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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently bought a 328i sport, the previous owner had the spinning ignition barrel problem, he was a bit of an animal and decided to hot wire the car to start it. He left the immobiliser system un-touched, you had to put the key into the black plastic loop to switch off the immobiliser (you can hear the relay click under the glovebox) before you could hotwire it.

After him doing this for a few weeks, the immobiliser stopped working. He bought a new key from BMW and it worked fine again.

I then bought the car. I'm fixing his 'handy work' (got a new ignition barrel on order from BMW). I've fitted a replacement steering column that comes with a key (solid plastic, no inner parts) and ignition barrel. I'm using this as a temporary fix.

I turn on the ignition on, then put the original key through the immobiliser loop/aerial (which is just left hanging for now), then start it.

After doing this a few times, it's stopped starting. I don't hear the click of the immobiliser switching off when I put the key through the loop. I'm doubtful that a 2 week old key has gone faulty again, so I think the problem could be somewhere else.

When I put the key in the ignition it makes a 'ding' sound, not sure if thats related. The code icon on the dash stays lit for between 5-10 seconds and then goes out.

I'm wondering if I am able to bypass the immobiliser system for good, or if someone can give me some information on what to look for to fix it. I know this may not be the best topic for a public forum so PM's may be in order.

Cheers, Tom. (sorry for such a huge 1st post)
 

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Legendary BFuk Member
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Leaving the wires to just hang isn't wise as they could have become damaged and now not providing the signal to the EWS transmitter.
 

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Legendary BFuk Member
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12,959 Posts
I've recently bought a 328i sport, the previous owner had the spinning ignition barrel problem, he was a bit of an animal and decided to hot wire the car to start it. He left the immobiliser system un-touched, you had to put the key into the black plastic loop to switch off the immobiliser (you can hear the relay click under the glovebox) before you could hotwire it.

After him doing this for a few weeks, the immobiliser stopped working. He bought a new key from BMW and it worked fine again.

I then bought the car. I'm fixing his 'handy work' (got a new ignition barrel on order from BMW). I've fitted a replacement steering column that comes with a key (solid plastic, no inner parts) and ignition barrel. I'm using this as a temporary fix.

I turn on the ignition on, then put the original key through the immobiliser loop/aerial (which is just left hanging for now), then start it.

After doing this a few times, it's stopped starting. I don't hear the click of the immobiliser switching off when I put the key through the loop. I'm doubtful that a 2 week old key has gone faulty again, so I think the problem could be somewhere else.

When I put the key in the ignition it makes a 'ding' sound, not sure if thats related. The code icon on the dash stays lit for between 5-10 seconds and then goes out.

I'm wondering if I am able to bypass the immobiliser system for good, or if someone can give me some information on what to look for to fix it. I know this may not be the best topic for a public forum so PM's may be in order.

Cheers, Tom. (sorry for such a huge 1st post)
We don't give out information that could be used to steal BMW's. This is what you would be able to do if we gave you the information:frown

A diagnostic scan would help you determine which part of the system is at fault.

EWS system is made up of:

1) Chip in key
2) antenna ring
3) EWS transmitter
4) EWS Module
5) ECU

In the time I have had my M3 engine in my coupe I have had to replace two keys and an EWS module. The latter required me having the car trailered to the dealers so that they could programme the unit to the car:frown
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got it all sorted for less than £30. It turns out that the immobiliser in the key gets a charge from the antenna ring, if the key is only put in the ring to de-activate the immobiliser, it doesn't get a charge and then goes flat. I bought a new key from BMW and all is well. The car is all put back together properly now and i've had no problems since.
 
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