3-Series (E21, E30)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.
I am having door locking trouble with my left hand drive/US E30 (1993 BMW 325iC). A couple of problems...
Initially, the driver side door lock was bending keys - so I sprayed some lubricant inside. Perhaps I should order an original BMW key as it is stronger?
Then the central locking stopped working (leaving the passenger door and fuel door permanently locked). If I remember correctly, I was previously able to unlock the car (even the double locking from the boot)... not anymore!
Now, the actual driver side door lock won't lock easily (with the key), i.e. it won't turn 90 degrees clockwise to double lock the drivers door. I actually have to turn the key somewhat clockwise, then open the door, then close it and it is finally locked. The car has never been able to 'single' lock from the driver door... it was always a double lock procedure.
Any suggestions on what parts I need to replace/order? I've read a couple of posts on different sites/forums and am thinking a new 'Central Lock Control Unit' and also a 'Door Lock Repair Kit'.
I've inspected the pins in the CLCU and they appear fine but that is not to say the CLCU is not shot!
Can't wait to fix this so I can either get an electronically operated door locking system installed... The car was actually originally fitted with a UNGO Pro-Tech 5000 alarm but I am without key fobs. Would you suggest trying to pick up a key fob and programming it or just replace the system?
The 1992-1995 E36 came with something called the EWS system. Its an electronic imobilizer system to prevent the car from being stolen by using chips in the keys to disable the ignition until the car "sees" the chip in the key. If your not using a BMW key then what are you using?
If the Central Locking System (CLS) stopped working, first check ALL of your fuses. And by check i mean take them out, visually inspect their still fine, and repeat. Some fuses may look okay until you take them out. Also some fuses tie into other areas not always listed. Check all of them and save yourself grief and money if it is a blown fuse.
It is common for the door actuator to fail. When one fails it usually causes the system to not work correctly. Replacing them isnt extremley difficult but requires removing the door panel and lock assembly from the car. If your not comftorable doing this, take it to a mechanic. The door actuator has micro switches in it that fail, and replacement ones are available from a number of retailers including BavAuto and ECS Tuning. They run anywhere from $50 to $84.
Another issue is the door striker. This has a micro switch in it as well. Usually when these fail it just makes the car think the door is always open and leaves the lights on all the time.
The ZKE module is located behind the glove box. Replacing these is expensive and very rarley actually needed. Start with the actuators and the lock mechanism. If you can, swap actuators from a working door (if you have 4 door). If not, replacing both and inspecting the lock mechanism is the place to start.
Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate the effort you made. I can confirm that my car is definitely a E30, even though the model year is 1993. It was purchased by the original owners at the end of 1992. The U.S. (I moved here recently from Ireland) is funny like that, you could buy a car at the end of a calendar year but it is sold as the next year model as they seem to do some upgrades towards the last quarter of the calendar and advertise as the next years model.
1992 was the last year they produced the E30 cabriolet (it is actually the E30 cab model with the electric roof) - but the manufacturers claim it is a '1993' model.
Not sure if you are au fait with this model as you are with the E36?, hopefully you are as your insight is incredible.
I'm not as familiar with the E30 locking system unfortunately. However the Bentley Service manual available for download at the top of the E30 section. It should cover the locking system. It does in the E36 version.
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