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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:35 PM
HardwareDweeb HardwareDweeb is offline
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Location: San Ramon, CA
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 22
Mein Auto: 335i Convertible
This was the best write-up I could find on the net. Many thanks to TXFred for his excellent work on this.

The glove compartment in my wife's 355i convertible was locked at all times for over two years. She has a model 2007 car so I suppose that is not too bad! She could only open it by inserting the car key and turning it counter-clockwise. A few quick notes.

1. I was thinking if I couldn't make the actuator mechanism work, I would bypass it so that one can use the latch to manually open the glove box. You can't do that. The latch doesn't do anything but pressing a small electric switch that activates the motor. The only way to manually open the glove box is by using the car key.

2. To be sure there were no power problems, I checked the fuses for central locking mechanism (there were 4 of them). A fuse map is placed behind the plastic panel I removed from the glove box. Fuses were just fine.

3. I then followed the steps recommended by Fred and for now, the glove comportment is working fine. The worm gear was stuck and I could not move any of the moving parts. When I pulled the glove box latch or locked/unlocked the car, the latching mechanism didn't do anything or make any noises.

4. After I disassembled the parts (see pictures posted by TXFred), I used a 12v AC-to-DC converter for testing the motor. It ran fine. By swapping the test wires, I made sure it ran clockwise and counter-clockwise. Note that this design uses a motor and not a solenoid.

5. I used white lithium grease and lubricated all the moving parts and any area that would have friction during latching/unlatching operation and put everything back together. I tested it over 20 times using my 12v adapter and it ran fine.

6. I then connected the assembly to the electrical connector and I used the glove box latch to open/close the latching mechanism for over 30 times. Note that you must press in and hold the switch for the glove box light while testing the latch. I didn't make any other modifications (adding a bumper, etc) since this seems to have fixed my problem. I will put the whole thing back together tonight. Hopefully it will behave!

7. One more quick note. The electrical connector was a bit loose. I bent the two pins a little bit to make the connection tighter. I also added a piece of tape on top of the connector out of caution. It is not very likely but I didn't want the electrical conncetor to come off due to shock and vibration.
Another day in paradise...

Last edited by HardwareDweeb; 06-08-2018 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:26 PM
dbmw335 dbmw335 is offline
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Location: North Chicagoland
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 08 e93 335
Thank you!

Just had this happen to my '08 E93. This write-up was fabulous.

I found an exploded schematic at this website https://parts.b**ofsouthatlanta.com/...oduct=10755895

With additional directions here:

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Old 09-28-2018, 07:12 PM
fullmetalbimmer fullmetalbimmer is offline
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Location: Atlanta Ga
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 62
Mein Auto: 2008 335I Convertible
Unlock with key

The only way I can open mine is with the key, even when the car is being drove, its locked tight, but can be opened with the key, no problem
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:43 PM
hodgepodge hodgepodge is offline
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Location: Western PA
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: (2)E93,(2)2002s, E61,E70
I dismantled and rebuilt the glove box lock in one of my E93s according to the instructions listed above. It hasn't failed since. I didn't expect it to work, so I have an brand new OEM lock assembly sitting on a shelf. Figures...


Current BMWs: E70, E93 (2), E61, E10/2002(2), E28-M5 5 altogether
Past BMWs: 15. Every 5 series model, most 3 series models
Other current cars: Dodge 1500, '67 & '69 Alfa Romeo Duetto spiders
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Old 10-05-2018, 11:31 AM
wdbii wdbii is offline
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Location: the perimeter
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 230
Mein Auto: a truck
Clif notes: new-to-me 2007 E93, now the glovebox works, THANK YOU!

I just picked up a 2007 328i cab Wednesday from a local BMW dealership. They fixed the big mechanical stuff and did a very nice job bringing back the aesthetics as well, but they weren't willing to "replace the glove box door" at a cost of $790 (according to them). Fine with me, the glovebox isn't that big anyway. So after driving around all day with the top down and a big dumb grin on my face, I got back home, sat down, and started poking the keys. Found this thread. Voila! A glovebox that opens with the latch.

I didn't read far enough to see the 'bumper' comment and I'm wondering whether that will bite me later.

One difference for me is that I didn't like the grease I found when I took things apart. My car is 11 years old at this point and that could have something to do with it. But it was too stiff and sticky in my opinion. So I went to the effort of cleaning all of the old grease off and regreasing everything using SynLube full synthetic grease. They claim that it is very stable over time; it is also much lighter, and yet it stays in place as well as the old goo.

Last edited by wdbii; 10-05-2018 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 10-05-2018, 07:07 PM
e93to e93to is offline
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Location: Toronto
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 367
Mein Auto: 2011 E93 328i
Would it be bad if I left the latch unrepaired...? Mine failed a couple of years ago. I always have my glovebox locked anyways, so I don't see the point in fixing it.

2011 328i E93 - N52, Alpine White, Coral Red, ZSP, NAV, STEPTRONIC, Comfort Access, Heated Seats, Heated Steering Wheel, Through Loading. 06/10 build date. All stock. Original owner.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:09 PM
jq22 jq22 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 1
Mein Auto:
Easy fix (though maybe termporary)

Thank you for the suggestions for fixing this.

Not wanting to immediately take apart my glovebox (particularly with the airbag warning!)...

With the glovebox open (with the key), I repeatedly rotated the key back and forth while hitting the unlock button on the fob. After about 5 seconds, I heard an audible turning of a motor in the glovebox door. Voila!

I've opened and closed it about 10 - 15 times since and it's working fine!

So, seems like it's possible to get it unstuck. For how long, I don't know.
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Old 03-15-2019, 06:32 AM
santostefano santostefano is offline
One Putt
Location: Hershey, PA
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 25
Mein Auto: 2008 335i Convertible
Thanks to TXFred who posted the details of the repair many years ago. My 2008 e93 glove box latch stopped working this week. I did the repair in about 30 minutes. I used the super lubricant mentioned in the origami top post. Seems to be working great, but guessing it will be a problem again in the future as the design is suspect.

Weekend driver...
2008 335i Convertible
Platinum Bronze Metallic
M Sports suspension
Sport package
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:59 AM
Flyboy161 Flyboy161 is offline
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Location: Perry, GA
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2012 335i M Sport
This is a brilliant write up! I just did this whole procedure in just under an hour. And my glove box latch is now working again. Thank you to the OP!
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Old 01-23-2020, 07:49 PM
dubshark dubshark is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
Thanks TXFred and sbaeker, this is definitely a pain in my bmw. This is my second go at this. The first time I ordered a solenoid but the problem went away while I was messing with it. It came back and know I can use the key but it's not why I drive these cars to have nagging problems. You could hear the solenoid click but I replaced it anyway since I had one. Other pictures and videos gave an idea of how to pull the glove box in order to unplug the old and plug in the new solenoid. Thank to sneaker I decided to get rough with the old key core and clicked into the new latch.
Again, the solenoid is not the issue nor was the gear in a bind. I have had that, too. BMW shop has replaced blower and air bag on passenger side recalls and this is my thought as to why I have a problem.
I used my motorcycle battery to operate the worm gear motor and it checked good, greased the slides and gears. Put it back together and it works, again.
It will come back but if taking the motor loose and jump starting the motor works then I am getting better at taking it apart.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:24 PM
Black Valkyrie Black Valkyrie is offline
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Posts: 302
Mein Auto:
Double check you have connected it correctly. There are two connectors on the back of the glovebox. One for the lock and one for the trunk. They can be swapped by mistake.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:26 PM
Black Valkyrie Black Valkyrie is offline
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Mein Auto:
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:41 PM
dubshark dubshark is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
Its all working now. Earlier I had changed out the solenoid and it still didn't work but then I couldn't give up and pulled the latch, solenoid, slider, motor assembly out. Hooked a 12v battery to the motor, it ran, and then greased it up and re-installed. It was working. My guess is the motor binds up and taking it apart and kick starting the motor cures the problem but really think it will come back.
I took it all apart about a year ago and it started working and then quit again about a month ago. That said I did try to bend the electrical connectors to the motor to hold in place better but was also able to use a bit of electrical tape and piece of gorilla tape to hold it in place. Being upside down in the mount maybe bumps and vibration loosens the connection.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:04 PM
dubshark dubshark is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
The problem came back. I suspected the switch disconnected from the motor but it was still quite tight with the use of electrical and duct tape. Loosened the center screw of the motor and it started working again. Buttoned it up, restocked the glove box, shut the door. Drive this car once a week, maybe, so after 3 trips it quit. Will see how long it lasts this time. Love this car but she is frustrating at times.

Last edited by dubshark; 02-13-2020 at 01:06 PM.
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