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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 11-11-2008, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Ignition Switch Stuck

Hoping someone can help here. Odd problem.
After driving for about 30 minutes I parked my '97 328i and went to turn the ignition off. The key turned about a half turn and by habit I pulled the key out. BUT the engine was still running. Tried putting the key back in and turning it the rest of the way and now it seems to be stuck and won't move either way. It's stuck in the on position. Had to pull the fuel pump fuse to get the engine to shut down.

Another odd symptom....when trying to get the key to turn one way or the other sometimes I can get the key to completely spin around not engaging anything within the inner ignition switch. It just spins freely without the obvious stopping points.

Tried squirting WD40 to hopefully free any blockages up but was not successful

Any help would be very appreciated!!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 08:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that's a well worn lock cylinder.
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Old 11-11-2008, 09:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think that's a well worn lock cylinder.
Yup. I agree with that. My lock cylinder broke like that and just spun freely. You should replace it with a new one. I think i got mine for around 40 bucks.
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Old 11-11-2008, 10:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yep this is the correct diagnosis.

In order to replace it you can take your vin number to the BMW dealership. If I recall 40 is correct. Have a buddy near by with jumper cables though, or disconnect your battery before replacing.

You have to turn the key to the ON position. You will find a tiny hole that would normally be blocked by the key in the off position. You can now push something, I used a sturdy paper clip, into the hole. You need to push about an inch and a half. You can use the new cylinder to see how far you need to push. It took me about 30 mins or so to get it right. Once it is pushed in the cylinder will come right out.
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Old 11-12-2008, 06:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I figured that was were I was headed. So I started taking things a part. I'm down to the paper clip point and can't seem to get the tumbler to pop out. Used a bobbie pin. Sounds like I'll need something more sturdy. Have to pay the bills during the day today. Will try again tonight.
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Old 11-12-2008, 10:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I figured that was were I was headed. So I started taking things a part. I'm down to the paper clip point and can't seem to get the tumbler to pop out. Used a bobbie pin. Sounds like I'll need something more sturdy. Have to pay the bills during the day today. Will try again tonight.
Yep it sucks. Stick with it though it will come out and there is not much you can do to make it worse.
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Old 11-13-2008, 03:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This should help if you are prepared to have a go Spinning Ignition barrel repair - United Bimmer Community - BMW Forum
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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happen to me, we just played around with it and somehow fixed itself.
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Still not able to get it to pop out. Still working on it. Called the local BMW dealer and they quoted the tumbler at $98. Where did you guys get it for $40?
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Old 11-15-2008, 01:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Still not able to get it to pop out. Still working on it. Called the local BMW dealer and they quoted the tumbler at $98. Where did you guys get it for $40?
The dealer is the only place to get it and it takes a few days or whatever for them to receive it. I got mine several years ago now, so they might have gone up on price because of the age of the car or whatever.

Also check your key for signs of wear. Worn out key will cause the cylinder to wear out quickly. You may need to look at replacing your key at the same time if you dont have another master spare.
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Old 05-11-2009, 09:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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when you got the new ign cylinder did you have to get a new key to?
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