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Unexpected Partial Unlocking Without Key. Is it Broken?

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by amazzare, Apr 10, 2010.

    • Member

    amazzare

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    I recently purchased a 2001 330Ci Convertible and like a little kid, I have to push every button and turn every knob to see what happened.

    Well, the unexpected: Windows open, top down, doors locked with the key. Fine so far, car seems secure (trunk, doors, and glovebox). Reaching into the call, I pressed the central locking button on the console. On first press, the glovebox is unlocked! Not what I was expecting. Is this normal or something broken? Is it a DIY job to fix?


    Thanks.

    My past BMW experiences are with E3 and E28 models, so I may just be out of date here.

    (My first posting to the board. Hope I'm goofing it up. I did search for a similar thread.)
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    It's "normal vehicle function," as they say, in this case a security feature. When you lock the vehicle with the remote key, the central locking button will not unlock it. You have to unlock it with the key.

    Apart from the entirely understandable joy of button-pushing and knob-twisting :), you could try reading the owner's manual. These are complex cars and several features can leave you scratching your head, unless you get a hint or two.

    If the manual went off on a path separate from the car, you can download a PDF copy at bmwusa.com (owners' section). Enjoy!
    • Member

    amazzare

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    NotTheStig,

    Thanks for the reply. I should have been more clear, the part that is bothering me is the fact that the central locking button does ANY unlocking after the car was secured from the outside by the key. (In my imaginary world, the glove box would be accessible when I'm driving, but if I lock the doors from the outside, no amount of button pushing inside the car would unlock any part of the car.)

    I have been reading the manual, trying to figure out what works and doesn't, and separate out the parts that apply to my car vs the generic parts that only apply to other models of the 3 or to those sold outside the US.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Why would it matter that you're able to open anything from the inside if you lock it from the outside? Trying to abduct people and lock them in your car??? :eek:


    It's also a safety feature. Imagine if you were, as in the possible scenario I brought up, abducted in your own car and the kidnapper locked you in the car while he went to get something from inside a building or something; I'm sure you'd want the ability to GET OUT!

    That's just an example, but once again; why would you want this particular feature? If nobody's in the car when you lock it from the outside, nobody's going to open your glovebox! :p


    Also, why bother locking the car with the top down? Completely defeats the purpose. lol
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    True, but It's a multi-step thing. In the sedan, when you lock the car using the remote,
    • the inside door handles disengage from the locks so you cannot open the doors (from inside), until...
    • one press on the central locking button re-connects the inside door handles but does not unlock the car, so then you...
    • pull once on a door handle to unlock it, twice to open.
    Pressing the central-lock button more than once does nothing--it goes dead after the first press. (I just tested all this with the windows open. ;))

    The sedan doesn't have an electrically-locked glove box so this might be a coupe/convertible thing.
    • Member

    Zeichen311

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    Yeah, there is that. It's all in there...including the stuff you don't have. It's like a little mystery game you get for free with the car. :D
    • Member

    amazzare

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    Ouch my ears!! **Note to self, do NOT test car security in the garage with the door closed!** Had to see if after hitting the central lock button the doors opened. They do, but the siren is loud in a small enclosed space!

    Thanks for the info. I see now that locking the car when the top is down doesn't secure much.

    As for locking someone in the car, my old E28 did exactly that if you engaged the electromagnetic "deadbolt" option. There was no pulling up on the door locks. There was a big warning note in the owners manual about not engaging those locks if anyone was in the car. I liked it, because on hot summer days, I could leave the windows slightly open and secure the car pretty well, short of someone breaking the glass and dragging things through the window.

    Thanks all for the help. :)

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