technology – it’s great, until it ain’t

so, a couple things i’ve learned about bmw’s of late…

1. almost everything is electronic – by that, i mean the shifter, the parking brake, and the locks. all the locks. well, kinda except for the one on the driver’s door. that’s the one the emergency key fits into. why do you need an emergency key? yeah, i found that out the hard way.

2. two fuses to rule them all – all the locks are on the “central locking system”, which has two tiny fuses that make it all happens. the yeller fuse locks all the doors, the blue fuse unlocks all the doors. i know this because my blue fuse…well…blew. so nothing would unlock.

but it kinda warns you about that – i dropped the boy off at school last thursday and drove to wal-mart. when i got there i noticed the passenger door was unlocked (they’re set to lock once the car accelerates over ten miles an hour). when i hit the unlock button on the dash (as i usually do since you can’t exit the car without doing so and the button is super close to the start/stop button) nothing happened. the passenger door didn’t lock, and the driver’s door didn’t unlock. fortunately you can pull the handle twice and it unlocks, so i got out, walked around, and opened the passenger door, pushed the lock button down, and closed it with an odd clicking noise. when i tried to hit the comfort assist part of the door to unlock it, it didn’t. so i tried the fob. that didn’t do it either. so, i just went into wal-mart since, eh, fuck it, the doors were locked.

when i came out i walked up to the back door and opened it to put my bags in. this didn’t surprise me, as my car has “comfort assist” which means it can detect when i walk up and will unlock the door if i grab the handle (provided the fob is in my pocket), but i looked across the backseat and noticed the OTHER back door was also unlocked…and the driver’s door WASN’T.

(they’re all supposed to unlock with comfort assist when you grab the handle)

so i hit the lock on the handle and both back door locked. “that’s better”, i thought to myself, and then grabbed it to unlock it again.


then tried the fob. nothing. from any of the doors. i had to use the emergency key to manually open the driver’s door, and when i drove off i heard it click lock solo – the other doors just stayed on lock down.

some googling determined the most likely culprit was a fuse for the locking system, and that the fuse box was accessed through the glove box. i breathed a sigh of relief! fuses are stupid cheap, and mr. grey’s fuse box is in the top of his glove box and super easy to access. all the things i read did, however, point out that fuses don’t just blow and that some other issue might be at play. on my way to go get fuses i started getting a “change the battery in your key fob” warning and decided maybe, just maybe, on its way out the fob had sent out ping after ping and blew the lock fuse. hey, its as good a theory as any, right? i went to vatozone, got a battery for the fob, some fuses, and cleaned out my glove compartment (which needed it anyway). i pulled the back panel off and viola! there were the fuses…six inches BEHIND the back wall of the glove compartment, so far back that if i reached at em my fat ass hand blocked my view and i couldn’t even see what i was doing.

(the blue arrow shows you how convenient they were)

i’ll save all the mid-story here, but suffice to say new tools had to be purchased, three days were killed on this, and at the end things got ugly before they got pretty…

(if you look in the bottom right of that pic you can see the blue box that was right next to the fuses i had to change)

but it’s done, cost less than $30 when all was said and done, and hopefully won’t happen again – at least next time when the door stay unlocked i know to fucking LEAVE THEM that way, because half the problem was trying to access those damn things with the passenger door on lock down!

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