I got stuck in the M5 last weekend. Pulling the interior door handle didn’t open the door, the action was a bit sloppy, and the handle didn’t return when released – something certainly wasn’t right.
So I popped the screw cover off, and then paused to take the photo above. Once that screw was removed I could open the door by pulling the entire handle assembly forwards. From here I deduced that the door mechanism was okay, but the handle assembly had just failed with use over time.
A quick bit of correspondence with BMW saw a replacement part (B126.96.36.199.050) ordered for £28. I hoped I would be able to perform the replacement without dismantling the door, so I used a pair of mole grips to hold the mechanism in place while I removed the old handle.
A comparison of the old and new handles:
I then noticed that there’s a little black arm on the back of the handles into which the door mechanism slots, so that the handle can tension the release cable correctly. This meant that there was no way of replacing the handle without dismantling the door. Fortunately this isn’t difficult: with the exception of a single screw in the air vent inlet, the rest of the door is (alarmingly French-like) snap fit. I worked my way around the edge of the door with a large flat head screwdriver and was soon able to get moving again.
I fitted the handle to the mechanism behind the door card, as shown below.
Here’s a close up – you can see the little black arm that tensions the cable – it works much like a bike brake lever.
Fortunately I had a few replacement clips for the snap-fitting door card, as some were inevitably broken. I have now run out though – I must re-stock but I’m unlikely to remember. Refitting was then of course the reverse of removal, and I’m now pleased to not only to once again have a fully functioning door release, but for it to be nice and new and shiny.