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2004 bmw x3 3.0d 204hp m57
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, Recently i've been experiencing some issues relating the lock unlock and trunk pop functions, I'll be short Winter is coming up here and temperatures are already consistently below 5c Since 8 days ago I've been intermittently experiencing issues unlocking locking and opening the trunk with the key I'd go to unlock the car in the morning at 6 am to go to work and... Nothing i'd press again and nothing try to open the trunk? Nothing, I go to the driver door and insert the key and unlock and lock the car, I try to unlock the car with the key and It works again car starts up fine and i go on with my day, Sometimes i press unlock it dosent work but i press lock a couple times and then unlock and it'd work and sometimes i have to press twice for it to respond, Does anyone know if its my battery going out? The 2nd key is dead and has been dead for about a year,And i cant seem to charge it up as it seems to not start the car, Dash lights up fine i turn the key and nothing. Any feedback would be appreciated
 

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Funnily enough my windshield stopped spraying around the same time this issue has started to occur...
Yeah. We've had three vehicles with the GM5 module. The central locking on the X3 is almost totally dead. Every once in a great while it works. The two E46 we had were less bad but still finicky, we bought a used module for one of them and it worked at first but after some months started dying too.

I'm going to try taking the module out and cutting the tops off the relays and cleaning up the contacts. I'll report back if it works for me.
 

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The battery in the key has nothing to do with starting the car; I cut the fob off one of my key shanks for a hide-a-key and it starts the car.

Fob batteries do die after a time, as do the circuit board (happened to one of mine). I have 4 keys; they’re too cheap at the dealer not to.

If you’re worried about your vehicle battery, load test it. ‘Tis the season for no-crank conditions, especially if chassis grounds are less then perfect.

As for GM5 module, listen to the guy with experience above me. Mines fine, so that is out of my wheelhouse.


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2004 bmw x3 3.0d 204hp m57
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The battery in the key has nothing to do with starting the car; I cut the fob off one of my key shanks for a hide-a-key and it starts the car.


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If the fob part of the key isnt needed to start the car, Is there a reason as to why my 2nd key wouldnt start the car? It works fine on the driver door Its just when i turn the key to third position nothing happens, As for the battery one of my diy friends has a load tester and will come tommorow to test it, Im hoping its a battery But knowing its intermittent and that i have 2 symptons of a bad gm5 module im not that confident. Either way thanks for replying
 

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If the fob part of the key isnt needed to start the car, Is there a reason as to why my 2nd key wouldnt start the car? It works fine on the driver door Its just when i turn the key to third position nothing happens, As for the battery one of my diy friends has a load tester and will come tommorow to test it, Im hoping its a battery But knowing its intermittent and that i have 2 symptons of a bad gm5 module im not that confident. Either way thanks for replying
I knew at one point, but right now I’m drawing a blank.:ROFLMAO: Perhaps lost synchronization with EWS? A failing ignition switch can also get temperamental with different keys, and cause voltage drop and loss of function across various systems. Years ago on my MK3 VW, I wired in a push button starter when the keyed switch failed to start the car (key on, press button to start). It worked great until, on a trip to Canada to wreck dive the St. Lawrence, radio and nav lights started having issues, necessitating switch replacement. The task was prolonged on that car due to having to remove the steering column, but the X3’s is much easier.

Also don’t rule out or neglect replacing chassis grounds. On this chassis, they’re a maintenance item.
 

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2004 bmw x3 3.0d 204hp m57
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I knew at one point, but right now I’m drawing a blank.:ROFLMAO: Perhaps lost synchronization with EWS? A failing ignition switch can also get temperamental with different keys, and cause voltage drop and loss of function across various systems. Years ago on my MK3 VW, I wired in a push button starter when the keyed switch failed to start the car (key on, press button to start). It worked great until, on a trip to Canada to wreck dive the St. Lawrence, radio and nav lights started having issues, necessitating switch replacement. The task was prolonged on that car due to having to remove the steering column, but the X3’s is much easier.

Also don’t rule out or neglect replacing chassis grounds. On this chassis, they’re a maintenance item.
Whats not a maintenace item on a bmw 🤣 I guess i'll have to wait a bit more and if i cant find a simple solution i'll just have to coupe with it for a bit, Only problem is i wouldnt be able to open the trunk.
 

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Whats not a maintenace item on a bmw I guess i'll have to wait a bit more and if i cant find a simple solution i'll just have to coupe with it for a bit, Only problem is i wouldnt be able to open the trunk.
The release button above the license plate doesn’t work? I can count on one hand how many times I’ve opened the trunk with the key in the last 10 years.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The release button above the license plate doesn’t work? I can count on one hand how many times I’ve opened the trunk with the key in the last 10 years.


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I bet it would! If it was there... Last owner must've taken a hammer to it or something as the only thing left of it is some rubber.
 

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I bet it would! If it was there... Last owner must've taken a hammer to it or something as the only thing left of it is some rubber.
Well that is troublesome, as it contains the rear license plate lights. Amazing you’ll pass inspection or whatever you call it in Germany.

With live wires there, along with water intrusion, the very first thing to do is replace the switch panel. Trying to diagnose with a faulty baseline is a waste of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well that is troublesome, as it contains the rear license plate lights. Amazing you’ll pass inspection or whatever you call it in Germany.

With live wires there, along with water intrusion, the very first thing to do is replace the switch panel. Trying to diagnose with a faulty baseline is a waste of time.
Oh do i have a surprise for you, They soldered the live wires to 2 strange bulbs and hot glued them to the trunk, Last inspector must've been blind or drunk as i have no idea how it passed considering how strict it is here.
 

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Oh do i have a surprise for you, They soldered the live wires to 2 strange bulbs and hot glued them to the trunk, Last inspector must've been blind or drunk as i have no idea how it passed considering how strict it is here.
Sigh. After witnessing both AC and DC tomfoolery both in person and on various forums, definitely correct that. Your issues may be built in at this point. Heat the solder with a torch to melt it, and then remove wires. A short back there is not only a fire hazard, but can open the trunk on its own or while driving, and also fight the lock mechanism.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sigh. After witnessing both AC and DC tomfoolery both in person and on various forums, definitely correct that. Your issues may be built in at this point. Heat the solder with a torch to melt it, and then remove wires. A short back there is not only a fire hazard, but can open the trunk on its own or while driving, and also fight the lock mechanism.


Buy socks on Amazon, not car parts.
Will do tommorow, Since i dont have the part to replace it and repair it properly I will desolder and remove these bulbs as well as insulate and make sure these wires wont short together Even tho i dont think they're live anymore, Anyways i'll be heading to bed now as its 11:24 pm night time here. Have a good day/night
 

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I'm assuming you already replaced the key fob battery if it has the coin type battery.
You could send your old key to the GM5 guy link above. He is excellent and might be able to get it working. You may need to reprogram it when you get it back. Then you could send him the key you are currently using.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm assuming you already replaced the key fob battery if it has the coin type battery.
You could send your old key to the GM5 guy link above. He is excellent and might be able to get it working. You may need to reprogram it when you get it back. Then you could send him the key you are currently using.
Hey, the key is a diamond key so no coin type battery, I would send it to him But unfortunatly i live in germany and shipping would be quite expensive and after all the expenses it would probably equal to or more to buying a key from the dealership, Instead what i'll do to my 2nd key is i'll take it and recharge it using a wireless induction charger and will leave for around 2 days, Than ill try to sync it to the car and see if its fob functions work atleast and if it does ill use it to lock and unlock the car while using my 1st key to drive it and see if im still having the intermitent issue deacribed above, Today my friend came out and load tested the car battery and it tested fine, As for the gm module it seems to be working fine in my scenario my wipers not spraying turns out to be a bad pump and not a sympton And unlocking or locking from the button inside the car seems to work just fine I even stayed inside with the key far away for about 30 mins and tested it multiple times with the car asleep and it works with no issues, So now im suspecting a key going out As others have also stated intermittent issues with the lock and unlock functions that went away with charging the key but came back after a week or 2 signaling a bad battery, I would leave my 1st key to charge for 2-3 days but the car is in use daily every day from 6 am to 3 pm and more so thats not possible I will update if i find out more about my issue or solve it.
 

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I can count on one hand how many times I’ve opened the trunk with the key in the last 10 years.
I pretty much use the key 99% of the time to open the rear hatch.
Quite possibly the most annoying "feature" of the X3

1) Turn off car. Exit car. Put keys in pocket.
2) Walk to rear hatch. Try release button. Nothing.
3) Either walk back to front of car, climb inside, press unlock button on dash. Or remove key from pocket and use key.

I can never remember to press the universal unlock button before exiting car.
 

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I pretty much use the key 99% of the time to open the rear hatch.
Quite possibly the most annoying "feature" of the X3

1) Turn off car. Exit car. Put keys in pocket.
2) Walk to rear hatch. Try release button. Nothing.
3) Either walk back to front of car, climb inside, press unlock button on dash. Or remove key from pocket and use key.

I can never remember to press the universal unlock button before exiting car.
That entire escapade is literally something I’ve never had to deal with. My doors lock only when I command them to, so unless I’m driving through a city, everything is unlocked. An automatic lock that doesn’t also have an automatic unlock counteraction when placed in Park is pointless and annoying, I’m in full agreement there.


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That entire escapade is literally something I’ve never had to deal with. My doors lock only when I command them to, so unless I’m driving through a city, everything is unlocked. An automatic lock that doesn’t also have an automatic unlock counteraction when placed in Park is pointless and annoying, I’m in full agreement there.


Buy socks on Amazon, not car parts.
2010 X3 auto locks the doors when you start driving.
I open the rear truck with key 99% of the time, since I never remember to hit unlock button before exiting
 
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