Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-15-2011, 05:05 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
Exclamation steering wheel locked HELP!

I have been having a problem with my steering wheel locking this week but today it locked up completely I can oly turn the key but it will not stay in the first position I guess because of the way the wheel position was left in. I heard there is some type of pin that locks it in place I have a 1997 528i and I dont know if its metal or plastic. I was wondering if theres a diy around somewere with pictures for Im not the best mechanic thanks for any help.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 03-15-2011, 05:07 PM
Calicoastin Calicoastin is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: East Bay/Peninsula, California
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 178
Mein Auto: 2003 E39 540i auto
Have you tried turning the steering wheel slightly left or right and then turning the key?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:25 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
yea its locked it wont even stay in the first position I cant even get the car out of gear good thing it happened at home
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-15-2011, 07:44 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
I have been having a problem with my steering wheel locking this week but today it locked up completely I can oly turn the key but it will not stay in the first position I guess because of the way the wheel position was left in. I heard there is some type of pin that locks it in place I have a 1997 528i and I dont know if its metal or plastic. I was wondering if theres a diy around somewere with pictures for Im not the best mechanic thanks for any help.
Grab your drill! Had the same thing happen last year when I replaced my key cyl.

I'll see if I can find the pics, but you can drill out that little locking mechanism under the column. A little ball and spring will fall out and you'll never have the wheel locking again. Took me 5 minutes for a permanent fix.

Last edited by jarhed1964; 03-15-2011 at 07:45 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:01 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
I want the permanet fix this is driving me nuts I just need to see what needs to be drilled out if I can get the diy for that ill be good
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-15-2011, 08:20 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
I want the permanet fix this is driving me nuts I just need to see what needs to be drilled out if I can get the diy for that ill be good

Ok, I couldn't find the picture on here but I'll take a picture of where I drilled the hole as soon as I can get home and get a flashlight on it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-15-2011, 09:01 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
ok thanks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:43 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Ok,

Grab your drill, pull the bottom cover from your steering column, and drill in the middle of the little aluminum rectangle that you'll see in the following thread. The spring will fall out or you can pull it with a needle nose pliar. This took me all but 6 minutes to complete, then another two minutes to put the cover back on. No more wheel locking FOREVER.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...=284817&page=4





Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-16-2011, 07:54 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Omaha NE
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 13,053
Mein Auto: 1998 528i 5-sp 140K+
You need a new lock cylinder (BMW only).
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-16-2011, 12:03 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
thanks a million............what size bit did you use?

Last edited by kevinl34; 03-16-2011 at 12:16 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-16-2011, 04:08 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
thanks a million............what size bit did you use?
I cant remember exactly. Try to match up a bit (if you have a set) with the pic. It's not a very big spring, but a bigger bit will cover more area and prevent re-drills being needed.

BTW, I put some putty up into the hole to close it off. I think some folks use heavy tape to cover it though. I don't think you really need to cover it, but I didn't want dust getting up there over the years.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-16-2011, 04:59 PM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,005
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
This thread seems to have an ingenious enough solution that we should make it easier for others to find it in the future when they have locked steering wheel problems.

Doing a quick slash-F3 "steering wheel" in the bestlinks, I found many "steering wheel" related links.

Putting tehm together, along with this thread, into a keyword-rich somewhat organized sentence, I newly come up with (for future users) something like:

- What to do when both your automatic steering wheel tilt and manual & automatic driver seat control fails (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & related automatic steering wheel tilt details (1) (2) (3) or if your steering wheel & key cylinder locks in place (1) & signs of a failing ignition switch (1) & the BMW TIS for when the ignition switch spins but does not engage (1) & rebuilding a failed ignition switch (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9) (10) (11) & how to test your BMW E39 DSC steering wheel sensors (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & how to retrofit to a 3-spoke M-Sport steering wheel (1) (2) (3) (4) & heated steering wheel retrofits (1) & updating the life of an old steering wheel (1) & where to buy the BMW steering wheel roundel (1) (2) (3) (4) (5).

Of course, as always, if you know of BETTER links, please let us know as the goal is to have an easy cross reference to all possible questions, over time.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-18-2011, 07:46 AM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
great job!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-18-2011, 08:29 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
great job!

Did it work?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-21-2011, 01:55 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
is this a picture of an e36 or an e39?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-21-2011, 11:01 PM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
is this a picture of an e36 or an e39?
Not sure. But it does look pretty much the same. That aluminum rectangle housing is there on the E39. That is where you want to drill through.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-22-2011, 12:30 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
ok after going thur the searches I believe the problem is mechanical safety lock Is this the spring that pushes them up and down? I cant find tha box on my e39 but Im pretty sure that a e36 on the pictures above because i had a 325is and the underneath looks just like that I can tell were the undeth comes out the e39 is connected to the woodgrain and doesnt seem to come out easy didnt want to break it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:22 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
ok after going thur the searches I believe the problem is mechanical safety lock Is this the spring that pushes them up and down? I cant find tha box on my e39 but Im pretty sure that a e36 on the pictures above because i had a 325is and the underneath looks just like that I can tell were the undeth comes out the e39 is connected to the woodgrain and doesnt seem to come out easy didnt want to break it.
Did you remove the lower cover from the steering column? It's under there, trust me. What year is your E39?
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:37 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
yea I remove the covers were the steering wheel is ( the top/bottom covers that covers the steering wheel. Also removed the lower covering down on the floor board by the break pedal....do you have a pic of an e39?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-23-2011, 08:37 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
unless u want to drive to greenvile sc to show me lol...I just saw you were from charlotte
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-24-2011, 05:30 AM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Conyers, GA
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 811
Mein Auto: 2003 530i
I had a similar problem on my former E36, and I just went ahead and put a used column on. It is fairly simple but very time consuming.
__________________
2004 BMW 330ci Silvergray Sport Package, Cold Package, Xenon Headlamps, Premium Package, 6 Speed Manual, Build Date 9/03

Sold - 2003 325i Sedan Japanrot 5 Speed 8k Xenon Headlamps Build Date 11/02
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-24-2011, 09:35 AM
moots's Avatar
moots moots is offline
wat's dat noise
Location: Malaysia
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 629
Mein Auto: '04 525i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
yea its locked it wont even stay in the first position I cant even get the car out of gear good thing it happened at home
the fact that the key won't even stay in the 1st position and the gear is also jammed is telling me that the mechanical interlock between the key assembly and the gear lever is stuck.try this :


remove the leather gear gaiter and then pull up the cover surround


pull up this lever all the way and hold.now try see if you can move your ignition key.

if you can,exercise this lock lever up and down till it moves freely.this is the lever that acts as the interlock that prevents the gear lever from being moved if the key is not in and turned to at least position 1.the elect solenoid prevents gear selection from P or N if the foot brake in not pressed

good luck

Last edited by moots; 03-24-2011 at 09:39 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-24-2011, 02:18 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
tried that trick above it did let me move my gear shift however, it didnt fix the problem I think it internal thanks for the trick thought....
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-28-2011, 07:52 PM
kevinl34 kevinl34 is offline
Registered User
Location: southeast
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 37
Mein Auto: 325is
JARHED YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!! It worked althought we had to pull the cyl lock off but once that happen saw what was wrong and got the drill spring is out no more locking thanks.....
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-29-2011, 12:31 AM
jarhed1964 jarhed1964 is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Charlotte, NC
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 534
Mein Auto: 97 &99 528i, 05 e60 530i
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinl34 View Post
JARHED YOU ARE THE MAN!!!!!!! It worked althought we had to pull the cyl lock off but once that happen saw what was wrong and got the drill spring is out no more locking thanks.....


Wish I could take credit for it, but I found it on this or another forum. Glad you got it squared away though!
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms