Question about 2003 BMW 330

1 Answer

How to replace jammed ignition lock cylinder

I had a sticky ignition cyliner and this weekend and the tumblers got completely jammed. The key goes in but doesn't turn at all. Not even one click!!! So I can't use the pin insertion techniques. I have been searching the web for 4 days and at this stage I know I have only one of two solutions: to drill a small hole where the entry for the pin should be if the key would've turned, then use a pin to remove it; or drill straight through the center of cylinder to destroy the lock tumblers and then turn it to line up with the pin hole, and use the classic method to remove it. Before I attemp either, I need to know if anyone tried them and which one will work better (detail please) or will it work at all? I also just bought the Bentley service manual but they don't offer a solution to my problem.Btw, I ordered a new lock cylinder from dealer so I don't care if I ruin the old one. Help please.

Posted by on

  • BMW330CI Sep 22, 2008

    Nevermind. I solved it. For those who face the same problem, here is what I did. I called a locksmith and signed a liability release form for him to even touch the car. I removed the steering covers and the EWS electric ring to clear the way to the mechanical key lock cylinder. I also unplugged the ignition switch wires and removed the airbag fuse just in case. The locksmith used a flat screwdriver with square shaft and clamped it with pliers, then he turned it back and forth till it turned to position II (Run position). He then just put a paper clip and released the cyliner. It was as simple as it sounds. We put the new keyed cyliner in and then the ring and plugged all wires and fuses, and the car started... I was so relieved. No drillng or worse, replacing the whole steering column as the dealer wanted to do and charge me over a$600. I put my solution here as I wished someone has shared there's ans saved me a week of agony.


1 Answer

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

I had a jammed vauxhall ignition and used a mobile auto locksmith

Posted on Jul 03, 2009

2 Suggested Answers

  • 208 Answers

SOURCE: How to replace jammed ignition lock cylinder

If the lock is completely frozen, you will need to replace the lock housing. The housing has come apart inside. Does your manual give instruction on how to replace the ignition lock housing? Make sure you ask the dealer for new break away bolts for the new housing.

Posted on Mar 09, 2009

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Key wont turn pass acc it locks how can i fix

Ignition key cylinder tumblers are worn out!
Time to replace the cylinder.
Help prevent this from happening again by lightening your key ring load. A heavy key ring puts constant pressure on the lock tumblers and wears them down to eventually deform and prevent the tumbler cylinder from turning.
Most people employ the philosophy, "if it jams, just force it", which bends the weakened lock tumblers and hastens destructive wear.

Dec 06, 2015 | Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

Ignition will not turn in either direction

Probably is.
The tumblers in the lock cylinder may have jammed.
You might try another key, and spray some WD40 or Liquid Wrench into the lock. Make sure there is no excessive pressure on the lock from the steering wheel.
You'll probably need to have the lock cylinder replaced.

Oct 08, 2012 | 1996 Ford Thunderbird LX

4 Answers

1997 cavalier ignition switch--the key enters the switch and is easily removed. but the key when entered in the ignition will not turn to start the car. The whole ignition switch turns slightly when you...

look at your key if its worn down try another key if both keys are same way than u will need to replace the ignition cylinder not the switch these are 2 units which are attached, the tumblers are in the cylinder--- u can have the cylinder re done[new tumbler ] diy u can take out housing and bring to dealer saves on labor or if have local bone yard buy housing [ignition ] with key take out cylinder and replace with new junk yard part about 15-75 bucks a lot of the u-pull-it are the cheapest 15 for whole system---dealer to redo cylinder[tumbler replacement] with u bringing in housing 100-200---if cylinder also damaged add additional 100-- call up parts person and get prices tumblers/cylinder/whole unit good luck

Jul 07, 2011 | 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier

2 Answers

My ignition switch is stuck the key will not turn

Try cranking the stearing wheel left and right real hard, while turning the key. Sometimes the wheel can lock hard and prevent the key from turning.

Jan 13, 2011 | 1997 Chevrolet Malibu

2 Answers

2000 dodge caravan key will not turn can not start car steering wheel is locked

The tumblers in the lock cylinder are stuck and this prevents the key from turning. Spray some lubricant into the cylinder, insert the key in and out numerous times and also hit the end of the key with a rubber hammer while it is in the cylinder and this will help to release the tumblers.

Dec 27, 2010 | 2000 Dodge Caravan

1 Answer

Wrong Key was used in 99 Saturn sl1 now the ignition is completely locked up.

If the wrong cut key was used you are probly going to have to replace the ignition lock cylinder as the tumblers may be bent or the interior of the lock cylinder bent. Also recommend you replace the key. Thank you, bluebirdmate

Sep 10, 2010 | Saturn SL1 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

I just got a 1994 saturn sl2 and when i try to pull the key out of the ignition, the key gets jammed and i have to shake it hard to get it out. is this common with other saturns?

lock cylinder come apart on inside(tumblers) you will need to replace lock cylinder code the ignition lock cylinder and get a new key

Aug 21, 2010 | Saturn SL2 Cars & Trucks

1 Answer

2001 Dodge Neon and the key won't fit in the ignition or turn

I am having this same problem, my key fits but will not turn. It's my understanding that either your lock cylinder probably needs replaced because your key is worn down and the tumblers will no longer read your key or you have a faulty ignition switch which is probably the issues if this problem has been intermitent for you.
Here is some advice I found on other sites:
This is a very common problem with vehicles these days. The lock is not reading the key so is will not allow it to turn.
Here is something that works more often than not. At this point you may need a new lock cylinder anyway so damaging the old one is not doing any more damage. Spray some WD-40 into the lock where the key goes. Then, with the ball end of a ball peen hammer, tap the chrome part of the lock cylinder (the face where the key goes in.) What you are trying to do is loosen the tumbler inside so they drop down and read the key. Sometimes they get stuck.
Only hit it as hard as you would if your thumb was in the way. We're not trying to dent it or break anything, just jar it. Then try the key once again.
If that does not work, then you can call a locksmith and if they have a mobile service, they can come out and replace the lock cylinder and key for @ $100. If you have AAA or a good Insurance roadside protection plan, they reimburse you for that cost.
If that works and you can continue to turn the lock, I would suggest replacing it now, before it jams completely. On the bottom of the housing (where the lock cylinder goes in) there is a detente release pin. Turn the lock to the "On" position and you can press that button and the lock will come right out.
Another possibility:
1. You may have engaged the anti-theft rod or steering wheel lock in the steering column.
Generally this happens when you turn your car off with the wheels cut hard in either direction. You can generally remedy this problem by "jiggling" the steering wheel right and left while attempting to turn the key.
2) It is more likely that you may have a faulty ignition lock cylinder (this is the part of the ignition switch that the key goes into). Chrysler products around this age had a common problem with lock cylinders failing (breaking internally) that would give symptoms
much like you describe. Most Chrysler dealer parts departments stock the repair kits for these, and can code the new cylinder to match your old ignition key if desired. this really isn't a job you want to attempt out in the driveway; there are a lot of little pieces involved in making this repair. I would suggest fiddling with it to see if you can get it to start one last time, and driving it to your local repair garage; the repair usually takes about an hour and isn't terribly expensive.

Jan 06, 2010 | 2002 Dodge Neon

2 Answers

My wife tried to to start her 2004 cavalier with the wrong key, and now the ignition will not turn with the right key

Hello foxrider.
Chances are when the wrong key was put in it may have damaged the lock tumblers.
The lock cylinders on these cars are enough of a problem using proper keys.Not very well made to begin with.
You could try a very light oil such as WD40 to lubricate the tumblers in case 1 may be stuck up into the barrel of the cylinder and gently run the key in and out several times.
Jiggling the key inside the cylinder will sometimes loosen them up too.
If you do get it working it may be a good idea to replace the cylider and key soon as it may fail you again.
I hope you succeed in getting it to turn, otherwise it may be a job for a locksmith.
Good luck with it.


Dec 11, 2009 | 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier

1 Answer

How to replace jammed ignition lock cylinder

If the lock is completely frozen, you will need to replace the lock housing. The housing has come apart inside. Does your manual give instruction on how to replace the ignition lock housing? Make sure you ask the dealer for new break away bolts for the new housing.

Feb 24, 2009 | 1987 BMW 3 Series

Not finding what you are looking for?
2003 BMW 330 Logo

1,107 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top BMW Experts

Fred Sops

Level 2 Expert

271 Answers

Al Clark

Level 2 Expert

290 Answers


Level 2 Expert

251 Answers

Are you a BMW Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides