Question about 1996 BMW 318
If you start with a brand new lock cylinder in a brand new housing, you can take a stiff wire, like a very large paper clip, and release the cylinder from the housing. You turn the key to the second click, bend the tip of the wire just a little so it hugs the wall of the housing, and poke it through the hole in the face of the lock cylinder. About an inch down in the hole, you should feel a spring-loaded release. Press firmly on the wire to push back the release, and pull outward on the key to remove the lock cylinder. Try spraying light lubricant down in the hole to make things move easier.
This works well with a brand new cylinder and housing. If you succeed in removing a 15-year-old lock cylinder that way, you will be only the second person I have ever heard of succeeding. Even dealer mechanics cannot get these things apart once they are several years old.
When that fails, you disconnect the battery, wait a few minutes, remove the airbag from the steering wheel, remove the steering wheel, remove the steering column cover. Pay attention to the location and orientation of the two ring spacers beneath the steering wheel when you pull it off. Then loosen the set screw and pull the electrical switch loose from the lock housing. Then take a dremel tool with cutting wheel and cut straight slots in the heads of the two security bolts on top of the lock housing. Unscrew the security bolts using a short straight blade screwdriver bit (not much clearance to work below the dash cluster) turning the bit with a small end wrench or a ratcheting box end wrench.
Then buy a new housing and a new lock cylinder and a new key (ouch!).
Lube the bearing around the steering shaft. You might spray a little lube down the steering shaft to lube the lower bearing as well. When you put back the snap ring on the steering shaft, a short chunk of 3/4" PVC pipe works great. Use the steering wheel nut to press the PVC down the shaft until it pushes the snap ring into its notch.
Reconnect the battery when you are done, Key the code into your radio (if original radio), and go for a nice ride.
Posted on Aug 17, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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