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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:43 PM   #1
austinadrew11
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Exclamation Steptronic failure???!!!

Everything was fine earlier. I got home shifted into park and noticed it was much heavier, then that my key wouldn't release from the ignition no matter how much I tried pushing it further into park. I looked under the plate and nothing is unplugged. Is it going out? I wanted a manual conversion, but not so soon...
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:54 PM   #2
lszlszx
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It's most likely just a malfunction of the shift mechanism. Were you able to
shift to park with the shift surround lifted? The shifter sits atop a plastic platform for lack of a better word, that can pop out of place. There is a cable that goes from the ignition switch to the shifter (among other things) and the key won't turn all the way back, unless the shifter is in park.
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Old 07-24-2013, 07:59 PM   #3
austinadrew11
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It does the same thing with the surround lifted and in place. My dash says that it is in park. My key still does not come out, and everything looks like it's moving as it should. However, the shifts sound more metallic and forced from both inside and outside of the car than before.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:11 PM   #4
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My trans stays locked in gear longer and longer.... thinks my 5 or 6 speed conversion is coming soon as well lol.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:14 PM   #5
austinadrew11
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Originally Posted by BeMyWhip View Post
My trans stays locked in gear longer and longer.... thinks my 5 or 6 speed conversion is coming soon as well lol.
I was wanting to do it..just after nav, wheels, bumpers, auto-level bi-xenon, bsw speakers, sat radio
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:20 PM   #6
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I think it's something with that cable, it's called shift interlock cable.
Remove some of the interior trim pieces and inspect it, maybe it's worn, loose, frayed, or there is a kink in it.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
austinadrew11
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
I think it's something with that cable, it's called shift interlock cable.
Remove some of the interior trim pieces and inspect it, maybe it's worn, loose, frayed, or there is a kink in it.
What about the drastic change in how the shifts sound and feel. It feels normal when going from drive to sport and fine when shifting manually.
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Old 07-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
BeMyWhip
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I think an M3 rear and M3 trans will be a great starting point.
A 3 liter motor with an AA supercharger... very cool!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:06 PM   #9
austinadrew11
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Originally Posted by BeMyWhip View Post
I think an M3 rear and M3 trans will be a great starting point.
A 3 liter motor with an AA supercharger... very cool!
The problem with that is that I'm a high school kid making minimum wage
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
iRide113
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Lift the black panel up and look for a caught wire on the right side. Happened to me before, I couldn't pull the key out and I couldn't get out of park.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:11 PM   #11
austinadrew11
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Lift the black panel up and look for a caught wire on the right side. Happened to me before, I couldn't pull the key out and I couldn't get out of park.
I've done that already..everything is where is supposed to be. I'm really worried about how much this is gonna cost.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:13 PM   #12
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The problem with that is that I'm a high school kid making minimum wage
One word of advice... as a high school kid... Don't waste your hard earned money on your car; Also, don't waste your time either. Focus on college and a future. Then you can get what you want when you get your life together! Trust me!
Best wishes, best of luck,
The Whip!
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:27 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by austinadrew11 View Post
However, the shifts sound more metallic and forced from both inside and outside of the car than before.
Are you talking about how the shifter itself sounds, or how the transmission is shifting?
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:36 PM   #14
austinadrew11
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Are you talking about how the shifter itself sounds, or how the transmission is shifting?
It seems to be the mechanism itself
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:38 PM   #15
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ok then...
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #16
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I can't even lock it..the only key I have is stuck in it. I'm taking it in tomorrow to get looked at
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #17
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Fixed it!!!!! The wire that leads to the position light fell out and got jammed in the way. It's been out for months. Sadly it got torn apart and it doesn't stay into place. Know how I can replace it?
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:21 PM   #18
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This gives you an idea how it works.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:26 PM   #19
austinadrew11
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Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
This gives you an idea how it works.
It wasn't the interlock cable. It was the wire that connects the little orange gear indicator light to the position of the lever. It's plugged into a white box on the underside of the plate
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:47 PM   #20
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ok then...
I think you got ignored! BMW
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