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-   -   Ignition Switch (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=482229)

bimmerchop 06-20-2007 12:57 PM

Ignition Switch
Does anyone have a DIY for replacing the ignition switch, or another DIY that although doesn't directly have to deal with replacing it, can at least show how to gain easy access to it?

Recently, I've been having weird ass electrical issues, and I've been told two different things... Either its a bad ground somewhere, or my ignition switch needs to be replaced.

The issue I'm having is every once in awhile while driving, my car will get both "tail light out" warning lights on, and all of a sudden, my cars radio stops working, interior lights, a/c or heater as well, and the cdv starts delaying itself a lot longer. It isn't until I pull down the visor and turn on the vanity light that it goes away.

Sometimes the opposite happens, where my gf might turn on the vanity light over the visor, and the car goes haywire. I then have to pull over and restart the car to get everything back to normal.

It also happens sometimes when I first go to start the car. I'll turn the key, and nothing happens, car wont start, and it shows both tail out warning lights. I then have to play with turning the key on and off a few times to get it to start.

ken@bimmertools 06-20-2007 02:23 PM

Wow... that's an odd one. I wonder if the issue is tied to a short in the lighting control, or if there is a voltage regulation problem that gets triggered with a change in power flow.

I think you'll wind up saving money and time in the long run if you have it diagnosed professionally. Throwing money at guesses might get frustrating after a while.

Do keep us posted, though...


ms328i 06-21-2007 12:35 AM

Got the same problem. Mine will throw the transmission light and air bag indicator flickering, and sometimes radio will stop working. I brought it to the dealer 2 years ago with the same problem and all they did was reset all the fault codes and car was fine until two weeks ago. They recommend replacing the ignition switch if problem persist. So, i guess i will be changing mine soon.

paraklas 06-21-2007 03:10 AM


Originally Posted by bimmerchop (Post 6195034)
and the cdv starts delaying itself a lot longer.

CDV as in clutch delay valve? that's mechanical, nothing to do with electronics.

Have you checked your battery if it holds a good charge?
Alternator output?

jbeurotech 06-21-2007 10:06 AM

REPLACE THE IGNITION SWITCH, Buy me lunch after it fixes it!!! It is realy east remove lower steering colum cover and you will see red paint using a small screw driver remove those two screws and remove switch, reverse instrutions and install new switch takes about 1-2 hours

bimmerchop 06-21-2007 10:10 AM

I've been to the dealership as well as an indy shop in the past, and they always give me the same BS excuse that they "can't re-create the problem". Their solution was replacing the tail bulbs... because that did much :rolleyes: . I have no choice right now other than to start trying to fix this myself, and tackling the ignition switch first seems a lot easier than trying to find a bad ground somewhere in the car.

CDV was a typo as I meant to refer to the clutch switch delay, like in this thread...


Regardless whether it has something to do with my clutch, it still effects my driving/shifting. While this happens, if I remove press my clutch down to disengage, it takes a good full second for the car to stop accelerating. :mad:

If this is resolved when I replace the ignition switch, I'll overnight you a nice hot sandwich jbeurotech :D

jbeurotech 06-21-2007 10:23 AM

Read this link and the orignal thread fits your to a T and this is a pretty commne issue. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...12#post5634812

bimmerchop 06-21-2007 12:04 PM

I'm excited to finally get this crap back to normal. Can't wait :excited:

E46 $pit 08-01-2010 06:49 PM

I have a potential ignition switch issue . About a month ago I tried to start my vehicle and it failed to crank at all. I tried to jump it to no avail. Finally got it Towed. The garage put it up on the lift and it started. (?!) Two weeks later after numerous starts, it did the same thing - fortunately next to my house. I looked into everything from a bad key fob to a blown fuel pump fuse... Even looked to see if a coin was trapped by the neutral safety switch ...nothing seemed to work...then after rattling the ignition a bit, it started (?!)...then continued to start for two more weeks. I took it into the stealership this past Wednesday - they ran the diagnostic and told me that the vehicle has no ignition problems and nothing shows up in the history. ( OK am I lying?!)...Well this past Friday night my car once again failed to start. Same thing - good battery - radio, lights etcs ...I can hear a click inside the motor ( Starter ) and one up by the left side of the firewall immediately after...thinking it must be the ignition switch itself ...maybe a wiring short....

Arty 08-02-2010 05:47 PM

Sounds like the ignition switch needs replacing. Used ones are available on eBay.

E46 $pit 08-03-2010 09:09 AM

Thanks Arty - It continues...Yesterday my friend went down with his flatbed to get it to my local garage...he couldn't get it started...but couldn't tow it cause it was parked in...today he went back down...jiggled the keys in the door...got in and it fired right up...never thought I'd hope a car wouldn't start...hard to find an issue when there isn't one. aaargg.

RaCERx11 04-26-2011 10:38 AM

Same symptoms here as those above -- airbag light and seatbelt light would intermittently fire and seemed to be triggered by different accessories (radio getting turned on or vanity light on/off). My windshield wipers would also stutter and sometimes not work, cruise control would stop working sometimes, too. A few days ago, it deteriorated to a point where the car would no longer start. My indy shop refused to debug further, so i brought it to a dealer. Within a few hours, the service guys at the dealer were able to reproduce the weird electrical problems and have root caused it to a faulty ignition switch. I'll find out fairly soon if it truly fixed the problem. It will be very nice to not have to chase these issues one-by-one anymore.

caliber 06-29-2011 09:46 AM

Many Thanks guys.

Mine had the same symptoms as you described. In particular I hated it happened at bad weather. The windshield wipers worked at their wishes. I told my garage to replace the ignition switch straight away.

All go back to normal now.

moiz21 12-06-2011 02:13 PM

Sorry to revive an old thread. But would a bad ignition switch cause problems with reading codes from both underneath the hood and under the steering column? An indy I talked to said it could be a bad terminal 15 on the ignition switch and I just want a 2nd opinion before ordering the part.

ken@bimmertools 12-06-2011 08:47 PM

The ignition switch must be in the full on position to power up the diagnostic modules, so I suppose it's possible. If that position is bad, perhaps power is cut. It would seem like you'd have other symptoms though... odd one.

locoman 10-06-2012 01:56 PM

Changing the ignition switch fixed a long running problem on my e46: the AM radio did not work but the FM was fine

Multiple experienced service people had trouble diagnosing. Thanks for the advice 5 years later, Seth Thorson!

sleeker 10-08-2012 05:54 PM

thers a couple good diy's on youtube for this. worked for me.:clap:

Viktimize 12-07-2012 08:59 PM

I didn't get any of these symptoms at all. I came home after a few days and tried to start my car, it ran fine while I was sweeping it off, then just started rough idling and died. Tried to restart and it would just crank with no start. I figured the fuel pump had died, but it's too cold outside to work on the car and troubleshoot anything. Took it to my indy mechanic and he changed out the ignition switch and the car runs fine again.

So you can add crank but no start to list of symptoms for this problem.

Rathbone 10-30-2013 08:58 AM


Originally Posted by jbeurotech (Post 6198582)
REPLACE THE IGNITION SWITCH, Buy me lunch after it fixes it!!! It is realy east remove lower steering colum cover and you will see red paint using a small screw driver remove those two screws and remove switch, reverse instrutions and install new switch takes about 1-2 hours

This is a DIY thread? One post which basically says 'Fix it' and offers no information or photos? If it's so easy why does it take 2 hours to remove and replace 2 screws?

Quattro2.7 11-06-2016 12:13 AM

Sorry to bump an old thread but I am having similar issues. My car had started perfectly up until now. (2003 BMW 330CI 5 speed) I went to a car show tonight and a friend fired it up and let it idle for 15 minutes then I shut it off and it wouldnt restart. I have full power all accessories work, hear a fuel pump turn on it sounds like but No crank or anything no clicks. I was able to dump the clutch and get it to start immediately with help of friends. Idled it and drove for an hour got home and It did the samething no crank no start. I swapped keys incase that was my issue... Nothing. Side note over the past week or so I noticed my Eonon double din radio has been coming on and off and flipping modes randomly until I turn off my headlight switch to the middle - Off position) I'm leaning towards ignition switch but then again starter could be done. I;m lost... ugh.

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