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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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Old 06-29-2016, 09:53 PM
edyong edyong is offline
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Location: Urbana, IL
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW 1997 740il
Locked Out Trunk (Remote Unlocking Failed & Mismatched Key)

Hi Everyone,

This is my first posting. I have a 97' 740il which I held very dearly. But this beast just needs an absurd amount of TLC.

I could not access my trunk. First off, I believe the previous user swapped out the trunk key cylinder, hence my only key in hand can unlock everything but the trunk. I used to be able to unlock the trunk with remote key, switch on the driver panel, or pressing the trunk lock button. Recently, it just stopped working all together. Basically, I do not even hear any motor winding noise as I have heard before when attempting to unlock or lock the trunk.

I tried taking down my back seats and I found that there is a panel/foam preventing my access. My mechanic friend recommended me to drill into trunk lock assembly. I found a number of replacements on ebay:


I am just wondering if I could actually rekey this used trunk lock cylinder to my current key. Can a local lock smith do that? I heard people rekey their keys using repair kit (where to buy). How much would a dealer charge?

Few things worth mentioning:
1) My car battery keeps dying over few days or if I had door opened for awhile. This wasn't the case before my trunk was locked out. I have been hooking up my car to CTEK once in a while.

2) I swapped out my tail lights recently and I had a "flood" in my spare tire well. This is noticed a month or two before the trunk was locked out. I have not yet fixed this problem (tail light gasket).

3) There was an occasion whereby my friend may have closed the trunk lid with too much force. There were times when I had to push down on the lid, before I could unlock the trunk. I could still hear the winding noise even when the trunk could not be opened.

BMW 1997 740il (e38)_a__a2_
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Old 07-03-2016, 11:27 PM
pnottus pnottus is offline
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Location: Signal Hill, Ca.
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 740il
Take a look at what I had to do to get in my trunk, easy safe and hidden

Carfully drill the hole 1/2 in" higher than I did but in the exact location without hitting the cable inside, stick a wire hanger in there with a hook bend at the end, grab the wire and pull. the trunk will open with or without battery. You wont be able to see the hole afterwards when you put your licence plate back on and you can either fill it with silicone or patch and touch up paint. Or keep it there for emergencies, I put silicone in mines so if I ever need to get back in there for some crazy reason I could and water will not get in.
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Last edited by pnottus; 07-03-2016 at 11:44 PM.
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