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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > How to Open Trunk with No Battery.



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      05-11-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
Blorax
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How to Open Trunk with No Battery.

I have a 2009 e92 and I am one of the misfortunate to discover that when the battery is dead (or not in the car) it is VERY difficult to get the trunk open. If you don't care about the story of how I got into this situation, go straight to my second post where I just explain the solution. I just needed to vent here a little.

This happened to me because I have bad battery (won't hold a charge) that my SA said would almost certainly not be covered under the warranty because diagnostics would likely show it to be the result of "leaving something on", i.e. my fault. My SA also told me that if I took it in they would check it and "if" it was my fault it would then cost me $500 (no joke) to get it replaced. I asked if they could perform the diagnostic alone under warranty and then let me know because I would get the battery elsewhere (my friend has a shop - don't we all have a friend with a shop?). He told me "it doesn't work like that." I could have pushed it but I didn't want to bother. This is all only backstory though.

I needed to replace my battery, so I called my friend and ordered an OEM. I was so "smart" I thought I would take the bad one with me so I wouldn't have to make a second trip to return the core. (I'm sure you see where this is going.) I'm leaving my car in the driveway, so of course I'm not going to leave the trunk wide open - what if it rains? I pulled the battery out and closed the trunk. (There was actually a split second after that when I thought - hey, I don't remember seeing a keyhole back here. I put this thought aside at the time because I thought it would be too absurd to have a design that cannot be opened manually in some way, right? Especially when the power source is in the trunk.)

Obviously, when I returned I quickly realized the problem...
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      05-11-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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There is a key hole near the top of the license plate to open your trunk manually. When you find it, insert your key in and twist really hard. It may feel like you're breaking your key, but you're not.
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      05-11-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Ant View Post
There is a key hole near the top of the license plate to open your trunk manually. When you find it, insert your key in and twist really hard. It may feel like you're breaking your key, but you're not.
+1

It will feel like you are breaking it, but you arn't
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      05-11-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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Solutions

If you're reading this, you are probably stuck like I was stuck - hopefully not as bad. If you're lucky, you didn't completely remove your battery and close the trunk. If you're lucky, you have one of the features which will allow you to get access to your trunk. If you're not lucky - I feel your pain.

Here are the solutions that I found from searching.

1) 2008 models and before actually have key lock on the trunk - it's hidden above the license frame. This would have been great, but I have a 2009, so I don't have one.

2) Some models have a trunk pass through which would allow access through which you could pull the manual release within the trunk using a coat hangar or something. My doesn't. (I also spent some time trying to remove the seat backs, but I don't think I could have gotten them out without breaking something because the latches held them in place so securely.)

3) You can apply power to the car from the engine area -there's a big red + and a ground point nearby. Once power is on the car just push the trunk release in the driver's footwell. This is almost certain to work for most everyone. I'm not sure why it didn't work for me, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the fact that the battery was completely removed and the cable were lying loose. That was strike three - I felt like I was out.

4) The only solution that worked for me was to run down the wiring diagrams and locate the "central locking drive, trunk lid" that's the solonoid that actually releases the trunk. Most of the effort was getting the information - the job itself was actually pretty easy. Here it is:

a) Take out the two torx screws just below the glovebox on the left and right to remove the panel below the glovebox. Disconnect the power socket and the light which are attached to the panel.

b) Below the fusebox there is a big flat horizontal junction box (Junction Box A4010). You can spot it easily because there are two big connectors going into it facing you. There is a flat wide connector plugging into the BACKSIDE of this same junction box. There are about a dozen small wires going into it and one big brown ground. This is the one you need to get to. (Connector X14270) Ideally, you'd want to disconnect this, but I could not manage to get it out from that position.

c) Identify the small wire which is gray with a stripe of green (it looks mostly gray). If you get the connector out, this is pin 12. It's the only grey/green wire in the bunch though.

d) You need to very briefly apply 12 volts to this lead to pop the trunk. I did it the ugly way - I very carefully razored off some of the insulation to expose it. Then I just attached some leads to my new battery. I stuck the ground lead into brown wire connector for the power socket I had disconnected when I removed the glove box panel. Then I just brushed the positive lead against the exposed pin 12 wire. The trunk popped instantly.


Now that I know what to do, I'll bet I could do this in 10 minutes. It's really just two screws to remove the pane and knowing which wire to power. I hope no one ends up in such a stupid situation, but if they do I hope this helps.

Last edited by Blorax; 05-11-2012 at 09:02 PM.
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      05-11-2012, 06:20 PM   #5
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Hey Ant and E90Company - thanks for answering so quickly, but you'll see from my second post, I went through all the answers.

Just trying to help the next idiot like me.

Last edited by Blorax; 05-11-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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      05-11-2012, 08:34 PM   #6
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the way you can do this actually (and it requires some time and patience) is to pop out the license plate lights or the rubber handle for the pop button (they all pop out with a thin screwdriver, held in by clips.) insert some kind of hook and grab ahold of the metal cable that connects to the emergency release handle inside the trunk and pull it. it's a little difficult but it CAN be done, I've done it before when a friend was in this situation.
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      05-11-2012, 08:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonDiesel View Post
the way you can do this actually (and it requires some time and patience) is to pop out the license plate lights or the rubber handle for the pop button (they all pop out with a thin screwdriver, held in by clips.) insert some kind of hook and grab ahold of the metal cable that connects to the emergency release handle inside the trunk and pull it. it's a little difficult but it CAN be done, I've done it before when a friend was in this situation.
Thanks JonDiesel - one more option. It's nice to have a compiled list of things to try. Can you provide some specifics on how to do it this way? Which direction do you fish for the cable? Did you go in the right or left light or the handle?

I'm actually surprised BMW made this possible - seems like a real security defect for the average thief to exploit.

I guess this is the only way to do it if you have a model like mine and the solonoid is broken.

Last edited by Blorax; 05-11-2012 at 09:00 PM.
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      05-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #8
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well. I guess most people don't know this lol I work on these cars everyday though so I kind of figured it out. basically you insert through the rubber pop button, and can use the other 2 holes for a second finger
or to see inside a little better, but the cable is pretty much centered, I can't quite explain where exactly to fish inside BUT I can get pictures of the inside of the trunks and show you where the wire is. in the e90 you have to pop out a plastic piece that the wire clips to. but like I said I will admit it IS a difficult process, but it can be done if it is a last resort.
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      04-03-2013, 11:02 AM   #9
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Does this also apply to the 3 series Wagon (E91 a.k.a Touring)? Mine is a 2005 and there is no key lock in the tailgate. TIS has something about a manual release, but I couldn't find any manual release inside the trunk. Is there one?
I can access the trunk from inside the car though, as it is a wagon, but putting the battery back in this way requires way too much flexibility on my part - would really prefer to pop open the tailgate if at all possible.
Please help!
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      04-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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My E91 is an 06 and I think I saw and emergency cable pull buried in one of the side compartments - no wait that was for the gas door.
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      04-03-2013, 12:48 PM   #11
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Never mind I got it. From the inside, pop the center trim piece (3 clips at bottom), and underneath it on the drivers side you'll find a manual release ring (note: this applies only to E91).
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Last edited by rustamabd; 04-07-2013 at 09:11 AM.
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      01-01-2014, 12:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hey Ant View Post
There is a key hole near the top of the license plate to open your trunk manually. When you find it, insert your key in and twist really hard. It may feel like you're breaking your key, but you're not.
Had this happen last night. I do have the key hole, thankfully, and i didnt have to turn hard but i did have to push the key in further as i turned.
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      01-01-2014, 06:20 PM   #13
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I keep hearing that 2009 don't have the trunk keylock - NOT true

My 2009 E92 with BD of 2/09 has the trunk keylock - must be that sometime during the year they quit putting them in - but early 09 have them...
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      01-01-2014, 11:45 PM   #14
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My 2009 E92 does NOT have a key hole for the trunk and we found this out the hard way when installing my Procede. We Googled and there's lead under the passenger dash we tapped into to pop the trunk open. It was a pain in the arse and much thanks to DJ for helping me out with it.
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      01-16-2014, 11:06 PM   #15
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I need help opening my Trunk-- Battery is disconnected

I have tried just about everything to get my trunk open after I closed it with the battery disconnected.

Connecting jumpers under the hood did nothing. I have opened up the area under the dash. I would like to disconnect the Connector X14270.
Does anyone know how the connector is released? Also, I do not have a grey wire, I have a mostly green wire which has a stripe in it. I assume this is the wire. Any help in this regard would be greatly appreciated.

One alternative I thought of was connecting the wires from the trunk release at the back of the car. I popped the cover off and there are two wires, one brown and one gray/green. Can I connect a 12v battery here and will this activate the switch.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

It will be a cold day in hell when I have my BMW towed to open a trunk. This is ridiculous.
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      01-16-2014, 11:20 PM   #16
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Don't all of us have an opening to the trunk in the rear seats? I was able to reach the latch from there.
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      01-16-2014, 11:26 PM   #17
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This is absurd. BMW needs to figure this out for us. Last week I could not get into the trunk of my totaled 08 e90 335i. I had the Sat. module and trunk net in it…not to mention no power to unmarry the Cobb AP. I have the warm weather package so no rear seats pass through…FKN frustrating.
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      01-17-2014, 04:34 AM   #18
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What I did when I was moving and paranoid about some schmuck pilfering my car while I'm grabbing boxes or draining the battery (esp. since I had an argument with that landlord about her price gouging me and wanted to GTFO ASAP, not wait for AAA), I just took a screwdriver and ran it through the latch on the lid and gently lower the lid, which the latch prevents it from completely closing (it'll be 99% closed and not obvious to onlookers) and able to be lifted open, and also the car will think the trunk is closed and therefore no light on for the grand total of 4 hours or so I was hauling stuff in/out of the car. In your case, just activate the trunk popper when you get the new battery.
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      01-17-2014, 04:53 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonton1017 View Post
Don't all of us have an opening to the trunk in the rear seats? I was able to reach the latch from there.
No, in fact most don't.
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      01-17-2014, 02:37 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wonton1017 View Post
Don't all of us have an opening to the trunk in the rear seats? I was able to reach the latch from there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexwhittemore View Post
No, in fact most don't.
All E92's have that latch. E90's did not come standard with fold down rear seats.
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      01-17-2014, 03:18 PM   #21
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This happened to me, too...

Do you have the ski pass thru in the back seat? If so, pop that off. Then you can reach into the truck and pull the seat fold-down releases. Fold down both seats, and then crawl in the trunk and pull the glow-in-the-dark emergency kid release.

If you don't have the ski pass-thru, then I have no idea.
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      01-17-2014, 05:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smallseafishie View Post
All E92's have that latch. E90's did not come standard with fold down rear seats.
OP's E92 would suggest that they don't all have it.
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