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Steering wheel locked with key turned 1997 328ic

 
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jordanjk



Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:21 am    Post subject: Steering wheel locked with key turned 1997 328ic Reply with quote

Went to start car and the key would tun and the engine came on but the steering wheel will not turn. My local guy said this problem appeared in a bulletin from BMW and he suggested going to the dealer for fix. Anyone out there who is aware of this issue? Read older post but did not get enough insight to address on my own.
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idanity



Joined: 21 May 2005
Posts: 3096
Location: N.W.U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i wish i had pix of my friends e36 540i that had his steering wheel (literally ) lock up while driving (luckily just started pulling out the driveway)


to explain, inside the steering column is a "non-breakable" pin that slides UP into the open position and DOWN into the locked position.

on his, the lock part is unbreakable, but the housing/casting is alluminum. and that was cracked or broken, by the time i got there (with my 4'' angle grinder", at 2Surprisedo AM he already had the plastic houseing off and we could see bits of alluminum around the steering column itself.

the bolts that hold in the locking pin and its housing are break away bolts, meaning as they tighten them up to torque specs, they break off the heads completely (thus preventing a would be theif from by passing this steering wheel lock system).

as we all know, this locking system is 30 years obsolete, but whats worse is when it does break, (in BMWs at least) the locking pin itself will just fall into the locked position.


what this means for you, (unfortunately) is you either have to go to the dealer, or invest in a dremel tool with a small grinder wheel to be able to cut a regular screw driver split into the 2 bolts that are holding the locking mechanism in place (all you will see is 2 gold color ends of the bolts, as the real heads are already broken off from the factory.
if you do it yourself.
you will need :
philips
flat head (screwdrivers)
dremel with thin metal cutting wheel(s) (1 should be fine)
flash light

i dont think it was necessary to remove the steering wheel itself, but i would highly suggest to disable the battery (per air bags) and lay down a rag-towel to catch the metal shavings/ sparks while grinding.

hope that helps.
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jordanjk



Joined: 28 May 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 11:55 am    Post subject: 1997 328ic steering wheel locked Reply with quote

Great help! I was able to disconnect the battery and avoid the airbag. This allowed me to open up the steering column housing and get to the cylinder. The bolts DID NOT break and with alot of work I was able to get them out! Ordered the new parts and after $158 and some three hours of effort the problem has been fixed. I am surprised how the material used for the parts was so weak. The two ends that did break off and were sitting on the area around the column. All ends well!

Thanks!
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killerbeem



Joined: 01 Aug 2005
Posts: 496
Location: Detroit, MI

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jordan,

First off, welcome to the board. You will find a wealth of knowledge here.

Glad to hear it went well for you, I can tell you that those airbags can be quite tricky...

MK
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