BMW 5 series "KEY IN IGNITION" indicator lit, car won't start


Hi Guys. I’ve been listening for years but have never had a problem with my 2000 Corolla. This is a question about my husband’s 1995 BMW with a lot of miles. Just got back from the grocery store and my husband cut off the engine, heard a pop/snap from the area of the switch, and now the key turns all the way around and the engine won’t start. The clock and the digital mileage indicator lights remain lit, and so does the “Key in Ignition” indicator, but the headlights won’t come on. The key is not broken, and the key does work to lock/unlock the doors. We think it needs a new ignition switch? How hard is this to do ourselves (my husband is a civil engineer but does not do any work on the B’mr)? Could we have a locksmith come over and do it (rather than have it towed to a garage)? We just moved to the DC area (Maryland suburbs) and don’t know where to take it. Will it be difficult to get a new BMW key for the new switch, or will the old one work? Thanks, Amy


It sounds like you need a new ignition switch, check with the dealer about getting one that’s keyed to you car. Normally, it fairly easy to remove the tumbler with the key in the ignition, but I don’t know the procedure for a BMW, again check with the dealer. Hopefully, you will be able to remove the tumbler and start it, other wise you are probably going to have it towed to a shop,


If you had a service manual for the car ( you might be able to replace the ignition cylinder yourself. Some cars are easier than others. My guess is that a BMW is not going to fall in the do-it-yourself category, but without a manual it’s just a guess.


I would also search for a good BMW forum and ask them, I’m sure this has happened before.