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Door Latch Replacement and Testing
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Door Latch Replacement and Testing

Nick Czerula

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$200

Talent:

**

Tools:

Plastic prying tool, Door panel clip tool, T30 Torx

Applicable Models:

X3 E83 (2004-06)
X3 E83 facelift (2007-10)

Parts Required:

Door latch

Hot Tip:

Tape body to avoid scratches

Performance Gain:

Door opens normally

Complementary Modification:

Window regulator replacement

Central locking in BMW X3 models controls door locks, luggage compartment lock and fuel filler flap lock. The electronic functions of central locking are controlled through the general module and the door switches.

The lock mechanism in each door consists of a latch, an exterior door handle, door lock carrier and an inside door lock release handle. Only the driver door (left front in North America) is equipped with a lock cylinder. The exterior door handle releases and unlocks the door latch via a cable inside the door. Over time the door lock carrier and the latch can wear out, this will make the handle malfunction, usually feeling like you have to apply excess pressure on the handle. The lock cylinder can wear out over time and become stiff. If you want to replace the door lock or handle it can be done with the door panel installed. If you want to replace the door handle carrier or the latch, you will have to remove the door panel. It's a good idea to replace the door lock carrier when replacing the latch because in my experience they usually fail within a short time of each other.

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 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. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

This tech article covers replacing the door latch (red arrow) on BMW X3 models.
Figure 1

This tech article covers replacing the door latch (red arrow) on BMW X3 models. Start by removing the door panel. See our tech article on door panel removing. Door panel shown removed.

Pull the lock rod (red arrow) straight out of the door to remove.
Figure 2

Pull the lock rod (red arrow) straight out of the door to remove.

Next, pull the door handle Bowden cable down to unclip (red arrow), then unhook the top from the lever (blue arrow) and remove.
Figure 3

Next, pull the door handle Bowden cable down to unclip (red arrow), then unhook the top from the lever (blue arrow) and remove.

Using a trim panel tool, remove the wiring harness mount for the door latch electrical connector (red arrow).
Figure 4

Using a trim panel tool, remove the wiring harness mount for the door latch electrical connector (red arrow). If the mount breaks, be sure to replace it.

Squeeze the door latch electrical connector (red arrow) tabs and remove the connector by pulling it straight out.
Figure 5

Squeeze the door latch electrical connector (red arrow) tabs and remove the connector by pulling it straight out.

Remove the door vapor barrier.
Figure 6

Remove the door vapor barrier. When peeling vapor barrier off, be careful not to tear (red arrow) it. If you do, replace it. Clean off and apply new butyl sealer when reinstalling new vapor barrier.

Working inside the door at the latch, pull the cable (red arrows) straight out of the mount.
Figure 7

Working inside the door at the latch, pull the cable (red arrows) straight out of the mount.

Use a small flathead screwdriver to lever the cable ends out (red arrow).
Figure 8

Use a small flathead screwdriver to lever the cable ends out (red arrow). Work gently and do not damage the latch or cable. Everything is made of plastic.

Remove the three T30 Torx door latch fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 9

Remove the three T30 Torx door latch fasteners (red arrows).

Then remove the door latch from the door by rotating the bottom toward the door skin and feeding it out past the window regulator.
Figure 10

Then remove the door latch from the door by rotating the bottom toward the door skin and feeding it out past the window regulator.

To install the new latch reverse the order of the steps.
Figure 11

To install the new latch reverse the order of the steps. When installing the latch, align the lock cylinder rod (blue arrow) with the door latch (red arrow). If you are having trouble aligning the two, use the key in the lock cylinder to rotate the rod while installing the latch. I find this helps to get them to mate. Remember to check the function of the latch before installing the door panel. I suggest closing the latch with a flathead screwdriver while the door is open. Then open it using the cables once you attached them. This will ensure it is working.

To test function of the interior handle release and locking mechanism.
Figure 12

To test function of the interior handle release and locking mechanism. Move the locking mechanism from lock (blue arrow) to unlock a few times. Close the latch with a flathead screwdriver. Then, push the metal lever in the direction of the yellow arrow. The door latch should release.

To test function of the exterior handle release and locking mechanism.
Figure 13

To test function of the exterior handle release and locking mechanism. Rotate the locking mechanism from lock (red arrow) to unlock a few times. Close the latch with a flathead screwdriver. Then, push the metal lever in the direction of the blue arrow. The door latch should release.





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Page last updated: Fri 6/23/2017 03:15:50 AM