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  #1  
Old 04-11-2019, 11:36 PM
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X5 Driver Door Locked, Unable to Open, Help!

I was in the process of changing the Driver Door Carrier.

Everything worked fine, got it together, then found I couldn't lock the door.

Took it all apart again, seemed to fix it (the car thought the door was open so wouldn't lock), was about to reassemble, closed the door, and now it won't open.

It is receiving power. The window switches are plugged in and working fine too. The central lock button in the center console locks and unlocks all the doors.

The doors lock, unlock, everything works.

I can lock and unlock with a key and remote no problem.

But the door won't open. I reached my hand inside the door (no door panel on it) and tried manipulating the levers and cables by hand to unlatch the door and no dice.

The new carrier was working flawlessly before I took the door panel back off. I was showing my wife how nicely the door was opening and closing like a champ.

I'm completely at my wits end.

I've seen articles showing me how to use a wire to open it... No need! I can stick my hand in there just fine.

I've seen articles about BMW Deadlock that conclude with "and then put the key in the ignition." Yep, done that.

How do I unlock a door that is unlocked and has no door panel yet I can't get the latch to release?

I'm in Florida so it's not frozen...

I Was thinking maybe the tight cable from the new carrier has something to do with it?

Please help! Thank you!
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:54 PM
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Update: I pulled the airbag out so I could see what was going on instead of just feeling around.

The connector from the new door handle cable to the ball pivot looked a little cockeyed. I poked it with my finger and tried the door and bam it opened right up.

I messed with that stupid thing dozens of times to no avail. But now it worked?! Go figure. But now I'm a little scared of the reliability of the door handle.....
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Old 04-12-2019, 08:53 AM
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Make sure it is seated GOOD. When I did my carrier I know it nearly took an act of god to get mine seated all the way - I pushed and cussed and cussed some more and final “snap” it popped in to the holder and I haven’t had an issue since. If it is fitting loose, I would almost pinch those fingers together a bit to make sure they’re tight, wouldn’t want to get it back together again to have the next door slam dislodge it....

Good luck
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Old 04-12-2019, 10:11 AM
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I sprayed the latch itself with WD40 10 mins before the door opened.

What I don't know now, is whether or not the door opened because I poked the cable (literally poked it with one finger) or if coincidentally that was the exact moment the wd40 kicked in and released what was stuck.

Very coincidental timing. Because I had poked and prodded the cable hundreds of times trying to open the damn door, and used the lever it was attached to manually to try to get out to open. So I'm thinking more likely the wd40 on the physical door latch inside the door jamb was the solution.

Driving with no door panel for now while I evaluate this...
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:04 AM
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Go read my door actuator and door handle carrier fix threads and learn more how the system works.

The DHC cable can change length over time (amazing but true) it can change longer or shorter. If it gets shorter, it acts as if you are always holding the handle up a little bit so the actuator lever never resets to grab and release the latch. You should be able to open from the inside even if the outside lever is being held up.

It takes an amazing amount of force to click the cable both into the stationary hold and onto the lever ball. If either is not in all the way can cause your symptoms.

WD-40 will do almost nothing to help the cause other than It could have helped snap the cable on.

The cables can get messed up and aren't an individual part which sucks.

I'm going to try to start collecting them for people on the forum.

Check out your cable when operating outer handle. When relaxed there should be a tiny bit of slack like 1/16 or an inch. If the internal cable swelled from rust (common for salt spray zones) it will shrink the effective cable length.

I had to cut 1/8" out of my internal cable to restore normal operation.
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:07 AM
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It takes maybe 10-15# of force to remove or install the ball. If it didn't hurt to install it's not likely installed. Once installed you should be able to twist the ball back and forth a bit meaning the cable has a little slack.


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Old 04-12-2019, 12:00 PM
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The WD40 was sprayed into the physical door jamb latch side. My thought was that maybe the tight new cable forced the mechanism into a spot that it hadn't seen in a while and wasn't releasing when the door handle was being pulled.

Both inside and outside door handles were rendered completely useless. I reached up in the door and manually pulled the levers for both inside and outside handles. I could hear the door latch unlatch when pushing the lever, but the door remained stuck.

I snapped the ball on with pliers and it appears fully seated. It has full range of motion wiggling side to side to all extremities you'd expect from a half cup on a ball socket.

I just spent 15 minutes opening and closing the door in every combination I can think of to cause a problem... Hold inner door handle cable tight while closing the door and trying to open it. Various combinations of lock and unlock patterns. Prevent the outside handle lever from going fully into the relaxed position when latching and locking the door. Pull the slack out of the door handle cable while going through the entire close door, lock, unlock, open procedure.

I cannot replicate the problem of the door getting stuck closed.

The closest reference to the symptom I found is a thread somebody posted elsewhere that went unanswered, and a thread somewhere about the door lock freezing in ice climate and bring resolved with soaking the door latch exterior area with hot water and subsequently lubricating it to prevent future freezing.

The fact that neither inside nor outside release mechanisms would release the door, even though I could physically feel and hear the mechanism doing its job, is what leads me to believe the latch that holds the pin got stuck.

But I'm no locksmith and haven't had time to re-read your above referenced threads with fresh eyes yet. Maybe it's not possible for that part of the mechanism to get stuck?
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:17 PM
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New Realization: I had the lock cylinder removed when closing the door as I was diagnosing a problem where the door wouldn't lock.

(Apparently the car thought the door was perpetually open. Somehow that got resolved now.)

But when the door lock cylinder isn't in place, the carrier rides upwards by 1/8" or so. Maybe that prevented the door latch mechanism from "resetting."

Either way, I can't reproduce the problem now and I'm driving to Canada tomorrow, so hopefully there won't be any issues.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:50 PM
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car door lock and latch will operate just fine without the door key cylinder installed; i've left mine out for extended periods when the lock cylinder was broken (you can use your finger to lock/unlock the car)

If your carrier moves when the lock cylinder is removed, the DHC wasn't installed correctly.

I think i know exactly how that was; there is a little plastic guide on the back of the screw going through the DHC to the lock cylinder, it is designed to hold the DHC in place until you install the lock cylinder.

You probably had too much motion in the DHC to reliably operate the door actuator.

note: if your door doesn't open from outside ; use the key to open the window by holding the key at the unlock position for more than 5 seconds. You can reach in and grab the inner handle.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:54 PM
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I think I know the plastic guide of which you speak. What is the correct way to use it?

I didn't touch the guide itself, left it as it came, and found it handy to hold the lock cylinder Allen head screw in place while getting everything lined up.

Am I supposed to do something different with that plastic piece? It was missing entirely from the old DHC.
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