BMW E90 Key Stuck In Ignition – Easy Ways To Unstuck It

BMW E90 Key Stuck In Ignition – Easy Ways To Unstuck It

The common issue of BMW E90 keys getting stuck in the ignition is an annoying problem that can be easily fixed if you know what you’re doing.

It’s important to understand why this happens so you can avoid it happening again in the future.

In this article, I’ll explain how and why your BMW E90 key is stuck in the ignition, as well as provide advice on how to fix it yourself or when you should call a professional for help.

So let’s get started!


Causes of BMW E90 Key Stuck in Ignition

It is not uncommon that a key can get stuck in the ignition of a BMW E90.

While this issue can be incredibly frustrating, I have learned from my years of experience dealing with car ignition and key issues that it’s usually caused by several reasons.

I have mentioned those reasons so you can easily identify when your key gets stuck in the ignition.

BMW E90 Key Stuck In Ignition-Infographic

Cause Description Solution
1. Dead battery
  • If the battery is dead or low on charge, the key may not turn or be removed.
  • Charge or replace the battery.
2. Faulty key cylinder
  • The key cylinder may be damaged or worn, preventing the key from turning or being removed.
  • Replace the key cylinder.
3. Jammed steering wheel
  • If the steering wheel is locked, it may stop the key from turning or being removed.
  • Try turning the steering wheel left and right while turning the key.
4. Faulty shift interlock
  • Check the shift interlock and replace it if necessary.
5. Foreign objects in the key cylinder
  • A foreign object such as a piece of debris or a broken key may not allow the key to turn or be removed.
  • Remove the foreign object or debris from the key cylinder.
6. Faulty park/neutral safety switch
  • If the park/neutral safety switch is faulty, it may prevent the key from being removed.
  • Check the park/neutral safety switch and replace it if necessary.

Explore More:

How To Fix A Key Stuck In The BMW E90 Ignition

Once you have understood the cause of the key sticking in the ignition of your BMW E90 and the solutions to get it unstuck, the next step is to learn how to carry out the solution according to the specific issue.

I have explained step by step guide to perform the different tasks given as solutions.

1. Steps to Change Battery in BMW E90 

Changing the battery of a car is not everyone’s cup of tea.

It is a technical task that requires proper and comprehensive directions in order to be done correctly.

Here are the steps to change the battery of a BMW E90:

Step Description
1. Locate the Battery Compartment
  • Open the hood of the car and locate the battery compartment.
  • It is typically located on the right side of the engine bay, near the front of the car.
2. Remove the Negative Cable
  • Remove the negative cable from the battery first.
  • Use a socket wrench to loosen the nut on the negative cable terminal and gently wiggle the cable off the battery post.
  • Place the cable away from the battery so it doesn’t accidentally touch the terminal.
3. Remove the Positive Cable
  • Repeat the above step for the positive cable, using a socket wrench to loosen the nut on the positive cable terminal and gently remove the cable from the battery post.
4. Remove Retaining Hardware
  • Remove any retaining hardware or brackets that may be holding the battery in place.
  • In some BMW E90 models, there may be a plastic cover over the battery that needs to be removed before accessing the retaining hardware.
5. Clean the Battery Compartment
  • Clean the battery compartment with a wire brush or battery cleaner spray to remove any corrosion or debris.
6. Insert the New Battery
7. Retain with Hardware
  • Secure the battery in place with the retaining hardware or brackets.
8. Attach Positive Cable
  • Attach the positive cable to the positive battery terminal first, tightening the nut with a socket wrench.
9. Attach Negative Cable
  • Attach the negative cable to the negative battery terminal, tightening the nut with a socket wrench.
10. Double-Check
  • Double-check that all cables and brackets are properly secured and that the battery is installed correctly.

Explore More:

2. Steps to Replace the Key Cylinder of BMW E90

Replacing the key cylinder in a BMW E90 involves several steps. By carefully following the instructions, you can perform the task.

Here is a general guide on how to do it:

Steps Details
1. Disconnect the Battery
  • Disconnect the battery before starting any work to prevent any electrical issues.
2. Remove the Steering Wheel
  • Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts that secure the steering wheel to the steering column.
3. Remove the Airbag
  • Remove the airbag module, typically held in place by bolts on the backside of the steering wheel.
4. Remove the Clock Spring
  • Disconnect any wiring connections before removing the clock spring that connects the steering wheel to the car’s electrical system.
5. Remove the Old Key Cylinder
  • Use a socket wrench to remove the set of bolts that hold the old key cylinder in place and gently remove the cylinder from the steering column.
6. Install the New Key Cylinder
  • Insert the new key cylinder into the steering column, align it properly, and secure it in place with the bolts removed earlier.
7. Reassemble the Clockspring, Airbag, and Steering wheel
  • Reassemble the clock spring, airbag, and steering wheel in the reverse order that they were removed.
8. Reconnect the Battery
  • After everything is reassembled, reconnect the battery and test the new key cylinder to ensure that it is working correctly.

3. Steps to Change Faulty Shift Interlock of BMW E90

Just as I have mentioned previously the steps to perform the task required to fix the key stuck in the ignition of a BMW E90, this table shows you another set of guidelines.

Here are the general steps for changing a faulty shift interlock in a BMW E90:

Step Description
1. Disconnect the battery
  • Prior to working on the car, disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical issues.
2. Remove the center console
  • The shift interlock mechanism is located inside the center console.
  • Remove the center console by removing any screws or clips that hold it in place.
3. Remove the shift knob
  • The shift knob in BMW E90 is located on top of the gear shifter.
  • The shift knob is held in place by a small set screw or clip.
  • Remove the screw or clip and gently pull the shift knob off the shifter.
4. Remove the shift boot
  • The shift boot in a BMW E90 is located around the shifter, underneath the shift knob.
  • The shift boot is held in place by a series of clips or screws.
  • Remove these clips or screws and gently pull the shift boot off the shifter.
5. Remove the shift interlock mechanism
  • The shift interlock mechanism is located at the base of the shifter.
  • Use a socket wrench to remove any bolts or screws that hold the mechanism in place.
  • Disconnect any wiring connections to the mechanism.
6. Install the new shift interlock mechanism
  • Take the new shift interlock mechanism and install it in the same location where the old one was removed.
  • Reconnect any wiring connections and secure the mechanism in place with bolts or screws.
7. Reassemble the shift boot and shift knob
  • After installing the new shift interlock mechanism, reattach the shift boot and shift knob in the reverse order that you removed them.
8. Reassemble the center console
  • Once the shift boot and knob are reattached, reassemble the center console by securing any screws or clips that were removed earlier.
9. Reconnect the battery
  • After everything is reassembled, reconnect the battery and test the new shift interlock to make sure it is working properly.

4. Steps to Remove Foreign Objects from BMW E90 Key Cylinder

If a foreign object gets stuck inside the key cylinder of your BMW E90, it can prevent you from inserting or removing your key.

You have to follow the steps to remove foreign objects from the key cylinder:

Steps Description
1. Inspect the key cylinder
  • Use a flashlight to inspect the key cylinder for foreign objects such as small metal pieces, debris, or broken key parts.
2. Try to remove the foreign object
  • Use tweezers or needle-nose pliers to gently remove any visible foreign objects from the key cylinder.
3. Use compressed air
  • If the foreign object cannot be seen, use a can of compressed air to blow out any debris or foreign objects from the key cylinder.
4. Use a lubricant
  • If the foreign object is stuck or the key cylinder is jammed, use a lubricant such as graphite powder or silicone spray to help loosen the object or lubricate the cylinder.
5. Test the key cylinder
  • After removing any foreign objects, test the key cylinder to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Insert and remove the key a few times to verify smooth operation.

Explore More:

4. Steps to Replace Park Safety Switch in BMW E90

So replacing the park safety switch in BMW E90 also requires a careful and step-by-step guide for you to change it accurately.

In the following table I have mentioned the steps to do so:

Step Description
1. Park the vehicle
  • Ensure the vehicle is parked on a level surface, and the parking brake is engaged.
2. Locate the park safety switch
  • Find the park safety switch on the side of the transmission near the front of the car. It may require removing the panel.
3. Disconnect the battery
  • Before starting the work, disconnect the battery to avoid any electrical issues.
4. Remove the park safety switch
  • Use a socket wrench to remove the bolts holding the park safety switch to the transmission.
  • Disconnect wiring.
5. Install the new park safety switch
  • Position the new park safety switch in the same place as the old one.
  • Secure it with bolts and reconnect the wiring.
6. Reconnect the battery
  • Reconnect the battery and verify the new park safety switch is functioning correctly.
7. Replace the undercarriage panel
  • Reattach the undercarriage panel securely, if it was removed.

Professional Assistance

If all the above-mentioned tips and their mechanism does not work and you find yourself stuck, it is time you need professional assistance.

Moreover, if it is difficult for you to perform any of the replacing mechanisms then that is also the time to seek the help of an expert dealing with keys stuck in the ignition.

Tips to Prevent the Key From Getting Stuck Again

It’s all too easy for a key to get stuck in the ignition, especially if you don’t take preventive maintenance seriously.

There are steps you can take to ensure that this issue doesn’t occur again and your car stays running smoothly.

Here is a list of tips:

Maintenance Tips Description
1. Regular electrical system inspections
  • Get regular inspections done on your vehicle’s electrical system, including inspecting wires and connections within the ignition itself
2. Insert the key slowly and gently
  • Insert the key into the ignition slowly with little force to avoid distorting or bending its shape before inserting it completely
3. Lubricate locks and hinges
  • Routinely lubricate the locks and hinges around the steering wheel to prevent them from seizing up over time and making turning difficult
4. Regular ignition servicing
  • Have your ignition serviced regularly by an experienced professional to spot any potential issues before they become bigger problems down the line


In conclusion, getting a key stuck in the ignition of your BMW E90 can be frustrating, but there are several tips and tricks you can try to get it unstuck.

The first step is to remain calm and avoid forcing the key, which can cause more damage to the ignition cylinder.

You can try wiggling the key gently or lubricating the ignition cylinder to loosen any debris or debris buildup.

If these methods don’t work, you may need to call a professional locksmith or mechanic to help you remove the key safely.

It’s important to take care of any issues with your BMW E90’s ignition system promptly to avoid further problems and ensure the safety of your vehicle.

With these tips and tricks, you can successfully remove a stuck key from your BMW E90 ignition and get back on the road.

References and Official Sites:

About the author

Team is a team of auto experts and experienced editors. The experts gives all the information, facts and technical details to the writers and then the editors make sure that the guides are to-the-point, easy-to-read and made JUST RIGHT for you.

Leave a Comment