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first of many threads...

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by Jamie_S, Jan 11, 2012.

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    Jamie_S

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    Hello everyone, been gone for a while but I'm back in the fold and have a project that I will be needing lots of help with. The 1994 318i that we bought my daughter back in '02 is back in my posession. This car was a one-owner showroom condition car that she has abused, neglected, and mistreated for almost 10 years now. It sits rotting in her driveway and I think she and her husband gave up on it, so I "rescued" it. Got a little work to do to even get it to my house, but for starters can anyone help with the door lock issue I'm having? At some point over the last few years they took it to the dealer to have the brake lights fixed. Her husband tells me that ever since then the door locks have not worked propery if at all. He tells me there is some strange sequence of chants and dances that must be followed in order to get them to lock.
    Anyone got an ideas where to start?

    thanks
    Jamie
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    Jamie_S

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    Update, found out today that the "emergency" spare key was used at about the time that the dealer fixed the brake lights. That might have something to do with the problem, but I'm still looking for a fix if anyone has any ideas.
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    MGarrison

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    E34's have a procedure to open the door if the power lock system is not working, something about turning a key all the way, one direction or the other and holding it there and then pulling up the dooor handle. I'm not familiar with E36 particulars, but you may want to check if there's something similar for E36's. E36's are probably not much different from the older BMW's in that the driver's door lock cylinder will wear the most, vs. the passenger side, if someone uses a key to lock it consistently - the lock will get too worn. I presume E36's would also have remote-controlled locking/unlocking, unlike the 80's era bimmers, (perhaps with the exception of 7's of that era), but people might use keys vs the remote for various reasons, such as a dead or corroded remote battery that isn't repaired or replaced, or a lost remote. If E36's have the "deadbolt' lock feature of E30's, if the lock cyl. is worn, locking by key may perhaps only lock the doors by turning the key to the deadbolt position, and engaging the deadbolts. Again, if like E30's, the deadbolts can only be disengaged at the driver's door. With enough wear, the lock may not activate the power locks at all - common tactic on E30's, if one stalled on fixing the driver's side door lock cyl., was to lock the car by activating the power locks at the passenger door, or trunk lock. I don't know if any of that may apply to your car or not.

    Look the car over carefully before throwing a lot at it - the prospect of a project can easily sound like fun, but you may find that 10 years later, there are so many expensive things that it's just not worth it, and that a cleaner, better-maintained example can be had for less, or even a lot less, than it would take to get the project to where you want it. $100 spent for a shop that knows BMW's to get it up on a lift and make an assessment of everything that's needed, including checking for rust damage, or rusty brake/fuel tube lines, and everything else, could be well worth it - just a thought, anyway.

    And.... welcome back! :)
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    Jamie_S

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    Great info, I appreciate it! We never got a key fob for the 318, so it's always been locked by the key at the driver side. I suppose first thing we'll do is have the cylinder replaced on that side.

    I hear what you're saying about the rescue project. My wife is already worried about how much it will cost just to get it running and to a cosmetic condition that isn't embarassing to be seen in. I figure worst case scenario we get it running for as little investment as possible and sell it. Ideally it would need a reasonable amount of repairs and lots of tlc and then I'll keep it. This is my second e36, back when we bought it for the daughter I also had a 328i that my wife and I used to fight over driving.

    Thanks again, I'll keep the page updated as we progress.

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