Yesterday, without any warning, I found myself unable to open the boot on my E39. I could still open it using the key, but pushing the button did not do anything. Additionally, the ‘boot open’ light was permanently illuminated on the dashboard.
Worst-case scenarios rushing through my head, I did some poking round and quickly discovered it was only a minor problem – a couple of the wires in the wiring loom had simply frayed or broken apart. Apparently this is a common problem on the E39, given the way the loom bends when the boot lid is shut.
Pulling out some of my rarely-used electrical skills, I found a few butt connectors in my toolbox, and quickly had the wires reconnected. I also added a bit of electrical tape to a few additional wires showing signs of decay.
Unfortunately, the split happened quite deep inside the rubber protector that surrounds the loom, and I was only able to access it by cutting back some of the rubber. I’ve resealed it with some tape, and though it’s not the neatest finish, it will suffice.
Thankfully, a few minutes of snipping, stripping, and crimping was all it took to get the boot release back into action.