Anyone else still experience this? My car did it last night. Seemingly dead battery, at first wouldn't turn over but was clicking. After an attempted jump, getting the steering wheel lock light and nothing, computer locked me out from starting.
Towed to my trusty mechanic this morning and they did some good research for me! Turns out this is a known problem with E90s and E60s and BMW released a service announcement about it. They recommend no service if the issue is intermittent. Not even a battery replacement. Only in persistent cases do they recommend complete recoding.
Even BMW isn't 100% sure on why, but the issue seems to be when you are parking and turn the steering wheel before turning off the engine. When left turned in a specific position, you may be putting pressure on a pin that activates a fault sensor with the steering lock, even when the steering lock isn't necessarily engaged. When you go back to put the keyfab back in, it won't let you start it. Basically it thinks someone is tampering/stealing, and won't accept a start command. Its complicated.
The solution? If this occurs, don't turn the wheel back to center. Instead remove the key and continue turning the wheel in the direction they were already turned, then try starting. They also said that ideally you should park with your wheels straight. I, coincidentally or not, just started parking in my garage at an angle....
They also said to try simultaneously turning the wheel while pushing the start button.
Mechanic was able to start my car with only fiddling with the key and steering wheel. Battery actually had over 60% charge and the low battery behavior was all part of the issue. I luckily didn't get charged a dime.
So heres to parking straight!