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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 06-15-2009, 12:41 PM
821kms 821kms is offline
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Remote unlock/lock doesn't work

Remote unlock/lock doesn't work,interior unlock button on center console doesn't work,interior lights don't come on when open door,but trunk opens by remote on key,so i guess it can be the battery
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  #2  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:24 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Hi,

I just replaced the driver's door's window regulator. I disconnected the battery for the procedure....a few days later when I was all done, I essentially have the SAME thing...My key remote doesn't work...the interior lights don't come on anymore (my map lights still work though via their switch), and the center door locking doesn't work anymore. Any ideas??? Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 05-28-2010, 08:37 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Have you tried a different remote or changed the battery inside the remote?
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  #4  
Old 05-28-2010, 09:21 PM
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chiefwej chiefwej is offline
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If you disconnect the battery before the car goes into the sleep mode, it can raise hell with the Body Control Module. It may have to be recoded (don't ask me how, but a dealer or a very good indie should know), worst case it may have to be replaced for about $300. Which is what happened to me. In the future, don't disconnect the battery until the doors are closed and the car has set undisturbed for about 15 min.
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  #5  
Old 05-28-2010, 11:18 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I hate to assume every remote unlock problem is the trunk loom; but since some of your symptoms are what I had, and since it only takes five minutes, and since it's a common problem ... it's worth checking if you have frayed wires in your trunk loom.

Canonical thread is listed in the VERY best of E39 Links as being here ...

My symptoms are:
- Trunk opens manually by the key
- Trunk does not open any other way
- It won't open with the remote on the key (although the doors do)
- It won't open with the button on the console (although the doors do)

If this is your problem, the solution is to splice the frayed and broken wires.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:31 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black540eye View Post
Hi, I just replaced the driver's door's window regulator. I disconnected the battery for the procedure....a few days later...
  1. My key remote doesn't work...
  2. the interior lights don't come on anymore (my map lights still work though via their switch)
  3. and the center door locking doesn't work anymore.

Any ideas??? Thanks!
Have you checked to see if any fuses have blown? Check the glovebox & the trunk fuses that have to do with:
  • Central Locking System: 6, 27, 29, 53
  • Passenger Compartment/Trunk Lighting: 4

Glovebox & trunk/cargo fuse index (in case you don't have them)



And have you tried to reprogram your remote? Also lock the car (using the key manually in the door lock cylinder), then walk around to the fuel filler door to see if it is locked...if it isn't, then also check your fuel filler door actuator and it's fuse...which I believe is #53.

Here's the instructions on how to reinitialize (reprogram) the NEW STYLE (diamond shaped) key...follow EVERY instruction to the "T"...and you must do ALL of your remote keys during the same session...remember to NOT insert the 2nd key into the ignition but start on STEP 4.

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2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg
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  #7  
Old 05-29-2010, 08:43 AM
TDS TDS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefwej View Post
If you disconnect the battery before the car goes into the sleep mode, it can raise hell with the Body Control Module. It may have to be recoded (don't ask me how, but a dealer or a very good indie should know), worst case it may have to be replaced for about $300. Which is what happened to me. In the future, don't disconnect the battery until the doors are closed and the car has set undisturbed for about 15 min.
Chief, wouldn't opening the trunk or hatch in my case "wake up" the car from sleep mode?
Can you help me by being a little clearer in the battery removal procedure.

Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 05-29-2010, 09:32 AM
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QSilver7 QSilver7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDS View Post
Chief, wouldn't opening the trunk or hatch in my case "wake up" the car from sleep mode?
Can you help me by being a little clearer in the battery removal procedure.

Thanks!
Once you've opened your tailgate (ignition off)...just wait 16 minutes without actuating any door handles or the sunroof or locking/unlocking of the doors using the remote...the car will go back into sleep mode.

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Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
2006 E53 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date <<~>> 97 740iL (Arctic Silver) 3/97 mfg date
(SOLD)
99 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 95 525IT (Alpine White)
91 735iL (Schwarz Black) <<~>> 85 325e (Bronzit)

http://imageshack.com/scaled/grid240/822/e38e532ndsigpic.jpg

Last edited by QSilver7; 05-29-2010 at 09:34 AM.
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  #9  
Old 05-29-2010, 05:36 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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My remote was working fine...I find it hard to believe that the next day, after I disconnected the battery, everything goes to pot and doesn't work. What a piece of junk if that you have to wait 15 minutes after you close the doors, etc to disconnect the battery...else the control module becomes history and you have to shovel out several hundred bucks...just because you disconnected the battery

I tried the re-programming procedure with my key fobs...no luck at all. I'm guessing I may have to bite the bullet and get a new module....

Is this a DIY or am I going to have to go to the stealer?

Sorry for being pissed...it is very frustrating...I thought I was doing a great DIY fixing the window regulator...only to have to shovel out more $$$$ because I disconnected the batter
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  #10  
Old 05-29-2010, 05:38 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Oh...one other item...I did check all the fuses, etc...they were all fine....
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  #11  
Old 06-04-2010, 07:57 PM
black540eye black540eye is offline
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Caution when diconnecting the battery

Hi...I wanted to share my experience with disconnecting the battery....
1) I followed the DIYs on the forum to replace a window regulator. All went fine. In the DIYs is says to disconnect the battery prior to doing the work. Not a problem, right...wrong!

2) I learned the hard way that you must wait 15min after you close all the doors BEFORE you disconnect the battery. This allows the car to go to "sleep" (little light on the gear shift indicator goes out)...and THEN you can disconnect the battery.

3) If you don't wait (like me), when I was all done and connected the battery back up, my key remote didn't work, my interior lights didn't work, the interior door lock button didn't work.

4) To fix this, I had to have an INDY "reprogram" two modules. One was the Light Module and one was the control module. $280 later, I was good to go.

5) Apparently, if you don't wait the 15min for the car to go to "sleep", it puts these modules into "transporter" mode (ie - transport from factory?).

So, just a word of caution....in some of the DIYs, when it mentions "disconnect the battery"...remember to wait until it goes into "sleep" mode before disconnecting it...it will save you $$$$ later.
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  #12  
Old 10-30-2011, 02:40 PM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by black540eye View Post
Hi...I wanted to share my experience with disconnecting the battery....
1) I followed the DIYs on the forum to replace a window regulator. All went fine. In the DIYs is says to disconnect the battery prior to doing the work. Not a problem, right...wrong!

2) I learned the hard way that you must wait 15min after you close all the doors BEFORE you disconnect the battery. This allows the car to go to "sleep" (little light on the gear shift indicator goes out)...and THEN you can disconnect the battery.

3) If you don't wait (like me), when I was all done and connected the battery back up, my key remote didn't work, my interior lights didn't work, the interior door lock button didn't work.

4) To fix this, I had to have an INDY "reprogram" two modules. One was the Light Module and one was the control module. $280 later, I was good to go.

5) Apparently, if you don't wait the 15min for the car to go to "sleep", it puts these modules into "transporter" mode (ie - transport from factory?).

So, just a word of caution....in some of the DIYs, when it mentions "disconnect the battery"...remember to wait until it goes into "sleep" mode before disconnecting it...it will save you $$$$ later.
Hi I have the same problem of the key lock button doesn't work. No interior lights come on when doors opened and the lock doors button inside doesn't work. Could you tell me how to reprogram the two modules??
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  #13  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:17 PM
rush_ad rush_ad is offline
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Hello all BMW fans

I am new owner of a 2003 530i, bought yesterday. I bought it with some known issues, like non-working key remote and MID dead pixels. These seem like very common failures.

The car came with just one master key (new type, diamond shape) and it does not work to lock/unlock doors, of course via the remote. I tried the instructions below but they did not help to reprogram.

Also, the central locking system fuse #53 seems to be ok since the button in the central console (between front seats) is working to lock/unlock all doors.

Any other idea to fix the remote? Please help a new BMW owner.

Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QSilver7 View Post
Have you checked to see if any fuses have blown? Check the glovebox & the trunk fuses that have to do with:
  • Central Locking System: 6, 27, 29, 53
  • Passenger Compartment/Trunk Lighting: 4

Glovebox & trunk/cargo fuse index (in case you don't have them)



And have you tried to reprogram your remote? Also lock the car (using the key manually in the door lock cylinder), then walk around to the fuel filler door to see if it is locked...if it isn't, then also check your fuel filler door actuator and it's fuse...which I believe is #53.

Here's the instructions on how to reinitialize (reprogram) the NEW STYLE (diamond shaped) key...follow EVERY instruction to the "T"...and you must do ALL of your remote keys during the same session...remember to NOT insert the 2nd key into the ignition but start on STEP 4.

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  #14  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:24 PM
Skyhigh512 Skyhigh512 is offline
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You Need to get the light module replaced or reprogrammed. Youll have to go to the dealer for that.
A way to fix the dead pixels is to look on eBay for pixel repair. There's a listing for $180.
You ship your gauge cluster to him and he fixes the pixel problem.
Let us know how you fix your problem with the locks.
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  #15  
Old 11-13-2011, 06:42 PM
rush_ad rush_ad is offline
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Replace light module? i am not sure what that is or what it does. Please explain a bit more. thanks.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2015, 12:39 PM
A4to540i A4to540i is offline
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Sorry for bringing this old thread up, but it's better to keep the accumulated information above than start a new one. I have exactly these same symptoms. It happened after my battery died at work recently. It could not be jumped from another car, and the emergency assistance guys used their starter to revive it. However, the car died within a minute of the first attempt to fire it up, and it took two more tries. Symptoms occured since then.

What works:
* Remote trunk open from key fob
* Front reading lights
* Trunk and glovebox lights
* All power windows
* Wipers
* Car unlock/lock and security system activation using key blade.
* Sunroof

What does not work:
* Key fob remote open and close (tried the press unlock + 3x press lock learning steps)
* Central locking button on console
* Central dome light
* Under door lights

I am yet to try using another GM, but my plan right now is to probably have a dealer diagnose this to see what the issue is, and then work from there. I've tried the 'wait till car sleeps and disconnect battery overnight' approach, which did nothing to fix this. If anyone has any recent experience with this and its resolution, your feedback would be much appreciated. Hell, any kind of feedback and suggestions would help.
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2015, 08:34 PM
haolibird haolibird is offline
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A4to540i,

Just went thru a similar scenario.
Replaced the rear window reg, and I guess the car was still awake, and it was pissed when I re-connected the battery.
So, after replacing the module that keeps the starter from working, I thought I was going to have to replace the General Module, because of the same problems you are experiencing.
I read about re-initializing the system by disconnecting the battery, and turning the key, thereby getting all the residual electricity out of the system. (Yeah, I'm no engineer).
I waited another 15 minutes, re-connected the battery, and BINGO, everything worked.
It is likened to an Exorcism of the electrical system.


This advice was gleaned from the incomparable JimLev, a true Master of the E39.


Hope it helps.

Hb
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2015, 08:38 PM
haolibird haolibird is offline
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BTW,

If there is not enough voltage, the car won't start.
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  #19  
Old 12-20-2015, 01:43 PM
A4to540i A4to540i is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haolibird View Post
BTW,

If there is not enough voltage, the car won't start.
Thanks! Yes, I tried exactly those steps - wait >16 minutes, remove battery negative connection, wait for >1hr, then reconnect. However this was with my earlier 4yr old battery, which I've since replaced. It didn't fix it then, and I'm unsure it will fix it if I try it again now.
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