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My son and I did this job in about 45 minutes. Thanks for the detailed info. For anyone else, here's what our problem was:

Manually key open the driver door and it unlocked, turn again, passenger unlocked (as it should). However, push the key fob (new key btw) the locks would actuate but the driver side would not come up/unlock. I can hear the door actuator click, but no movement on the lock/unlock arm itself. I have half a mind to open up my bad actuator just to see what is the fault........maybe one day when I'm out of stuff to do (in 40 years.......lol). I bet it's some simple plastic bit inside there that is broken. Anyhow, now on to the removal of the headliner to re-skin it.
 

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Huge thanks for this post & the good pics - just replaced my passenger door latch ('01 330Ci). This was really helpful.
 

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DIY: Door Lock Actuator Removal & Attempt of Repair

Hello to all

Where can i source a female T30 torx socket to be able to do the actuator removal process? I have searched “female t30 torx” all over the place with no results. Is this type of socket recognized with a different name?

Regards,
Mark


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Hello to all

Where can i source a female T30 torx socket to be able to do the actuator removal process? I have searched “female t30 torx” all over the place with no results. Is this type of socket recognized with a different name?

Regards,
Mark


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It's refers to as an e-torx socket and is an 8 IIRC try Harbor Freight, they have sets for cheap. I bought a set of impacts remove an axle.

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Hello to all

Where can i source a female T30 torx socket to be able to do the actuator removal process? I have searched “female t30 torx” all over the place with no results. Is this type of socket recognized with a different name?

Regards,
Mark


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics
It's refers to as an e-torx socket and is an 8 IIRC try Harbor Freight, they have sets for cheap. I bought a set of impacts to remove an axle.

Sent from my [device_name] using E46Fanatics mobile app
 

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For what it's worth..........I had no problem used a normal 12 point spline socket in 5mm. That may be mentioned somewhere back along this thread.

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Going to tackle replacing the driver’s side actuator on my E46 328ci coupe.

Got a few questions after reading through this entire thread

Do i have to remove the door lock cylinder/outer door lock handle to do this job?

Secondly, besides the electrical connector, how many more cables/rods are actually attached to the actuator? I am waiting for my new actuator to arrive so i can view the location and amount of items that connect to this unit.

My initial evaluation of the work area looks very, very tight and uncomfortable especially with large hands.

Regards,
Mark
 

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It's been several months since I did this job with my son on his coupe, but yes, it is a tight fit. Big hands will not be your friend here, but it can be done. I think there were 2 cables to disconnect, remove the outer door lock cylinders (one screw). 3 actuator mount screws in the door at the striker spot. You'll also have to remove at least one end of the window regulator track closest to the actuator to give clearance. It's a bit of a puzzle of twisting ng, pulling, pushing, etc to get that thing out once it's fully disconnected, bit it'll make it out. There are countless YouTube videos too that I'd advise watching first to get an idea. I think overall, first time we did this job it was about 30 minutes start to finish.

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DIY: Door Lock Actuator Removal & Attempt of Repair

It was pretty straightforward. Removing the E8 bolt and the 2 10mm rail bolts made removal and installation a breeze

I got everything reconnected (including door lock cylinder) and verified the inside door handle connectors to the actuator are properly installed and the nuts/bolts fastened

My issue is that i cannot open the door. I have to get a set of pliers and pull on the inside door handle wire and also insert the key and turn it for the door to open

I have loosened the bolt holding the door lock cylinder, slightly pulling on the outer door handle and tightening the bolt as mentioned previously on this thread but it stays the same

Upon closing/opening you see the door pin move down/up as it should. The actuator aligned perfectly and i tightened the 3 bolts

What is wrong?

Just to clarify, is the torx bolt that holds in the door lock cylinder the one that adjusts or is it a small hole towards the right side which has a small black plastic grommet?

The actuator used on my car per VIN/production date is the one below. The old one matched perfectly with the new one




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Hey guys !

First, sorry for my bad English, i'm from Hungary.

My actuator is ..... up, so i can't open the door with the interior or the exterior door handle :S
The lock with the remote key is working fine.
The only problem is that i can't change the actuator, because i can't open the right door. (coupe)
Anybody any help or advice ? :S
 

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Just done this fix myself. Couple of points:

You dont need to take the airbag off

You do need to be forceful with the window guide when pulling it

two pairs of hands makes it a fair bit easier

All in all, with rain breaks, took my about 40 mins.
Hey when you say be forceful with the window rail??? Questions abound... I've taken the small top & bottom nuts off & the rail is fairly easy to move at the bottom but Not at the Top. Do you mean at the top and if so do I pull it down left or right or back then L or R. Should the glass be all the way up, partially down or what...

I am really struggling here and don't want to break something trying to get the Latch actuator out... Can it come out the lower hole or only the Top hole. any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Hi everyone, I am new, and irritated so go easy on me. 2003, 318ci

I have read through as many topics on this as I can find on this site and others so I will skip the basic "what do I do?!" nonsense.

What happened (I am in England, but from the states)

1. Car fails MOT on the fact the drivers side door was hard to open.
2. I google it, find this pikey adjustment screw everyone goes on about under the grommet, and proceed to back it off and tighten it up.
3. I seem to have tightened it too much and now it just spins in both directions. PROBLEM 1

Root Cause?

I have yet to remove the door card but I suspect the cable is dislodged from its carrier as seems to be the issue PROBLEM 2. I anticipate the zip tie fitting to be totally obnoxious and something I have to do soon. But now that I have this spinny adjustment screw, can I fix the actuator mechanism to lock that back up or do I need to purchase an actuator on ebay and swap it for the zip tie fix to work on the long cable?

I guess I have 1-weeks time to fix this all up and show the MOT guys it works or else pay some stupid amount of money for those morons to fix it.

Can the actuator assy be disassembled and the adjuster screw fixed?

Also, I have luckily ordered a replacement actuator assy from some junk yard on ebay and I should have it tomorrow. It is complete with the cable that goes up to the handle area.

I can see that more often than not its the actuator that causes the problem so I will start with this repair and just inspect the rest of the assy to confirm its not the handle. Inner handle works fine to pop the door, door locks seem to work fine as well.
 

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Ok, so... I've had the 330XI for a little over 2 years now.

This thread was very useful although my E46 330XI was a bit different. The center window bolt was a regular 10mm and regular thread, not reversed. Also, with the widow rail completely disconnected and slid to the right, the actuator came out the top opening easy peasy... I closed the window as well to get the glass out of the way. Was a breeze! Cleaned the key lock mechanism too while it was out, lots of gunk in there.

Anyways...

1.Keyfob opens all locks but the driver door.
2.Keyfob locks all doors.
3.Console switch opens and locks all doors.
4.Press n Hold opens all windows and sunroof.

So reading what I could online, pointed to actuator.

Replaced Actuator and still same thing, keyfob won't open drivers door lock :(

Thoughts and suggestions appreciated!

LMAO... EDIT because all of a sudden they lock works by keyfob!
???

I got home from work, walked to car, put key in door, turned lock, and it relocked as I withdrew the key. Lol... A few times. So I long pressed the keyfob to open windows and opened door from inside handle to get in. Then I used the center lock button to open lock. Then just for shuts n giggles I used the keyfob from inside the car and it opened the lock! Tried it again and again and it works now. So weird...

Anyways, just FYI.
 

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Is there a way to test the actuator?

My Passenger door actuator was unlocking VERY slowly, struggling actually, till it finally would not unlock any more.

So, I replaced the actuator..... But, I think I got a bad actuator (OK, Cheap Chinese part.....)

I can lock the car with the FOB, but, again the passenger door will not unlock. (just like before)

The actuator buzzes when I press unlock, so I think it is trying to unlock, but the lock button does not move up, and the car does not unlock. So, I think the new actuator I put in is bad.

I disassembled it mostly so I could watch.... Same thing, buzzes, but button does not move.

Can the actuator be tested before it is put in the car? With just connecting the electrical switch?

Pretty sure my new actuator is busted due to the buzzing I hear for a few seconds when I press unlock, sounds like a motor trying to unlock...

I think the actuator is controlled by computer, right? So, I can't just test leads to see if it is getting a unlock signal, right?

OH, I do have a cheap BMW diagnostics thingy, used mostly to turn off airbag light due to taking seat off with battery still installed.... I have to see if it has door lock diagnostics...

Does anyone have any other thoughts? Is the motor sound on unlock indicate the actuator is trying to unlock, but failing?

Thanks,
Larry
 

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is there a way to test the door actuator

I took out my 2002 330cic driver side actuator out today. I first took out the lock cylinder out. Then I took out the 2 window regulator screws out and losen the e-torex screw. No need to take the torex screw out---just losen it. Took about 15 minutes to slide out the actuator.

Now my question is: how can I test the actuator? What pins do I hook up to a 12-volt battery to test to see if it is bad or not? Attached is a wire diagram of the actuator plug.

I want to test it to make sure it is the actuator that is not working.
 

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