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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 10-16-2011, 08:18 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Unhappy Car not starting, ignition switch, starter?

So here's the deal. My car will not start. I turn the key and nothing. No clicking, no attempt at turning, nada. The gauge cluster lights up as usual. So after doing some searching and testing, I have eliminated the following possibilities:

Battery
Cables
Fuses
Fuel pump
Key

This is not the first time this has happened. It has happened in the past but after a few attempts of turing the key, I was able to get it started, luckily.

From what I have read, I have heard it can be my ignition switch or....the dreaded starter which I heard is a pain to get to. I am wondering what kind of tests I can do to make sure it is the starter or something else. Not sure where to go from here

I have an auto with 106000 on the clock.
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2011, 10:32 AM
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Remove battery, take to auto zone or similar and have it tested. It is probably dead enough to not have the amps to crank but still light the cluster. Much more common than starter.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2011, 11:02 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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Once the battery passes muster, get under the car and measure voltages at the starter solenoid terminals. Should have battery voltage at the main connection at all times, and battery voltage at the control connection when someone holds the key at Start position (3).
  • If no voltage at main lead, check the pyrofuse on the battery positive terminal.
  • If no voltage at the control lead, then the immobilizer on the EWS module may be acting up or said module is not "reading" the chip on the key. The antenna on the ignition switch?
  • If voltage everywere, you are screwed my friend, and your starter ist kaput.
  • Can also try jumpering between the main and control terminals while someone is holding the key in Start position; that will confirm if the solenoid is bad.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2011, 11:12 AM
ziggyp ziggyp is offline
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Exclamation No Click, No Crank...No Start!

I'm experiencing the same problem. After battery was tested and checked good, (I was able to jump start the vehicle) I took my vehicle to the robber's who had previously repaired it. Unfortunately and un-be-knownst to me this automotive service had changed mechanics since my last repair.

Upon arrival at the shop my vehicle presented with "no-start, no-crank and service engine soon illuminated" I advised the shop that I wanted them to remove and replace the starter motor (I knew this was beyond my capability) I suspected was bad after my research. I also provided a new exhaust camshaft position sensor. I had previously removed and replaced the intake camshaft position sensor (which cleared a previous service engine soon lite), but couldn't locate/change the rear one.

First and formost my advise is "DO NOT JUMP START" your battery. The mechanic advised me that I was wrong to jump start my vehicle at the terminals located in the engine compartment. I was advised that BMW's should be jump started at the vehicles battery terminals (which was contradictory to my research). I've come to believe that jump starting your vehicle period will likely damage its' electronics.

With that said, after receiving the vehicle the mechanic laid hands (and test equipment) on the vehicle "scanned BCM" and tested key pass system. Determined that "key code was not recognized and re-programed keys". Also "scanned ECM and found fault code for camshaft sensor fault (advised me this fault was cleared after R&R'ing rear camshaft sensor). Final results..., starter and relay need to be replaced. Whoohooo! They R&R'd the starter assembly (and relay) and the exhaust camshaft position sensor. But this gets better.

They "rechecked computor after replacement, several codes were stored in memory, several areas need to be diagnosed; Fault code P0143--tank leak detected/major leak (I asked if they had checked to gas cap...NO), 238--misfire cylinder #1 "feels like it has a transmission problem//cannot accelerate, 243--misfire cylinder #6, D7--tank level sensor, BE--internal error light, SE38--rotation rate sensor circuit, 5DF4--system voltage>9 volts" AND "heater and air conditioning system not working and not illuminating (Allegedly before starter replacement)"

I initially decided to leave the vehicle for more test to begin after the weekend. However, during my trying out the vehicles starting after the repairs I noted that the although the vehicle started right up...the starter sounded as if it was going to damage the flywheel. While pondering that loud "clang" when the starter engaged the flywheel (and with the shops service manager at my side) I decided to check the fuses (why pay a mechanic $150/HR. to check fuses) and lo' and behold the fuse for the heater (#28) was mysteriously missing (misplaced). When I placed it into its' proper recepticle the air conditioning and heater panel illuminated. YES...It was a miracle? NO!

I had advised the mechanic to switch the positions of the #1 & 6 ignition coils on Monday to observe if the faults followed the switch or remained with the cylinders #1 & 6. I now remembered him telling me "I have diagnostic procedures to follow. I can do what you want , but how will doing that help keep your wife comfortable while driving, especially with winter approaching? This was my first AAAHHAAAA moment! And I decided to take the vehicle home and inspect all of the fuses.

As I'm driving home I noticed the little red gear with the exclamation mark inside it was illuminated in the instrument cluster. The transmission was operating in the "limp mode". The mechanic had observed an obvious problem with the transmission during a test drive after replacing the starter and camshaft sensor...BUT DID NOT KNOW (OR DID NOT ADMIT) THAT THE TRANSMISSION MODULE HAD CAUSED THE TRANSMISSION TO GO INTO A DEFAULT MODE AFTER REGISTERING A FAULT.

So I'm torn. I want to have this auto service figure out what is still wrong with the new starter, causing it to sound as if it's destroying the flywheel. But How can I be sure these people are competent OR scrupulous?

Anyone know of a competent AND scrupulous BMW "robber"/ mechanic in or around Fort Washington, MD? Thanx for the referral to admin@aa-canvas-upholstery.com.

George "ziggy" Pierce
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2011, 12:06 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Remove battery, take to auto zone or similar and have it tested. It is probably dead enough to not have the amps to crank but still light the cluster. Much more common than starter.
Did that, battery is good as it should be since it is only 3 months old.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
Once the battery passes muster, get under the car and measure voltages at the starter solenoid terminals. Should have battery voltage at the main connection at all times, and battery voltage at the control connection when someone holds the key at Start position (3).
  • If no voltage at main lead, check the pyrofuse on the battery positive terminal.
  • If no voltage at the control lead, then the immobilizer on the EWS module may be acting up or said module is not "reading" the chip on the key. The antenna on the ignition switch?
  • If voltage everywere, you are screwed my friend, and your starter ist kaput.
  • Can also try jumpering between the main and control terminals while someone is holding the key in Start position; that will confirm if the solenoid is bad.
Looks like I will have my work cut out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggyp View Post
I'm experiencing the same problem. After battery was tested and checked good, (I was able to jump start the vehicle) I took my vehicle to the robber's who had previously repaired it. Unfortunately and un-be-knownst to me this automotive service had changed mechanics since my last repair.

Upon arrival at the shop my vehicle presented with "no-start, no-crank and service engine soon illuminated" I advised the shop that I wanted them to remove and replace the starter motor (I knew this was beyond my capability) I suspected was bad after my research. I also provided a new exhaust camshaft position sensor. I had previously removed and replaced the intake camshaft position sensor (which cleared a previous service engine soon lite), but couldn't locate/change the rear one.

First and formost my advise is "DO NOT JUMP START" your battery. The mechanic advised me that I was wrong to jump start my vehicle at the terminals located in the engine compartment. I was advised that BMW's should be jump started at the vehicles battery terminals (which was contradictory to my research). I've come to believe that jump starting your vehicle period will likely damage its' electronics.

With that said, after receiving the vehicle the mechanic laid hands (and test equipment) on the vehicle "scanned BCM" and tested key pass system. Determined that "key code was not recognized and re-programed keys". Also "scanned ECM and found fault code for camshaft sensor fault (advised me this fault was cleared after R&R'ing rear camshaft sensor). Final results..., starter and relay need to be replaced. Whoohooo! They R&R'd the starter assembly (and relay) and the exhaust camshaft position sensor. But this gets better.

They "rechecked computor after replacement, several codes were stored in memory, several areas need to be diagnosed; Fault code P0143--tank leak detected/major leak (I asked if they had checked to gas cap...NO), 238--misfire cylinder #1 "feels like it has a transmission problem//cannot accelerate, 243--misfire cylinder #6, D7--tank level sensor, BE--internal error light, SE38--rotation rate sensor circuit, 5DF4--system voltage>9 volts" AND "heater and air conditioning system not working and not illuminating (Allegedly before starter replacement)"

I initially decided to leave the vehicle for more test to begin after the weekend. However, during my trying out the vehicles starting after the repairs I noted that the although the vehicle started right up...the starter sounded as if it was going to damage the flywheel. While pondering that loud "clang" when the starter engaged the flywheel (and with the shops service manager at my side) I decided to check the fuses (why pay a mechanic $150/HR. to check fuses) and lo' and behold the fuse for the heater (#28) was mysteriously missing (misplaced). When I placed it into its' proper recepticle the air conditioning and heater panel illuminated. YES...It was a miracle? NO!

I had advised the mechanic to switch the positions of the #1 & 6 ignition coils on Monday to observe if the faults followed the switch or remained with the cylinders #1 & 6. I now remembered him telling me "I have diagnostic procedures to follow. I can do what you want , but how will doing that help keep your wife comfortable while driving, especially with winter approaching? This was my first AAAHHAAAA moment! And I decided to take the vehicle home and inspect all of the fuses.

As I'm driving home I noticed the little red gear with the exclamation mark inside it was illuminated in the instrument cluster. The transmission was operating in the "limp mode". The mechanic had observed an obvious problem with the transmission during a test drive after replacing the starter and camshaft sensor...BUT DID NOT KNOW (OR DID NOT ADMIT) THAT THE TRANSMISSION MODULE HAD CAUSED THE TRANSMISSION TO GO INTO A DEFAULT MODE AFTER REGISTERING A FAULT.

So I'm torn. I want to have this auto service figure out what is still wrong with the new starter, causing it to sound as if it's destroying the flywheel. But How can I be sure these people are competent OR scrupulous?

Anyone know of a competent AND scrupulous BMW "robber"/ mechanic in or around Fort Washington, MD? Thanx for the referral to admin@aa-canvas-upholstery.com.

George "ziggy" Pierce
Wow, sorry to hear all that trouble you went through. I just want to be sure it is in fact my starter before I take on that task. I would rather replace the ignition switch, I already have removed all the coverings and can see it.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2011, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggyp View Post

Anyone know of a competent AND scrupulous BMW "robber"/ mechanic in or around Fort Washington, MD? Thanx for the referral to admin@aa-canvas-upholstery.com.

George "ziggy" Pierce
Have you tried yelp.com?
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2011, 01:29 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Anyone have a good diagram of the location of the starter? I looked it up on realoem.com and it only shows the starter unit itself, not the location.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2011, 01:35 PM
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Gryphon Gryphon is online now
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There was actually a diy posted here a few weeks ago, will have to look for it when I get home

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  #9  
Old 10-16-2011, 11:07 PM
craaazycarrot craaazycarrot is offline
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Try unplugging your MAF. If its your starter then your engine won't crank.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2011, 09:54 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Found a pretty good DIY: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...eplace+starter

Looks like I will be talking this during the week/weekend once I order the starter.
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2011, 01:51 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Got the starter swapped out and it was a PITA. There is basically no room for play. Made a cool tool that helps this job go a lot smoother if anyone wants to borrow it.
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