key stuck in drivers door [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: key stuck in drivers door

12-16-2009, 12:34 PM
I have a 1990 535i and it was sitting outside in the cold (like under -25 celcius) and I went to put my key in to unlock it and only the drivers side door wouldn't unlock. Then when I went to pull the key out it wouldn't come out.

You can still turn the key to the left on the drivers side to unlock it but you cant turn it at all to the right from the neutral position. I've tried to manually open it from the inside using the little lock pulling thing (sorry I don't know the technical definition) but it wont open at all.

I am assuming it is the locking cylinder for the driver's door because all the other locks still work. water must have gotten in there and expanded when it froze. I cant open the lock at all so I can't get my drivers door open.

So I'm looking for some kind of solution for this. I've already had it sitting in a heated garage for 5+ hours so I doubt its still frozen inside. I really need to get the key out of the door at least because it pretty much allows anyone who can turn the key access to my car.
Thanks for the help

12-17-2009, 09:34 PM
Some BMW's have a heating element in the drivers door lock. It is activated by holding up the door handle for 30-60 seconds. If that doesn't work, try a small lighter blowtorch on the exposed key or keylock. Another possibility is a can of lock de-icer with a tube-nozzle that can spray de-icer into the lock.

01-03-2010, 04:50 AM
Well I have tried the deicer and also letting it sit in a heated garage and it seems that hasn't worked at all. I'm assuming that it must be a busted actuator or something like that. So my next predicament would be to get the door panel off with the door closed, because I can't open it at all.
But I'm still confused as to how the key is stuck inside of he slot still. It can rotate to unlock all the other doors... Which is a big problem lol