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 > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-14-2007, 09:31 AM
Nick1 Nick1 is offline
Registered User
Location: Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 320i
Key stuck in ignition

Hi,

Just wondered if anyone else has experience this - and maybe has a solution:-

Upon driving home, I park my car in the garage, put the car in "Park", apply the handbreak, switch off the engine and attempt to remove my key.

Key is stuck in the ignition and will not come out.

I have to restart the car - reverse and then drive forward slowly, stop, place the car in "Park" and try again.

Sometimes it takes 2 or 3 attempts before I can remove the key.

Car is 2002 320i with 68,000km on the clock

Anyone with any ideas?

Any help thoughts appreciated - thanks!

Nick
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 02-14-2007, 09:46 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,598
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Sounds like the neutral safety switch might be going bad....

Regards,
Bob
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-14-2007, 10:03 AM
Nick1 Nick1 is offline
Registered User
Location: Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 320i
Thanks Fast Bob,

Excuse my ignorance - but what does the neutral safety switch do? And, is this going to be an expensive fix?

I have a pretty good indy mechanic I use, so I'll probably take the car in in the next day or so.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-14-2007, 10:45 AM
icky's Avatar
icky icky is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Anchorage, AK
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 176
Send a message via MSN to icky
Mein Auto: 2006 325xi
Well.. I don't know if this is the same problem or not, but when I had my 2001 325xi it wouldn't let me take the key out sometimes. However, my problem was that I wouldn't put it into park all the way (automatic obviously). Is the 'park' light illuminating when you put it in?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-14-2007, 01:03 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,598
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick1 View Post
Thanks Fast Bob,

Excuse my ignorance - but what does the neutral safety switch do? And, is this going to be an expensive fix?

I have a pretty good indy mechanic I use, so I'll probably take the car in in the next day or so.
The switch was originally designed as a safety feature to prevent starting the car in gear.... now it`s one component in a system with multiple interlocks (yet another byproduct of our litigation-prone society). The switch itself could be faulty, or possibly the linkage is out of adjustment, causing the gear selector to not fully engage the PARK position, as stated by another poster.

Regards,
Bob
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-17-2007, 01:02 PM
davehayes2204 davehayes2204 is offline
E46 325ci sport
Location: Liverpool, England
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 70
Mein Auto: E46 325ci Sport
hi, i had the same problem not too long ago! with mine it was not engaging park properly. when i investigated i found a coin had fallen through the ashtray ( the actual ashtray bit is missing ) and was causing this! it had also damaged a small clip/plug type thing which was causing a light (like a small amber cog) where it says P,R,N,D..i removed the coin and replaced the plug and all is fine! hope this helps. p.s. remove the gear gaiter and you have enough acess to see if this is the problem!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-15-2008, 12:18 PM
Huguin Huguin is offline
Registered User
Location: Port St. Lucie
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 2005 BMW 330i
Key Ignition Stock

Hello BMW team

I had the same problem with the key stock in the ignition and the problem was a penny coin stock between the shifter(Parking) and cable switch under the center console below the ashtrey hole. I remove the coin and problem resolve.

See you later my BMW People
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-15-2008, 03:04 PM
MMC2100 MMC2100 is offline
Registered User
Location: IN
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 53
Mein Auto: '08 128i
I had this problem Saturday! I eventually though pressed hard on the brake and turned the key and it unlocked. Didn't have any coins causing any trouble like others. Sure had me worried.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-15-2008, 03:24 PM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
NADAVAN
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 519
Mein Auto: 2002 525it
I think the park interlock cable is out of adjustment. Try giving the lever a good shove forward after it's already in P. Then try to turn the key the rest of the way back and pull it out of the slot.

Post back and let us know what happens.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-24-2008, 02:02 PM
Srini Srini is offline
Registered User
Location: Montreal
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: Canada/US
Another reason for Key stuck in ignition

Just got it fixed under new car warranty. The plastic rectangular key has a small metallic BMW emblem glued on to it. Every one knows that plastic metal glued stuff will come off eventually. The metallic piece fell off into the big rectangular hole where the big plastic key goes. Then the key will not come out. Such problems do not occur in ordinary metallic keys in regular small key holes. This is a design flaw.

Last edited by Srini; 03-24-2008 at 02:04 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-02-2010, 01:12 PM
sabrinadeal sabrinadeal is offline
Registered User
Location: Missouri
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW 330 CI
Key Stuck

OMG, I want to thank you all for your information. I was looking for any information I could find on how to get the key out of the ignition on my BMW 330 CI. My key would not come out of the ignition. I would have to put the car in park, turn off the key and then push the knob more into the Park position. I thought the coin blog would be to easy. I went outside, removed the ashtray and low and behold, there is a quarter in there. I was so excited. The key now comes out without and issues. Thanks again for your information.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-02-2010, 03:39 PM
BobSC's Avatar
BobSC BobSC is offline
It's all about me!
Location: South Carolina
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 1,443
Mein Auto: 07-750LI, 12-X3, 01-330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrinadeal View Post
OMG, I want to thank you all for your information. I was looking for any information I could find on how to get the key out of the ignition on my BMW 330 CI. My key would not come out of the ignition. I would have to put the car in park, turn off the key and then push the knob more into the Park position. I thought the coin blog would be to easy. I went outside, removed the ashtray and low and behold, there is a quarter in there. I was so excited. The key now comes out without and issues. Thanks again for your information.
LOL....this happed to my daughter yesterday in her 2000 328i. Key would not come out. She came home and told me so I went right to the site and did a search. Sure enough...it was a nickel that had fallen in there through the ashtray and we keeping the car from properly going into park and releasing the key! Thanks to the info on this forum, I knew exactly what to look for.

I love this site!
__________________

2007 750LI Barbera Red
2001 330Cic Orient Blue
2000 328i Jet Black(Sold)
2004 X3 Mystic Blue
2012 X3 Alpine White

Last edited by BobSC; 01-02-2010 at 06:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-02-2010, 04:44 PM
slyfocks slyfocks is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Great Northeast
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 371
Mein Auto: 2005 330ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srini View Post
Just got it fixed under new car warranty. The plastic rectangular key has a small metallic BMW emblem glued on to it. Every one knows that plastic metal glued stuff will come off eventually. The metallic piece fell off into the big rectangular hole where the big plastic key goes. Then the key will not come out. Such problems do not occur in ordinary metallic keys in regular small key holes. This is a design flaw.
Sounds like you must have an E90 or other recent BMW vehicle. The E46s had conventional cut ignition keys.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-08-2010, 10:02 PM
bmw330ci06 bmw330ci06 is offline
Registered User
Location: nj
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: bmw
I tried pulling out the coin but i think i got it stuck somewhere underneath the shift console, any suggestions???
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-08-2010, 11:42 PM
kimmy's Avatar
kimmy kimmy is offline
Das rampen abwarten
Location: Eastern US
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 373
Mein Auto: 04 330xi,Audi A6,AlfaSpid
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw330ci06 View Post
I tried pulling out the coin but i think i got it stuck somewhere underneath the shift console, any suggestions???
Where specifically was the coin lodged before you tried to dislodge it. Also what type of coin (quarter, dime, etc) was it. Does your inital problem still exist?
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-25-2010, 05:25 PM
danielcolchado danielcolchado is offline
Registered User
Location: Lima - Peru
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 318i E46
HI, i'm from Peru and have the same trouble, key stuck at ignition, all in the car works fine, but something strange..... when i make a shift (R or D) both lights turns on, yes! both of them, and the car goes in reverse or forward as usual. I'll try to search a coin or something under the shift.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-26-2010, 03:34 AM
TerraPhantm TerraPhantm is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: State College, PA
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,879
Mein Auto: 2005 M3 Coupe
When this happened to me it was a much simpler problem; the key blade was physically bent, so it took a lot of force to get out of the ignition. I took a pair of pliers, bent it back, and it's been working fine for almost 2 years now. I do have a manual transmission though, so I knew there's no key lock.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-04-2010, 07:35 PM
Cabo Bimmer Cabo Bimmer is offline
Registered User
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 320i 2001
Exclamation

Quote:
Originally Posted by davehayes2204 View Post
hi, i had the same problem not too long ago! with mine it was not engaging park properly. when i investigated i found a coin had fallen through the ashtray ( the actual ashtray bit is missing ) and was causing this! it had also damaged a small clip/plug type thing which was causing a light (like a small amber cog) where it says P,R,N,D..i removed the coin and replaced the plug and all is fine! hope this helps. p.s. remove the gear gaiter and you have enough access to see if this is the problem!
I had the same problem and I couldnt take the key out so I decided to push hard to get "P"engaged and it did! the problem is that now I have the GEAR LIGHT ON!!!

The gears swift fine and everything seems to be ok, you mentioned "it had also damaged a small clip/plug type thing which was causing a light (like a small amber cog) where it says P,R,N,D..i" where can I buy that clip??? Is it an easy to do repair?

THANK YOU SO MUCH, I AM AFRAID TO DRIVE MY CAR because I dont want to damage the transmision.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-21-2010, 03:59 PM
Cabo Bimmer Cabo Bimmer is offline
Registered User
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 320i 2001
HI Guys, I have been looking around for 2 weeks trying to find the NEUTRAL SAFETY SWITCH, or the SMALL CLIP PLUG so I can replace it and I can find the part! PLEASE HELP! The grears are fine but the GEAR WARNING LIGHT DOES NOT TURN OFF.

THANKS A LOT.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 10-14-2010, 03:20 AM
madmax88 madmax88 is offline
Registered User
Location: Singapore
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: BMW 645
I recently had the same problem. Searching the World wide web, I chance by this forum. True enough, when i removed the gear shift casing, there was a coin stuck there.

Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU to davehayes2204 and Huguin for penning the solution. U guys have been a big help.

Cheers
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 10-14-2010, 07:22 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
Supporter of Bimmer Lore
Location: Mexico
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,192
Mein Auto: 2006 325Ci
This is truly one of those immortal threads. And as I've said more than once, after seeing it reappear every so often, I have inspected, pored over and meditated on the Bimmer's console and have yet to figure how you guys manage to get a coin in there. Unless mine came with a special deluxe coinproof console OR all your shifter boots are very completely and seriously fukked up, I have yet to find a way how the damn coin finds ITS way into the shifter.....

Edit: of course, not having rugrats loose in the car, not ever and not in the forseeable future, may explain the cause and effect....
__________________

2006 325Ci

Last edited by jcourcoul; 10-14-2010 at 07:24 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 10-14-2010, 11:35 AM
Cabo Bimmer Cabo Bimmer is offline
Registered User
Location: Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: 320i 2001
Smile Gear selector cable

Hi guys, I couldn't find the clip so I bought the whole gear selector but I don't know how to remove the gear selector cable from the transmission or even where is it located? I found on the transmission swap post how to remove the whole think from inside of the cabin but not the cable.

Thanks for your advise guys
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 10-14-2010, 05:59 PM
Gryphon's Avatar
Gryphon Gryphon is offline
I brew life
Location: Mt. Holly, NJ
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,582
Mein Auto: 2005 ZHP, Wife's Prius
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cabo Bimmer View Post
Hi guys, I couldn't find the clip so I bought the whole gear selector but I don't know how to remove the gear selector cable from the transmission or even where is it located? I found on the transmission swap post how to remove the whole think from inside of the cabin but not the cable.

Thanks for your advise guys
I'm not exactly sure what's going on with your situation, but have you gotten the code read(OBDII scanner at least, BMW specific if possible)? I have three pedals so I'm not exactly sure what else could trigger it. Get the code read so you have a better idea of the cause of the issue. As for the part, check out www.realoem.com and see what you can find there.
__________________
Arthur John
Born 02-24-11

Has already been awarded the title "Destroyer of Sleep"
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 12-18-2010, 09:00 AM
sim_simma sim_simma is offline
Registered User
Location: Houston, TX
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 91
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
This is truly one of those immortal threads. And as I've said more than once, after seeing it reappear every so often, I have inspected, pored over and meditated on the Bimmer's console and have yet to figure how you guys manage to get a coin in there. Unless mine came with a special deluxe coinproof console OR all your shifter boots are very completely and seriously fukked up, I have yet to find a way how the damn coin finds ITS way into the shifter.....

Edit: of course, not having rugrats loose in the car, not ever and not in the forseeable future, may explain the cause and effect....
It happened to me. I discovered the culprit this morning. A nickel was preventing the shifter from going fully into park, thus not allowing the key to be released from the ignition. If you pull out the little compartment immediately in front of the shifter, theres a hole below the part that comes out. I guess coins somehow find their way between the part that comes out and the actual place where it sits, and falls inside the hole into the shifter compartment. The nickel was in an obvious spot for this to have happened.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 02-11-2011, 07:41 AM
RazorX RazorX is offline
Registered User
Location: florida
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2000 740iL 255/35ZR20
Key stuck in position between start and off

I took the center console apart and checked everything but discovered nothing out of order except the flimsy ash tray being what it is. Checking the fuses proved to be futile. I decided to pull the negative battery terminal for a few minutes and that worked. The ignition released and I cleaned the lock & key with electrical cleaner just to be on the safe side. I discovered that the steering column does not lock reliably 100% of the time and has to be assisted by pressing the key hole. That may be the problem but not for sure. Hope this helps someone.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hot Ignition Key BimmersRule! E46 (1999 - 2006) 14 07-12-2006 12:52 PM
E39 Dimond Key Thread tkruger206 E39 (1997 - 2003) 4 07-07-2006 10:01 AM
Ignition Wont Turn KCLARK E30 (1982 - 1993) 8 12-30-2005 09:10 PM
key left in ignition andysat E46 (1999 - 2006) 0 12-07-2005 12:52 PM
Radio can be turned on with no key in ignition bimmerguy X5 E53 (1999 - 2006) 6 06-04-2005 07:24 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:20 AM.


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