BMW E30 central locking identification:
The BMW central locking system provides locking and unlocking of the entire vehicle from one central exterior point. IE: Driver door, passenger door, trunk. Besides locking the main doors, central locking also locks the fuel door as well as the glove box in some instances on later model BMWs. The system works through a series of microswitches, actuators, and relays. The central locking system can cause many issues over time through faulty relays and the power wire on the E30 model.
This post is not about how to fix a faulty central locking system, but rather an easy way to identify if your E30 is equipped with central locking. Not every E30 left BMW's manufacturing plant with the central locking feature. Some owners assume all E30s had central locking however, when all doors will not unlock at once, the owner thinks there is a fault in the central locking system. The reality may be your car never came equipped with central locking feature to begin with.
How to perform the quick check:
The easiest way to identify if your E30 has central locking is to look near the fuel filler. Open the fuel door and look at the lower left corner of the fuel door recess. If there is a black plastic grommet, your car has central locking. If there is no black grommet in this area, your E30 came from the factory without the central locking feature. Please reference the images below for a visual of what one needs to look for.
For months I thought my car had faulty central locking until I realized the car never came equipped with it. This quick check can come in handy when looking at a used E30 for sale and you are testing out the functionality of the car.
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