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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 10-02-2005, 05:59 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 325i is stuck in park.. Any ideas?

Hey all,

I've got a strange problem and need your knowledge and expertise. I have a 1993 325i automatic and it's locked in the park position lol. This isn't good as it's my only vehicle and what I rely on to get to work and school. I can start the car without a problem but it will not shift out of Park. It's totally locking up for some reason. I found that if I just turn the key half way(not starting the engine) it frees the gear shift. So with that in mind, I put it in neutral and started the engine, only to find that it was then locked in neutral. used:

This started last night as I was trying to leave to go out. I spent the better part of the morning yesterday at BMW of Sterling here in Virginia. Great people there btw. I took it in to have the lower windsheild cowl replaced but they noticed 3 recall items that needed addressing and were cool enough to do that work while I was there.

I had no problems afterward and made many stops after leaving the dealer in the afternoon.

I'm out of ideas. BMW service are closed today(Sunday) so if I can't figure it out I'll have it towed tomorrow and catch a cab I guess. I've confirmed that my brake lights don't come on when applying the breaks. Not good. Checked the fuse and it was ok. Good.

One of the recall jobs involved replacing a switch relating to the brake lights. FP number 61-31-8-360-417?. The old switch supposedly had been known to cause some problems with disengaging the cruise control if I remember correctly. Apparently the new switch is causing different problems.. at least in this case. <_<

Anybody experienced this or know if there is a quick fix?

Brian
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Old 10-02-2005, 06:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I blieve that the switch that "frees" the gear shift lever is broken. Almost all cars, and what it sounds like yours too (i drive a 5spd, so I do not know for sure) have a sensor/switch that will not let you shift out of park, reverse ect. unless the brake pedal is pressed. Sounds like the most probable cause to me.
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply thekid. Just had it towed over to BMW on my lunch break. Service Manager fixed it in about 3 minutes. Apparently there was some kind of clip that wasn't fully fastened by the tech that worked on it previously. I'm guessing the clip was supposed to hold the neutral switch in place and in this case it just worked its way free causing the switch to think the brakes weren't pressed. I didn't have much time to discuss it unfortunately since I needed to get back. Hopefully that will give somebody else at least an idea of what direction to investigate should this happen to anybody else here. All of this was located below the steering column under the housing cover and toward the right side. Problem solved and they covered my tow. Good people.

Brian
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Old 10-03-2005, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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