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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 04-18-2011, 04:12 PM
Tom Staskiewicz Tom Staskiewicz is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i
Ignition/anti theft lock?

I have a 1992 BMW 325i that I cannot start. The problem appears to be in the anti theft mechanism or ignition; so I'm looking for help.

With the key out the steering wheel no longer locks. I can turn it 1/16th to an 1/8th of the way and then it will not go further. If I insert the key and turn it to the on position, same thing. I can still only turn it 1/16th to 1/8th. I have a good charge on the battery all accessories come on without issue. When I put the key to the on position there is nothing, no sounds from the starter, nothing at all.

Prior to the problem there were some squeals coming from under the hood when making turns. Nothing that seemed particularly out of the ordinary, but there were sounds.

In the final drives up to the failure there were some issues with the steering. Those may or may not be related.

I have heard that if it is the anti theft mechanism, I could remove the steering wheel and housing to access the anti theft mechanism and disable it. I have also heard that the problem may be in the ignition and that might need to be replaced.

I'm looking for input on what I might check or how I can repair the problem. The car has 165,000 miles and there are other issues that will limit the amount I am willing to spend. The dealer said repairs would be $800 - $1200.

I appreciate any help or wisdom that you may be able to impart!
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2011, 05:16 PM
a930rocket a930rocket is offline
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Location: Mount Pleasant SC
 
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Mein Auto: 1991 318is
Check your power steering resevoir. It might be low or empty, causing the squealing and hard to turn input. Check your fan belts as well.

On the ignition, you might want to pull the covers off the steering column and the pull the ignition electrical connection off the ignition switch. It should have a slot that you can turn with a screwdriver to see if it starts up easily.

If it starts, then you have a bad ignition switch cylinder or it needs lube. Try the lube first, then replace with a new one ($55 from the dealer keyed to your VIN).
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Last edited by a930rocket; 04-18-2011 at 05:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2011, 06:39 PM
Tom Staskiewicz Tom Staskiewicz is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i
The key will not start the engine. Turned to the on position I get nothing. Steering wheel does not release in on position or lock when the key is removed. I have removed the column housing to expose the ignition. I was told to pull the ignition electrical connection off the switch. I see a large orange connection with lots of wires, I'm guessing that is the connection they mean. I have tried pulling (not too hard because I don't want to damage anything) at this point I am getting no movement. Should I attempt to pry them apart?
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Old 04-26-2011, 08:50 PM
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fcsteve fcsteve is offline
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Location: pennsylvania
 
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Mein Auto: 90' 24v, 89' 325is
so your car is remaining in steering lock even with the key inserted ? or your wheel seems "stuck" on something else ?

removign the electrical orange plug can easily break the side clips.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:32 PM
Tom Staskiewicz Tom Staskiewicz is offline
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Location: Oregon
 
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i
When in park the wheel does not lock completely. I can turn the wheel 1/8th to 1/16th of a turn. When I insert the key and turn to the on position; I get the same response from the steering wheel 1/8th to 1/16th of a turn. It stops in the same place regardless of the key position. It doesn't appear that the key is engaging beyond activating the accessories. When I attempt to start the engine and turn the key all the way over; I get accessories but no response from the starter. It's like the starter doesn't know the key is even in the ignition and in the start position.

If you look at the discussion at the beginning of this thread, actually the second posting, it was suggested that I remove the housing around the steering column to expose the ignition. I was to then remove the electrical connection from the ignition. The piece that had been attached to the ignition supposedly has a slot where I could insert a screwdriver and turn, which would start the engine if the problem is in the ignition.

I took things apart and now I see the dark orange or brown circular connector at the base of the ignition. I am thinking that this is the electrical connection referenced above. As I look at this connection and how it is connected to the ignition it looks like I will have to break the ears coming off the unit to release it from the ignition. It looks like there is a rivet or something that goes from metal on the ignition, through the plastic ears, and back into metal. I was considering drilling these out, but I'm uncertain as to which method would be best.

I was told by a dealer that the repairs would be between $800 and $1200; money I am not ready to invest in this old of car considering the numerous other problems it has. Money is tight at the moment as well so I was hoping to do some kind of repair myself. I was also told earlier in this thread that if it is the ignition I could get a replacement from the dealer for about $55.00 that is matched to my vin and therefor my keys.

I'm pretty brave when it comes to jumping in, but I still like to have some idea of what I am facing.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by Tom Staskiewicz; 04-26-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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  #6  
Old 04-27-2011, 04:35 AM
claver claver is offline
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Location: miami
 
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Posts: 444
Mein Auto: 1986 325 es
just a question?? have u or anybody put a code in the obc??? if so just unplug the battery to reset. Just a dumb opinion but worth the try.
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Old 04-27-2011, 07:13 AM
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fcsteve fcsteve is offline
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Mein Auto: 90' 24v, 89' 325is
i might have missed it but is this car auto or manual ?
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