What is EWS? EWS is “Elektronische Wegfahr Sperre”.
Don’t speak German? Then that probably wasn’t helpful. EWS is BMW’s electronic drive away protection system.
The exact implementation of EWS on the E36 varied slightly through the years, but the general lack of long term reliability stayed the same. Key failures, antenna failures, and module failures are not as uncommon as they should be. The system can also present problems when doing motor swaps.
EWS delete in the ECU only removes part of the system.
On OBD1 cars, if the chassis was equipped with EWS, you need to remove that link between the EWS computer and the DME as well as use an EWS delete chip. The wiring can be disconnected at the DME side (pin 66) or at the X20 side (pin 7). The X20 is the easiest to access and cleanly modify.
We recommend pushing the pin out of the X20. (big round plug by the fuse box.) If you unscrew that connector, pull back the boot, find pin 7 (green wire), twist the lock mechanism on the connector, push the pin (pin 7, green wire) out of the connector, re-lock the connector, fold the pin/wire back into the boot, put the boot back on, and reconnect the connector.
For EWSII equipped cars, there is also a starter lockout. We recommend bypassing that as well. On the EWSII module itself, there are only two large wires. Those are the wires for the starter solenoid. Cut them near the plug and butt connector them together and your car will start even when the key transmitter or antenna fails.