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robbob 12-03-2012 07:27 PM

'01 325i Won't Start
My wife went out to start the car for an errand Saturday and the engine turned over but wouldn't start. She says it fired a bit, but immediatrely died. By the time I got there and tried to start it, one or two cylinders fired once, but then nothing. In all subsequent attempts to start the car, the engine did not fire even once. It had been running fine the day before.

I tried starting it with the accelerator floored in case it was flooded, then pulled the plugs (which were wet) and allowed the cylinders to dry out. The next day, it still wouldn't fire. I checked the fuel pressure, which was OK at 50 psi while the starter was running. I also checked a plug, which had a spark. I was expecting to see a blue spark (I don't know why), but it was yellowish. My brother and I tried spraying Quick Start into the intake at the MAF, but still not a single fire. I replaced the MAF about a year ago, so that shouldn't be the problem.

I'm almost ready to have the car towed to a garage, but would rather fix it myself (obviously).

Does anyone have any advice?

GoForthFast 12-03-2012 11:14 PM

First check the codes to see if that gives us any clues.

What mileage is on this car?

robbob 12-04-2012 02:47 AM


Originally Posted by GoForthFast (Post 7229711)
First check the codes to see if that gives us any clues.

What mileage is on this car?

The only code is for an "evaporative emmissions system - very small leak". It has been present for 3-6 months, and the car has been running fine.

The car has 125,000 mi.

robbob 12-07-2012 04:24 AM

I just wanted to let folks know that the starting problem was the crank sensor. After reading posts on various BMW sites, that seemed to be the most likely culprit, after I'd eliminated the fuel pressure and spark issues.

I was in a rush to get the car fixed (my wife's), so I picked up the part at Auto Zone for $79. My brother and I installed it in about 4 hours (it would take about 2 hours after doing it once).

The problems in installing it are just getting to it, and then getting the screw out that was holding the sensor in (locktite). However, another problem was that in repeated attempts to start the car, it was flooded so badly that there was gas in the air intake ducting. We had to take the spark plugs out to let the cylinders dry out, and wiped the gas out of the air intake ducting, then let it sit overnight. It started up the next morning and it is running perfectly now.

If anyone needs advice on how to get at the crank sensor, email me directly as I don't normally monitor the threads on this site.

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