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How to Replace Your Glovebox Compartment Lock
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

How to Replace Your Glovebox Compartment Lock

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hours1 hrs

Tab:

$20

Talent:

*

Tools:

Flathead and two Phillips screwdrivers (regular and stub lengths)

Applicable Models:

BMW E46 3-Series (1999-06)

Parts Required:

Glovebox lock panel.

Hot Tip:

Carefully line up the compartment on the re-installation

Performance Gain:

Proper glovebox operation

Complementary Modification:

Purchase new BMW glovebox flashlight

The glovebox has to be removed to access the blower motor resistor and to be able to drop down the fuse panel to access the relays and modules behind it. Also, if you are wiring in any aftermarket accessories, you want to be able to access the back of the fuse panel. The glovebox lock panel wears out and breaks over time. The plastic that supports the locking mechanism fails, causing the glovebox to not stay closed or properly latched. 

The tabs that lock and unlock the glovebox can also break. When this happens, your key will no longer unlock the glovebox. If you notice your glovebox key is not functioning smoothly, I suggest replacing this part before you find yourself with a stuck closed glovebox.

In this article, I will go over the steps involved with removing the glovebox and replacing the glovebox lock panel in your E46. 

To avoid marring the trim if you need to pry anything, work with a plastic prying tool or wrap a screwdriver tip with masking tape before prying out trim panels, switches or electrical accessories.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches. 

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you are working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability. 

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Removing the Glovebox

Open the glove compartment and remove all the items from within.

Remove the suspension strut rivet then detach the strut from the glove compartment (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

Remove the suspension strut rivet then detach the strut from the glove compartment (yellow arrow).

Remove the suspension strap rivet then detach the strap from the glove compartment (yellow arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the suspension strap rivet then detach the strap from the glove compartment (yellow arrow).

Next, remove the five Phillips-head screws from the glove compartment (green arrows).
Figure 3

Next, remove the five Phillips-head screws from the glove compartment (green arrows).


Lower the glove compartment, disconnect the flash light electrical connector and detach the wiring harness from the back side. Then remove the glove compartment from the dashboard.

When installing your glovebox. Be sure to properly line it up with the dashboard. Reverse these steps to install.

Removing the Glovebox Locking Panel: 

Open the glove compartment and remove all the items from within.

Using a stubby Phillips screwdriver, remove the two screws from the locking panel (green arrows).
Figure 4

Using a stubby Phillips screwdriver, remove the two screws from the locking panel (green arrows).

Remove the locking panel from the glovebox by pulling it up and off.
Figure 5

Remove the locking panel from the glovebox by pulling it up and off.

Next, install the new locking panel and line it up with the glovebox handle.
Figure 6

Next, install the new locking panel and line it up with the glovebox handle. Install the screws and tighten. Check the operation of your glovebox and lock once complete.

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Comments and Suggestions:
art Comments: my2002 e 46 325 ci glove box lock has an electric connection and the switch that has 2 wires conected is broken,what is the difffernce if i get a lock without the eletric connection
September 24, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: You will lose the electronic function of the wires. That should be all. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mike Comments: Hello I need a lock housing shifting cam for my e46 m3 convertible glove box but can't seem to find the part number for it I've found it for the e36 but not for the e46, please help
February 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
lorenzo Comments: sorry it is an e 46 2004 330ci thx lorenzo
November 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Got it, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
lorenzo Comments: how do you remove the lock cylinder from the old glovebox lock so i can use it on the new part
November 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Once the panel with the lock cylinder is removed, you have to break the four plastic retainers that hold the lock cylinder in. This allows the lock cylinder to be removed. Keep in mind, the trim panel will be damaged. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Frustrated Comments: My issue is the glove box won't open. How do I get it open as turning the key and opening and closing the automatic door locks do not have an impact. Your help is gratefully appreciated. Car = 2001 330ci
July 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the lock won;t open, you will have to drill it out. Other than breaking the glove box. Have you tried another key? Use your second key and jiggle it while pushing in and turning.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
nhirsch Comments: What about the locking actuator on the 325Ci? Ours is buzzing and I'm told I need to replace the glove box locking actuator. Where is that and how to replace?
April 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That would be mounted about the glove box, behind the plastic glove box housing. Going by memory. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tim Comments: Do you have to replace the outer AND inter pieces if the lock still works fine using the the key only. I had an alarm system put in and the lock is linked into the central locking system... something may went array as the lock acted up immediately... Perhaps irrelevant but can I replace only the outside latch ???
December 24, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I think you can swap your old lock cylinder over to the new latch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Nez Comments: Can someone explain how to change lock barrel in my e46 vert glovebox as struggling
December 8, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Follow these instructions, from the article you commented on. Then remove the lock cylinder from the latch handle. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
PeterNil Comments: Thanks Nick, here is a close up photo. No need to drill, is there a way to still open it mechanically without having to break the box?
December 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Try removing the fasteners on the side of the latch to get it apart. Then you may be able to remove the retainer for the lock cylinder. i see one of the fasteners on the left side of the photo.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
PeterNil Comments: 2004 325 CI cabriolet. Someone broke the lock handle, trying to break into the box. It's still locked. Looking at the photos, I can't figure out how get it open now and just replace the lock? Looks like I might have to break the door as well? How do we get a lock that works with the current key?
November 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: There are no photos attached. You can try to drill out the lock, before breaking the glove box. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Veeferman Comments: Thanks for the instructions. I successfully removed and replaced the inner and outer lock components on my 2001 330ci convertible; however the lock does not consistently open. After I unlock the car and the glovebox, the latch will not open. Two issues: 1 it feels like the tab is not catching, 2 the tab catches, but I am unable to completely retract the latch. After I turn the key back and forth a couple of times it will then open. I verified that the latch motor worked correctly before I installed it as well. Any suggestions how to correct this? Is there any way I could have installed this the incorrectly way?
September 10, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check if it is seated in the glove box door correctly. If it is crooked, it may bind. Also, check alignment of the glove box door with the latch. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
wardbo Comments: Best way to open box when key has it locked, will not open
June 25, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: OOF. You may have to lever it open until the latch fails. You will have to replace any parts that break. I would use this as a last resort. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
phil Comments: any ideas if your key won't open your glove box? the latch handle failed and came off the glove box door.
March 2, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If the latch broke, you can try to unscrew and remove it enough to loosen the latch, ot break it open. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mannydog Comments: Mine had a 6th screw behind the suspension strap on the right.
November 2, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it. Ours may have been missing that screw.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:21:02 AM