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  #1  
Old 05-11-2019, 03:36 PM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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'99 Z3 driver door lock Issue

I've scanned thru posts about Z3 door lock issues but couldn't seem to find any information about my problem. I've just purchased a nice 1999 BMW Z3 from a neighbor and my wife just discovered that the passenger door hasn't been locking when I key lock the driver's door. I can hear the actuators clunking in the drivers door and trunk but now we discovered that the passenger door hasn't been locking with the driver side key lock. I can lock all three doors (trunk) from the passenger side key lock, but it doesn't work every single time. I've also discovered that I can't lock the driver's door from the inside by pushing down the door lock button. The passenger door locks from the inside every time. I'm not sure what is going on or how to fix it?? Yesterday we got the airbag warning light. And the driver's door window makes a cracking (thumping?) noise when it closes and opens. Can this all be related?

Thanks for any help you can offer me.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2019, 04:45 PM
NZ00Z3 NZ00Z3 is online now
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Hi these are likely to be individual faults

1) Passengers door not locking with drivers door key. You should be able to lock all doors from the trunk lock too. It sounds like your passengers door actuator is not working.

2) Drivers door lock button. Mechanism needs a lube.

3) Airbag light. You need to get a scanner that will talk to the airbag computer. not all scanners do. Get the code and that will tell you where to start looking. Did you clean under the seats? The usual airbag problem is disturbed connections under the seat from recent cleaning.

4) Drivers door window noise. Have a look at the window and see if it is making contact with the rubber sealing strips on the top too early. There is an adjustment screw under the door in line with the metal guide that goes between the 1/4 window and the main window. This can be used to adjust the angle of the window.
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:35 AM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Thanks for the reply. I'll try to check these things. I did clean under the seats. I just bought the Z3 last week and it was filthy inside. I did notice there was a bunch of wires and a plastic box of some sort hanging on the floor beneath the passenger seat. That may be the problem but we drove it a day or two after I cleaned before we got the seatbelt warning light. And even then we got the warning during a small trip, not when we started out.

I didn't notice that the passenger door lock wasn't locking with the key on the drivers side. I would just assume that all door were locking as I could hear the driver's door and trunk locking and unlocking. My wife just happened to be passing the car during a dog walk and noticed the passenger door was unlocked. I hadn't tried to lock the driver's door from the inside yet until I discovered this problem. I didn't realize that it couldn't be pushed down to lock like the passenger door. It's strange that I can lock and unlock both doors and the trunk with the passenger-side key-lock, but the passenger-side will not lock or unlock from the driver's-side key-lock. I did check to see if it was true that locking the trunk will also lock the doors...Mine doesn't. Just the trunk locks and unlocks but neither door. I have an appointment with a local garage to have the warning light checked but now I'm probably looking at some expense to get the door locks fixed. I had a M Roadster in 1999 and an old Porsche 944 that I wanted to salvage in the past and I know they are expensive to have worked on.

I'm starting to get worried about my 20 year old car purchase. It does look nice though and drives nice. I was wishing that it had a manual shift instead of auto but now I'm happy with the auto as I'm 73 and it's more relaxing to not have to shift but not nearly as sporty to drive.

Last edited by RogerEH; 05-12-2019 at 06:55 AM. Reason: missed some info
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  #4  
Old 05-12-2019, 11:03 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerEH View Post
... there was a bunch of wires and a plastic box of some sort hanging on the floor beneath the passenger seat. That may be the problem but we drove it a day or two after I cleaned before we got the seatbelt warning light. And even then we got the warning during a small trip, not when we started out... .
That box is the passenger seat's occupancy sensor. It twists into a holder on the bottom of the seat, important for keeping it off the carpet in case of a leak. The sensor box gets removed to make it easier to unplug it for seat removal. Then people do not re-fastened it to the seat. Perhaps you have a loose connection in its plug.
See Post #7 onward in this thread:
https://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/s...7#post26885667
This shows the sensor, with its plug connector, and the twist fastening system that holds it to the seat bottom.
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Old 05-12-2019, 12:27 PM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Thanks for replying but I can't find where the unit is supposed to be fastened under the seat. I spent a lot of time looking for a video or photo showing me where it is fastened up under the seat. Since it was already off of the seat bottom I don't even know where to look to reinstall it correctly. Do I have to unfasten the seat from the floor to do it?
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  #6  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:52 PM
Truckeeskibum Truckeeskibum is offline
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Yes.

You will need to unbolt the seat from the floor to access the sensor. I just dealt with it today as part of a seat bushing replacement.

Here's a picture of the sensor box.
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  #7  
Old 05-12-2019, 08:57 PM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Thanks for photo

Thanks for the good photo and confirmation about having to remove seat to reinstall.. Looks to be near the back of the seat edge maybe near the middle of the seat? Is that correct?
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Old 05-12-2019, 09:29 PM
Truckeeskibum Truckeeskibum is offline
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I would say that it is relatively close to the front.

Look up the instructions for replacing the seat bushings. They will give you info on how to unbolt the seat from the floor..

Once the seat is unbolted. Tilt it back to raise the front edge of the seat. Get down on the floor and look under the seat. You will see at rectangular hole in a metal portion of the seat frame. That is where the sensor is supposed to attach. There is a rectangular prong on the back of the sensor box. The prong is at an angle to the sides of the sensor box. You have to rotate the box so that the prong matches the hole in the metal, push the box so that the prong enters the rectangular hole and rotate the box back so that it stays attached. There is not a lot of room to work under there. I'm 5'-5" and have small hands, so I can work in spaces like this, where some folks can't. Instead of just tilting the seat back, you might try raising it with a couple of wood blocks to give you room to work.

The wires were routed from the harness up into the seat frame floor and relative down the middle above a few other components. One of them was probably a motor. The wires did not run all along the floor and then up at the mounting location. I'm not sure how your wires are routed.
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2019, 03:37 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerEH View Post
Thanks for the good photo and confirmation about having to remove seat to reinstall....
You don't have to remove the seat. Just remove the bolts. I tilted the seat over toward the console to raise it, and then held up with pieces of wood. To me the sensor seemed mounted in the middle. The problem is that most people seem unable to unplug the white connector with one hand, and cannot get two hands under the seat without raising it, but the harness is too short to allow it to be raised. So... the solution is to twist the sensor loose so it drops to the carpet.
And then they don't re-attach it, so it lays on the carpet. If a leak eventually occurs and the carpet gets wet, the connector corrodes.
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Last edited by vintage42; 05-13-2019 at 03:58 AM.
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2019, 04:57 AM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Thanks

Thank you for the very good explanation. Rain finally stopped for a while and I was able to look at the box and there is a large rectangular extrusion on the bottom. I also used a flashlight to look under the front of the seat and there is a rectangular hole there but it looks to be much smaller than the one on the bottom of the box. The mounting system on the sensor box appears to be different that the last photo in the series posted by vintage42, but the same as the 3rd photo. There's definitely not enough loose wire to fish the box under the bottom of the seat to reach the front. There only about 4 inches loose at the back of the seat. I temporarily taped the box to the back of the seat until I can get the airbag warning light checked out in case it would have to be removed again to fix the alarm.

I did find about a dollar's worth of loose change, a pen and a bottle cap though.

Thanks to all that have tried to help me with this problem. I'm sure that I will encounter many more. I've ordered a Bentley service manual so It should answer many of my problems when it arrives.

I was able to photograph the box and hole at the front of the seat.
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Last edited by RogerEH; 05-13-2019 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Add photos
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2019, 09:53 AM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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It looks like the sensor box can have two different mounting systems. The ECS Tuning part is complex like requiring a twist, and yours looks like a simple pull off / push on. I wish I had looked and photo-ed when mine was off. But whatever, it is best to re-attach the sensor to seat and off the carpet.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2019, 10:22 AM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vintage42 View Post
yours looks like a simple pull off / push on..
Yes but now I can't figure out what it pushes onto?? I don't believe that it would be that little square hole near the front of the seat. Looks like it should slide into or onto something under the seat somewhere.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:24 PM
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vintage42 vintage42 is offline
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I know. I wish I had looked and photo-ed when my seat was out. I wish I had had photo-ed exactly where the sensor fitted into the seat bottom. But nvertheless, the sensor is supposed to mount on the seat bottom clear of the carpet.
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Old 05-16-2019, 05:58 AM
RogerEH RogerEH is offline
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Door locks

I took my Z3 to a BMW garage to diagnose three warning light that are on or come on intermittently, airbag, ASC+T/DSC, and a new one, transmission.

While there I inquired about my door lock problems. Locking the driver's door with the key would lock the driver's door and the trunk but not the passenger door. Using the passenger key lock would lock & unlock both doors but not the trunk. Locking from inside lock on driver's door would lock & unlock only the driver's door. Locking & unlocking from the inside of the passenger door would lock and unlock both doors only.

The mechanic thinks the passenger door only used the manual lock/unlock and not using the electric locks. The driver's door is using the electric locks for the driver door and trunk. He thinks there may be a physical problem with the door key-hole or the wires are loose. The passenger door will probably require a new lock actuator(?). They won't know for sure until they tear both doors down to see what's going on in them. I've been assuming all along that when I lock the drivers door with the key that it was locking everything. I could hear the driver's door locking and the trunk. But never thought to look to see if both doors were locking until my wife walked by it and noticed the lock button was still up on the passenger door so she tried the door and it was indeed unlocked.

Getting everything fixed that is causing the warning lights will cost about three times what I paid for the car. I'm glad that I ordered a car cover because it looks like it will be parked for a long time. I also have to have the positive battery cable replaced because it has a couple inches of bare wire melted off and could cause a serious problem. The cable itself costs between $200-300 plus some extensive labor to thread it thru the car up to the engine compartment. THAT HAS TO BE FIXED FIRST...
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Old 05-17-2019, 03:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerEH View Post
... door lock problems. Locking the driver's door with the key would lock the driver's door and the trunk but not the passenger door. Using the passenger key lock would lock & unlock both doors but not the trunk. Locking from inside lock on driver's door would lock & unlock only the driver's door. Locking & unlocking from the inside of the passenger door would lock and unlock both doors only...
Perhaps the passenger actuator is working but the hook to the lock has become disconnected. Here is a quote in a DIY:
"There is a sort of a hook shaped movable tab (which controls the lock) that goes into the slot in the movable plastic piece on the bottom of the actuator..."
https://forums.bimmerforums.com/foru...211#post878211
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