Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-30-2005, 08:13 AM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
Registered User
Location: Reno, NV
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 1995 325iC
Unhappy car dead in driveway - tool-free code reading doesn't work?!?

Hi all. One of those bad mornings when I jumped in the car, late for an appointment, and had issues. It started, but reluctantly (this is not normal for this car), and was idling extremely roughly. I let it run a few seconds, then started backing out of the driveway. It stalled within 15 feet, then wouldn't restart. First attempt, it cranked over once or twice, but slowed down. Then the next few attempts it won't even crank (sounds like a battery issue, maybe...)

However, due to the rough idle during the brief moment that it was running, I wanted to check the OBD codes, which apparently one can do with my year/make (95 325iC, according to VIN was built in October 94). I followed the Pelican Parts advice to the letter, but after setting the ignition to ON and pumping the gas pedal five time in five seconds, no reaction from the car. So what am I doing wrong? Why won't my car talk to me?

In the meantime I'll go ahead and put it on a trickle charger. Any advice would be appreciated.

Oh yeah, as I said it's a 95 325iC, 85K miles, manual transmission. We're in Reno, so it's not been extremely cold or hot, no inclement weather or anything. Just an earthquake recently.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:27 AM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
Registered User
Location: Reno, NV
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 1995 325iC
Update...

I found that a roommate had loaned out the charger, so I had someone give me a jump. The car started right up with only a little hesitation, once again ran pretty rough for a while. I let it run about 20 minutes, then took it back up the driveway to park it underneath its carport. I noticed that if I take my foot off the gas abruptly, the RPMs drop suddenly and nearly low enough to stall. But if I ease off the gas, then it will slow down to the normal idle without going lower.

Any ideas? Should I take it somewhere for an electrical system/battery check (don't have any electrical meters here) before doing anything else? If so, is a place like PepBoys or AutoZone as good as the stealer/foreign car specialist mechanic? I had a battery problem about a month ago, being a new convertible owner I didn't realize that it's probably not a good thing to raise/lower top without the car running, so when I did so possibly after having left the lights on overnight, it wouldn't start. But no problems with rough idle then, either. Anyway, a full charge fixed the starting problem, no problems since...

Any advice, please?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-30-2005, 11:07 AM
vintageorange vintageorange is offline
Registered User
Location: Kansas
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 65
Mein Auto: 93 325is
What you describe makes me think the battery might be unhealthy. With a really dead battery and low engine RPMs there may be insufficient power to the computer causing it to poorly control the engine. First thing I would do is remove the battery and take it to a parts store that will test it for free.

If the voltage is too low, the computer might not respond to the gas pedal trick, also sometimes it takes a few tries to get the timing right and your computer will not be as forgiving with the dying battery.

This probably is very unlikely:
Also your car may be equipped with an OBD II computer, most information I have read says that BMWs did not start using OBD II computers until 1996, but I have come across cars produced in 1995 that are OBD II. And since OBD II is mainly the result of different software the computers would be somewhat interchangeable among similar cars. So this is a stretch, but perhaps if you car's computer gave up the ghost years ago someone might have switched it out with a slightly newer computer.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-30-2005, 10:25 PM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
Registered User
Location: Reno, NV
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 1995 325iC
So now I don't know what to think. Got home from the office this evening, having managed to borrow a charger, but before hooking it up I tried starting the car. Fired right up like nothing had ever happened, and the idle was a little slow but not scary. So I let it run another 20 minutes or so before stopping it.

No check engine light on now, it was on when the key was in "ON" this morning right after the stall... My current plan is to see what it does tomorrow morning, if it won't start either jump it again and drive to a place to get the battery and system checked, or just pull the battery and take only it to a store. I just don't like how the battery apparently died without reason - no lights left on, no weird weather events, nothing. But obviously the motor is able to recharge it at least somewhat, otherwise it wouldn't have restarted, right?

Any opinions, words of wisdom, etc. would be much appreciated.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-01-2005, 06:35 AM
my_e36 my_e36 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Mein Auto: e36 323i coupe
my guess is...

Bad idle control valve (ICV)
or
Bad Air Flow Sensor
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-01-2005, 06:51 AM
Nick325xiT 5spd's Avatar
Nick325xiT 5spd Nick325xiT 5spd is offline
Registered User
Location: Bethesda, MD
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 10,856
Send a message via ICQ to Nick325xiT 5spd Send a message via AIM to Nick325xiT 5spd Send a message via Yahoo to Nick325xiT 5spd
Mein Auto: M3 & 323i/999 KP
Did you only try the OBD thing once? It takes most people quite a few tries to get it right.
__________________
2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
2002 BMW M3 Alpinweiß/Black
1999 323i KP/GTS2 Alpinweiß
1990 325is Brilliantrot/Tan
1989 325is S50B30US Alpinweiß/Black
1989 M3 Alpinweiß/Black S50B32 (321hp, ITBs)


Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-02-2005, 09:40 AM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
Registered User
Location: Reno, NV
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 1995 325iC
Ok, things are looking up now.

It fired up just fine yesterday morning, so I took it straight away to Autozone. They said the alternator was fine, but the battery, while somewhat charged from the driving, wouldn't hold a charge. So I went in to buy a new battery, and found out that they don't even carry the right size. But they were nice enough to recommend a few places and lend me their phone book. I didn't even try calling the stealer, and the only German mechanic who could locate such a battery wanted $170. Then I tried Batteries Plus, and it was there, only $100 installed.

So after getting a jump from the Autozone guys, I went to the next place and got my new battery. The car now jumps to life with a vigor I've never seen, and runs just fine. Hopefully this was all it needed...

The moral is, check with battery supply stores for these weird-sized batteries - you might save a bundle!

Thanks to everyone for their input. Hopefully the idle problem was a red herring, or maybe just a slightly dirty ICV. Never did get the OBD to work, but then again the check engine light was off after the first jumpstart.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-25-2005, 08:06 AM
new4me328ic new4me328ic is offline
Registered User
Location: nashville
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
Mein Auto: 1997 328ic
So...I'm a newbie - What's this tool free code you're talking about? My 97 328ic is very unhappy the 1st time I start it each morning. It has a really rough time idleing properly. But as soon as I hit the gas and work with it for a few seconds....it springs to life & fires beautifully the remainder of the day. Is this something that the "code" can help me with?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-28-2005, 08:26 PM
bibi_mwewe bibi_mwewe is offline
Registered User
Location: Reno, NV
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 54
Mein Auto: 1995 325iC
For some models you can find out the OBD error codes without buying one of those expensive Peake diagnostic tools simply by doing a certain sequence of brake pedal pumping while the ignition is in the "on" position. The car will flash the error code if you do it right... Do a search, someone should have a link posted leading to specific instructions. I'd think it'd only be applicable if you have a Check Engine light on or something similar, but I'm not sure. I've never gotten it to work, luckily haven't really needed it.

You might try starting a new thread with your car's problem, you might get more advice that way. I'm new at this car maintenance/repair stuff, so I can't really help. All I can say is that that shouldn't be happening, my '95 purrs like a kitten at all times...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 09-29-2005, 02:41 AM
G_VMP G_VMP is offline
Registered User
Location: UK
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: Bmw 320i
sounds liek you just need to replace ur acclerator cable. i hav knowen some1 with a simular fault. if you want to use the car try keepin it reving while driving and braking
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 09-29-2005, 06:01 PM
oxford oxford is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 143
Mein Auto: '01 Z3, '03 330i
code reading

Quote:
Originally Posted by new4me328ic
So...I'm a newbie - What's this tool free code you're talking about? My 97 328ic is very unhappy the 1st time I start it each morning. It has a really rough time idleing properly. But as soon as I hit the gas and work with it for a few seconds....it springs to life & fires beautifully the remainder of the day. Is this something that the "code" can help me with?
Your '97 is OBD-II. I don't think the pump the pedal to read the code "trick" will work for you. But all the major auto parts stores will read the code for you.

Have you had the starting problem for more than one tank of gas? I had a similar problem once that started right after I bought gas. Turned out to be "bad gas" - a fresh tank of gas cured it and I have had no more such problems. (BTW, this problem didn't set any codes or turn the check engine light on.)
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How to Save Money Doing Euro Delivery Nat Brown Ask-A-Dealer 138 02-19-2014 01:38 PM
The same old code again!!!! kenkorsak E36 (1991 - 1999) 6 01-21-2014 04:58 PM
* M6 * - Press Release from BMW Emission E63 / E64 M6 (2006 - 2010) 6 03-06-2007 07:20 AM
The $95k E46 M3 BlackChrome General Automotive Forum 19 06-01-2006 05:32 PM
KrisL's driving history (long, lots of pics) KrisL General Automotive Forum 16 10-13-2005 07:21 AM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:57 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms