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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-05-2004, 10:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
What? No Autobahn?
 
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sometimes my key doesn't turn.. I almost have to force the bastard to start... there's no pattern to this... bad key? I only have the one key so I'm not sure...
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Old 05-05-2004, 10:57 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It could be that. Also, some parts of the ignition may be locking up. I'm not sure of the proper way to lubricate an ignition, but someone here does.
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok this may be unrelated....but sometimes when I park my car i'll sort of tug the steering wheel one way and I guess it "locks"....

Then when I go to put the key in and restart it, sometimes it won't wanna move...I just budge the steering wheel out of the "lock" and it turns fine...could this be your problem?
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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possibly, but I don't recall ever moving my steering wheel after parking.. this is an auto too...
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I dunno...the steering wheel really doesn't turn very much...maybe like a quarter of an inch...really minimal....but it locks up the ignition.

Everytime I go to turn the key and it doesn't want to....I just tug on the wheel and it sort of unclicks out of something...then the key turns fine....I've noticed this in all of the bmws I've driven (e36 and e46 seem to do it to me)
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Old 05-05-2004, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That's part of the power steering option. If you turn your steering wheel enough, it will lock in place. I am not sure if this is a security feature for parking cars against curbs or what. It seems like this would be the reason it locks. Anyway, in order for the ignition to turn, the wheel must be turned in the same direction as it was locked. It should be turned just enough to let the lock loose, allowing for the ignition to turn freely. This is similar to trying to open a house door while pulling on it. The the friction of the lock is too intense. I don't think this is your problem, but this is what King was talking about, I think. I would see how to lubricate your ignition, or better yet, get a new key.
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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well I'll quit playing Man Hunt and go try it on out... get back to you all in a minute
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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problemo solved... that does do it... I was probably bumping it... thanks for the help fellas..
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:43 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally posted by KingScare@May 5 2004, 11:58 PM
Ok this may be unrelated....but sometimes when I park my car i'll sort of tug the steering wheel one way and I guess it "locks"....

Then when I go to put the key in and restart it, sometimes it won't wanna move...I just budge the steering wheel out of the "lock" and it turns fine...could this be your problem?
exactly what mine does too... and that fixes it
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Old 05-10-2004, 11:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah, your wheel most likely locks one way or another, when your key wont turn just turn your wheel to the left or right a little while trying to turn your key and it should start just fine! that happens to me all the time and now i do it without noticing.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Go to your BMW dealer for a new key. It will cost 25 USD I guess.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Yeah get a new key...just don't order it at BMW of San Diego....I've had about three keys ordered now from them since the week before easter....and well, they still haven't gotten me the right key. They said something about BMW looking up the wrong key. Anyway, I had a locksmith come out and make me keys...which aren't that great (they get stuck in the doors sometimes...) and I'm still waiting on a key that should come in this week sometime. Oh, and the key is $42....yeah, order the one with the light on it, because unless the people at your BMW dealer's parts office are very smart, they'll order you the passanger side and ignition key only, which won't open your inhibit system (if you have an inhibit system...i guess it depends on your model year). Sorry for the rant...i just had to let it out.
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Old 05-11-2004, 03:20 PM   #13 (permalink)
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The stearigng wheel lock is actually an old anti-theft feature.
The idea was that if the car was hot-wired a thief coudn't drive very far with the car since the stearing wheel is locked in one position.
Sometimes it makes the ignition hard to turn and moving the wheel a little will fix it.
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