2006 (E90) BMW 330xi doors won’t unlock - symptoms & solution
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.
Doors Will Not Unlock Using the Key Fob or Central Locking Button
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.
Replace the fuse with one of a different rating.Replace the necessary actuator as well, but only if it is drawing excessive amperage.
|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.