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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Unread 07-25-2011, 04:32 AM   #1

Name: Markira
Title: United Newb
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Australia
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Your Ride: 1996 318i BMW
318i Driver's side door won't open! Help!

Hi everyone!
I am new here so please be gentle...
I have a 1996 318i and the driver's side door does not open from the outside even though all the other doors do. I have to climb through the passenger's door , start the car and then it will let me open the driver's door...only with the ignition on.
I had a similar problem about 6 months ago and the fuses were changed fixing it.
Can this be the same problem? Do I need to change a fuse again?
Where can I get a diagram of these in English? My friend who helped me before has moved away.
Maybe it's important to mention that the heating was not working. Then it suddenly started working but the door stopped opening
Thank you!
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Unread 07-26-2011, 09:37 AM   #2

Name: Manolito
Title: Member
Status: Offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Sacramento
Rate My Car: 339 / 340
Your Ride: (2) '97 328s; '04 330; '04 325iT
The best consumer book with electrical diagrams for 3-series BMWs is the Bentley manual. It is available on Amazon or from many on-line vendors of German car parts.

The most common problems with door locks are failing lock actuators and worn-out plastic snaps on the linkages. Neither of these should be affected by starting the car other than possibly the vibration.

With regard to your heater not working, we need to know how it behaves. Failing fan motor resistors are common on BMWs this old. If it is the heater control module, this link to my web page might be helpful.
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