Know the car before trying to diagnose it
BMW E90 trunk doesn’t operate from switch on Left side kick panel, trunk lid grab handle switch, or from remote key.
Customer was able to open it using mechanical blade key. The latch was also operated using Autologic by going to Body
Then selecting Junction Box Electronics (JBE)
Then go to Component Activations
Now you can select Unlock Rear Lid Lock
No relevant faults were stored.
System operation was reviewed and latch output signal is generated by the JBE.
Inputs from left side kick panel switch and remote key signals go to CAS before being processed by JBE.
The grab handle input goes directly to JBE.
After some head scratching it was discovered that the car has a “Hotel” switch in the glove box to help secure the contents of the trunk when the keys are handed off to a valet or garage attendant.
After de-selecting the lock position, the trunk release worked fine.
That damn "hotel" switch got me 10 years ago on an E65 745, its very useful if the customer knows its there and doesn't accidentally slide it to "hotel" mode, otherwise its very frustrating for the customer and tech.
I first look thru the owner's manual for info on issues like that.
That's right. First determine - is it is a problem or a feature?
I had a similar BMW sublet to me from a body shop a few months ago with the same complaint after repairs for a rear end collision... After about 1 hour of research and testing I felt pretty silly to find the switch 😉
BMW should think of this when they were creating the system/vehicles. In my opinion they should set the vehicle to throw a "hotel mode active" fault code. Equivalent to "transport mode active".
Agreed, some sort of DTC or Data PID that CLEARLY states that mode is active would be helpful. It has been the late model rental vehicles at body shops with no owners manuals that would cause a problem such as this.