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Old 09-26-2013, 12:07 AM
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Door Won't Lock With Key

Ok, new problem today; I went to lock the X5 from outside using the key, and the key won't turn to the right to lock it. It turns to the left just fine, but not to the right.

We have two keys for the vehicle, but the battery only works in one of them, and recently it's been a little dodgy, only working once in a while, and only when very close to the vehicle. The other one has a dead battery, and I've had good intentions to replace it, but... Getting the thing to lock has suddenly become a problem.

Any thoughts on why the key lock won't turn?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:05 PM
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Things just got interestinger; last night I was able to get the doors to lock with the remote, but I got a call from my wife a short time ago to let me know that her remote wouldn't work this afternoon, and the key wouldn't unlock the door either. I've got some ideas on how I might get inside, and pm'ed another member who got through a similar problem, and he confirmed that one of them worked. So there's hope...



But back to the original problem; last night I could get the key to turn 45 to the left, but it wouldn't turn to the right at all. I didn't know to try turning it 90 to the left for manual unlock; I'll try that first when I get home. Any tricks to making that work? I'll also give the lock a shot of some penetrant and some lock lubricant, just for good measure.

if anybody has any insight as to why the door lock would be stuck like this, I'm all ears. Thanks!

Also, when it comes to the remotes, I was thinking that if the problem is a low battery in my wife's key fob, maybe I could crack it open and use a pair of 1.5V batteries in series to "jump start" the key fob temporarily to get in (and then order a replacement battery ASAP.) Any thoughts on that?
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Old 09-26-2013, 06:42 PM
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Battery shouldn't have anything to do with it. Manual is manual. If it is not unlocking manually then you probably have a bad actuator. Order a new one and replace, it is not that hard. Take it all apart and look at it to see if you can tell what is wrong. First thing I would do is take out the door lock. Search youtube a guy put up a good video about it. If you unscrew the allen bolt and push out the lock assembly about a half inch, it should be out of the actuator. Check to see if the key will turn fully. If so, you most likely have a bad actuator. They go bad, I have had to replace to of them.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:55 PM
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Ok, got home and got into it -- remote suddenly came to life while I was trying another method to get in. The problem with the outside lock is with they cylinder itself; it appears as though some of the insides of the cylinder aren't aligned as they ought to be, preventing it from turning as it should. I've got a visit to the dealer in my future.

Now the question is, if the driver's door actuator is working as it should, would it lock & unlock the driver's door with the lock cylinder removed? It doesn't, so I'm wondering if I need to dig deeper or just get a replacement cylinder.
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Old 09-26-2013, 09:54 PM
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Not sure that it should work without the cylinder, you know how those Germans are. However from taking it apart myself, I can't see why the lock actuator should not work without the cylinder. Perhaps your bad cylinder caused the lock actuator motor to die as well.

Do the job yourself, it is only a step above an oil change. Just get some panel removing tools.

Watch this video:

BMW E46 Door Lock Barrel Issue P.2 - What You Need To Replace! - YouTube

"This is a common failure on the E46. If your key just spins without opening the door then the door lock barrel is worn out or broken. BMW Dealerships charge $500 to replace it. Shops charge up to $300. What they don't tell you is the parts cost $30 & takes 10 easy minutes to install!"
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:38 PM
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That's exactly the problem with mine; one of the bits inside the cylinder fell apart and jammed the thing up. Instead of spinning freely, mine wasn't able to move freely, and didn't move the pin that engages the actuator inside the door. Of course, I pulled the door panel and the entire lock mechanism to find that out. If I'd known what I was looking for it would've been a matter of pulling the little plastic grommets from the edge of the door, remove the allen screw & pull the lock cylinder out.

(as it was, I got to reassemble everything twice because I forgot to connect the wire harness to the lock & actuator assembly. good practice I guess.)









The plan now is to check with a locksmith in the morning to see if they can fix it within a reasonable amount of time (less time than it would take to order the repair kit.) If not, I'll just order a cylinder repair kit and do it myself.
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:58 PM
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Door lock mech broken

Good evening, I have the same problem with my X5, I thought I would just stroll over and open the passenger lock but low and behold, there is no lock on that side, or on the rear hatch either!
I can tell you in my case, the lock cylinder rotating piece had broken (the inner rotating part) I found the fix kit (regulatorfix.com) and purchased it. Its on the way! I tried to salvage one from an X5 at the wrecker, it too was broken. with no key I couldn't test it! however, I used it as "practice" to figure how to repair mine! the little rolled pin simply pulls out, then the u shaped round slides out past where the pin was, then the rotating actuator rod comes off and the spring shoots out after! I found that once I had removed the lock mech, I was able to lock and unlock my x5 with a screwdriver!! I pulled out my key cylinder, after inserting the key and turning it to unlock, and cleaned and serviced it, waiting for my new lock repair kit to arrive!
at least its an easy part to remove, and the door panel can stay put!
Best of luck,
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Old 09-27-2013, 09:26 AM
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Just sent you a PM Dave and forgot to read this thread.

Glad to hear it was just the lock actuator, those are an easy fix thankfully. Keep us posted, and maybe get a new master key too, "just in case"
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Old 09-27-2013, 11:16 AM
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Just an FYI...many BMW owners think that their non working (new style) remote keys is caused by a failed battery...and may attempt opening the (sealed) key...and many times wind up making matters worse by cutting into the IC board or knocking off capacitors/resistors that are soldered to the board.

So be careful how far you cut into the key to open it if you decide to repair the key yourself. There's a BMW forum member (Scott from BimFest) that has been repairing a lot of BMW keys and has even posted a "wall of shame" that shows the damage some owners have done attempting to open/repair their keys...as well as why some keys have failed...due to internal damage or issues with the GM (general module)...instead of the usual assumption that the battery is dead.

I've been lucky not to need this service (knock on wood)...but you can check out his site to see if this may be the issue for you non working new style remote key. The link below is to the "wall of shame"...and at the very bottom of the page is link back to bmwgm5.com website where you can get more info on how to contact Scott and specific information for the various BMW models and GMs: <b>
(wall of shame site): www.BMWGM5.com Key Fob Wall of Shame
</b>
(some pics from the site above that shows internal damage)

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Old 09-27-2013, 03:51 PM
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Repairing your lock cylinder is easy. Been there, done that. There is a guy on Ebay located in Turkey that sells you the parts you need. Description is OK, you'll find some videos on YouTube as well. I went this route and was back in action in 30 minutes.

I then fixed my remote key system and it was NOT the key or battery, it was the module that receives the signal (located in the rear hatch, not far from the 3rd brake light).
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