Home > Uncategorized > 2006 (E90) BMW 330xi doors won’t unlock - symptoms & solution

2006 (E90) BMW 330xi doors won’t unlock - symptoms & solution

October 3rd, 2010

I have a 2006 BMW 330xi and the doors stopped unlocking about a 2 weeks ago.

  • Doors won’t unlock with the remote (2 remotes).
  • I could only gain access to the car through the driver’s door with the physical key (located inside the remote).
  • The lock/unlock button on the dashboard would only lock the car.  There was still no way to unlock it from inside.
  • BMW Hazard:  From what I can tell, there is absolutely no way to unlock the rear doors and front passenger door when they are locked.  I can’t imagine what would happen if you got into a bad accident and your passengers were trapped inside the car.  A bit scary to think the Germans missed this while designing the car.

First thing to check are the fuses.  Typically if these are all good you most likely have a failed door actuator.  Luckily for me it was only a blown fuse.  The E90’s have 5 fuses that control the door locks.  In my case it was fuse #57 that was blown and needed to be replaced.  This is a 15amp** mini fuse that can be picked up from any local automotive store.

How to check/replace the fuses

This was the hardest task of the job.  The fuse box is located behind the glove box.  Without being able to open the passenger door your access the the fuse box becomes greatly restricted.  I had to completely recline the passengers seat to create more room.  The fuse panel cover is really just the back wall of your glove box.  To remove this you need to open your glove box (remove any contents) and back side of the glove box has 2 quick release screws on the top of each corner.  Once you take out this panel you will see a card on the back side of it.  This is your fuse diagram.

Before touching the fuses I highly recommend unplugging your car battery in the trunk.  Just taking off the negative terminal lead will be good enough.

My problem was it was near impossible for me to get my hands back far enough with the limited space to reach and pull a fuse.  Even long needle nose pliers wouldn’t do the trick.

I had to first remove the glove box door.  This is actually quite easy.  First you need to remove the floor kick panel (as the same suggests its located directly above where your feet would be).  There are 2 screws to take out and then the plastic panel just slides right out.  Be careful though since there is a light on it so you need to unplug before ripping the panel completely out.  When this panel is off it will expose two black plastic brackets that act as a clamp to hold the glove box door onto its hinge (long metal rod).  Each bracket has 2 screws which need to come out.  Now there is only 1 black plastic pin to remove which holds the glove box to a extension ’shock’.  Once that pin is removed the glove box door will come right out nicely.

With the glove box door out I had enough room to deal with the fuses.  Lucky me the 15amp #57 fuse was blown.  Replacing this fuse fixed my door unlock problem.

After replacing the fuse, I later found  a BMW Service Bulletin (SIB-51-19-07) which marks this as a known issue and states to replace the #57 fuse with a 20amp one.  I guess next time I’ll swap it to a 20amp.

http://www.bmwtis.com/tsb/bulletins/bulletin_graphic_temp/B511907g.htm.

SUBJECT
Doors Will Not Unlock Using the Key Fob or Central Locking Button

MODEL
E90, E91 (3 Series) produced up to 11/2008 SITUATION
One or more of the doors may not unlock when using the remote key outside the vehicle, or the central locking button inside the car. It is still possible, however, to unlock the door by using the key in the driver’s door lock cylinder or by pulling the door handle on the inside of the car.Typically fault codes A6D4 and A6D5 are stored in the Junction Box Electronics (JBBF).CAUSE
This is due to a blown fuse in the JBBF caused by either:

  • An excessive amperage draw by one of the door lock actuators, which is commonly attributed to silicone contamination; or
  • An intermittent, but acceptable, amperage spike slightly above 15A, due to normal variation in the locking system.

CORRECTION
Replace the fuse with one of a different rating.Replace the necessary actuator as well, but only if it is drawing excessive amperage.

PARTS INFORMATION

Part Number Description Quantity
51 21 7 263 086 Door latch kit (contains both left and right latches) As required
51 22 7 060 295 Door latch – left rear As required
51 22 7 060 296 Door latch – right rear As required
61 13 6 942 071 20 Amp mini fuse 1

PS: Check the fuses before spending hundreds of dollars at BMW to fix something that cost $0.15 and will only take 30 minutes of your time.

** Following the service bulletin SIB-51-19-07 you should replace the fuse with a 20amp one.

Phil Uncategorized

  1. Bill D
    April 10th, 2011 at 19:57 | #1

    Thank You!
    This information was perfect. My doors wouldn’t unlock, I followed your instructions and installed a new fuse. Good as new. Thanks for saving me a service visit.
    Sincerely,
    Bill Dallman

  2. Russ Jones
    May 3rd, 2011 at 14:36 | #2

    Thanks for including info on the service bulletin. Glad to know they recognize there is an issue here.

    I have now been through this three times - first with a 15 amp in #57, but now twice more with blown 20 amp fuses. Generally get a few months between fuse blows. Owners of the 3-series wagons should familiarize themselves with the procedure to get at the manual gas fill release, as it requires lifting out the floor cover, removing side panel fasteners and removing the left hand interior side panel in order to get at the pull tab. With Fuse 57 blown, you can’t open the gas filler door any other way.

    I have also noticed that the car doors can not be unlocked from the inside if #57 is blown - no manual override at all, so BMW has created a dangerous situation with that safety defect. Russ

  3. May 4th, 2011 at 00:56 | #3

    @Russ Jones
    sounds like a horrible spot for the gas door manual unlock cable! If your fuses keep blowing the door actuator is probably drawing more current than it should, especially if you increased to the 20amp fuse. good luck.

  4. John
    September 24th, 2011 at 16:26 | #4

    Thanks for this! My E90 328i wouldn’t unlock. Tested the #57 fuse, and it was blown. Replaced it with a 20A fuse and all is good again.

  5. florin
    October 20th, 2011 at 01:33 | #5

    My problem is quite particular and I couldn’t find any similar issues on the internet. The central locking is working randomly from my both keys. I can only enter in the car trough the driver’s door by opening it manually. I tried to find the circumstances under which this issue occurs but without any luck. Maybe you heard about a similar issue that’s why I have posted here my problem.

  6. Reg User
    November 10th, 2011 at 23:52 | #6

    Phil,

    I’m having the same problem in my 2007 328xi. Thanks for the info.

    The link to the service bulletin is no longer valid. Hence, in addition to fuse #57, do you know what the other fuses which control the door locks are?

    Also, since BMW has acknowledged that this is a problem, do you know if they’ve fixed this problem for anybody free of cost?

    Thanks again.

    Reg

  7. November 11th, 2011 at 00:22 | #7

    @Reg User
    I’m not sure what the other fuses are…they should be marked on the fuse diagram. If i remember correctly there were about 4 or 5 fuses that were related to the locking system.

    I believe BMW will fix it for you for free during a normal maintenance / servicing of your car. I perform 95% of all work myself so I don’t have an exact answer for you on that one. Typically the service bulletins are posted and have a procedure for the mechanic to follow to address the issues within it.

  8. Reg User
    November 11th, 2011 at 00:34 | #8

    Thanks again Phil. Much appreciated.

    BTW, I found the schematic for the fuses here:

    http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=321594

    Reg

  9. Rachel
    January 30th, 2012 at 04:35 | #9

    Excellent info you saved my life and job

  10. July 9th, 2012 at 18:20 | #10

    You guy’s rock, #57 was my problem as well.

  11. July 10th, 2012 at 01:12 | #11

    @Dan
    No problem, glad it helped.

  12. Todd H.
    July 26th, 2012 at 14:33 | #12

    Thanks for being there for all of us that need a little help
    when strange things happen,the 20 amp solved the lock problem,
    I have been wrenching these 3 series for 15 plus years and with
    this 2007 I have never been cold sholdered by so many dealers
    saying they know nothing about this. So very sad… Love you BMW.

  13. Jason
    July 28th, 2012 at 10:35 | #13

    Thanks so much! That was my problem. I’m now locking/unlocking with reckless abandon!

  14. Tom
    September 13th, 2012 at 21:58 | #14

    Same problem here today with ‘08 328i. Replaced fuse 57 with new 15A. Will see how it goes. What a place for to locate the fuses.

  15. Ayman
    November 15th, 2012 at 08:11 | #15

    I had this problem twice now with my 2007 330I, first time it was fuse 56, which was replaced and worked for almost 9 months, and now recently last week i had it again, checked the 4 Fuses, (2, 19, 56, 57, and 6x (i don’t remember it but it was the second one of the 30 amps down)), all are good, seems the problem with the driver Door latch kit,

    great car with stupid manufacturer!!!!

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