Rear door won't open from inside or out - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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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 10-16-2019, 07:06 PM
gvolbs78 gvolbs78 is offline
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Rear door won't open from inside or out

I have a 2003 530i and I purchased the car not knowing that the right rear door would not open from the inside or outside. I know there are several threads about this already but I couldn't find one that was exactly like mine. I can hear the latch actuator working and the little pin thing goes up and down when you press the lock and unlock button. It also unlocks when you pull the inside door handle. Not really sure what the issue is but I have not been able to even open the door to attempt to remove the door panel to diagnose the problem. Is there anything I can try short of cutting the door panel from the inside?
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2019, 07:37 PM
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Nfs021 Nfs021 is offline
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You can remove the rear door panel with the door closed. All you have to do to give yourself better access is to remove the rear seat cushion. Was thinking your bowden cable is all wonky, never hurt to check it. But if the door unlocks when you pull the handle and still won't open, then my guess is there's something still faulty in the latch area. Good luck and keep us posted on what you find.

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Old 10-17-2019, 10:53 AM
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mattmar1 mattmar1 is online now
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second on the latch assembly if it wont open from inside or out with the actuator operating. ive had one fail on mine and another on a friends, replaced the latch both times successfully.
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Old 10-17-2019, 11:12 AM
528iAut 528iAut is offline
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Just a thought! When opening the door you see a little pin, with a red triangle next to it I think, child safety? Did you try pulling inside handle twice?
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:35 AM
gvolbs78 gvolbs78 is offline
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I had the door panel half way off when I decided to take the handle out and yank on the cable and miraculously the door opened even though I had tried that trick once or twice before. I took the door panel off and shut the door again and when I pulled the exterior handle if worked but you had to pull hard on the handle to get the door to open. I pulled the cable on the interior and it worked when the door was open but when I actually shut the door from the inside I couldn't open the door. Got out the other door and went around to use the outside handle and it worked reluctantly. Not really sure what's going on. I have an actuator and all the other little parts from a parts car so I can try that but wonder what the problem actually is. Thanks for responding.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:31 PM
528iAut 528iAut is offline
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Look at the back of the handle inside, its very important the cable is secured in the groove before its attachment to the handle itself, check this.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:58 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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The root cause is usually a bad actuator.
A new actuator should fix the problem.
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Old 10-20-2019, 09:47 AM
gvolbs78 gvolbs78 is offline
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I can't seem to get the red thing all the way back in the notch. any suggestions?
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2019, 11:48 AM
528iAut 528iAut is offline
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Looks ok, but this is from the latch connection right? I meant the other end, on the back of the inside handle.
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Old 10-20-2019, 12:38 PM
gvolbs78 gvolbs78 is offline
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Went ahead and replaced the actuator because I had a spare sitting around and everything is working great. Thanks everyone for helping. I will make sure to connect the cable when I put the door handle back on correctly
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Old 10-21-2019, 08:49 AM
BCZoom BCZoom is offline
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I've been following this thread as I have a rear door that's been acting up. After the vehicle sits for several days, the lock actuator is very slow to respond. The first couple locks/unlocks, it does nothing. A few more tries and it's moving. After about 10 locks/unlocks, it behaves properly.

Can you tell me an approximate effort to replace it? Actuator price and how long to install?
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Old 10-21-2019, 04:51 PM
gvolbs78 gvolbs78 is offline
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It's not the easiest job but it's definitely not the hardest and you can definitely do it yourself. I would say around an hour and a half or so but about half that if you have done it before. Just remove the door panel and there are 4 screws holding in the actuator. Find a good video on how to do it first though. Also make sure you glue the vapor barrier back in when you take apart the door panel. (Videos will go over this in more detail). As for price probably around 30-40 for a used actuator off of eBay but I would say if you are going to the trouble of taking everything apart probably get I new one.
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