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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 12-02-2016, 02:59 PM
03330ci 03330ci is offline
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Cranks but wont start/ comm error when connected to computer

My car will start but wont turn over, it simply wont catch. Then performs fine for my mechanic and the dealer. But when I bring it home and park it in my garage, it hasnt started for me in the am... Can anyone help???? (my car: 03 330ci 105k miles)
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This all started 2 weeks ago, my car would crank but not catch. I had it towed to my mechanic after 2 days and multiple trys. It then apparently started with no issues for the mechanic over the holiday weekend, but his diagnostics computer would not read the cars computer (error i think). I then drove it to the dealer for a further check up, again started fine with them, no issues. I take it to work, run some errands, drive home, next morning NO START... I called a mobile mechanic who came out, put a voltage power thing to the wire base of the fuel pump, and it started fine. So he thought it may be the relay switch, so we changed that, still no start, we then checked the fuses a second time, the fuel pump fuse (i believe?? #54 in the glove box) was busted, as soon as we put a new one in the car ran fine all day. This morning, AGAIN NO START.
Additionally, his diagnostics reader also read comm error when plugged in.
Can all this be related to the fuel pump just not working when I start my car every morning?? Even if it was changed 3 years ago?
PLEASE PLEASE any advise is welcomed
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2016, 03:17 PM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Does the fuse for the fuel pump blow everytime you try and start it?
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:30 PM
03330ci 03330ci is offline
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I checked it this morning after about 3-4 starting attempts, the fuse was fine from what I saw.
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Old 12-02-2016, 03:36 PM
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The fuel pump is supposed to keep fuel pressure to the rail and injectors even when the car is shut off via a check valve. Sounds like a bad pump is the culprit here. But I'm 2000 miles away and only making an educated guess. Did you buy an OEM pump (VDO/Siemens) or some off brand? If the latter, early failure isn't uncommon.
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Old 12-02-2016, 08:33 PM
03330ci 03330ci is offline
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Thats probably a great question to know the answer for. Honestly I am not sure if they installed an OEM pump or not. Everyone in these forums has been eluding to the fuel pump or something having to do with it based on my symptoms, which is super helpful it it is in fact the case, I really don't know much about this other than what I witnessed with the mobile mechanic who helped me out yesterday. But when I call around and describe what has transpired, shops tell me it can be anything. I would easily believe the pump can go out after just 3 years with my driving, but watching the mobile mechanic apply power to the wire or wires that connect to the fuel pump and having me start up the car just fine makes me wonder how it can be the pump. But again, I unfortunately know very little about this.
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Old 12-02-2016, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 03330ci View Post
Thats probably a great question to know the answer for. Honestly I am not sure if they installed an OEM pump or not. Everyone in these forums has been eluding to the fuel pump or something having to do with it based on my symptoms, which is super helpful it it is in fact the case, I really don't know much about this other than what I witnessed with the mobile mechanic who helped me out yesterday. But when I call around and describe what has transpired, shops tell me it can be anything. I would easily believe the pump can go out after just 3 years with my driving, but watching the mobile mechanic apply power to the wire or wires that connect to the fuel pump and having me start up the car just fine makes me wonder how it can be the pump. But again, I unfortunately know very little about this.
If putting power directly to it (under the back seat passenger side is where he should have been to do this) made the car start that would say it's the relay not the pump. Usually they work or they don't. But who knows. You have odd symptoms that unfortunately don't lead me to a pin point diagnosis.

If I were you I'd swap the fuel pump relay for the one next to it (A/C relay if memory serves) and see if your problems persist. That's a free way to test the theory of the relay.
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Last edited by smolck; 12-02-2016 at 09:24 PM.
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crank no start, fuel pump, fuel relay switch, fuse 54


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