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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:25 PM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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Can Someone lend an idea?

I have a 94 325is that I recently just purchased. Thursday I drove to work the car started, drove, and ran fine. When I got done with work I go to start the car and it would not do anything. It wouldn't click, turn over, nothing. The fuel system cycled and the onboard computer came on, all the windows lights worked. The check engine light came on and stayed on. So I had to leave the car and have it towed. An hour later when the car was picked up, it started. So it's still currently still at the shop and I guess will be looked over tomorrow. Maybe a switch, or relay? It is starting to get cold. Could that affect a certain part of the electronics?
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2012, 10:49 PM
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TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
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Could be the ignition switch or something. Did you find out what the Check Engine light was for?
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  #3  
Old 12-02-2012, 11:14 PM
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  #4  
Old 12-03-2012, 12:12 AM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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No I don't know what the check engine light was because it was only on for me. When the car was picked up by the tow truck it started like nothing was wrong. No check engine light was on
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  #5  
Old 12-03-2012, 10:08 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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If it had a CEL, it stored a code. You can still read it doing the stomp test. Key on, engine off, depress the gas pedal FULLY and release FULLy 5 times within five seconds of turning on the ignition. Read the flashes after the initial long flash. It will be a four-digit code, and always starts with one flash, i.e. flash (pause)flash flash (pause) flash flash (pause) flash flash flash flash, then a long flash and it starts over. that would be a 1224 code: intake air temperature sensor. You can read a more detailed article on the stomp test and codes here: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/tech...nostics%20.htm
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Last edited by hornhospital; 12-03-2012 at 10:13 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2012, 06:00 PM
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auto or manual?? if auto, could have not been fully in park, in which case, the neutral safety switch would have prevented it from starting. or, it could still be something along those lines.

however, it's rather difficult to diagnose a no start when it starts...




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  #7  
Old 12-03-2012, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drivinfaster View Post
auto or manual?? if auto, could have not been fully in park, in which case, the neutral safety switch would have prevented it from starting. or, it could still be something along those lines.
Heh......happened to Brittany in the Rover. She had the gear selector not quite into park, came back out from an errand on a hot day and it wouldn't start. Went over after work and thought it funny the car didn't click or anything (I assumed dead battery) and looked at the display and noticed the R. Knocked the lever the remaining 1/8" into park and she fired right up. Brittany wasn't as amused as I was......

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  #8  
Old 12-03-2012, 06:18 PM
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happened to me one time when i was in vo tech. couldn't get the steering column back to where it was supposed to go (console shift, not column)...had the gear selector all the way back to 1st...


but this same exact thing happened to one of the girls in the office....needless to say it was a simple fix and was good for laughs for a week or so.




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  #9  
Old 12-03-2012, 06:21 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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My Maxima was a little touchy in this regard, too. Sometimes it wouldn't start unless you pushed the gear selector forward while turning the key. Whenever I had a shop work on the car, I always put a little post-it note on the console just in case, even though it probably happened on only about 5% attempted starts.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:58 AM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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It's a manual, one thing I've noticed is that you don't need to have the clutch pressed down to start it? I find that weird. It was my brothers car and once because of this he got in it once and forgot to check if it was in neutral and turned the key forward, and the car jumped backwards because it was in reverse. Could one of the previous owners of my car hacked the clutch switch out? Or did they not come with them? Either or the mechanic needs to move his ass and get my car back to me. I'm sick of driving this Saturn ion :/
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:43 AM
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My '96 doesn't have a clutch neutral safety switch either.

That aside, I suppose that you didn't do a 'stomp test' to bring up any possible codes?
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2012, 09:27 AM
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94s didn't have them. The PO of my first E36 almost sent it through his garage door when we were there looking at after I test drove it when he went to start it again. Oops. Turns out he always parked out of gear, I always park in gear.

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  #13  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:50 AM
john kaminski john kaminski is offline
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I had the same problem once a coule of years ago while on vacation 800 miles from home. Came out of the motel in the morning to start the car and nothing, yet the lights worked and were bright etc.

Got out the manual to review the fuses etc. and just before poping the hood tried once more and it fired right up like normal and never had a problem since. My guess is that it had rained that night and the humidity was high and I probably had a ground issue. Since then I've had a new battery and gone over various ground points so that was probably it.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:39 PM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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I tried the stomp test. It didn't work the mechanic and my stepdad said that they think that it dosent relate to the problem I had. Either way I have the car back now, and just have to wait and see if it happens again
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:21 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Regardless of whether it relates to your problem or not, if the stomp test didn't work, you didn't do it right. Don't worry, VERY few get it to work on the first try.

I hope it doesn't act up again. Good luck.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13
buying a ratty example (of a BMW) is a parasitic relationship.(and you ain't the mosquito) 7pilot

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #16  
Old 12-04-2012, 06:44 PM
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TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
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Wait, if the car didn't start but you had key on (so key on, engine off) wouldn't the check engine light be on?

So it's possible that the light wasn't on due to a fault.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:39 PM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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That is true the light stays on regardless if their is a problem or not. Until the engine is started. I found that out today because I checked to see if the check engine light goes away with just the key forward. It only goes away with the engine running. This whole thing is confusing. I ll just have wait till it happens again and try the stomp test. Thanks for all the help, a lot of good info.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2012, 10:56 PM
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jonesin jonesin is offline
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No, you can do the stomp test now. It'll show you if the car has any codes stored at all.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:16 PM
dprater2008 dprater2008 is offline
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How long does it store codes because its almost been a week and has been started and ran multiple times daily and I always get brakelight circuit failure when nothing is wrong at all. All lights function as they should
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  #20  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:18 PM
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It stores them until they're cleared.
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I grew up in a time when the internet was just a baby. Grammar back then versus now... holy cow. You could watch the degradation of society as the internet became more mature.

HAS KEN HAD HIS MEDS YET?
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  #21  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:59 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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check your battery terminals.. try a wiggle.

if it works you need to check the integrity of your connection, and terminal tightness.
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