Musings tagged as repair

BMW E60 Defective Trunk Repair

Wed, Aug 15, 2018

A bit of an unusual topic for this blog but maybe this will save someone a lot of time, headaches and quite possibly money. My VFL 2003 BMW 5-series (E60) came down with some trunk lid troubles the other day. The trunk lid would not open either by remote or by pressing the button above the license plate. When opened with the key, it would not close anymore. The locking mechanism just would not engage and the lid would flip back open.

After messing with the lid for a while it suddenly locked again and so I left it like this for a few days pondering what to do. After all, leaving the car standing around with an open trunk lid was not exactly what I had in mind. A friend of mine came up with the idea of a wire defect, quite possibly in the connection from the trunk lid to the car body, due to the constant bending over the years when opening and closing the lid.

The E60 does not have a purely mechanical trunk lock anymore, instead it is actuated by servo motors when receiving an electronic signal. Armed with some tools, a soldering iron, some shrink tube and the hope that it actually is a broken wire and not something really expensive, like a defective servo, I went to work.

BMW E60 Repair Image

As you can see in the picture above it was not just one broken wire but two and several others were pretty much on the brink of failure. On the plus side, the repair took about half an hour and I only used some pliers, a screwdriver, wirecutters, a soldering iron, some shrink tube, electrically insulating tape, and some wire clips.

The wire harness for the trunk lid electronics and the opening mechanism runs behind the trunk lid cover to the passenger (right) side of the car and through a connecting tube which is attached to a hinge in the trunk. The harness is held inside the tube by a rubber plug with a slit in it which can be pulled out. Then it is just a matter of unravelling the mess of sticky tape (why is this tape always exactly as sticky on the outside as it is on the inside?) and inspecting the wires at the bending point.

A new wire harness would have set me back several hundred EUR and since the wires from the trunk are woven into the main harness of the car this would have been a nasty thing to replace. I am sure a garage would take another couple hundred EUR from you just for the time this would take. Appart from 30 minutes of my time this repair did not cost me anything. If you count the repair parts that I used, maybe 2 EUR. ^^