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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 01-08-2013, 05:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down E36 Door Wont Lock!

Hey guys, I have a 94 325i and for some reason the driver side door will not lock from the outside. However, the passenger side door locks and all the locks will go down. When I try to lock w/the driver side the key will turn to the left and the lock nob thing goes down a little bit but never enough to actually lock. Any ideas anyone? The door panel is a little loose on the inside and I'm thinking that may be why but I am not a 100% sure. I'm going to try some dw40 as well.

Hopefully someone can give me a more definitive answer as to what to do thanks
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey how are you, to start off with the door panel being loose has no affect on the door not locking because if you took the door panel off the door would still lock properly. It sounds like your tumbler is jammed up which is causing your problem since the passenger door locks the car still. First off lets start by doing easy solutions that hopefully will fix this problem you can get some wd-40 into the key hole and try freeing up the lock a few times. If that doesn't work you can try taking the panel off and since its loose you might need some new door clips which are really cheap that you can find off ebay any way with the panel off and the door open the locking system it's easy to asses if anything is broken or seems out of place and you can try messing with it and see if something is jamming the mechanism.


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Old 01-08-2013, 11:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Odds are your issue lies with the door actuator. It contains a small micro switch which will wear out over time. The actuator converts an electrical signal to a mechanical action. If the actuator is good, then the lock mechanism may need replacement. Try the actuator first. This will require removal of the door panel.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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okay thanks for the replies, all roads point to just taking off the door panel and seeing whats going on so I will do that and let you guys know whats up thanks
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Unfortunatley this does require removal of the door panel. In addition to the screws, their are several plastic clips that hold the panel on. If you break one, its not the end of the world like some people claim. They are replaceable.

The front door actuators are identical. Swap them out and see if that fixes the drivers door. If the issues presents itself on the passenger door, then you know the actuator is bad. If the issue continues, look at the lever attached to the lock, and check the lock mechanism itself. Their are several DIY's on how to remove it.
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