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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 03-26-2017, 07:49 PM
Qazsedcftgb Qazsedcftgb is online now
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Mein Auto: 1998 BMW M3
My M3 won't start when its dark

I recently bought my 98 328i sedan with an M3 motor, and it had sat for a little bit before I bought it (a few years or so). Naturally, things wouldn't work or needed time to be woke back up. My biggest problem right now is that it won't start when I need it, which is early in the morning. Everything else would come on, but there would be no crank.
At first, I thought it was the battery. It was new, but there's no telling how long it sat on the shelf at the store. Several mornings of trying to jump it changed my mind. Next on the list was the starter. It starts perfectly fine in the afternoon when I get home, so I thought that maybe its just the starter didn't like cold starts. I bought a new starter, dropped it in while I was replacing the head gasket, and it starts way better than it did, except it still doesn't start in the morning.
Next was the engine itself. I looked up that the E36 gen cars (and many cars its age) have a problem cold starting. Even though i'm in Florida, the engine is old and it sat for a while before I got it, so I hoped keeping the engine warm until I needed it would work. All day today, I have been using the engine on and off, securing coolant hoses. I got done at around 6, and I came up with the idea to start the car every hour and let it idle for a little bit, just to keep the engine warm and to check on it. Everything goes well until 10. I started it at 9:20ish, and it started no problem. Came back inside, played a game in the meantime, went back out at 10:11 to fire the car up. Turned the key, no crank at all. The engine is still plenty warm and its not cold or humid at all outside, I have no idea where to go from here.
I only have one key, and the only button on it is a little flashlight to see the keyhole on the door at night. It has no lock/unlock button on it. I saw around the forum that its a common problem for the key to not communicate with the car, but I tried the solutions involving the key, and it still wouldn't start.
I've had the ECU sent out and reprogrammed, so I don't think its a computer issue.
The only thing I can think of is maybe some aftermarket security system with an internal clock, but I removed all of the aftermarket security stuff in the car. Unless its hidden in some ungodly spot I can't see. All of the security devices were located behind the drivers kick plate, and there we're a lot.. But I removed all of them. On top of that, the battery has been dead for a few years, I dont think it would function without needing to be reset.

I'm the reason why you fill up your Isuzu.
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  #2  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:28 PM
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acoste acoste is offline
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Is this an automatic? Try to start it in Neutral. Maybe the range selector switch is getting bad.
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  #3  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:29 PM
Qazsedcftgb Qazsedcftgb is online now
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Yeah, its an automatic. I'll try that soon

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  #4  
Old 03-27-2017, 06:27 AM
Qazsedcftgb Qazsedcftgb is online now
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It still did not start

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  #5  
Old 03-27-2017, 09:09 AM
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dc_wright dc_wright is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 Z4 3.0si, '11 128CiC
If trying putting the car in neutral doesn't yield results, this is going to sound a bit insane, but your problem is really unusual. Does you car have the 18 button On Board Computer (OBC)? (Most of the 328's did.) Try changing the time on the digital clock in the car to a time where you know that it started, and see if the car starts. Then change it to a time where you know it didn't start and see if it won't start.
If the issue tracks the time set on the car's clock I have a theory that it's an OBC issue.
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Old 03-27-2017, 10:06 AM
Qazsedcftgb Qazsedcftgb is online now
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I do have the 18 button OBC. How do I reset the time on it?

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Old 03-27-2017, 11:06 AM
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Go to this post and scroll down to the bottom. You can download a copy of the owner's manual that will have the instructions on setting the time.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...83&postcount=1
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  #8  
Old Yesterday, 07:12 AM
Qazsedcftgb Qazsedcftgb is online now
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I reset the clock at 4PM to 6 AM, and the car started up. I did the same thing at 10PM to 6AM, and it started. At 6AM, I put the clock to 4PM, and it wouldn't start.

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  #9  
Old Yesterday, 07:38 AM
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acoste acoste is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazsedcftgb View Post
I reset the clock at 4PM to 6 AM, and the car started up. I did the same thing at 10PM to 6AM, and it started. At 6AM, I put the clock to 4PM, and it wouldn't start.

I'm the reason why you fill up your Isuzu.
Ok, so it's not clock related, but time.
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Last edited by acoste; Yesterday at 07:40 AM.
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