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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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 12-27-2009, 11:05 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Strangest thing: My automatic door locks stopped locking automatically! :)

I never thought I'd be asking this question!

What "thing", if broken, makes the automatic door locks NOT lock automatically (when they are actually set to lock automatically)?

I know that sounds confusing so let me explain:
- Since I bought my 2002 BMW 525i, all 4 doors always locked automatically at about 5mph
- I know Carsoft will unlock "something" in a computer somewhere but that hasn't been done on my BMW
- Suddenly, as of about last week, the 4 doors no longer automatically lock!
Note: Yippee!!!! But, huh? How did that happen?????
- Everything else related to the locking seems to work fine (i.e., I can unlock all four with one click of the center-console button or two clicks on the diamond key fob).

A while ago, I did test the manual unlocking of the trunk and side doors based on a recent trunk unlocking thread; and my trunk loom wires are a shambles ... but neither is known to have any effect on the autolocking of the doors!!!! ????

I'm actually happy the auto lock is 'broken' ... but now my curiosity is rising.

Obviously something is actually "broken" ... but what physical "unit" or "thing" actually controls all four door locks auto locking?

Last edited by bluebee; 12-30-2009 at 07:57 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-27-2009, 11:14 PM
peekaytoo peekaytoo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
- Suddenly, as of about last week, the 4 doors no longer automatically lock!
Did you suddenly, as of about last week, begin using the spare key, instead of your usual key? The key memory is specific to each key, and each can have different settings with regards to auto door locks (among other things).
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  #3  
Old 12-29-2009, 02:37 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peekaytoo View Post
Did you suddenly, as of about last week, begin using the spare key, instead of your usual key? The key memory is specific to each key, and each can have different settings with regards to auto door locks (among other things).
I have only two keys and I didn't switch them. But, just as a test, I did switch them today and nothing changed. The automatic door locks now (thankfully) don't lock when I start moving.

I always was (and still am) skeptical when people tell me the automatic door-lock memory is in the key because Carsoft reputedly can change it yet Carsoft has nothing to do with the key.

Is there any "proof" that the automatic door lock is stored in the key?
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  #4  
Old 12-29-2009, 04:26 AM
franka franka is offline
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Be glad that your locks have not yet locked you into the car.
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2009, 07:54 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
Be glad that your locks have not yet locked you into the car.
I see what you mean. More lock-related electrical gremlins are popping up.
Yesterday & today the trunk wouldn't open with the key or with the underside lid outside handle.

I had to manually use the key to unlock the trunk (turning left in the key slot).

I think it's time to fix the wires in the trunk loom during my vacation!

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  #6  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:08 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Unfortunately, the trunk loom wires must've shifted ... that blasted autolocking ... it's back!
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2010, 12:13 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Replace the loom ASAP before things get worse, and you have more serious issues. It is my understanding BMW sells a replacement loom. I have been shooting a bit of silicone spray into the rubber sheath every 6 months or so, on the presumption a little lube we help prevent the wires from binding up, twisting and breaking.

I don't believe you can fix this by simply repairing the breaks in the wires...there are probably multiple wear points and strands already broken under the sheath...so you fix one place, and it will eventually break in another.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 01-08-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-08-2010, 01:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
It is my understanding BMW sells a replacement loom.
I tried that route. Maybe I gave up too soon, but, the part number wasn't obvious to me. Sure I can find the diagram in realoem but when I called two different BMW dealerships, they had no idea what I was talking about.

They said nobody buys the loom. I concluded (perhaps erroneously) that people must be successfully soldering them. Bear in mind that nobody on the wiring loom thread has replaced the loom and LOTS of people have this problem ...

But, cost being not too high, I'd vastly prefer to replace the whole loom.

Quote:
I have been shooting a bit of silicone spray into the rubber sheath
Seems like a good plan. It's almost like the ABS control module where prophylactic care (by rebuilding it even when it's still good) is what is needed more than any use model.

Quote:
I don't believe you can fix this by simply repairing the breaks in the wires...it will eventually break in another.
I don't disagree ... but see point #1 above which precludes that option ...
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  #9  
Old 01-31-2010, 08:51 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I just belatedly realized, based on information in this post, that the real reason my automatic door locks (thankfully) stopped locking (albeit temporarily), was because the ABS was off the car at the time.

I didn't put it together until now, but, when I sent my ABS out for rebuild, it was just about then that the automatic door locks stopped locking (I loved it!).

Now automatic door locking is back (ugh!) and I think it's because my ABS module is back in the E39.

Mystery solved!
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