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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 03-05-2015, 05:36 AM
jaybeee jaybeee is offline
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Ever Locked Somebody In Your E39?

I have by accident and for fun.

One time I had to go downtown and my friend came with me and when I parked and had to walk around the block to pick something up from my other friend's apartment I instinctively hit lock to come back 20 minutes later to my alarm going haywire and my friend freaking out. Turns out he pulled the passenger sun visor down.

Then I would use it to play jokes on my friends, good times.

You should know but if you do not there is no way out in their case.

Share if you did this by accident or on purpose. I assume they all do this right?
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2015, 06:06 AM
BbradenMmillerW BbradenMmillerW is offline
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Ever Locked Somebody In Your E39?

Hahaha yep, legit funny too. I trapped a friend in my e39 front passenger seat, in my garage, with the garage itself closed. Needless to say, it was loud. Very loud. And my friend about flipped. Haha motion sensor definitely works! Kinda cool that he couldn't get out at all either.

Last edited by BbradenMmillerW; 03-05-2015 at 06:09 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2015, 08:18 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Yeah,

Didn't read the owners' manual.
Went shopping, left my teenager daughter in the car (windows down 1 inch for fresh air), locked the door, and went shopping.
She moved and the motion sensor picked it up, alarm went off.

The worst thing is the double-lock feature. She could not open the door to get out, so she had to listen to the alarm for 5 min before I came back out from the store!!!

This double-lock feature is a double-edge sword!
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2015, 08:40 AM
jaybeee jaybeee is offline
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Great stories.

Good old German engineering.

Thank you.

EDITE: It is not just motion sensors that trip the alarm it is any electrical component activation like the lock/unlock button, vanity lights on sun visors and all sorts of other things.

Last edited by jaybeee; 03-05-2015 at 08:42 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2015, 09:16 AM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Locked a friend of mine in the trunk of my 528 once... The 530 has the silly pull cord now.
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2015, 10:12 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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Locked my son twice, he didnot like it.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2015, 10:14 AM
Don Nguyen Don Nguyen is offline
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I've done it quite a few times when someone's stayed in the car and I got out of the car to go get something.

-Don
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2015, 10:36 AM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Last year was it? That high-school girl in CA that died of heatstroke inside a locked e46 in the school parking lot? Her brother locked her inside (unknowingly) but the cabin sensor didnt' set off an alarm (or no one noticed ?).

At some point, BMW changed the design so that people locked inside an e39 could still get out.

Anyone know the dates, and what the changes involved?
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2015, 11:59 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybeee View Post
...It is not just motion sensors that trip the alarm it is any electrical component activation like the lock/unlock button, vanity lights on sun visors and all sorts of other things.
That's not actually correct...it really is the interior motion sensor (IMS) that activates the alarm siren when you double-lock someone in the vehicle. You can sit in the car and activate double-lock by locking the car with your remote...then activate any electronics in the car and you'll see nothing happens. But if you wait 30 seconds after double-locking the car...as soon as you move...the alarm will go off.

BTW...BMW did redesign the central locking system after decades of it's institutionalized "double-locking" system...starting with the 2000 model year...there is a procedure that allows passengers inside the vehicle to unlock the doors if they have been double-locked:
  1. press the central lock/unlock button on the center console, then
  2. pull twice on an interior door handle

The interior motion sensor (there's 2 types depending on build date) & tilt sensor have a delayed 30 second activation after the doors have been locked from the exterior of the car (manually or by remote). When movement in the interior of the car is detected 30 seconds after the vehicle has been double-locked...the alarm and lights will sound off.

Although your friend thought that pulling the sun visor down initiated the alarm...it was actually their movement that caused the alarm. The DWA (anti-theft alarm siren system) has specific monitors that will activate the alarm...and "electrical components" are not any of them. The DWA monitors are the IMS/Tilt/doors/trunk/hood:

(owners manual mentions not to lock animals and people inside the car...let them lock the car from inside by using the door lock pins, or the central locking button on the center console...this only "single-locks" the vehicle and doesn't arm the DWA system)





(first iteration of IMS)



(2nd iteration of IMS)

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  #10  
Old 03-05-2015, 12:15 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Hey Q, would you know if the change was implemented as a software upgrade to existing HW?

My car has the old double-lock arrangement, but a build date of 4/30/1999 and the newer ultrasonic IMS.

Wondering if I can upgrade something to get the car to recognize the new passenger escape procedure.

******edit******

I just took one of my kids out to the car, explained the updated procedure, and locked her in the car.

She pressed the central-locking button, pulled the door lever twice, and it opened....... and the wolf-whistle alarm went off at the same time.

Now, this is a '99 528i (April 30 build date). ???

Incidentally, doing this also gets the lock from the opened door out of sync with the other doors, so I had to cycle the lock-unlock twice to get everything back in sync.... maybe my car is broken, I dunno.

Last edited by pleiades; 03-05-2015 at 12:53 PM.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2015, 12:18 PM
pudl pudl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDeGraff89 View Post
Locked a friend of mine in the trunk of my 528 once... The 530 has the silly pull cord now.
Was the friend still alive at the time?
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2015, 12:24 PM
jaybeee jaybeee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Last year was it? That high-school girl in CA that died of heatstroke inside a locked e46 in the school parking lot? Her brother locked her inside (unknowingly) but the cabin sensor didnt' set off an alarm (or no one noticed ?).

At some point, BMW changed the design so that people locked inside an e39 could still get out.

Anyone know the dates, and what the changes involved?
How unfortunate.

If I remember correctly locking the door twice in a row will disable the motion sensor and maybe the interior alarm triggers that is designed to prevent pets from triggering the alarm so that may have been a factor.

I read somewhere that the alarm had an option installed by default for security or law enforcement professionals that made sure a person inside the locked vehicle could not exit though the doors or windows and also locked the access to the trunk to prevent them from being able to obtain, for example a weapon, or escaping through the trunk release.

My alarm was triggered many times, I found out that the hood had a sensor that could become problematic as if it was not exactly positioned or whatever would trigger the alarm so I disconnected that and the vast majority of my alarms stopped being triggered although I remember this one time me and a friend went for a walk in the park and left my sunroof open after a decent amount of time we heard my alarm going off in the distance so we ran as fast as we could and the only evidence we could find was a leaf in the cabin although I was more then certain the motion sensors required more of a mass to detect motion and trigger the alarm so this is unconfirmed as the cause but the only clue we had.

Despite the problems if I had to choice I would install it or keep it installed on any future vehicles.

I did consider it a luxury to be able to lock my doors along with the glove box while keeping the windows open and preventing the doors from being opened in the summer when it was hot.

I do not think this feature ever worked out to be a benefit but maybe it did and I thought it was just a false alarm.

Thanks for the posts.

PS: I just got an idea regarding avoiding people being trapped and dying inside a BMW that was locked by the key or from the outside a new feature that could prevent that is a SOS button on the interior that contacts either a BMW connection center who can forward your location to local emergency services, similar to the service that would be used on current BMWs if the vehicle was involved in an accident that made the air bags deploy but with the addition of a button to initiate communication with a person. In the era the E39 was in production this would not have been reasonable for a civilian vehicle and even in the era of E46 this would have been a rather state of the art feature to have for this rare case of emergency. Even by today's standards this might be relatively excessive.
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  #13  
Old 03-05-2015, 12:36 PM
jaybeee jaybeee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
That's not actually correct...it really is the interior motion sensor (IMS) that activates the alarm siren when you double-lock someone in the vehicle. You can sit in the car and activate double-lock by locking the car with your remote...then activate any electronics in the car and you'll see nothing happens. But if you wait 30 seconds after double-locking the car...as soon as you move...the alarm will go off.

BTW...BMW did redesign the central locking system after decades of it's institutionalized "double-locking" system...starting with the 2000 model year...there is a procedure that allows passengers inside the vehicle to unlock the doors if they have been double-locked:
  1. press the central lock/unlock button on the center console, then
  2. pull twice on an interior door handle

The interior motion sensor (there's 2 types depending on build date) & tilt sensor have a delayed 30 second activation after the doors have been locked from the exterior of the car (manually or by remote). When movement in the interior of the car is detected 30 seconds after the vehicle has been double-locked...the alarm and lights will sound off.

Although your friend thought that pulling the sun visor down initiated the alarm...it was actually their movement that caused the alarm. The DWA (anti-theft alarm siren system) has specific monitors that will activate the alarm...and "electrical components" are not any of them. The DWA monitors are the IMS/Tilt/doors/trunk/hood:

(owners manual mentions not to lock animals and people inside the car...let them lock the car from inside by using the door lock pins, or the central locking button on the center console...this only "single-locks" the vehicle and doesn't arm the DWA system)





(first iteration of IMS)



(2nd iteration of IMS)

I am going to have to politely disagree. Read the following you have posted that I copy and pasted just below:

"(owners manual mentions not to lock animals and people inside the car...let them lock the car from inside by using the door lock pins,"

How are you supposed to get your animal to lock themselves inside the car using the buttons on the interior to avoid setting off the motion detector?

I am more then certain at very least the lock and unlock button in the center console will trigger the alarm too.

Also the street I parked on where I believe my friend triggered the alarm was long and I had to walk down another street that was more then likely within ear shot and more then likely exceeded 30 seconds to a minute to reach.

I am also more then certain that the owner's manual for my E39 said this feature about pets because I remember reading it and then thinking about how irrelevant it was as I do not have a pet but how important it would be if I did have a pet.

I could be wrong and can not prove it since I do not have my E39 owner's manual anymore.

Again thank you for the interest.

EDIT:PS: My E39 was a 2002 US spec import to Canada.

Your resources seem credible but my experience suggests otherwise specifically relating the the center lock/unlock button and maybe others aside from the coincidence my friend encountered.

Last edited by jaybeee; 03-05-2015 at 12:56 PM.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2015, 02:14 PM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybeee View Post
"(owners manual mentions not to lock animals and people inside the car...let them lock the car from inside by using the door lock pins)"

1. How are you supposed to get your animal to lock themselves inside the car using the buttons on the interior to avoid setting off the motion detector?

2. I am more then certain at very least the lock and unlock button in the center console will trigger the alarm too.

3. Also the street I parked on where I believe my friend triggered the alarm was long and I had to walk down another street that was more then likely within ear shot and more then likely exceeded 30 seconds to a minute to reach.

4. I remember this one time me and a friend went for a walk in the park and left my sunroof open after a decent amount of time we heard my alarm going off in the distance so we ran as fast as we could and the only evidence we could find was a leaf in the cabin although I was more then certain the motion sensors required more of a mass to detect motion and trigger the alarm
1. In the same section from the owner manual (read all the text highlighted in yellow that was posted above)...persons left in the vehicle can obviously lock the vehicle from inside which prevents arming DWA. If you're leaving a pet inside the vehicle...then you press the remote lock button TWICE...or turn the key in the door lock cylinder twice...this DISABLES the IMS & Tilt sensors...and is mentioned in the pic above taken from the owners manual.

2. The central locking button on the center console was designed to only SINGLE-LOCK the vehicle...thus it DOES NOT arm the DWA system. It was designed this way so that occupants can remain safely inside the vehicle when refueling at stations that have attendants...because single-lock doesn't lock the fuel filler flap door nor arm the DWA system...whereas if you double-lock (using the remote or door lock cylinder)...the fuel filler flap door locks along with the doors and trunk.

The only way that the center console's central locking button sets off the alarm is if you have the newer set-up (actual double-lock escape feature) & the alarm has been set (which requires locking the vehicle with the remote or from outside). Perhaps pleiades can comment if his kid pressed the central unlock button BEFORE the 30 seconds period...thus the alarm went off because a door actuator (which is a DWA monitor) registered without the proper unlock procedure. If his kid had waited longer than 30 seconds...then the alarm should have went off due to movement first.

3. I have no way to attest for this...but you can check for yourself. Roll down at least one window...then lock the vehicle from outside using your remote key or driver's door lock cylinder. This will place the car into double-lock...and 30 seconds after locking, the interior motion sensor will be activated. Try waving your arm around in the interior prior to 30 seconds...and after 30 seconds. Report back when the alarm went off.

4. As mentioned in the info above about the IMS...the sensitivity of the IMS was so that anything LARGER than a BUMBLEBEE should set off the alarm...so if that leaf was larger than a bumblebee...and took it's time floating to it's final resting place...it would be enough to set off the alarm. This again, is one of the things listed in the owners manual as to why the IMS/tilt sensors should be DISABLED...if you leave windows or the sunroof open.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades
Hey Q, would you know if the change was implemented as a software upgrade to existing HW?

My car has the old double-lock arrangement, but a build date of 4/30/1999 and the newer ultrasonic IMS.

Wondering if I can upgrade something to get the car to recognize the new passenger escape procedure.
I'm not sure...the BMW info I have only mentions the year 2000 as to the change in double-lock...see the info below. I know that the 1999 e38 model year was truncated (very short) and only ran from September 1998- March 1999 (in the USA). And the e39 had an elongated 2000 model year which started in June 1999 instead of September 1999. Since the e38 & e39 share so many things...perhaps this April 1999 central locking change occurred for the e39s a few months early.

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Last edited by QSilver7; 03-05-2015 at 02:26 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-05-2015, 02:39 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7
....The only way that the center console's central locking button sets off the alarm is if you have the newer set-up (actual double-lock escape feature) & the alarm has been set (which requires locking the vehicle with the remote or from outside). Perhaps pleiades can comment if his kid pressed the central unlock button BEFORE the 30 seconds period...thus the alarm went off because a door actuator (which is a DWA monitor) registered without the proper unlock procedure. If his kid had waited longer than 30 seconds...then the alarm should have went off due to movement first. ....
I knew that the motion sensor works really well, so we tried the procedure within only a few secs after locking, and over 30 secs with the IMS disabled. My kid (yeah she's only 23 ...) succeeded in getting out of the car as hoped, but the alarm sounds the instant the door is opened and the only way to shut it off -seems- to be with the key. Do the newer e39s offer a way to shut it off, or does everyone have to wait for the Keyholder to come back?

*******

Reading that bit about Central Locking again, it seems my car actually is equipped with the MY 2000+ setup. I had assumed otherwise, but know that BMW changed various things in the e39 at the 03/99 dateline, so maybe this was included.

Last edited by pleiades; 03-05-2015 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 03-05-2015, 03:21 PM
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JDeGraff89 JDeGraff89 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pudl View Post
Was the friend still alive at the time?
Yes, of course, but the 97 didn't have the pull cord, so he was stuck well. He did end up rocking hard enough to trip the tilt sensor, I had pretty bad struts.
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Old 03-05-2015, 07:36 PM
jaybeee jaybeee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
1. In the same section from the owner manual (read all the text highlighted in yellow that was posted above)...persons left in the vehicle can obviously lock the vehicle from inside which prevents arming DWA. If you're leaving a pet inside the vehicle...then you press the remote lock button TWICE...or turn the key in the door lock cylinder twice...this DISABLES the IMS & Tilt sensors...and is mentioned in the pic above taken from the owners manual.

2. The central locking button on the center console was designed to only SINGLE-LOCK the vehicle...thus it DOES NOT arm the DWA system. It was designed this way so that occupants can remain safely inside the vehicle when refueling at stations that have attendants...because single-lock doesn't lock the fuel filler flap door nor arm the DWA system...whereas if you double-lock (using the remote or door lock cylinder)...the fuel filler flap door locks along with the doors and trunk.

The only way that the center console's central locking button sets off the alarm is if you have the newer set-up (actual double-lock escape feature) & the alarm has been set (which requires locking the vehicle with the remote or from outside). Perhaps pleiades can comment if his kid pressed the central unlock button BEFORE the 30 seconds period...thus the alarm went off because a door actuator (which is a DWA monitor) registered without the proper unlock procedure. If his kid had waited longer than 30 seconds...then the alarm should have went off due to movement first.

3. I have no way to attest for this...but you can check for yourself. Roll down at least one window...then lock the vehicle from outside using your remote key or driver's door lock cylinder. This will place the car into double-lock...and 30 seconds after locking, the interior motion sensor will be activated. Try waving your arm around in the interior prior to 30 seconds...and after 30 seconds. Report back when the alarm went off.

4. As mentioned in the info above about the IMS...the sensitivity of the IMS was so that anything LARGER than a BUMBLEBEE should set off the alarm...so if that leaf was larger than a bumblebee...and took it's time floating to it's final resting place...it would be enough to set off the alarm. This again, is one of the things listed in the owners manual as to why the IMS/tilt sensors should be DISABLED...if you leave windows or the sunroof open.



I'm not sure...the BMW info I have only mentions the year 2000 as to the change in double-lock...see the info below. I know that the 1999 e38 model year was truncated (very short) and only ran from September 1998- March 1999 (in the USA). And the e39 had an elongated 2000 model year which started in June 1999 instead of September 1999. Since the e38 & e39 share so many things...perhaps this April 1999 central locking change occurred for the e39s a few months early.

Great information here and before, I could be mistaken. Unfortunately I do not have the car anymore so I can not test it again. I thought if you had the door open and pushed the lock button the opened door would not lock but again I could be mistaken as I never really tested if it did in fact lock once you shut the door.

Thank you.
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Old 03-05-2015, 11:54 PM
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eburnz eburnz is offline
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I always tell whoever sits in the car while I leave for a moment to lock the car in the middle, and if i remember correctly, (and this happened on multiple occasions) I had my son do this while I go inside the store, and the alarm never goes off if he locks the car using the central locking button...

Either that, u can always hit the center button on your key fob twice, and this will disable the motion sensor but whoever is in there gets stuck until u come back, and better hope u don't lose your key lmao....
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2015, 02:07 AM
Nfs021 Nfs021 is online now
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Haha, I accidentally did lock my girlfriend in the car just about a month ago at a 7-11. The alarm went off as I was waiting in line. I looked back at the car and she was just sitting there putting her hands up and saying "I don't know" as people outside were walking by. I turned it off. When I got back inside the car I couldn't help but laugh. She didn't find it too amusing at first. But once I told her on how the alarm works and that I really did lock her in on accident, she lighted up and giggled a bit.
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Old 03-06-2015, 09:09 AM
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mjalloul11 mjalloul11 is offline
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When i press the inside lock button, the fuel filler door does lock with the rest, but it is a euro model.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:41 PM
Dman3903 Dman3903 is offline
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Can I use this key to lock people in as well I don't have a master key to the car
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Old 06-25-2015, 07:02 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Whenever QSilver7 posts, I find a way to insert a reference either to an existing canonical thread, or to a new reference in the bestlinks, so that the effort and extreme attention to detail isn't lost to others.

To that end, I typed /double locked f3 in the bestlinks, but this is all that came up:
- How to open the drivers door using the key when the door is double locked (1)

NOTE: It was part of this keyword-rich sentence:
Quote:
- How to turn the key in the ignition hard enough to unlock the steering wheel to start the engine (1) (2) & how to open the trunk lock without using the remote key by manually twisting the key in the keyhole with enough force to open the trunk (1) (2) & how to open the touring tailgate lock when there is a power failure (1) & how to open the drivers door using the key when the door is double locked (1) & how to open the hood when you have a dead battery (1) & how to open the passenger door when the bowden cable is broken (1) (2) & how to open the doors from the inside when they are locked using the key from the outside (1)
But, I can see someone not finding that cross reference because it doesn't have keywords regarding locking someone in the car, so, I'll add a new reference now.

How does the wording sound to encompass typical search terms that will get them to this thread in the future?
- What to do if your child or pet is double locked inside your E39 and they want to open the door from inside without the key (1)
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