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Dead battery, locked out of E46 Wagon- HELP-I need your pity!

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by sonare, Nov 21, 2014.

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    Got the play the pity card here - my husband (owner of 12 BMWs in his 63 years) died in September and I need to sell his car. Moved the car out of the garage a couple weeks ago to make it look like someone was home while I went away to visit kids for the weekend. Went to move it the other day cuz a prospective buyer wanted to see it and the door locks would't release. Dead battery! And the car is locked up tight. HELP!!! I'm not a mechanic!! So I've got this great 2002 325 wagon in the driveway but the battery's dead (so the key fob won't work), and using the key in the lock isn't doing anything (whether I hold the door latch up while I do it or not). I've tried popping the hood with the latch in the grill, but it's not releasing (and I'm pretty strong). I would take the front driver tire off, and plastic behind it to get to the latch cable, but the lug nut wrench is in the trunk. One unconventional mode of entry might exist because the 18" wide piece of plastic under which the rear hatch release sits is loose/can be removed. Could I use this access to those wires to activate the hatch release and get to the car/battery that way to get some juice into the car?? Can somebody out there help me with what to do (that's cheap!)?
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    If the lock cylinder is not working. I would recommend removing the left kidney grill and using a small pick to move the hood latch lock and open the hood jump at the points under the hood and get power back to the car to get it. May need kidney since most break when removing but that is cheap by comparison to other ways.
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    I hope you've had some luck getting in - the owner's manual I found said turning the key fully (possibly up to 90°, I would guess counter-clockwise, feeling a bit or resistance against the final part of the turn, but not too much, obviously you don't want to break the key off in the door lock), in the door handle lock, should manually unlock the door, it didn't say anything about pulling the door handle as part of the procedure. On some BMW's (I think with a different type of pull-up door handle vs. the E46 pull-out) the manual unlock procedure involves turning the key in the lock before, after, or during lifting the handle, can't remember which without looking it up.

    Pretty sure Charlson's reference to the left grille is the driver's side grill.

    This video can give you an idea of the securing clips on the grill - ditto on above, access to the securing clips being restricted with the hood down, so pulling it you're most likely to break the securing clips - not sure of the best way to try to pull it out with the hood closed - (Charlson, suggestions?).


    Here's somebody that removed the rear light and apparently got some power to the locks through the rear license-plate light wiring - important to make the correct pos/neg connections.


    Here, people with a different model (E39 5-series) jacked it up and used a spare battery to energize the car via the pos. starter cable, not sure how accessible the starter is from underneath on your E46.


    Auto parts stores would have a lug wrench (lug bolt size I think is quite likely 17mm), but I don't know if that really gets you access to pull the hood cable.

    But, yes, if you can get the hood open, there's jumper terminals that you can get power to which should get the car unlocked -


    Then - get the battery tested to see it's condition for holding a charge; if the battery's good, then something like this can keep it maintenance charged until you get the vehicle sold.


    What chapter/city are you in?

    My sincerest condolences for your loss.
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    Thanks for the advice MGarrison and charlson89. I'll try attacking it tomorrow afternoon (if the rain slows). VERY MUCH appreciate your help.

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