1st Gear Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: isle of wight, englandshire
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the barrel went on mine 2 years ago. i bought a new barrel and all the bits to replace it all. then bmw told me afterwards that they can place a needle size pin down the barrel when it is at a certain point (with the battery disconnected) and they can slide the barrel out. but me being me reaplced the whole lot. total cost was about £140 all in.
i was told i had a transponder chip in the key which activates the immobiliser so without it the engine would turn but not start.
i can only suggest popping down to bmw and buying the bits. it's easy enough to do as long as you're patient. there is a wax like covering (there was on mine) that covered the two grub screws that stop you taking it to bits
just remember also, to disconnect the battery before the 'surgery' and make sure it's all connected after before you reconnect or else your airbag light will come on and they'll sting you for another 25 quid.
hope this is of use.