If you have a BMW, then you know it is a finely engineered vehicle that features state-of-the-art technology and offers a luxurious experience. However, just as with any other vehicle, a BMW can experience mechanical issues. Ignition lock failure in a BMW is a common mechanical issue that BMW drivers face.
While the transmission and the engine are the main components of a vehicle, there are many other parts of a vehicle that must function properly for the car to operate. Your car’s ignition system gets the engine operating. It might seem easy to get your car started just by turning a key, but if the car’s ignition system fails, you aren’t going anywhere. There are several symptoms that your car might exhibit when it is suffering from ignition failure.
If your vehicle displays any of these symptoms, you should have it checked by a qualified BMW automotive technician.
Lack of Noise from Starter Motor
Too often, ignition problems are automatically blamed on the starter. To diagnose the issue and determine if you are having a starter motor problem or an ignition switch issue, listen for the sound of the starter motor when you turn the key. If you cannot hear anything when you turn the key, odds are your car has ignition problems. A bad starter motor usually produces a clicking noise.
Flashing Dashboard Lights
The lights on your car’s dash might suddenly go off or they flicker while the car is in motion. Sometimes this is noticed when the car is being started when the ignition is starting to malfunction.
Key Won’t Turn
If your key won’t turn in the ignition, it might be because of a bad ignition switch. Be sure to jiggle the steering wheel while turning the key to make sure the steering lock isn’t what is keeping you from turning it.
Your vehicle might suddenly stall or shut off while your vehicle is in operation or if you are stopped in traffic.
Car Fails to Start
One of the most significant signs of an ignition failing of being faulty is if the car fails to start when you turn the key. Usually, ignition switches go bad because of regular wear and tear. When an ignition fails, usually the car has many miles on it or it is several years old. Often, an ignition switch will last more than 100,000 miles.
Your BMW is an intricate machine. A qualified automotive technician will need to troubleshoot and make sure that the problem is properly diagnosed. You don’t want to spend money and waste time on unnecessary repairs for issues that exhibit similar symptoms. There are four positions on an ignition switch:
Off – also called the Lock position, this turns power off to the engine and electrical accessories
Acc – the accessory position provides power to the car’s electrical accessories, such as the radio, but not the engine
Run – This is the vehicle on position and provides power to the car’s engine and electrical accessories
The ignition switch can serve as an anti-theft device. A key is required to turn the switch, and the key portion of the switch works just like any other lock. When a key is inserted in the switch, a row of pins inside a cylinder are moved. If the pins line up as they should, the cylinder will turn and let the switch change positions. If the pins don’t line up, the switch won’t turn. A worn key or worn pins in the cylinder can cause problems and keep the key from turning in the switch. On newer cars, the engine will not start even if the key cylinder has been removed. The computer must get the right code from the key to start the engine. If your vehicle has a push-button start which doesn’t require a key, the anti-theft code is sent by the key fob.
If you suspect your BMW is suffering from ignition lock failure, call on the trusted team at Pro Car Mechanics. We serve Long Beach, Los Angeles, Glendale, and Anaheim, CA, offering quality service at affordable rates. Call or stop by today for a quick diagnosis and affordable fix!
* BMW M2 image credit goes to: teddyleung.