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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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Old Yesterday, 11:56 AM
crossroads99 crossroads99 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
Bimmer E36 Gurus please...noob help

Hi everyone, to be short and to the point, i recently purchased a 1999 E36 2321C 5 speed, engine is a M52. the car seems factory other than a few M series upgrades done by the dealership. I have done vehicles from low-riders( air bags, body drops) classics ( chop tops, channels, frame notches, etc) as for technology Ive been more in the LS family owning a 98 camaro & 99 C5 corvette, both having extensive internal engine work... I always prefer to perform the work on my vehicles my own, i give this background as an idea of my capabilities to work on vehicles.....I have never worked on BMWs other than a late model 7 series and it was just general maintenance work. So I'm a total Noob to the BMW world & further more trouble shooting a 3 series, so any help or telling me I missed a sticky link would be more than appreciated. Heres what Ive gotten so far:

Each time I put a charged battery into the car the alarm is stuck going off, vehicle does not attempt to spin over or "crank".

All fuses have been checked as good with a test probe
horn works
radio would but it wants the lock out code
Head & Tail lamps turn on & off
All Gauge and dash lights function fine
the vehicle shows 1/4 tank of fuel
the dash diagnostics performs its duty yet only tells me refer to owners manual since the washer fluid is low
I have power under the hood at the "starter block" on the passenger side I hear a lot about to check.
The clutch pedal switch test OK but is jumped together just to X-out that variable for now
I only have one key and key fob also
I bypassed the hood trigger also not knowing if it receives solid contact on closing the hood

Short history of this vehicle is my cousin parked the bmw an allowed it to sit and let the battery dies for over a month. When he charged the battery it started the alarm mode its stuck in now. when he talked to BMW they wanted to bring the car into the dealership, to tow that car over 45 mins & whatever they charge is most the cost of the car itself for me.

I have goolged and forum searched for over a week, I notice these cars are very specific on the battery being good or bad & its specs itself ( CA,CCA, etc) the battery that he used since having the car and worked fine is a 35-DL it is below what i have read being the spec for this vehicle...Autozone tested the battery itself as good ( 2 different store locations).

I am not trying to just throw parts at the vehicle so I am asking for some more things to troubleshoot or will the alarm lock or EWS i think i called all over this battery? I will go by whatever battery is recommended of me to by from users on here I know have more knowledge than myself, I'm just trying not to if I should be looking else where.

Thanks again for any help & if I left out anything please let me know,

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Old Yesterday, 01:52 PM
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dc_wright dc_wright is online now
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Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Could be an alarm or an EWSII issue but first thing to check is if it's a factory alarm system. The factory alarm is mounted behind the glove box and most aftermarket alarms are also since that's where the alarm connector is located if the car is prewired for an alarm from the factory. If its a factory alarm module I would disconnect it and see what happens then. To get instructions on how to pull the glove box, look up how to change the cabin air filter as that's a common approach when changing it. Note, while you have the glove box out to trouble shoot this, change the cabin air filter while you're in there. You'll thank your self later.
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
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Old Yesterday, 06:04 PM
crossroads99 crossroads99 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
Excellent info, thank you for taking the time on what be a deaten dead horse on the forums. Im almost certain its a factory alarm as I have a factory key fob, the fatory alarm siren is still mounted on the passenger side behind the light ( I have it unplugged due to its noise)

I wasnt aware I could just power down the factory alarm without causing any further starting issues. Bmw usually has a fail safe for a fail safe, I guess that would be the rolling secuoty in the key, anyways ill take your advice, tho not looking forward to b pulling the dash out its still an optuin for me and as said ill change the cabin filter, I plan to wrench on this car for a few years as they are good cars and timeless body lines.

Thanks again for your knowledge and sharing, ill post back in a few days when I get time to pull the dash, im sure it takes a few hours and I pull 12 hours shifts rite now

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Old Yesterday, 08:43 PM
crossroads99 crossroads99 is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 3
Mein Auto:
Update-- the car is completely stock in all its wiring behind the glove box. I removed the glovebox itself and the ac/ button area to access the area. I didnt even find any loose connections or splices in the area, I located the green plug going into the alarm device and traced it to the black harness, I un plugged it then powered the car with everything shut but the trunk. ...I got the same issues from the car. I tried a few other methods that I quick searched on you tube about bad alarm modules and what not, nothing worked as for attempting to reprogram the remote fob in key position 2, the fob tested good and lights up yet it would not program to the car. I know this is going off the main focus, I was just troubleshooting all I could at the time.

Should I start focusing on the EWSII you mentioned? I am for attempting whatever recommened to me.

P.S. I changed thr cabin filter....auto boys had one dusty box in stock
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