BMW X3 Service & Repair Manual: Unlock transmission lock electronically

BMW X3 Service & Repair Manual / Transmission / Shift valves, parking lock / Unlock transmission lock electronically

For various tasks, it is necessary to unlock and lock the parking lock.

Before releasing the parking lock, secure the vehicle against rolling away.

  • The emergency release is only possible if the engine does not start and the starter is turning.
  • If the emergency release must be activated although the engine starts, the fuse for the electrical fuel pump may be pulled.
  • The emergency release is active for 15 minutes.
  • As soon as a wheel speed signal is recorded, this period will be extended by another 15 minutes.
  • After this period of time, the transmission lock will be engaged without a message.
  • The chronological information depends on the battery capacity.
  • Only specially trained Service personnel are permitted to operate both the MECHANICAL as well as the electronic emergency transmission release system.
  • The vehicle must be raised and the underbody panelling removed in order to operate the MECHANICAL emergency transmission release system.

IMPORTANT: To operate the electronic emergency transmission release system the vehicle must not be towed but rather only pushed.

In the case of misuse, a corresponding fault is entered in the fault memory.

Unlock transmission lock electronically

  • Switch the ignition on.
  • Apply the brake pedal and hold it down during the entire procedure.
  • Press start/stop button.
  • The starting operation may last for some seconds in low ambient temperatures and for diesel engines.
  • As soon as the starter motor can be heard to operate
  • Press and hold down the release button (1)


  1. The specified time must necessarily be complied with!
  2. Push selector lever (2) forward up to point of resistance and hold for 2 seconds.
  3. Release the selector lever and quickly move it forward by another level again.


  • The selector lever position N is displayed in the instrument cluster.
  • The transmission lock is now electronically unlocked.
  • Release the brake pedal after the transmission lock has been successfully unlocked.
  • Leave the ignition switched on in order to subsequently move the vehicle.
  • The transmission automatically shifts into P when the ignition is turned off.


IMPORTANT: The transmission lock is reactivated without a message when the start/stop button is pressed again.

If the gearbox cannot be released, turn the ignition off and on again and repeat the previous steps.

Allow the starter to cool down for approx. 10 minutes after unsuccessful attempts.

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