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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've found some threads that could be helpful, but nothing definitive. Here's my problem. I unlocked the doors for the center console button at the same time my son pulled on the outside passenger door handle. then the door wouldn't unlock or open, not even manually. The lock button will come up when you pull the inside handle but won't stay up. I can't hear the actuator even try to work. I saw a thread about "hotwiring" the actuator but that was on a 2004 BMW and my wiring looked different. Before I destroy the door panel I'm hoping there is someone out there that may have a solution. I pulled the driver side panel and am worried if I destroy parts, I still may not get the door open. ANY help is greatly appreciated! Thanks, Bendog
 

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Some suggestions:

Opening a locked door

Hello everyone - my rear passenger side door has decided it doesn't want to unlock any more. I had a read at Bentley and a good look at the inner trim in the car but can't see any way to get it to unlock so that I can remove the trim and replace/repair as necessary.

Central locking is working normally apart from this, and when I pull the inside handle on the door the button pops up but drops down again when I release the handle as if it is spring loaded.

Does anyone have any ideas what I can do on this one ?

Cheers - Damian.

1998 540iT

Blu94
When I had this problem it was not due to the actuator.
Yours may be the actuator but try this first.

One caviat, mine was the passanger front door, but it works the same as the back.

Although I did buy a new actuator before I took the door apart, it turned out to be the bowden cable between the outside door handle and the latch mechanism.

Living in the rust belt I believe the real problem was corrosion / crud over time getting between the cable and the sheathing. This prevented the cable from returning all the way.
When the cable does not return all the way the latch is between the release and latch positions and actuator will still raise and lower the button, but the latch remains between states and can not be operated with either the inside or outside handles.

To open the door I rolled the window down, lifted the outside handle, and let it snap back down, pulled the inside handle twice, and the door opened (this should not be done in very cold weather, I would be afraid of that outside handle snaping off, plastics you know). I had to repeat this proceedure three or four times before it opened. I also rapped firmly on the inside panel back near the latch area, and at the outside on the outside door handle, (that's firmily not hard, you do not want to dent or break anything, interior wood trim comes to mind)If you have got the latch in the correct position the first pull of the inside handle should raise the button, it should stay up, the second will open the door.
The point in the above paragraph is don't start by trying to get the door panel off with the door shut, spend some time fiddleing around and the door, it will open, be patiant, mine took about a half hour of fiddling before it opend.

Once I had the door open I did remove the panel, this lead me to find the real problem, but also lead me to believe you can open the door as described below.

If this does not work try slipping a thin piece (slim jim, or a thin strip of fiberglass laminate .010 thick) between the window and outside of the door, align it with the back side of the outside door handle, and apply light downward pressure when you feel an obstruction, you are trying to push down on the latch lever where the bowden cable attaches setting the latch in the closed position, do not be too agressive. Now pull the inside handle twice.

Once the door is opened, there is an oval plastic plug on the door frame, nearly aligned with the outside handle. Pull that off and look in there with a flashlight (tourch for those accross the pond)
You will see the cable end attached to the latch, I cleaned the area with brake clean then used white lithium grease in a spray to lubricate it while actuating the outside handle (use the cleaner and grease sparingly).
As in my case you may still want to remove the inner door panel as it makes it easier to see what you are cleaning and lubricating and easier to be neat.
Rather than closing the door to see if you have fixed it, use your finger as the striker and latch the door while it's open. If you have fixed it with lubrication it should pop open as normal with either the inside or outside handles.

Help Please: release rear door latch w door closed

What a nightmare...

Replaced door regulator and stupidly closed door before checking everything was working (door latch). Rear door is now closed and in "security mode". Fuse #29 is blowing (door latch) so I can't reset the security lock. Got the door panel off with the door still shut (pain in the butt to be sure) so now I can see the lock/latch but I can't figure out how to trip the latch.

Anyone every go through this? Could really use some help.

Scott

Can you reach in and move #3, 16, 17? to unlock and open the door from the inside?
JimLev

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=DD63&mospid=47585&btnr=41_0061&hg=41&fg=45

Yes I can reach in and see everything. Played with #16 and #17 (cables). Tomorrow morning I'm gonna go fishing for #3 (rod). Gotta give it to BMW, their security mode locks are really secure. Fortunately I can see and get to everything but the mechanism is quite complex.

I would like to remove the actuator but even that seems to be a bit of a mystery which might clear up in the morning with a clear head. Been fighting this door all day.

Scott

Scott - my door decided to unlock itself so I was lucky and could get the trim off without working from the inside with a closed door. I have no idea how you managed to get that done without wrecking the panel !

My problem turns out to be a faulty door lock actuator, so a $100 US bill for a new one from the dealer. Could be worse.

Damian.

I had the front passenger door die on me back a couple years ago. The mechanism is the same for all of the doors...like many things on the car, it is unreliable. However, if you are patient, I think you will find that it unlocks itself after some time. I would suggest keeping a screwdriver handy for that day and pop the panel off when it happens (takes 5 min, tops). Once the panel is off, you can get to things easily. I waited about 3 weeks and was trying to figure out what to do in the interim when it unlocked itself.

I did ask the dealer about the lock when it was locked shut. They offered to use a chop saw to get into the door for the reasonable rate of $2500. I laughed and asked them to leave the car alone...crooks.

-stefinn
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll be patient

I was going to try and bust into the airbag door in order to reach the actuator. But after reading your post I feel that I will breath, do some chanting, and be patient. Well, maybe not the chanting. Anyway, thanks for the post, and I will start those suggestions on the door. It does make a very light thunk when I was working it. Like the post said, we might of jammed it when we tried to unlock and pulled the handle at the same time. Thanks, I'll keep you posted.
 

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Do a search for "door actuator DIY". Yours is toast and needs to be replaced. One method is to drill a hole through the panel to unlock the door. Once the door is open, the panel can be removed and the actuator replaced. It has all been documented in this forum. My DIY thread references the thread where the owner needed to drill through his door panel.

Here it is: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=648959&highlight=
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Door headache

Thanks, Fudman. I'm trying real hard not to tear too much up. I saw that method to drill a hole in the panel but I'm not at 100% confidence how to get it to open after I drill the hole. I pulled the driver side panel and found the hole. Wish I had some pics after he made the hole.
 

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I just typed /door actuator F3 in the bestlinks and this, among others, came up:
- How to replace the exterior door handle in the BMW E39 (1) (2) (3) & how to open a single stuck shut locked front or rear closed E39 door from a broken door latch/lock (1) (2) & how to properly maintain a door lock (1) & a DIY for how to replace the front lock door actuator (1) & how to disable automatic door locks (1) (2)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Miracle (Lucky) Fix!

Wife used the car normally the last few days. This morning I held her up and had her work the locks, BOOM!, the door unlocked. Opened the door, kept door open, pushed on the latch sensor, worked the lock, acted and sounded normal. Do you think it's ok? After all, this happened because the unlock button on the console was hit at the same time the door handle was being pulled. Any opinion is appreciated. Thanks, Bendog
 

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Your door lock actuator is like a 95-year-old man in the hospital, he wakes up from coma for the last time.
Then he will sudden slip away into heaven for good...

So, don't lock the door for now.
Order an actuator from BMW and put it in.
 
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