Really Tight Door Handle, Hard To Open...... - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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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#1 (permalink) Old 12-17-2004, 06:01 PM
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Okay, need a little advice here. My driver door is worse than the passengers but both have the same problem. My mechanic said it is probably just a door alignment issue but he wasnt sure. I dont want to spend the money for him to investigate the problem when I can do it myself. You have to use a strong amount of force to open the door with either the internal or external handle, almost to the point of breaking either one. The problem only exists when the windows are up and if you put light pressure on the outside of the door with your knee/thigh/hip the latch opens as smoothly as it would have off the production line.

My wife has the same problem on her Z3 and both cars are having more issues with this in the colder weather. Has anyone else seen this? I plan on lubricating the latch assemblies this weekend with some white lithium grease but i dont think that will fix the problem. Anyone know if there is a simple way to adjust the latch assemblies or the door itself? The gap around the door is equal and the car has never been wrecked. Its a '96 E36 328iS. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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#2 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 07:34 PM
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Im having the same problem. (i was about to post this myself) Anyways, all i can add is that when both the outside and inside door handles are pulled at the same time, the door opens fairly easily. (this is when im on the outside and my passenger is already in the car pulling on the internal handle) Any advice for the two of us?

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#3 (permalink) Old 12-22-2004, 10:55 PM
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I'm having the same problem as you guys. The door always seemed somewhat difficult to open, but as soon as the weather turned really cold it became nearly impossible to open the driver's side door.

I'm planning on messing around with it tomorrow, if I find anything out I'll post it here.

Damion
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#4 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 10:07 AM
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I HAD the same problem as you guys are having. It was so bad that at times the doors would not open. The handles would pull out till they hit their stops and the doors still wouldn't open. This is probally where your doors are all headed, dread the feeling of having to crawl across to get into the drivers seat.

There is a fix though. I took mine to the stealership (I'm still under warranty) It has nothing to do with a door alignment, that mechanic should be beaten. It is just one part that causes it, I am not sure which one it is I have to go down to my car and look at the invoices to make sure. But it was something as simple as the lock actuator or the actual door handle guts. It took them maybe an hour to do both handles. Now it works like a dream! I will look today and tell you which part it is you have to buy.

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 10:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rookie@Dec 23 2004, 09:07 AM
I HAD the same problem as you guys are having. It was so bad that at times the doors would not open. The handles would pull out till they hit their stops and the doors still wouldn't open. This is probally where your doors are all headed, dread the feeling of having to crawl across to get into the drivers seat.

There is a fix though. I took mine to the stealership (I'm still under warranty) It has nothing to do with a door alignment, that mechanic should be beaten. It is just one part that causes it, I am not sure which one it is I have to go down to my car and look at the invoices to make sure. But it was something as simple as the lock actuator or the actual door handle guts. It took them maybe an hour to do both handles. Now it works like a dream! I will look today and tell you which part it is you have to buy.
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Rookie,
How much did BMW charge you for that?
thanks

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 12:33 PM
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I have that issue on mycar too. Not a problem, just a little tighter than expected. Funny how I didn't notice that on the test drive

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-23-2004, 12:52 PM
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i had this problem with my doorhandles last week. so i heard a thing on another forum about white lithium grease and i used that and now it glides smoothly


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#8 (permalink) Old 12-24-2004, 02:46 PM
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It only costs me $50 bucks a visit, no matter how big the problem is or how many problems I bring in at once. I could need a new engine, new doors, and new suspension and I would get it for only 50 bucks. But it only lasts for a couple more months. I am hoping the engine goes and I can get a new one before the warranty is up. By the way delmarco I am installing those speakers today and they will be in the mail on monday!

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tmac325is@Dec 23 2004, 11:33 AM
i had this problem with my doorhandles last week. so i heard a thing on another forum about white lithium grease and i used that and now it glides smoothly
Hmm, did you have to take the door apart first? When opening the door it really feels like an deep internal problem; like two pieces of metal that are mis-aligned that are not catching properly....

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#10 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 12:41 PM
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I went the white lithium grease route and all is well. Seems better anyway, pull the handle and door opens easily. I would suggest to all before going to the stealership to try the lithium route first. A few liberal sprays on the lock assembly, as well as in the key holes (I know I should have used graphite but couldnt find it) and my key turns like factory new, door opens better. There still seems to be a bit of pressure when the door opens but I am going to assume that this is due to the frameless windows and bmw's way of making a tight seal. At least until something else shows up. I did my trunk latch and key assemblies as well, much smoother on the key assembly now. Good luck to everyone else having this problem.

As far as the mechanic goes, he isnt a body guy, told me that up front so I dont blame him for mis-information on this subject. He has been working on bimmers for about 12 years now and his lead mechanic has around 30 years experience. They do great work and offer up even better FREE advice. He was just wrong in this case I guess. Now if I can just get rid of the annoying squeek, which is now starting to sound like a grinding sound, in my steering wheel assembly. I saw a faq somewhere about how to fix this but I am not to keen on removing the airbag.
I mentioned this to the same mechanic, said its a common thing and annoying but there is some sort of 'ring' behind the wheel that needs to be replaced, the lube is drying up. I inquired as to what kind of lube to use to eliminate the squeek and grind but was informed that because this is a electrical contact for the airbag that if I lube it my airbag might not work anymore. This part is something like $250 or so, not sure about this so if you have any opinions let me know.

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#11 (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 05:12 PM
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for white lithium grease, there is no need to open up the door panel, atleast for me there wasnt, i just sprayed some around the door mechanism, you know the big metal piller that the door locks around.


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#12 (permalink) Old 01-08-2005, 01:40 AM
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Finally repaired my door handle, i just used spray graphite or lock lube from the auto parts store. Now the door seems to open even easier than when i bought the car.

Thanks for the tips, i figured a part had worn down

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#13 (permalink) Old 01-08-2005, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rookie@Dec 24 2004, 02:46 PM
It only costs me $50 bucks a visit, no matter how big the problem is or how many problems I bring in at once. I could need a new engine, new doors, and new suspension and I would get it for only 50 bucks. But it only lasts for a couple more months. I am hoping the engine goes and I can get a new one before the warranty is up. By the way delmarco I am installing those speakers today and they will be in the mail on monday!
[snapback]257762[/snapback]
Take the oil pan off, drop the pistons and brake a couple piston connector rods. Start the car and rev it to redline in neutral for about 2 hours. It should overheat quickly, but don't let that stop you. It'd probably be a good idea to empty out the radiator so that the water dosn't boil over and cover the engine bay in glycol...


What about WD40 on all this stuff? I'm lazy and the only lube I have withen 10 feet of my car is a can of WD40... It *STOPPED* my door opening-closing squeek a few months ago....


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#14 (permalink) Old 08-22-2014, 11:16 PM
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I have a 1998 E 36 with the same issue. Today after reading all the previous posts, I noticed rub marks on the striker plate so I simply adjusted the striker plate on the inside of the door frame on the car body by just 1 mm upwards and it is perfect. It took me about 10 minutes.

Instructions:
(1) Mark around the striker plate with a marker pen so you can tell its original position.
(2) loosen the two screws (using a special star shaped tool that fits the screw head that can be purchased from your auto shop for a few dollars) securing the striker plate to the car body, but not too loose.
(3) Using a hammer and screw driver, tap the striker plate (near its base) in the desired direction; you may have to break the static weld before it actually starts to move.
(4) Only adjust it by 1mm in the desire direction as there is not much clearance between the striker plate and housing on the door.
(5) Retighten the securing screws.
(6) Check door operation.
(7) Adjust further if required.
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