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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-04-2013, 12:40 AM
Jan Keyser Jan Keyser is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw E46 M54 320i
Power to starter not disengaging

I am bussy rebuilding a e46 m54 320i. I am experiencing a problem on start up. This only happens when the engine does not fire up. When I turn the ignition the motor attempt to turn but suddenly the dashboard ligts went out. The battery drains at this staged becaus the starter is still engaged.
When I remove the positive on the engine side the dashboard lights reappear.

I realized it was the starter when I jumps start the car and push the positive back at the engine side. The motor cranks and start with every thing fine. That happens without turning the key to crank position.

I have tested the celluloid and is fine.
Got new battery.

I have read threads having the exact same problem but with no real solutions.


Could it be a relay problem not resetting?
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:51 AM
fdriller9 fdriller9 is offline
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In E9x, the starter is powered directly from the battery, via the distribution block on top of the battery. Not sure how it is on e46s.

Current draw is monitored by IBS on the negative terminal.
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Old 08-04-2013, 10:03 AM
Jan Keyser Jan Keyser is offline
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Mein Auto: Bmw E46 M54 320i
This could be the same. One thing that puzzles me is why the engine cranks without turning the key to crank position. That is when the dash lights are out, jump starting and pressing the positive supply back on the battery feed to the engine.
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Old 08-04-2013, 12:53 PM
mr_bean mr_bean is offline
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The E46 also draws directly from the battery.

Remove the large wire from the starter, reconnect the battery and leave the ignition off. Pull the small wire off the stater solenoid and check it for voltage to the ground.
If you see battery voltage at this wire, then you have a problem with the DME, EWS or an electrical short somewhere.
If you don't see any voltage on this wire then you likely have sticky starter solenoid and you'll need to replace the entire starter.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:46 AM
Jan Keyser Jan Keyser is offline
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Thanks. That make sense. I will follow the advice.
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Old 08-05-2013, 07:20 AM
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A B Able Truck A B Able Truck is offline
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If you had low voltage just before the starter stuck. The solenoid could arc at the contacts and spot welded the disk in place. Make sure your battery is fully charged and tap on the starter to see if the disk inside the solenoid breaks free. (I said tap - don't hammer) It will usually break free and it shouldn't happen again if you maintain good voltage.
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:40 AM
Jan Keyser Jan Keyser is offline
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Solenoid Arcing

Thanks for the advice. That was the problem. I did buy a new battery recently but I believe it is not the correct size for this car.
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Old 08-11-2013, 11:41 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Keyser View Post
Thanks for the advice. That was the problem. I did buy a new battery recently but I believe it is not the correct size for this car.
The correct size battery for the car is not very critical. If the battery is healthy and charged, do not blame problems on it.
And next time don't buy a battery that is too small for the car.
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