BMW 1997 318i engine won't stop when key is out


#1

I need help!!!

my 1997 BMW engine won’t stop running even I pulled the key out.


#2

Is it running NOW?? Sounds like a bad ignition switch, which is usually separate from the key lock…On American cars, the switch is usually located on top of the steering column down near the base (firewall) where it’s VERY difficult to get to…


#3

can someone teach me step by step ? All the repair shop closed already, and I don’t know what to do. Can I shut the battery off?


#4

This is a anti-theft feature (not the constant running but the disconnect from lock cylinder to switch,the doors have it also). You are not going to fix this one in the parking lot with internet instructions. Remove the fuel pump relay (perhaps you park the car at the shop it will be repaired at before you disable it).I have posted some info before about this on this Forum.


#5

Locate the fuse block and remove the fuses one at a time until it stops. Look for one labeled “ECM” “Engine” “Fuel Pump”


#6

Common problem. Your lock cylinder is shot, and your key is most likely shot as well. A new key may get you by for a while, but eventually you are going to need a new lock.

For right now, try just flipping the key over and putting it back in to see if it will get a ‘bite’ and turn off the car. Or, do you have another key?

The electrical part of your switch is on the left side of the steering column, held in place by two small set screws with straight slot heads. If a different key won’t work, pull of the plastic housing from your steering column and loosen the set screws and pull the electrical switch loose. So long as your key is in the ignition (i.e. within the antenna ring around the key hole) you can start and stop the car by turning the electrical switch with a screwdriver.

You will need to replace the lock cylinder, and you should buy a new key while you are at it. Those two parts together will run you about $125-$150. If you cannot get the lock out of its housing, and you probably can’t, a new housing will cost you another $100 or so.

Get on a BMW forum like DTM or Pelican or Roadfly and look for the instructions for pulling the lock cylinder out of its housing. It involves turning the key to just the correct position and poking a stiff wire down through the little hole in the lock cylinder. Good luck with that. New locks release and come out easily. Old locks don’t.

If you have to remove the housing, it is held in place by two breakoff bolts so you have to cut slots in the bolt heads with a dremmel tool so you can crank them out with a straight blade screwdriver. The bolt heads are VERY close to the bottom of the dash, so you need a short screwdriver bit which you turn with a small wrench, or a small ratcheting box end wrench.

You have to pull the steering wheel to get the lock housing off. Disconnect the battery several minutes before you unplug the air bag in the steering wheel. Pay attention to the location and orientation of the spacer rings around the steering wheel because they must go back exactly the way they came off.

When it is time to put the snap ring back on the steering shaft, cut a short piece of 3/4" PVC pipe and use the steering wheel nut to force the PVC pipe to push the snap ring into its notch. DON’T try to just force it into place with a screwdriver or you will end up with a screwdriver stuck through your instrument cluster.

Grease the steering wheel bearing in the lock housing when you swap it over to the new housing, and maybe even spray a little lube down the tube to hit the bearing at the other end of the tube.

The new housing I bought from the BMW dealer was of disappointing quality. It did not fit quite right, and they neglected to thread the hole where the screw is supposed to go that holds the bracket for the wires onto the housing. I had to secure the wires to the housing with a zip tie


#7

This is BMW anti-theft feature it prevents someone from jamming a screwdriver in the ignition,not really a issue as the repair is the same as you describe.Like I said the doors have the same feature.The feature does have a specific name I will try to locate it. We had a post about 2 months ago same situation.

Sometimes if you only put the key in halfway you can catch enough to shut the car off.