BMW X5 Key Fob Stuck In Ignition – Tips And Solutions

BMW X5 Key Fob Stuck In Ignition – Tips And Solutions

If you’re a BMW X5 owner, you might experience a  problem with the key fob getting stuck in the ignition.

This can make starting or turning off the car, locking or unlocking doors, and other actions impossible.

This can be an incredibly frustrating situation that leaves you feeling helpless, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.

In this article, I’ll walk through some of the methods you can use to get your key out and back on the road safely.

So let’s dive right into it!

BMW X5 Key Fob Stuck In Ignition - Tips And Solutions


Identifying The Causes of BMW X5 Key Fob Stuck In Ignition

If you own a BMW X5 and you’re experiencing a key fob stuck in the ignition, it can be frustrating and potentially dangerous.

Fortunately, there are several potential causes for this issue, and identifying them can help you determine the best course of action for resolving the problem.

1. Damaged Key Fob:

If the key fob is physically damaged or has a broken component, such as a broken release button or a damaged key blade, it may not be able to release from the ignition.

In this case, the key fob may need to be repaired or replaced in order to resolve the issue of it being stuck in the ignition.

2. Faulty Ignition Switch:

A worn-out or damaged ignition switch may not be able to properly release the key fob when you try to remove it.

If you suspect this is the issue, try turning the key to different positions and see if it releases.

3. Mechanical Issue Ignition Cylinder:

There are several possible faults in the ignition cylinder that can cause the key fob to get stuck in the ignition of a BMW X5.

Some of these faults include:

Fault Description
Cylinder wear The cylinder may be worn out due to prolonged use, causing the pins and tumblers to get stuck in place and preventing the key from turning.
Damaged or broken components Any damaged or broken components inside the cylinder can interfere with the proper functioning of the ignition and prevent the key from turning or being removed.
Dirt and debris Dirt, debris, or other foreign objects can accumulate inside the cylinder and prevent the key from turning or being removed.
Lack of lubrication If the cylinder is not properly lubricated, the pins and tumblers can become sticky and cause the key to get stuck in the ignition.

DIY Solutions For BMW X5 Key Fob Stuck in Ignition

There are a few DIY solutions that you can try before resorting to professional assistance.

These solutions can help you identify and address the root causes of the issue, potentially saving you time and money in the process.

1. Turn the Steering Wheel:

In some cases, the steering wheel may be locked, causing the key to become stuck in the ignition.

Try turning the steering wheel back and forth while attempting to remove the key.

This can help release the ignition switch and may allow you to remove the key.

2. Lubricate the Key and Ignition Cylinder:

If the key or ignition cylinder is not working properly due to wear or damage, try lubricating them.

  • Apply a small amount of graphite powder or silicone spray to the key and insert it into the ignition cylinder.
  • Wiggle the key back and forth and try to turn it.

This may help loosen any debris or corrosion and allow you to remove the key.

3. Replace the Ignition Cylinder:

If the ignition cylinder in your BMW X5 is too damaged or worn out to be repaired, it may need to be replaced.

Replacing the ignition cylinder involves removing the old cylinder and installing a new one that matches the make and model of your car.

Here are the steps to fix a faulty ignition cylinder:

Steps to Fix a Faulty Ignition CylinderExplanation
1. Disconnect the batteryDisconnecting the battery prevents any electrical damage to the car’s system.
2. Remove the ignition switchRemoving the trim around the steering column allows access to the ignition switch, which may be held in place with screws or bolts.
3. Inspect the ignition cylinderInspect the ignition cylinder for any damage or signs of wear and tear that could be causing the key fob to get stuck in the ignition.
4. Clean the cylinderUse a cleaning solution like WD-40 and a soft-bristled brush to clean the cylinder, being careful not to damage any components while cleaning. Lubricate the cylinder with Silicone spray or powdered Graphite for locks and cylinders.
5. Replace the ignition cylinderIf the ignition cylinder is too damaged or worn out, replace it with an original or company-manufactured one.
6. Reassemble the ignition switchAfter cleaning or replacing the ignition cylinder, reassemble the ignition switch and the trim around the steering column.
7. Reconnect the batteryOnce the repair is completed, reconnect the battery and test the ignition to ensure the key fob can be inserted and removed smoothly.

Seeking Professional Assistance

If the DIY solutions for a BMW X5 key fob getting stuck in the ignition won’t work, seeking professional assistance is the next step.

A qualified mechanic or locksmith can diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring that your car is safe and reliable to drive.

To make it easier for you to compare different service providers, we’ve created a table outlining some key factors to consider:

Factor to ConsiderDescription
ExperienceLook for a service provider with experience working with BMW X5s and their electrical systems.
PricingGet quotes from multiple providers and compare their pricing for the services you need.
ReputationCheck online reviews and ask for referrals to find a reputable and trustworthy service provider.
WarrantyLook for providers that offer a warranty or guarantee on their services.
Turnaround TimeConsider the provider’s availability and turnaround time to ensure you get your car back on the road as soon as possible.

Use this table as a starting point to help you choose the best service provider for your needs.

Preventing Future Problems – Measures to Take

To avoid encountering problems with your car’s key or ignition cylinder in the future, there are some preventive measures that you can take.

Here are some tips:

  • Regularly check your key fob for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks or a weakened battery.
  • Replacing the battery before it dies can help prevent the key fob from malfunctioning and getting stuck in the ignition.
  • Always have a spare key in a safe place in case the original key is lost, damaged, or stuck in the ignition.

By following these preventive measures, you can help ensure that your car’s key and ignition cylinder continue to function smoothly and avoid any future problems.


The problem of a stuck BMW X5 key fob in the ignition is one that can be solved with patience and some know-how.

It requires an understanding of the mechanics behind why this happens, as well as knowledge of how to get it out safely.

As an experienced automotive technician, I’ve helped countless customers free their keys from ignitions like this one.

This issue can often feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place, but have faith—with the right tools and expertise, you’ll soon be back on the road again!

References & Official Resources: 

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