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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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Old 04-01-2019, 10:45 AM
cbailey1523 cbailey1523 is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Mein Auto: 325is
Door locks and Ignition

Hello all. I've poured through the search function and can't quite find my problem so here goes. First car specs

95 325is
EWS Deleted
Red label computer
225,000 miles on the body - unknown on engine

So for the door lock problem, I bought the car from someone who replaced the driver door of the car but didn't get the key for the door. I attempted to get a key from bmw, but was unable to prove ownership of the vehicle with only the vin. I looked at getting a whole new lock set (for both doors, the ignition, and the trunk) but damn what a PITA to replace all that crap. Also, I don't know that the electronics for the door are correct, as the central locking doesn't operate as designed when I lock the door manually.

My question here is this. Do you think I would do well to install a remote lock/unlock system in the car. I'm fairly certain it has the factory installed alarm harness for the alarm system.

With that in mind, I also recently had an issue with my ignition and long story short on this - I now start the car with a screwdriver. The mechanism that turns the switch is destroyed but in kind of a good way. I don't even need the key in the "ignition." I only need to hit it with the screwdriver and bam! It starts right up.

So now my ultimate question - is there a system that can solve both these issues? I've seen alarm systems that I think will likely work. I've also seen decent looking push button systems that will add security to the starting procedure. I don't really like the idea of carrying around 3 key fobs for one car though.

I'm not in a rush, as it's torn apart right nowfor an engine r&r. I'm finding more and more half assed work done by the previous owner and have a long road ahead of me. It's true what they say - nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW!
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:47 AM
cbailey1523 cbailey1523 is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
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Mein Auto: 325is
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:12 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: E24x2,E36x3,E30x2, F150
You've gotten no reply because none of us can give a definitive answer yes or no. My guess is that a remote system would _probably_ work, but if you buy one and it doesn't, don't blame us.
First order of business, replace that ignition key tumbler. The police look hard at any car that's started with a screwdriver.
Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, Bimmerfest Site Moderator
Amateur Extra ham radio operator KO4AXN, see you on 40 meters!

BMW-CCA #441426
1993 325is M3 clone"Ashlyn"; 1993 325is "Elvira"; 1985 635CSi "Katja"; 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"; 1987 325is "Odette";1995 318is"Bebe "; 1985 325e "Hazel Ann"
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:59 PM
spyderg0d spyderg0d is offline
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Location: oneida, ny
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Mein Auto: 1995 325ic
The remote system wont work of the electronics dont match the door. And then lets say you lock the system, accidently open the doorwithout unlocking, now you security system is going haywire until you figure it out, possibly a no start car as well.
If i wher you, i would just title the car, buy new locks and ignition tumbler. Trust me it seems lile a pain now, but after the 100 thousandths time turning of the alarm or locking and unlocking doors or unplugging battery and resetting clocks, you wish you just got new locks.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:02 PM
cbailey1523 cbailey1523 is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 325is
Well I appreciate any answer. I was hoping someone might have run into a situation like this. I'm not terribly worried about police. So long as the VIN matches the title and the title matches the registration then that matches the registered owner all is good. That's honestly the least of my worries.

This is a forum and anyone who looks on here for guidance can't very well blame someone on the forum for advice. In all honesty bad advice is given on forums all the time.

I guess I'll narrow this down to what I need more than anything else. I need to be able to secure the doors. Can anyone suggest an electronic door lock kit that works well for a 95 325is? I think I would do much better to set up a lock kit such as that than have to go through all the trouble of replacing all the locks in the vehicle. I looked into it and I think I'd be money and time ahead to run an electronic setup.

That being said, anyone who can provide and advice is welcome. I don't blame anyone for bad advice. Thanks all.
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Old 04-06-2019, 07:07 PM
cbailey1523 cbailey1523 is offline
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Location: Alexandria, VA
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 325is
Thank you so much. If I replace the locks with locks that take the same key will the system then at as designed? If not how do I get the driver door to act as designed?

The car is titled correctly. I guess I wasn't clear on that. I appreciate your concern on that situation.
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Old 04-13-2019, 11:33 AM
EyeDoc1 EyeDoc1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 91 525i & 94 325is
In my experience, a good automotive locksmith can re-key any lock cylinder. Case in point? Junkyard door for a '91 E34 525i. Brought home a junkyard door (my son was in an accident), removed the lock cylinder, took my key, and the lock cylinder to a locksmith, and he re-keyed the cylinder to accept my ignition key.

Since you indicated you have time, I'd probably go to something like a Pick 'n Pull if you can find such a thing where they let you pull your own parts. Get a lock cylinder from the steering column and one from the driver's side door. The advantage is you can work on disassembly on a junker without fear of screwing up your rig first, and secondly gauge how difficult the repair job will be. Like I mentioned, I swapped out a lock cylinder on a '91 5 series, and that job was a bitch due to having my hand not bend at funny angles...but then again, my name's not Fritz and I didn't assemble it. And I had the door off the car!!!. Your mileage may vary, and being a newer model, usually things get easier, not harder from original production dates.

I think I had the cylinder rekeyed to my key for like...30 bucks and the guy even thru in an extra key. It sure beats a screwdriver and while you're at the junkyard, you're sure to pick up a few other things you need as well.

Give it a shot and report back
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Old 05-09-2019, 08:03 AM
HarryTiffany HarryTiffany is offline
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Yes you are absolutely right, a good auto locksmith can re-key any lock cylinder, mine was re-keyed by locksmith staten island. _sl_
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