I have an E46 BMW whose driver side door won't unlock or lock with both the key and the central locking button. I can still unlock/lock it with the key and with a push of my finger from the top. I can also unlock it from inside of the car by simply using the handle (pull once to unlock and then again to open the door).

I've had some body work done on it earlier in the year and it wasn't until a few months after the job that it started to act up. The people who did the work didn't fit the door panel back on correctly into place and I think that may have been what was causing the issue in the first place.

Steps that I have taken so far in troubleshooting this:

  • Checked fuse #52 for the door actuator--was reading ~12V from both ends.

  • After taking off the panel and realigning it as best I could, the lock was working for about ~5 minutes of testing.

Other notes:

  • I can feel the door's mechanism working when I place my hand on the panel and press the central locking/unlocking button.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! The first thing you should do is take it back to where you had the work done in the first place. Most modern body shops have a lifetime warranty on their work (at least here in the States they do). If something fails which they've worked on, they'll get it right. This, I think, would especially hold true for a BMW. Just saying, take a look at what they promised ... you may be surprised. Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 12:14
  • The thing is, this is one of those cheap body shops. I'm talking "we'll give you the insurance quote and then give you the our quote" kind of cheap. The reason why I decided to go with them is because they've been reliable in the past. Now, the reason why I won't go back to them is because they lost me as a customer. I waited ~3.5 weeks to have my car done. They kept giving me the run around. When I finally went to pick it up, they only did one of the three jobs that I asked them to do (my door). I needed my car for work, so I wasn't about to entrust them with it again.
    – Dre
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 12:21
  • You cloud remove the inside panel and try to watch what happens when you actuate the mechanism in the different ways (key fob, buttons, knob, key) and see if you can see what’s happening. Also try doing all with the door open and closed. Alignment shouldn’t really be an issue. If the latch latches (meaning the door stays shut) then your alignment should be close enough to operate... also, does it lock if you press the unlock button? Or is it non-functional both ways? Commented Mar 6, 2018 at 19:01


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