29 posts in this topic

Hi all,

Ran into a little bit of an issue with the boot on my e39 530i: it won't open / is stuck in valet mode or something. Everything worked fine this morning - opened with electronic switch without any issue, and also opened with the key without any issue this morning. This afternoon I went to open the boot (with the key) and accidentally turned the key far to the right. This basically made the lock be stuck in that position. A little research shows that this is 'Valet mode' apparently? So since that happened I basically am unable to use my key to turn the boot lock AT ALL now, in any direction. The cabin electronic unlock button does not seem to unlock the boot anymore either, and the boot release switch on the drivers side also does nothing. Also, there is no switch in the glove box that sets the lock/unlock for the boot for valet mode (I read that some e39s have this, mine does not).

So... how the hell do I get into the boot? Does this sound like a mechanical issue? If yes, I'll just take it into a shop and let them deal with it. Would AA Road service know what to do? (since I've got a bunch of roadside service requests available). Or.. does anyone know any other magical way to get out of this 'valet mode' for the boot, for e39s that don't have the glove-box switch?

This is the configuration that the boot lock is currently stuck in:18119889_10155225024754161_1643668185_o.jpg?oh=5e622b57caacb6ab78cc3f97416ca6a5&oe=58FE2069

Cheers

 

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I had to drill a 20mm hole behind the number plate on my E38 when the boot wouldn't open. Drastic stuff but then you can reach the wire and pull that with pliers that released the boot manually.

Expect the E39 is the same, pretty sure it was on YouTube. Hole was right hand side of centre about 20mm down.

 

overall no long term impact except a hole behind the plate which of cause you don't know is there

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Can you not get the boot lock actuator out and run power to it? Changed one out a while ago, struggling to remember how I got in there.

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6 hours ago, Arma said:

Hi all,

Ran into a little bit of an issue with the boot on my e39 530i: it won't open / is stuck in valet mode or something. Everything worked fine this morning - opened with electronic switch without any issue, and also opened with the key without any issue this morning. This afternoon I went to open the boot (with the key) and accidentally turned the key far to the right. This basically made the lock be stuck in that position. A little research shows that this is 'Valet mode' apparently? So since that happened I basically am unable to use my key to turn the boot lock AT ALL now, in any direction. The cabin electronic unlock button does not seem to unlock the boot anymore either, and the boot release switch on the drivers side also does nothing. Also, there is no switch in the glove box that sets the lock/unlock for the boot for valet mode (I read that some e39s have this, mine does not).

So... how the hell do I get into the boot? Does this sound like a mechanical issue? If yes, I'll just take it into a shop and let them deal with it. Would AA Road service know what to do? (since I've got a bunch of roadside service requests available). Or.. does anyone know any other magical way to get out of this 'valet mode' for the boot, for e39s that don't have the glove-box switch?

This is the configuration that the boot lock is currently stuck in:18119889_10155225024754161_1643668185_o.jpg?oh=5e622b57caacb6ab78cc3f97416ca6a5&oe=58FE2069

Cheers

 

Do you have fold-down seats perchance? :)

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No fold-down seats - mine comes with the big barrier between the boot and rear seats.

I've managed to 'fix' this now with brute force. The hook or whatever must have gotten stuck inside when I turned the key to the right. I had to hold down the electric boot button and push the bootlid upwards with a lot of force, which managed to loosen the lock enough for me to turn it back into position with the key. After that everything worked as usual.

Thanks for the responses guys.

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Glad to hear that you got it sorted could've been a troublesome fix, will keep in mind to try brute force if it ever happens to mine.  Sometimes too afraid of going that route, and it hurt just reading of having to drill a hole to unlock it. Hahaha

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There is a little spring in there that breaks. Also, lube up the lock, because if it really fails, its drilling holes to get in.

Turning to the HARD (90*) right sets "valet mode", where the remote, and interior button don't open it.

Turning to the HARD (90*) left manually releases the boot lock..... as long as it's lubed and functional.

45* left and right, unlocks and locks the whole car.

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I've managed to get it stuck again and, now it won't open. Dammit! 

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So after doing a mixture of calling up or visiting about 5 or 6 locksmiths in Auckland, none of them can (or want to) fix it and have kept referring me to another locksmith who "might be able to do it". 

I took it to BMWorkshop, who said they can't do it either, and to contact a locksmith.

Is this really that difficult <_<

To sum up the symptoms:

  • Key stuck in valet position
  • I suspect the cylinder/spring or something is broken because it can't be turned back into normal (vertical) position even with the master key
  • When the lock was in vertical position, all the electronic lock/unlock function for the boot worked fine
  • Because the key is stuck in valet position, i can't open the boot using any of the electronic buttons
  • Because I can't turn the key to bring the lock to vertical position again, I can't open the boot manually either
  • So in summary, the boot can't be released electronically or manually
  • If I could somehow, magically, bring the lock back to vertical position again (i.e. take it out of valet mode) then I would be able to open the boot using the electronic buttons. But.. I can't bring it back to vertical position again because something is broken and the key won't turn.. and apparently no one can fix it

I guess last resort would be down the "drill a hole" route.

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Can't help sorry but I am bemused as to why you turned it right around to Valet position again without first confirming the reason of the first failure.

Particularly after Allan's post above.

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14 hours ago, hotwire said:

Can't help sorry but I am bemused as to why you turned it right around to Valet position again without first confirming the reason of the first failure.

Particularly after Allan's post above.

Because I'm an idiot.

How it started was as of Saturday night the boot key was actually not turning left (for manual unlock) when it was in vertical position, so I went to investigate. So while trying to moderately brute force it and wiggle the key around I accidentally turned it a bit too much to the right, which put it in valet mode. I should have just left it as it is, because even though I couldn't manually turn it left from the vertical position to open it, the electronic buttons still worked. But once in valet mode, I can't get out of it. Silly me.

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You should be able to disable valet mode elsewhere no? Is it not just a grounded connection or simple switch? Trace that and disable or switch back electrically? 

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1 hour ago, M3AN said:

You should be able to disable valet mode elsewhere no? Is it not just a grounded connection or simple switch? Trace that and disable or switch back electrically? 

He can't get into his boot to trace it... He also doesn't have fold down seats...

@arma have you tried some lock and hinge lubricant? CRC, Graphite, or white lithium spray? If your last resort is drilling a hole in your boot lid... I'd be trying other less desperate options first. :)

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2 minutes ago, Gabe79 said:

He can't get into his boot to trace it... He also doesn't have fold down seats...

As challenging as it might be that's what electrical diagrams are for. I'd certainly start with a diagram before I picked up a drill.

 

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Just now, M3AN said:

As challenging as it might be that's what electrical diagrams are for. I'd certainly start with a diagram before I picked up a drill.

 

I agree entirely. Even if I'd go with lubricant as my first step. :)

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Thanks all. Have tried lubricating it etc. From what I understand, the valet lock disengages the boot from the electrical lock system, so not sure if I can engage it electrically in anyway - but might be wrong.

Waiting for a call back from one more locksmith. Depending on their response, next step might be to take it to the dealership and see what they say. Not planning to drill any holes until I've exhausted all options :-). Still got Saturday night's groceries sitting in there, going to start to stink soon.. :ph34r:

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On 31/10/2017 at 2:17 PM, Arma said:

Still got Saturday night's groceries sitting in there, going to start to stink soon.. :ph34r:

Ouch.

Good luck dude, I read a few stories like this just a month or so ago. Needed to get into the E36 boot with no key access and no battery. At least I had a coupe but it was still a PITA and in researching it I read some pretty tough stories from sedan owners. Lucky we don't keep kids in there eh?

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10 hours ago, M3AN said:

 Lucky we don't keep kids in there eh?

It looks like I have been doing it wrong, oops

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Can you not do anything activation test on the lock with INPA?

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5 hours ago, dirtydoogle said:

Can you not do anything activation test on the lock with INPA?

According to Adeeb (and I have no reason to doubt him) it's a mechanical lockout.

 

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No choice but to burn it with fire then :mellow:

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Yep.

Pics or it didn't happen.

 

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Yep the valet lock is a mechanical deadlock. I managed to get into the boot, but had to use a 5mm drill bit behind the number plate and engage the locking mechanism that holds the boot down. I used a hammer to loosen the actual deadlock so that the key finally turned back to vertical position - but the cylinder needs replacing. Will need to get the hole filled up too - maybe with some 'Knead It' or any other better alternatives (I'll chat to a panelbeater).

Going to buy some spares from Brent (cylinder + actuator) and the locksmith said he will recalibrate the cylinder to work with my key.

Knowing my luck, about an hour after I got the boot open, my driver door lock cylinder broke too, which now does not turn left (So I can't lock it using the key). So looks like I'll need to buy a cylinder for the driver door too now. :( Oh the joy. Also doesn't help that my driver door actuator is dead (has been since i got the car) so can't just electronically lock it. As a temporary solution I am using hacky means of locking the car: Get inside car, open driver side window, use central locking to lock all other doors, keep key in ignition in power mode, get out of car, physically press the lock down on driver door through the open window, press the electronic window close button, pull key out of ignition before window closes... Not fun. Hopefully sort it out in the next week or so. 

Locksmith said he's worked on some of these BMW locks before and they are a pain in the ass. So if any of your locks/keys have trouble turning, I'd consider getting a replacement soon, because once it's broken it's hard to get into!

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Is there a lock on the passanger side of the e39 (is for e36)?

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2 hours ago, M3AN said:

Is there a lock on the passanger side of the e39 (is for e36)?

Nup only drivers door. Both doors seemed to stop at E36.

E39 locks are a prick to pick too. I haven't even managed to on my car. Irony is though - i can pick the later car locks relatively easily too

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