your info, If the key needs to be charged in the ignition, it must have a second embedded battery in the electronics?

My wife just commented on the way out the driveway this morning that the electric window on driver side doesnt always work, so something else to look at! lucky i dont work on weekends hey!
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 06-07-2013, 08:08 AM
Bimmer3Series Bimmer3Series is offline
Bimmer Lover Since '96
Location: Lewisburg, WV
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 104
Mein Auto: 1999 328ic & 2001 325xi
Interesting topic! We picked up our 2001 325xi last Sept. '12 & it came with one key that the dude had replaced the battery & re-glued. The key remote worked fine. I also went to the dealer (2 hours away) & bought another 2nd new key, programmed it & they both work fine. If I put either key in any of the locks of the car, they turn fine but will not lock or unlock the car... only by using the remote can I lock/unlock. So... what does this mean? Are all my lock cyclinders jacked up or a central locking system? Like I say, the both remotes work the locks perfectly.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 06-07-2013, 08:17 AM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
From my personal experience, your door lock cylinder is bad. My independent shop required an actual copy of my vehicle registration in my name and my driver's license (I guess to verify that the vehicle is mine and not stolen) to order a door cylinder that was preset to match my original key. Once it came in, it took only a few minutes to remove and replace the cylinder at a cost of $125.
__________________
2008 335i Sport Sedan AT
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 06-07-2013, 06:30 PM
Bimmer3Series Bimmer3Series is offline
Bimmer Lover Since '96
Location: Lewisburg, WV
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 104
Mein Auto: 1999 328ic & 2001 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
From my personal experience, your door lock cylinder is bad. My independent shop required an actual copy of my vehicle registration in my name and my driver's license (I guess to verify that the vehicle is mine and not stolen) to order a door cylinder that was preset to match my original key. Once it came in, it took only a few minutes to remove and replace the cylinder at a cost of $125.
So, are all of my lock cylinders bad? Using the key in the driver's door or the passenger door or the trunk lock, NONE will work by using the key, I am only able to use the remote to lock & unlock everything.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 06-08-2013, 12:21 AM
Augster Augster is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Sandy Eggo
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 285
Mein Auto: M1A1 Abrams
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer3Series View Post
So, are all of my lock cylinders bad? Using the key in the driver's door or the passenger door or the trunk lock, NONE will work by using the key, I am only able to use the remote to lock & unlock everything.
What year and model do you have? My '03 325i only has one door cylinder and the trunk cylinder; there are no passenger door cylinders.
__________________
2008 335i Sport Sedan AT
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 06-08-2013, 10:23 AM
Bimmer3Series Bimmer3Series is offline
Bimmer Lover Since '96
Location: Lewisburg, WV
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 104
Mein Auto: 1999 328ic & 2001 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Augster View Post
What year and model do you have? My '03 325i only has one door cylinder and the trunk cylinder; there are no passenger door cylinders.
My bad, it is only the driver's door & trunk lock, I was thinking of our other two, '88 325 & '92 318ic. The '01 325xi is what I can only lock/unlock with the remote buttons.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms