Ignition Key Problem, 1989 325i

The last few days I'd had to put some pressure to get the ignition key to turn. (I never knew the little button in the key is meant to be pressed to release the lock when the steering wheel is turned to too
much of an angle when parked.) Last night the key only turned a little, then would get stuck and not go all the way, so I was unable to start the car. I put a lot of DW40 spray and dry graphite (still sneezing and trying to clean off my hands) into the ignition keyhole and waited a couple of hours, but it wouldn't work. Then this morning, after about a ten hour break, I went to the car again, and voila! The key works every single time. The key comes back soaked with graphite mixed with DW40 to a couple of inches. Was this just a one-time problem? What is the nature of this problem?
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Well, the tumblers inside the lock were sticking (stuck). The graphite will do a wonderful job of lubricating them but the WD-40 is going to gum them up when mixed with the graphite. If you're lucky, it won't happen and the moisture will actually carry the graphite into the mechanism better. If it does gum up, you can flood the lock repeatedly with electronics cleaner (dries with no residue) and that will clean it all out. After letting it dry overnight, you can then graphite it again. I've got one I hit with WD-40 years ago and it tried to stick about a week later so I added a bit more graphite and all has been well since...
wrote:

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Psycho wrote:

just a sticky tumbler like mentioned. that button on your key is NOT for releasing your steering wheel!! to release your wheel when locked you just have to jerk the wheel to one side or the other while turning the key! the button on your key is just for a light that is built into the key
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Please do not "jerk" the wheel. If the key turns stiff, a gentle side to side rocking of the wheel may take care of it. This can be caused by the wheel being turned against the locking pin and exerting enough pressure to bind. Be gentle with your car, it's got a few years under it's belt and will last a few more if cared for...
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