3-Series (E21, E30)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.
my 1988 325i's ignition key will not rotate the barrel past the first stop point. i can get power for the radio but it will go no further.
i am assuming the problem is with the actual key barrel as i have tried using both keys. i have sprayed light oil down it to try and free things up a little but nothing as yet.
the steering lock is not the problem and i have stripped the trim down in an attempt to get a better view.
has anyone had any experience removing the key barrel itself for replacement. that thing is well and truly stuck in there.
it's been a good car with only minor glitches in the past. had it around 6 years now.
it started last week in hot weather. i thought the heat may be effecting it so left it to cool off but it never recovered.
i'm sure these things do wear out as they are mechanical parts, just it seems a real bugger to change.
if i could get the thing out in one piece i may be able to take a look at it, but i still have no idea how to remove the barrel without destroying it.
has anyone had one out before, not necessarily out of a 325, but just as a pointer as what to do next?
I had the exact same prob on my 88. Mine would only stop working when it was cold out. I took it to a lock smith and he said it is because german car manufacturers use a grease in their locks that is too thick for its own good. It works well for the lock but if it gets too dirty it gets so stiff (especially when cold) it stops functioning well. He said get some lock de-icer or some thing else alcohol based and spray it in the tumbler until the pin moves freely again. Not sure if it helps but its alot cheaper than a mechanic. By the way $1.95 later and mine has worked ever since. Good Luck!!!!!!! P.S. the whole steering column has to come out for the tumbler or so i have been told.
to remove the tumbler, put the key in and turn it to position 1
take a piece of wire maybe 20gauge
find a hole on the tumbler just to the right of the key
push the wire in and depress the button thet locks the tumbler(barrel) in the column
keeping button depressed, pull out the tumbler
hope this helps, or you can also order new tumbler with 2 keys, factory made. i purchased mine for about $70. do not buy it from the dealer though unless you have loads of $$$. find it online, not too hard.
no need for a mechanic, and a good locksmith may be able to pop out a key in a few minutes if yours are not lazer cut.
cheers speedy, i've got the idea of how to get it out but need something stronger than wire. i can push it in so far but it just bends after that.
i'll try something like a bicycle spoke and see what that does.
i'm going to soak it in wd40 for while and see what comes out. hopefully that should sort it.
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