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so today i was wondering why my alarm wont arm and its because my car doesnt sense the driver door being closed. But int the car on the dash says its closed. I sorda played around with the door jam and locked and unlocked it from the inside and got it to sense the door being open. after that i closed it and pressed the lock bottom on my remote and the car beeped telling me the alarm was armed. so now i have that thought that i have to replace this part too. Right after i finished replaceing the ccv valve which was a PITA....and expensive too.
 

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When one of our actuators was failing it was really obvious. one of the doors would occasionally refuse to unlock/lock with the rest of the doors. When it did, it was slow to do so. We never had our alarm fail to arm or anything. When your car was having issues arming did you notice if your interior lights were on/off abnormally?
 

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so today i was wondering why my alarm wont arm and its because my car doesnt sense the driver door being closed. But int the car on the dash says its closed. I sorda played around with the door jam and locked and unlocked it from the inside and got it to sense the door being open. after that i closed it and pressed the lock bottom on my remote and the car beeped telling me the alarm was armed.
To be more correct, it's not that the car doesn't detect the door as closed, because it is, it's because the car didn't sense that a door was opened and then closed! If you were to open the passenger door and then close it, the alarm would arm no problem. The BMW engineers don't want you to arm the car with someone still inside because of the double locks (interior handles disabled) can be a safety hazard and we have all heard about problems with E46's not unlocking! Maybe you've experienced it first hand.

It sounds like the driver's door actuator assembly needs to be replaced. Here is a web page with all the part numbers for the various years and body styles. I found getbmwparts.com to be one of the cheapest, but, I usually buy from ecstuning.com even though they are a few dollars more in some cases. I just checked getbmwparts.com is $111.82 and ecstuning.com is $113.45.


Find the correction part number actuator for your car here www.bmwgm5.com/E46_Actuator.htm
 

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I found getbmwparts.com to be one of the cheapest, but, I usually buy from ecstuning.com even though they are a few dollars more in some cases. I just checked getbmwparts.com is $111.82 and ecstuning.com is $113.45

http://www.bmwgm5.com/e46_actuator.htm
What's the difference between these two?
51217011305 Front Driver's Side (Left)
51217011306 Front Driver's Side (Right - RHD)

Are you supposed to buy both? I haven't taken a look at the inside of my door at all yet, I'm just researching the subject for now.
 

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To be more correct, it's not that the car doesn't detect the door as closed, because it is, it's because the car didn't sense that a door was opened and then closed! If you were to open the passenger door and then close it, the alarm would arm no problem. The BMW engineers don't want you to arm the car with someone still inside because of the double locks (interior handles disabled) can be a safety hazard and we have all heard about problems with E46's not unlocking! Maybe you've experienced it first hand.
well on that. it actually locks but in two different stages even tho they look the same.
the lock on the E46 has stage one which is dropping the door pin but can be unlocked by pulling the handle.
the second stage is dropping the pin also disables the handle, which the door can not be unlocked by pulling the door handle.
if you use the key to lock the car without exiting the car, its stage one. if the car sees the door has been opened and closed, when you hit the key, it goes to stage two.
 

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What's the difference between these two?
51217011305 Front Driver's Side (Left)
51217011306 Front Driver's Side (Right - RHD)

Are you supposed to buy both? I haven't taken a look at the inside of my door at all yet, I'm just researching the subject for now.
left hand drive and right hand drive. I guess the module is mirrored?
 
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