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Relocating E30 Central locking to fix moisture problems once and for all

April 12, 2020

A few years ago I wrote about common problems with the E30 central locking and how to fix them.

Two of most common E30 Central locking/Power locking issues and how to fix them

Well, its time to revisit the topic, because I have figured out the once and for all solution.

You see, even with the best efforts to keep the central locking dry, this happened to a friend after he pressure washed his car:

The reason for this is poor design by BMW, they put the central locking in an area partially exposed to the elements (for details reference first link in this article).

So for my personal car, I decided to completely relocate the central locking and lighting relay to under the dash, attached via heavy duty velcro.

The only thing required is to pickup a central locking harness with as much wire as you can cut back from a donor car. Cut your current connector off and use the extra length of wire from the donor car to splice it in color for color. There is a valley behind the kick panel by the speaker that has plenty of room to run the wires up to under the dash. This route already runs other wires from under the dash, so it wont look out of place and is purpose built for that application.

No more wet central locking!

One Response to Relocating E30 Central locking to fix moisture problems once and for all

  1. Kris on October 12, 2020 at 3:49 pm


    It is a good idea to move the central lock electronics out of the A-pillar lower section to avoid water ingress however one thing needs to be addressed here.
    Due to safety reguation in 80’s central lock is required to open all doors during crash of the car to help people release from the wrecked car.
    For that puspose simple decceleration sensor is used in the module (black box soldered inside).
    During movement the unit, take care to put it in the same way (top/bottom orientation). There is also a text “OBEN/TOP” to assure correct montage.
    Incorrect montage might cause that the doors won’t be unlocked when they should which – in specific time – can be lethal.
    Please treat this message seriously for You and Your Passengers safety.

    Take Care

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