Car won't start with all lights and electronics working [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Car won't start with all lights and electronics working

01-04-2012, 11:09 AM
My car is currently at home and will not start but the lights turn on and my dash lights are on and I can turn on wipers, radio whatever on. I have since disconnected the battery. I thought it was the ignition tumbler cylinder first but replaced that and it still does the same thing after hooking the battery back up. It seems as my steering column may be locked. I was not able to turn the wheel at all. Any ideas?

01-04-2012, 11:12 AM
Hmmm... So no matter what you do, you cannot get your steering column to unlock?

Does the car crank at all, but just not start? Does it make a clicking noise?

01-04-2012, 11:16 AM
No crank, no noise. 1992 325i. No I cannot get it to unlock because whatever position I have the key it will not allow me to do anything in regards to turning off stuff. My dash lights stay on even with the key out of the ignition.

01-04-2012, 11:30 AM
This sounds familiar........ :tsk:

The link between the tumbler and switch is broken. You can't buy just the have to buy the entire column lock mechanism, and it's no fun replacing it. I just did this a couple of months ago.

Someone could make a fortune duplicating the link and replacing just that part. THAT piece can be installed without disassembling the entire column lock....if you could get one.

01-04-2012, 12:10 PM
Would you say it would be easier just to replace the column itself?

01-04-2012, 01:22 PM
DEFINITELY NOT. Much easier to replace the column lock. Although it's a PITA, it's simple compared to replacing the whole column.

01-12-2012, 07:05 AM
He is not a BMW guy so he was wondering if its just the fact that your steering column lock is stuck and thats why you cant turn the key to start it because he is aware of being able to snap the lock on other cars so that then the steering wheel would be turnable, and the lock cylinder should release at that point so that can turn the key......

01-12-2012, 11:32 AM
Snapping the lock mechanism on an E36 results in the column being permanently locked until it's disassembled and replaced. You can't muscle the steering wheel hard enough to break the column lock without ruining the column, nor can you access the column lock by "dent-puller-ing" the lock tumbler out. This is one of the reasons why BMWs are so hard to steal.