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      12-03-2012, 09:21 AM   #62
New Member

Drives: 2012 BMW 535i xDrive
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Pennsylvania

iTrader: (0)


For those of you about to do this, I'll list the important things I learned up top:
-DID NOT HAVE TO REMOVE STEERING WHEEL, flat head screwdriver in the seam of the trim
-Learned from a BMW tech that if you use jumper cables to connect the positive battery wire to the negative battery wire for one hour it does some kind of computer reset.
-When i started my car I had every fault code you could imagine showing up, after shutting it off and starting it back up about 3 times, they all cleared.
-Definitely not a bad idea to mark the column assembly with a little bit of paint before pulling it off so you know it is aligned when you put it back on.

So myself and a buddy managed to get the steering column off without having to remove the steering wheel. Just by using a small flat head screwdriver, we were able to pop the trim off on both the top and bottom of the column. When we eventually got the column off, I tried getting the Dremel cutoff wheel (without the flexible extender) in to grind a slot in the tamper proof screw heads. The wheel just wasn't quite big enough to get down to the recessed screws. After fighting with it for an hour, I sat in my drivers seat with the steering column half in my dash and half in my lap. Out of frustration, I grabbed a hammer and jokingly started knocking on the control unit. Sure enough when I tried the key for the last time, I heard it release.
I believe that my problem was for the most part caused by cold weather and low voltage battery, which is why I was fortunate enough to have the wheel unlock. So hopefully the problem is fixed, and I don't have to deal with it again. If not, I know now that I can easily go down to the BMW dealership and grab a new steering column for $580. To any of you debating over whether or not you want to try it, I HIGHLY suggest doing, but only with the help of another mechanically inclined friend and a few beers. Thanks a lot everybody for all the posts, saved me $1200+ right before Christmas.