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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 10-30-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
Rathbone
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Palm Coast, Florida
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My Ride: Space Shuttle
Key won't turn in the ignition

Sometimes my ignition key won't turn. There doesn't seem to be anything I can do to make it work - pushing it, jiggling it, inserting it slowly, etc. The key cylinder must be bad.

I've been searching this site but you can't combine terms using the search box. For example you can't type "ignition switch" and get results pertaining to an 'ignition switch' because the site searches for 'ignition' and 'switch' and you get unrelated threads.

I have read many posts saying how easy it is to do, but none actually showing how it is done. What am I overlooking?
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:06 PM   #2
andrewmr
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bucks County PA.
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Is it because the steering wheel is locked and applying pressure on the lock mechanism?

Try turning the steering wheel to take the tension off of the lock and see if that doesn't help.
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:49 PM   #3
Rathbone
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Yes, dammit - that's exactly what it was! Do you know how many local 'experts' didn't know that? Is this something that happens with all E46's or is it just a select few?
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Old 10-30-2013, 06:52 PM   #4
unevolved
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That happens on every car that has a lock cylinder on the steering shaft. So pretty much all of them.
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:06 PM   #5
Rathbone
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Ha ha, I guess I've been lucky. I've never seen or heard of this ailment before. Thanks for the tip, though!
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Old 10-30-2013, 07:27 PM   #6
unevolved
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It's definitely not a well-known thing, I wouldn't feel bad. It's something I've had to "fix" a few times in the past.
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