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Key won't turn off, engine still running

Engine running, but can’t turn key to off position. Can pull key out of steering column ignition switch, engine still runs, can change gears (automatic transmission), drive car, etc. But cannot turn the key off. Any suggestions out there on how to correct this?

Make and model would help.

This is a 1998 BMW M3

[Engine running, but can’t turn key to off position. Can pull key out of steering column ignition switch, engine still runs, can change gears (automatic transmission), drive car, etc. But cannot turn the key off. Any suggestions out there on how to correct this?]

About all I can suggest is to push the entire key assembly in and turn it. Otherwise if you know what the ignition module looks like under the hood, dissconect it to turn engine off. DO NOT PULL THE SPARK PLUG WIRES, THEY WILL GIVE YOU THE SHOCK OF YOU LIFE!!

You are the victim of a BMW anti-theft break away lock cylinder. Variants of the sympton you describe are fairly common.

Try turning with the key only half way in (diagnostic test) if the cylinder still turns the lock cylinder is broken (prevents the jam the screwdriver deal)

If the key can’t turn your lock cylinder is good and the problem is in the ignition switch.

I expect you will figure your own way to turn the car off,you may want to turn it off in the parking lot of the mechanic. Working on these lock cylinders is not a DIY. I would have to review the book as it’s been 6 years since I did one.

The same thing can happen with the door lock cylinders. BMW’s have anti-theft systems that only the thieves,mechanics and informed owners know about and still it is a challenge to keep up even with a older car like yours. E-36 M3 fantastic car.