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Hi Everyone,

Someone broke into my 1997 BMW 328i and attempted to hotwire the car. They were unsuccessful in their attempt but now the vehicle won't start. When I put the key in the ignition and turn it, the key won't turn to the start position. The key seems to turn to the 1 and 2 position but not further. The radio and other accessories also don't turn on. My digital mileage odometer lights up but no other instrument panel lights illuminate. Also, the two interior lights at the top of the windshield also turn on but the vehicle won't turn over or start.

It also looks like they pulled out one of the two green wires that lead to the ring antenna around the ignition barrel that's suppose to sense the vehicle's key.

The steering wheel is also locked and won't unlock even when I put the key in the ignition and turn. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

1997 328i
 

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First things first you are going to want to fix all the wires the would be thieves messed with. The wiring part of the bentley manual will help with this.
The steering wheel lock should allow the key to turn if there is no pressure on the lock. Try jiggling wheel while you turn the key. If this doesn't work the stupid thieves jammed the lock in place. Unfortunately the common "fix" I know for this is to delete the steering lock. However considering the whole anti-theft system just saved your e36, I would not delete any part of it. You will have to swap in a new steering lock/ignition housing. There are two special bolts with their heads snapped off that will make this hard. Most people cut a slot in the top of them and use a flat blade screwdriver to take them out.
 
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