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Equinoxe 12-23-2012 10:58 PM

Wifes 320i Xmas present will not start
Picked up the wife an E46 2002 320i for Xmas. Flew 1000 kilometers yesterday and jumped in an drove it home another 1000 kilometers. It drove well and is much improved over the E36 320i. Washed down the engine compartment this morning and now no start?
My friend is here now and gave me a rev up over using the water blaster but I didnt give it direct just misted it over to remove the degreaser. Wife took it for a drive after the engine bay clean and no poblems. It was only when I jumped into it to take it for a run it would not start.
Removed ignition coils etc no water seen anywhere in connectors even cleaned the induction system. It will start with starting fluid (aero spray) and it runs ok, remove the start treatment and it shuts down immediately. There is a solenoid that is located on the Left inner guard that has heater hoses running through the bottom of it and a solenoid on top. The solenoid was very hot to the touch even though the engine had not been running.
Only code that came up was P0406. What have I done? Her lady ship is not happy with me at the moment. Any ideas so I can have a better Xmas than what I am looking at now.
If I disconnect the battery and leave it for a while would that help?. I am a bit reticent to do that as I dont have the radio reset codes.
On further checking the eml light is on when the ignition key is turned fully on. Is this the problem and what is the fix?

Fast Bob 12-24-2012 09:58 AM

You should have asked here BEFORE doing what you did....sticking a hose under the hood of a BMW is like playing Russian Roulette....when you`re unlucky, the results ain`t pretty....:thumbdwn:

Gryphon 12-24-2012 10:05 AM

First order of business is getting that EML code read so we can at least have a shot in diagnosing the problem assuming that code is in fact the problem and not fried electrics.

halltristan 12-24-2012 10:07 AM

Did you spray the engine while it was running or while it was off??

lgr122 12-24-2012 10:32 AM

Well... maybe i feel that washing engine bay is bit similar no no like washing mobile phone... :rolleyes:

12yrs old wiring doesn't need water or even moisture anywhere more than it already has.

GoForthFast 12-24-2012 12:31 PM

I used to hose off my engine all the time and it looked real clean, and the car ran just fine. Oh yeah, that was my wife's 1963 Plymouth Valiant. Have cars changed since then?

You have to start at the basics and troubleshoot this engine just like any other that will not start. Fuel, air and spark.

No radio codes are needed when the battery is disconnected. Just take off the negative terminal.

Equinoxe 12-24-2012 04:50 PM

Well aren't I an idiot for getting water into the engine bay.
Din't seem to worry the 35 Ford cabroliet when I gave it an engine bay wash.
I didnt hit it hard just really sprayed the inner guards top cannister for power steering.
Why did the car run ok after the engine bay wash and ran fine for a trip of 3 kilometers?:confused:
Thanks for the quick replies.
The programme in the laptop will not give me a reading for the EML displayed.

GoForthFast 12-24-2012 07:55 PM

Good comeback.
And not sure if you are seemingly good natured, or took it the wrong way. Seriously, we tease, but under that want your engine to run right, and want to be part of helping you.
So as you work thru this, promise we will help!

Equinoxe 12-24-2012 08:56 PM

No offence taken or given.
I am still a little confused over it driving after the wash and then no start now.
Disconnected battery, no EML code now? However no start.
Checked fuel rail (@ shraeder valve). No high pressure spray just a dribble there with key in the No 2 position and trying to start it turns over but no significant pressure in the rail at all. Checked relay, light green one and relay checks out ok. Checked all fuses and these are ok. Is this a fuel pump problem? I have spark.
In our old E36 320i you can hear the fuel pump priming the system. In this one, only the stepper motor on the black box (DISA)on the side of the intake manifold makes a buzzing sound even for a short time after turning the key off.
Assuming it could be the fuel pump shouldn't there be a code for that failure.
Could the wife (yep it's her fault now, Lol) have set off the alarm/immobilizer system some how;)?
This car is RHD if that makes any difference.

Gryphon 12-25-2012 05:02 AM

My thought is it took some time for the water to settle to where it's not supposed to be. After the car sat for a while it probably trickled down and pooled in the bottom on an electrical container. My main worry would be the ECU and respondent connections. As all of these vehicles are getting on in age I'm seeing more people with wires that have just failed due to age and cyclic heating exposing connections to short out.

jonathan2263 12-25-2012 05:53 AM

When you turn the key to position 2, you should hear the fuel pump priming. It's under the rear seat, if your not sure, pull out the seat and try again. I do not think a failed fuel pump throws a code. Sounds like you've found your problem and maybe the timing of the engine bath was just coincidence.

Merry Tuesday...

Equinoxe 12-25-2012 03:35 PM

Thanks all, for the input. I think we may have found the problem. Jonathan2263
Got down to the pump and it appears someone has been in there before. The nuts holding the cover were finger tight. Looks like the ring had been removed recently. The pump is not new.
Set the key to 2 position, no pump noise, checked voltage, have 12v at connector to pump Tried the give it a thump test but no life in the pump. Checked if any fuel pressure in rail, nothing.
Therefore can we safely assume that it is the fuel pump that just happened to fail after a 1,000 kilometer trip, the infamous engine bay clean a hand over to the wife a trip around the block up the driveway and then not starting, is the result of The fuel Pump?:thumbup:

GoForthFast 12-25-2012 09:52 PM

No codes with pump failure.

Voltage at pump with no noise and no pressure (50psi) at rail means bad pump. Was the fp connector locked on when you first went in to explore?

Equinoxe 12-25-2012 11:03 PM

The gremlin still resides here, I replaced the fuel pump only, but no go. The connector was secured firmly.
I have power to connector but on checking the area where the connector fits through the top of the housing and checking the current on the inside wires leading directly to the pump, no power.
An observation shows 2 hot spots on the top of the fuel pump/sender assembly where the connector plugs in. The male pins show no sign of heat but there are the 2 heated areas away from the connector pins.
The wiring in has power to three connectors the other is for the fuel gauge sensor? all have voltage.
Checking inside the assembly no power to the pump wires, should I just replace the whole assembly as the problem could lie within the circuit through the top mount of the fuel pump/sender assembly?:dunno:

scarede46er 12-26-2012 10:35 AM

Yes. When you replace the pump on our E46s, you generally need to replace the entire assembly. It is pretty cheap anyway, no need to economize further. Buy an OEM or Meyle.

Equinoxe 12-26-2012 04:29 PM

Ok Done that replaced the whole assembly and still no fuel pump action.
Replaced the relay as well. I have power down to the fuel pump.
Is there a minimum voltage requirement for the pump to operate?
I am confused as there is power to the pump.

scarede46er 12-26-2012 05:37 PM

It should be 12V, but some people have reported 5V and the pump still worked. You have power at the fuel pump but it does not turn on? weird. try taking out the pump from the tank and have someone else turn the key to pos 2 to see if the wings flutter.

Equinoxe 12-27-2012 06:02 PM

Well I said I was confused, so off on the back of the tow truck it goes to my local BMW repair shop. He put the code reader on told me about the leaking rocker cover gasket, cleared all the codes in the system and she started no problem. He then relived me of four hundred dollars including the replacement rocker cover gasket. Total cost of repair including fuel pump, gasket, tow job, just short of $700.
I had prior used a friends laptop which did show up 2 codes that we cleared. However the BMW man obviously had the right tool for the right job.
He showed me all the codes , transmission fault, fuel system fault, AC fault, engine fault and on it went.
One piece of advice he gave me was when working on the car take the key out of the ignition and leave it on the floor until you completely finish the job you are doing . Especially the electronics side of things. According to him if you have removed say ignition coil 1 and have turned the key back on with the coil removed it will trigger a fault code, that code will stay within the system when you start the car again.
I would love to have that one confirmed or not?
Knowledge learn't here was to do the job properly you do need the right tools, As Fast Bob said at the very begining of this thread, "get the codes read" I will just add with the right tools. Remember I used a friends laptop but obviously not the proper programme.
The best part is that the car goes now, the wife loves her E46 and I might be in line for a late but expensive xmas present!;)

halltristan 12-27-2012 06:23 PM


Originally Posted by Equinoxe (Post 7274381)
Total cost of repair including fuel pump, gasket, tow job, just short of $700.

For future reference, the next time you spray your engine off, do so after it is completely warmed up and while its still running. The heat prevents pooling and turns the water into steam before it can cause any problem; it also prevents any damage that might otherwise occur from putting cold water onto a hot engine. I know a lot of people will tell you not to spray it at all, which is good advice on an old engine with worm seals and connections, but I've sprayed the engines of both of my BMWs like that and several other cars with no problem.

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