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      07-10-2012, 12:51 PM   #1
StigJ
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Ignition/start failure

I've had some problems now and then with my Z4 Coupe that it would not start. Did run a diagnostic last year but nothing came up. Just some communication errors that we did not find any answers to. I think also my Intravee is making some mess.
So I started investigating a little

In the video below you can see that when I move the key from step 1 (acc) to step 2 (ign) sometimes only the airbag light lights up in the ign position. When try to start the starter kicks in, but that is it. So there is no difference between acc and ign.
If I take the key out and try it again it usually works fine.
Here you can see what happens:


So I asked my mechanic what it could be. Try to change the ignition switch he said. Its just the last part that the wires goes in to. Its not the complete lock.
Ok. so I first checked how much a new one would set me back. Almost 120$. Yeah right! So I bought two used ones for 15$ (for both). Bought two if one of them would fail.

Then time to do the change.

here you see the two switches.




Its no. 3:
http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...84&hg=32&fg=30

Off with the bottom part of the steering column. Its only one screw just beside the lever for adjusting the steering wheel. Then wiggle it a little to get the two pieces to part.



Here you can see the ignition switch where the wires is connected.


Just pry the little lock to disconnect it.




The switch is held in place by two small flathead screws that is located under the red screw locking paint.


Just loosen them a litle and pull out the switch. Put in the new one and fasten the screws and connect the plug. Now you can do a test if its working as it should.
It looks like I found the problem and got rid of it


I put some screwlock glue back in the holes and reassembelede the steering column. Now its to hope that the problem stays away.


As the nosy person that I am I had to open the old switch to see what was wrong. Looks like its wear and tear on the plastic.
The second step (ign) is the two brass parts on the right side of the 3 contacts.



A little video of how it works:
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      08-03-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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freaking awesome post.

I'm having a similar no start problem with my car. It's very inconsistent--and the key lock itself feels kinda loose/sloppy. the instrumentation does light up completely in the ignition position (ign), but turning to the spring loaded position to start doesn't trigger the starter motor turn the motor over. I have to start the process from the beginning again any maybe it will start. My battery is new, Autozone H6-AGM.

do you think the switch is my issue too?

where did you buy the used parts?!
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      08-03-2012, 04:45 PM   #3
StigJ
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Sounds like you have the same issues as I did. So get a new switch. I got mine from a company in Denmark that deals used and new parts and with wrecked BMWs.

I can also add that I have had no faults with the ignition after I changed this.
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      08-04-2012, 04:14 PM   #4
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Could you post where you sourced the used parts? Always good to have a list tucked away. Thx!
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      08-04-2012, 04:34 PM   #5
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www.koed.dk
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      08-05-2012, 08:21 AM   #6
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In the US, you can also try your local "you-pull-it" junkyards. this switch is used in the entire E46/E39 line as well so it will be easy to find in salvage yards.

p/n 61326901961

I just picked one up yesterday for $10!
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      01-17-2013, 10:41 PM   #7
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Just wanted to say, this is by far the best post I have seen. Vids, pics, step by step.. awesome! Thanks for all the help and sharing your knowledge. Great stuff. Just hope this solves my problem lol
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      02-22-2013, 09:53 AM   #8
StigJ
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Thank you for the kind words. Glad it could be for some help

An for info I have not had any errors with the ignition after I changed this part.
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