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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 05-20-2010, 11:35 AM
hummarz hummarz is offline
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E46 Door Lock Problems

Hey Guys, I am having problems with my door locks not working properly on my 2001 330cic and tried to have it diagnosed. One guy told me it was my passanger door actuator, then another guy told me it was my driver side actuator. I had my driver door actuator changed and it got a little better, but did not fix the problem. Then I was told it might be my key since the battery died in it a while back. I bought a new key and that still did not solve the problem. I just had my passanger door actuator checked from a bmw tech and said that was not the problem (he hooked up a new one and tested it). So it comes down to the GM module. The part at the dealer is $400+, I did some research and found a used one at Bavarian http://www.bmrparts.com/ for $150. After doing some more research I came across this site http://www.bmwgm5.com/ and he explains my systems to the "T" I sent him an email so hopefully he will call me back soon. Looking at his website and explanation, it sounds good. I am in Irvine and he is in Torrance so I can take a drive over there and get the module fixed. What do you guys think?
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  #2  
Old 05-20-2010, 06:30 PM
hummarz hummarz is offline
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So i ended up taking it to the guy in Torrance and he fixed the module while I waited, took him about 20 minutes. I got the module back in now and it works like a champ, no problems, whatsoever.
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  #3  
Old 05-21-2010, 03:02 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Originally Posted by hummarz View Post
So i ended up taking it to the guy in Torrance and he fixed the module while I waited, took him about 20 minutes. I got the module back in now and it works like a champ, no problems, whatsoever.
Is the guy's name Scott Johnson? 'Cause if it is, He's THE MAN!
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  #4  
Old 05-22-2010, 02:58 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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hey what exactly did he do to fix it? reflash? replace?
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  #5  
Old 06-28-2010, 06:34 PM
hummarz hummarz is offline
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He actually replaced the 2 relays on the GM5 module that control the door locks. Its a common problem with the e46.
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2010, 05:04 PM
RichT RichT is offline
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Getting locked into my car

I have been locked in my car (had to crawl out of the window) and also given people including my Father (a senior) a lift and had to pull him out of the driver's side because the other doors would not open. In addition, the gas door does not open when this happens. Isn't this a serious safety problem. If there is an emergency needing people to get out quick, they are trapped in the car. What then?Seems that this is a clear cut problem with safety issues! Any info on BMW's position?

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  #7  
Old 06-07-2011, 08:21 AM
CabrioMan330 CabrioMan330 is offline
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HELP! Door lock jammed (drive side)

Hi,

I have a '02 330 CiC. Had problems with the remote unlocking function on driver side for a while. Locking it with the remote worked fine, but had to unlock it with the key inserted in the cylinder (the "old fashioned" way). BMW mechanic said that the actuator was going bad and that I would eventually have to replace it.

Then last week, during very hot weather (i live in Washington DC), the remote unlock function started working again suddenly. (I thought perhaps it had to do with high temperature "loosening" up something in lock mechanism.). Then suddenly the lock mechanism seized up completely. I am not unable to unlock the driver side door with the remote function, the key, the center console button, nor the door handle from the inside. The passenger side works fine.

Right before the lock "jammed", I accidently hit the center unlock button while driving (the door had been automatically locked when I started up). I am wondering if there is a security function that got activated doors from being opened during driving, and whether this can be reset? Or is it just the actuator that has seized up completely?

BMW dealer repair guy say the door is double-locked and that they likely will have to "break in " through the door panel (and it will be costly, with need to remove seat, possibly replace panel, etc.).

Can anyone help? Is there a way to "reset" security function (if this is indeed the problem)?
Any other way to get the door open so the mechanics can at least get to the actuator?

I am grateful for any insights, ideas, tips ...
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  #8  
Old 06-07-2011, 11:19 AM
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Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CabrioMan330 View Post
Hi,

I have a '02 330 CiC. Had problems with the remote unlocking function on driver side for a while. Locking it with the remote worked fine, but had to unlock it with the key inserted in the cylinder (the "old fashioned" way). BMW mechanic said that the actuator was going bad and that I would eventually have to replace it.

Then last week, during very hot weather (i live in Washington DC), the remote unlock function started working again suddenly. (I thought perhaps it had to do with high temperature "loosening" up something in lock mechanism.). Then suddenly the lock mechanism seized up completely. I am not unable to unlock the driver side door with the remote function, the key, the center console button, nor the door handle from the inside. The passenger side works fine.

Right before the lock "jammed", I accidently hit the center unlock button while driving (the door had been automatically locked when I started up). I am wondering if there is a security function that got activated doors from being opened during driving, and whether this can be reset? Or is it just the actuator that has seized up completely?

BMW dealer repair guy say the door is double-locked and that they likely will have to "break in " through the door panel (and it will be costly, with need to remove seat, possibly replace panel, etc.).

Can anyone help? Is there a way to "reset" security function (if this is indeed the problem)?
Any other way to get the door open so the mechanics can at least get to the actuator?

I am grateful for any insights, ideas, tips ...

I have the same problem, only it is the passenger side door that is failing. When I cannot unlock or open the passenger side door, I get in the car, close my door, start the car and press the central lock button a few times until I hear the driver side door lock/unlock. I then pull the passenger door handle and it now "magically" unlocks and opens the door. I will be replacing the passenger side actuator soon.

I do not know if this method works in the opposite but give it a try. Have you tried unplugging your battery?
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  #9  
Old 06-07-2011, 12:15 PM
CabrioMan330 CabrioMan330 is offline
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Thanks for the tip. Will try your method and hope that it works.

Tried disconnecting the battery. Didn't work

THanks again!
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  #10  
Old 06-08-2011, 12:42 PM
shoneyblue shoneyblue is offline
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Thank God for this forum!

To be able to find out about my door lock problems AND getting my fob replaced all in one place! Thank you soooooooooo much!! I have the old rubber button key fob. Bought my car used but had only one key and it looked so bad in appearance I just went ahead and purchased a 2nd one for $200. Needless to say, I am scared to death that the old key was going at any second but paying another $200 was/is almost out of the question. Anyway, thanks for posting this and the http://www.bmwgm5.com/ information!
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  #11  
Old 06-08-2011, 01:08 PM
mhs328Ci mhs328Ci is offline
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In my 2000 328Ci I have the exact same problem as Nando, and i stumbled upon the exact same solution. I have to start looking into a new actuator as well
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  #12  
Old 06-08-2011, 04:24 PM
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Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Originally Posted by mhs328Ci View Post
In my 2000 328Ci I have the exact same problem as Nando, and i stumbled upon the exact same solution. I have to start looking into a new actuator as well
Yep. I described my exact symptons to Scott at http://www.bmwgm5.com/ and he told me it wasn't GM5 related but is the passenger side actuator going out.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2014, 06:27 PM
Andy Langlois Andy Langlois is offline
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Next time try re soldering the relays first. My driver door did not want to unlock. Problem started months ago and the unlock function worked only intermittently then finally stopped working altogether. I could not believe that a relay would go bad so easily although they seemed to leak a bit. I thought it could be a cold solder joint so I just put heat on the contact pins of rl2b and the door works perfectly. I actually went further and put heat on all the contacts just in case they failed in the future.***65279;
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2014, 09:53 PM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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Originally Posted by Andy Langlois View Post
Next time try re soldering the relays first. My driver door did not want to unlock. Problem started months ago and the unlock function worked only intermittently then finally stopped working altogether. I could not believe that a relay would go bad so easily although they seemed to leak a bit. I thought it could be a cold solder joint so I just put heat on the contact pins of rl2b and the door works perfectly. I actually went further and put heat on all the contacts just in case they failed in the future.***65279;
Started to leak a bit? What leaked? There is nothing in the relays to leak. Once in a while I do find that the electrolytic capacitors are leaking which is why I replace them on every module I repair.

The soldering joints in every general module I have every worked on has been perfect! I have never seen a cold solder joints in this module unlike the door lock module in some Toyota cars that do develop cold solder problems. The difference is in the printed circuit board. Cold solder joints develop in single sided printed circuit board typically used in cost sensitive consumer electronics, power supplies, TVs, things that they're going to make millions and millions of. These boards only have copper on the backside of the board which is only about 0.001" thick. This is perfectly fine for surface mount components, but, can suck for through heavy hole components. There just isn't much to solder to. The printed circuit board in the general module are double sided with plated through holes. This means that there is 0.001" copper on the top of the board which is connected to a 0.062" copper tube through the board and connected to 0.001" copper on the back of the board. When you solder components to this type of board the entire hole fills up with solder, not just a little fillet on the backside. This type of board does not develop cold solder joints except in extreme cases where the component routinely goes through huge temperature swings of >100 degrees.

Andy, your module will develop problems again very soon. Re-soldering the pins is not a fix that applies to this board.
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  #15  
Old 08-10-2014, 05:54 PM
Andy Langlois Andy Langlois is offline
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I will not argue about whether or not my problem was cold solder joint or if I just postponed the inevitable failure but, so far, I saved myself the $100+ cost of shipping and repairing a module. That is all I am saying. Time will tell who was right. I worked in avionics all my life and am not fooled into thinking that cold solder joints don't happen. Just the fact that there are so many problems with electronic components in these vehicles should prove that the manufacture is not perfect.
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2014, 07:58 AM
markab markab is offline
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hmm i'm wondering if this has something to do with my sunroof opening on its own also, my passenger side door only opens from the inside hmm
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  #17  
Old 11-28-2015, 11:36 PM
Jbergman Jbergman is offline
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Argh. My passenger door lock stopped working today. Had the car not even two months. Already had to do some repairs. I have a 2004 zhp. I cannot unlock the passenger side door at all. No handle and no FOB. Worked perfectly fine then boom. 30 minute drive later. Nothing. looking for some help? I'll have to try some solutions tomorroe
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  #18  
Old 03-10-2016, 11:36 AM
cmdavis68 cmdavis68 is offline
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Door lock issues on my 03 325xi

I've been having an issue with my door locks for quite some time on my 2003 325xi 4dr sedan. I can lock all of the doors with my key fob, however it will not unlock the driver side door ever, I have to use the key in the cylinder (old school) and it will open. The key fob will occasionally unlock all of the other doors, but not every time. When I open the driver door with the key, I can sometimes pull the handles on all of the other doors to unlock; however that is intermittent as well and sometimes only two doors will open that way. It's been getting progressively worse. The central lock/hazard switch has not worked since I purchased the car in 2010. Look for any guidance before I spend $$ with the dealership to diagnose/repair.
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  #19  
Old 03-06-2017, 03:37 AM
peterabram5 peterabram5 is offline
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If you replaced the actuator it has to be gm5. Both are broken but gm5 has been for several years, actuator only recently. I just need to make the time to go get it repaired locally here or i should call a Locksmith to repair it.
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  #20  
Old 03-11-2017, 01:06 AM
scottjoh scottjoh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdavis68 View Post
I've been having an issue with my door locks for quite some time on my 2003 325xi 4dr sedan. I can lock all of the doors with my key fob, however it will not unlock the driver side door ever, I have to use the key in the cylinder (old school) and it will open. The key fob will occasionally unlock all of the other doors, but not every time. When I open the driver door with the key, I can sometimes pull the handles on all of the other doors to unlock; however that is intermittent as well and sometimes only two doors will open that way. It's been getting progressively worse. The central lock/hazard switch has not worked since I purchased the car in 2010. Look for any guidance before I spend $$ with the dealership to diagnose/repair.

The intermittent problem with the 3 passenger doors not reliably unlocking screams general module is bad and needs to be repair or replaced. The driver's door may be an actuator problem, but, to know for sure you need to test it with a known good general module in the car.
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  #21  
Old 03-12-2017, 04:22 PM
saxtrolley saxtrolley is offline
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E46 Door Lock Problems

I had those problems for several years, getting worse until in December 2016 I could not unlock any door from inside and had to crawl out of the trunk. Tried to send computer for repair but Rebuild guy [email protected] made me replace driver's lock actuator. It resolved everything. The driver's door lock actuator can keep all other locks locked, it can disable all door handles inside and out, but fortunately for me it didn't disable the trunk unlock button under the dash.


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Last edited by saxtrolley; 03-12-2017 at 04:24 PM.
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  #22  
Old 05-01-2017, 12:18 AM
jimcarry12 jimcarry12 is offline
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I have such problems three months ago when door lock actuator isn't working. I have preferred to replace it than to repair it from a Locksmith . Now it works fine and no problem till now have been detected in it.
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  #23  
Old 10-07-2019, 08:12 AM
DianeHalle DianeHalle is offline
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Thanks all for your replies, i will prefer to have an emergency locksmith service if see any issue with my door locks further in future.
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