Engineering Overkill part 2: BMW door locks
Posted by ifitsgotanengine on October 2, 2006
Let’s look at the E32 BMW door locks and see what they added. Remember, these cars first came out in 1988.
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- The doors can be locked and deadlocked. When deadlocked, they will not open from inside. This prevents a thief from prying the window open enough to get a slim jim in and pull the lock knob. The lock knob and all rods internal to the door are physically prevented from moving. This also prevents anyone not familiar with the system from unlocking the door, even with the key, as unlocking a deadlocked door requires turning the key in the unlock direction, lifting the handle, then turning the key farther.
- Heated door locks. If the temperature is below 38 F and you lift up on the outside door handle with the car locked, a heater in the lock energizes for 30 seconds to melt any ice from the lock.
- Inertia switch. If the car undergoes a shock of approximately 5g’s, all doors automatically unlock, and the hazard lights turn on. This allows rescue teams to more easily locate a wrecked car and gain entry.