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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

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  #1  
Old 01-23-2016, 02:27 PM
Standing Bull Standing Bull is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 5
Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Car starts but cannot move out of park...

2003 325i automatic transmission. The problem I am about to describe only happens when the temp is under 55 degrees.

Upon starting the car, all of the gauges on the dash peg and every light is lit - i.e. service engine, abs, seat belt....etc... Everything electrical works..radio, lights power seat, etc... The problem..I cannot move the shifter out of park (Foot is on the brake)

Recently, I started taking the FOB key out slowly. I noted the tumbler might click louder one time or an another. (May be in my head) I then turn the key slowly to position one - pause- then slowly to position two. If the gauges peg and dash lights all turn on I know it isn't resolved. However, it eventually does the trick.

It also seems that the lower the outside temp the longer it takes for the problem to resolve. Sometimes I just leave the car running...eventually it works fine.

I have replaced the battery and the ignition switch. Did not solve the issue. In my humble opinion...it almost seems as if the anti-theft is not disengaging. But, again I state that there is never a problem unlocking or starting the car.

My first time posting. Have to give a huge call out to this community as it has helped solve other issues along the way. So, I know you all are going to help me solve this too! Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2016, 07:19 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is offline
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Mein Auto:
The anti-theft system (EWS system) has nothing to do with the tranny. It merely prevents starting the engine unless an appropriate code is received from the key fob.

Are you saying the dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree when you start the car??
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2016, 11:26 AM
Standing Bull Standing Bull is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Yes the dash board lights up...everything and all of the gauges are pegged. The car starts fine...but cannot disengage the transmission from park. Yesterday it was cold for Florida...I could not get the tranny to move out of park. Starts fine. As explained...I can typically play around with the key and eventually it resolves. Yesterday was the coldest day we have had..(not by northern temps)...but it was in the low 40's here. The problem used to be intermittent. But now it happens anytime the temp is below 55. The colder..the longer it takes to resolve. I have had it looked at by several mechanics. When it happens it throws off codes...fuel pump, tranmission...the fuel pump was replaced last year. The codes are never consistent. Whatever resolves the issues...no codes and no issues until the next morning when the cycle starts all over again. Warmer weather...no issue at all. Thanks for replying.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2016, 01:28 PM
Standing Bull Standing Bull is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Weather is warmer..but damp in the mornings. Issue is now frequent. Depending on the changing temp/damp conditions it vaires how long it takes before the key seems to send the right signal. As soon as the instrument panel reacts normally...I note that the car can be started and transmission can disengage from park. I am now being advised that it could be a faulty instrument panel. I am struggling to see the corrolation between that and the car not being able to disengage from park. It seems to me that the key code is not registering properly and thus not allowing the car to move from park. As stated before...starts fine and all of the electronics operate perfectly. When this issue is happening...the dash lights are ALL lit and the tachometer does not move off zero..even when I rev engine. The fuel gauge always registers exactly as it should, but the temp gauge is pegged.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2016, 01:57 PM
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marinekilz marinekilz is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 E46 330 xi
Check to see if your brake lights turn on while pressing the brake pedal. If your brake light switch is not functioning correctly, that would cause the locking paw on the trans shifter to no release.
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  #6  
Old 02-03-2016, 06:17 AM
Standing Bull Standing Bull is offline
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Location: Florida
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Yes, foot is on the brake and brake lights illuminate. Thanks.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2016, 06:21 AM
Standing Bull Standing Bull is offline
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Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i
Update on Key Fob - can't move out of park

Latest update - I disconnected the battery overnight. First try after reconnecting everything functioned as desired. The car sat for ten minutes and when I tried the second time the issue had returned. Clearly disconnecting must have rebooted the computer....That was yesterday. Today, instead of using the fob button to unlock the door...I manually unlocked by inserting in the driver's door. Put the key in the ignition and everything worked perfecto. Point remains, now that it is warmer out the issue may again return to intermittent.

Last edited by Standing Bull; 02-03-2016 at 06:22 AM.
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