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Questions and Answers

BMW 318i Door Locks And Lights

Q. My rear doors are locked and cannot be opened from the inside nor outside. I just interchanged the driver side locking assembly because the lock lever broke. The driver and passenger locks can close windows when locking the car. Driver side front lock will not lock/unlock any/all doors except driver door. Passenger front lock works only on that door, but I do hear the actuators engaging.

BMW 318i Door Locks And Lights

My trunk light remains on and my license plate light is off. I installed a cutoff switch until I figure out the problem so the battery will not drain.

  • 1994 BMW 318i (4 DR)
  • 1.8L
  • Manual Transmission
  • 150,000 miles
  • Fuel Injection
  • ABS Brakes
  • P/S, A/C, Cruise Control, P/Windows, P/Locks
  • Rack and Pinion Steering


A. I've seen this before and found a BMW TSB that addresses the issue.

I would check this out and you may find this is what's causing your multiple problems.

Group: 51 Body Equipment
Bulletin Number: 51 01 94 (3943)
Date:May 1994

Door Contact Switches Leak

5 Series (E34) 3 Series (E36, Four Door Models)

Complaints may be encountered which include one or more of the following:

  • Central Locking System unlocks immediately after locking
  • Central Locking System inoperative when locking from the right front door
  • Check Control warning of "Door Open" (E34 vehicles only)
  • Interior lights are sporadically or constantly illuminated

These complaints may arise from the door contact switch not being completely sealed, resulting in the contacts being bridged, either sporadically or constantly (by particles of dirt, salt, etc.).

Note: A faulty central locking system actuator can also be responsible for the first two complaints listed above.

Vehicles Affected:
E34 vehicles and 4-door E36 vehicles - all produced between August 1992 and June 1992.

If this situation is encountered, all striker plates with integrated door contact switches are to be replaced. Door contact switches in striker plates stamped with the letter "L" or a later letter of the alphabet (refer to illustration) incorporate improved water-resistant sealing measures.

BMW 328i A/C Works, Don't Works

Parts Information:

Part Number Description
51 21 8 105 511 Striker Plate

Note: Only later style striker plates are stocked. Older striker plates should be returned for credit via the Dealer Returns System.

Additional Information provided courtesy of AllDATA

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© 2005 Vincent T. Ciulla

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