View Full Version : Please help - Car is stuck w/ locking & starting problems

12-29-2004, 01:27 AM
I have a 94 740i.
It won't start & the power locks do not work. It is not a battery problem, the engine turns but just won't start. I think it's related to the security system.

It started when I used the key to unlock the passenger door .. I think. This is where I'm fuzzy b/c I often confuse the direction. In any case I heard the doorlocks, but all the doors remained locked. I tried again, but the power locks were dead when I tried either door & the trunk.

I used the manual override procedure to open the passenger door. This got me in the car, but I could not unlock the driver door even from the inside. Also the car would not start. The windows, radio, & everything worked with the ignition turned to the On position. But if I turned the ignition off, the window would automatically shut.

After about 15 minutes of this (is this a magic waiting period?), I tried the driver side door lock & it worked electrically & auto unlocked the other doors as normal. I was then able to start the car. This was great. However, my son who was with me noticed that the passenger door could not be locked. It would not push down, nor would it go down automatically when I locked & unlocked the driver side while we were driving.

We got home & I was able to lock the car from the outside but the passenger door lock still wouldn't go down. Much worse than that though, I'm back in the same situation as when I started. After locking the car, the power locks won't work anymore & the car won't start. I can lock/unlock the passenger side using the manual procedures.

There seems to be some security system or mechanisms at work here. However the manual does not explain how to override or reset them.

12-29-2004, 06:46 AM
Also let us know in which country, as some alarm systems are different by country specs.
I do not live in the USA but in Japan, therefore probably not much of help with regard to after market systems or even your standard system.
In case of after market, do you know the model/type?
Actually, it's not an alarm system but the anti-theft system.

Do you know the code you have to put into the board computer to release the anti-theft block?
After you have opened the door thru the emergency unlock, you have to re-synchronize the system again.

see this link, and try several times, if not working first time. (http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/trouble/Locked.htm)

The 15 minutes waiting are correct.

If you forgot the code number:
remove the battery cable from the battery. No need to remove the seat. In front of the passenger rear seat there is a small plastic cap, remove this, there is a screw (10 mm I guess), remove again, remove the plastic cap under the screw, then you see the battery minus/earth/ground cable. remove that one and battery is disconnected.
After 5 minutes connect battery abain. Ignition to step 1, alarm sound comes, now wait 15 minutes (you can see the counter running on the board computer from 15 to 0 ), then start engine.

During this 15 minutes waiting time you still can input the code, if you found it then. Push code button, push in the code number, push s/r button, start engine.

here you can see where the earth cable can be disconnected. (http://ow.no/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=90&Itemid=78)

12-29-2004, 09:44 AM
I am in USA & I think car is originally made for usa. Is there a way to tell from the VIN code?
I bought the car used about four years ago so I do not know all details of its history.
I'm pretty sure there is no alarm system from bmw or aftermarket. I think the anti-theft system must be standard. I only have one key for the car, & no remote entry.

I have no idea what code is assigned to my car. Will bmw look it up for me? I could not even find a way to contact them over the internet.

Is it possible that my code is blank? Last night when I first had problem, I did try pressing Code & Reset, first one at a time then together. It didn't seem to work, but now you make me wonder if that actually started the 15 minute clock ... ?

I just tried that again. I'll see if it works or try your other suggestions now.

Thanks very much for replying & giving some things to try. :)

12-29-2004, 11:18 AM
it sits in a slot under the driver's side rear seat. If your On Board Computer does not work now, that is a sign that this fuse is gone, as this fuse is for the antitheft alarm and works in coordination with the OBC.

It is hidden and most people forget to check that. So in case the OBC does not work, check that fuse too. Here are some pics.


Keep on searching and good luck. I go to bed now, already 1.30 AM in Japan.
Will check the outcome tomorrow, errhhh .. today after I wake up


12-29-2004, 11:10 PM
could not find the fuse under seat. It was especially hard when the driver door wouldn't open. :)

so i tried to recreate the "fix" from last night -- leave the ignition on, fiddle w/ the code button, sit in car for 15 mins. but it didn't work the same way, i could not pull the door lock up. Got out & tried the trunk & it unlocked all doors like normal, then car started normally. So now I dare not lock the doors anymore b/c I know something is still screwed up. for example: whenever i shut the car, all windows & sunroof close automatically. It's a little weird.

Went to a bmw dealer & talked to parts dept & one of the techs. Apparently, I have a dealer installed "bmw remote keyless-entry security system" installed. the red light & microphone on the dash are tell-tale signs, but i'll have to pull the front dash open (don't really know how!) & see the box for sure. The dealer showed me a new kit in a box so I know what i'm looking for at least.

The techie thinks I should buy a new remote (the previous owner never gave me the old one) & diagnose from there. It's $107 & they have a waiting list b/c it's been on back order so long. I found it on the internet for about $80. But now i'm thinking that it might be a waste of money. It may only help me learn that the system is malfuntioning & I'll have to buy a new kit (don't know that cost, but i bet it's a lot) -or- disable the current one. Well if that's where all this is leading then why not just disable the damn thing from the start. I lived w/o an alarm system this long, who needs it now?

Meanwhile life goes on. I have a major computer network install kicking off this week & i can't miss any more work. So I probably won't try this til the weekend. First I'll call the bmw tech tomorrow & run my new idea by him. Meanwhile, I won't lock the car til saturday. :) Luckily I live in a low crime area.

I'll keep you posted if you're interested.

Thanks for being the only person in the world trying to help. I really appreciate your ideas & insights.