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Kenny, BMW Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 1118
Experience:  BMW Master Certifed level 1 Technican
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1992 BMW 325IS: ignition lock..Key turns..lock cylinder..column

Resolved Question:

I have a 1992 BMW 325IS that has an ignition lock problem. Key turns but no igntion to the engine. I ordered a new tumbler lock assembly, but can not get the old lock cylinder assembly out of the column. I removed the retaining ring and tried using a bobbie pin thru the access hole next to the key hole to release the lock but to no avail. It just will not release. What am I doing wrong? Is there something else holding the tumbler assembly in place?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Kenny replied 7 years ago.

This has happened before in the shop when the lock tumbler really fails bad it jams the release mechanism. To correct this you will need to replace the complete upper section that the lock tumbler goes into. The part you need is 32321161551 with bolts 32311157967 (x2).

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Not sure what you mean. How is this accessed and removed by a novice like me.We've now tried to drill out the assembly and have broken various bits. Can't we continue until we've drill thru the tumblers at various locations until the tumbler assembly is released from it's housing?
Expert:  Kenny replied 7 years ago.
You can replace the complete housing with just hand tools and a air hammer to walk the break off bolts. The problem with tring to drill it out is the tabs that are holding it in will be damaged by drilling then the lock cylinder wont stay in place and this will take forever. I highly recommend replaced the column piece I think this is the easist solution to the issue.
Kenny and 5 other BMW Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Kenny, one last question if I may just to be sure that I am headed in the right direction. When the key is presently turned to start the car, everything is normal except the starter does not engage. Is this truly the key tumbler lock problem (as thought because the key did not return to the off position intitially and wore down the battery because dash indication lights remained on), or an ignition electrical switch problem (has power to switch) or possibly a starter solenoid (no clicking sound) problem? The problem occurred out of no where without any previous indication and the car will not start to this day even with a fully charged battery. Your thoughts concerning this situation? Thank you again.

PS - all local BMW dealers have refused to work on the car because it is too old. So I'm now forced to fix it myself in a parking lot.

Expert:  Kenny replied 7 years ago.

I don't think it is a lock tumbler problem I would suspect a faulty electronic portion of the ign switch or a starter. I would check for voltage at the control wire on the starter solenoid.


To bad about your local dealers, At my dealer we work on any BMW we have several BMWs older then yours come in for repair.



Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Once again thank you Kenny