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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2020, 04:36 PM
alexgmzz alexgmzz is offline
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325i door won't unlock with FOB or key

Please help! My car will not unlock. I've ordered a replacement Panasonic VL 2020 battery that should arrive soon but I think I may have another issue. The manual key will not work either. It seems as though The key is NOT going in all the way. About 1/3 of the key is sticking out when I insert it into the key hole. When I try to turn the key to unlock it doesn't move at all. The key will open the trunk, I have dome lights in the trunk so I don't think it's a bad battery. Ive read a few posts on similar issues but couldn't find one that had a bad FOB and key wouldn't work either. Anyone have any ideas? Car is sitting at a grocery store I'm sure it'll have the tow sticker on window in a few days if I don't get it moving.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:31 PM
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Do you have split (folding) rear seats ? If yes, you can get in through the trunk.
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Old 07-05-2020, 12:55 PM
alexgmzz alexgmzz is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Do you have split (folding) rear seats ? If yes, you can get in through the trunk.
Thanks Bob. Negative, my rear seats do not fold. If I cannot open with new FOB battery then it looks like my only option is to get car opened by a locksmith then start checking fuses or lock assembly because FOB isn't working and key only goes in about 3/4 in and won't turn to either direction
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Old 07-05-2020, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by alexgmzz View Post
Negative, my rear seats do not fold.
Do you have the 'Ski Pass Through' option? If so, you may be able to reach in with an implement to hit the Central Locking button.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by All2kool View Post
Do you have the 'Ski Pass Through' option? If so, you may be able to reach in with an implement to hit the Central Locking button.
Negatory......ski pass-through is part of the CWP (Cold Weather Package), which also includes the split fold-down rear seat.
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Old 07-07-2020, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Negatory......ski pass-through is part of the CWP (Cold Weather Package), which also includes the split fold-down rear seat.
I have the Ski Pass Through option on my 2004 Cabriolet which obviously does not have fold-down rear seats.
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:04 PM
alexgmzz alexgmzz is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by All2kool View Post
Do you have the 'Ski Pass Through' option? If so, you may be able to reach in with an implement to hit the Central Locking button.
Negatory......ski pass-through is part of the CWP (Cold Weather Package), which also includes the split fold-down rear seat.
Correct I just checked again and no ski passage. I replaced key battery last night and didn't work so will check fuse next after getting locksmith to open car for me. Sucks
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Old 07-07-2020, 08:27 PM
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Originally Posted by All2kool View Post
I have the Ski Pass Through option on my 2004 Cabriolet which obviously does not have fold-down rear seats.
OK, but you still probably have the CWP option.....
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Old 07-08-2020, 07:14 AM
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OK, but you still probably have the CWP option.....
Nope. Option S823A, Hot Climate Version, on both of my Cabriolet's.
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Old 07-10-2020, 08:53 AM
alexgmzz alexgmzz is offline
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Hi all. Me again, I wanted to send an update on my issue. I had a locksmith come out to unlock car for me. He could not, he tried the long metal rod to press unlock button then door handles on both driver and passenger side and could not get doors unlocked. He then tied the metal rod with hook in between the window and door to pop the lock on both sides and he could not get either door to unlock so I'm back at square one since rear seats do not fold and no ski passage available, literally completely locked out at this point. I called the dealership to see if they knew of any issues with this make and model in case it's a defect or something that can point me into the right direction, I'm waiting for service rep to call me back. Anyone out there have any suggestions?
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Old 07-11-2020, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by alexgmzz View Post
Hi all. Me again, I wanted to send an update on my issue. Anyone out there have any suggestions?
Locked Key in Cabin or Trunk/Dead key and broken door lock combo

See*this thread*for opening your trunk without a key. Going through the ski-pass in the middle is also a relatively clean way. If your pass-thru isn't openable, you can drill a hole and try to work a coat hangar hook through there to grab the glow in the dark emergency release handle inside the trunk.
If you have a dead keyfob in connection with a broken lock cylinder, the best method is to try to revive your dead keyfob with a temporary fresh battery (see electrical section of wiki for full battery replacement DIY). A simple 3v calculator battery can be wired to your open keyfob in a pinch for a very temporary work around until you can replace the rechargeable battery.
If you can't get in using a key, the top corner of the driver's door or passenger's door may be gently pried open a little and then propped open to allow a coat hangar (or simliar) to be slid in to grab one of the interior door handles for the double-pull. Wrap the prying tools and coat hangar in protective tape so finishes do not get scratched. Pushing the unlock button will not work as the computer has built in security routines to prevent such a "break-in" attempt. If the car has been locked with a keyfob remote, the double-pulls will be disabled, but they can be re-enabled by pressing the central lock button by the parking brake handle. Due to the design of the locking mechanism in the doors, a traditional "slim jim" approach will not work.


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