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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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  #1  
Old 11-27-2012, 11:11 PM
Leashes Leashes is offline
Fishtardo
Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 1994 325is
No Start. Has spark and fuel, any ideas?

Hi,
I've done some searching on this but didn't find quite what I need here. I appreciate any help you guys can give and I apologize if I have missed a thread that already covers this.
The car: 1994 325is 5 spd non-ASC 178,000 miles
What happened: I had been experiencing a strange glitch with the gauges over the last few days, they would go dark and then go through the starting sequence repeatedly. Very heavy rain locally. I came home driving on fumes Friday, no start Saturday, added gas Sunday and it's still not running. It turns over and sometimes will try to cough. Lights and starter are strong.
What we have tried:
-blink codes: nothing initially, then MAF started showing after extensive messing around with starting fluid directly into the intake
-tested relays for fuel pump and DME: Ok
-checked DME compartment: dry
-checked for spark: yes- pulled coil pack one and it sparked when cranked.
-Checked for fuel: smelled gas in the exhaust after attempting to start the car, there was gas on the spark plug we pulled as well. I am wondering if pulling the line off the fuel rail is the next step
-Starting fluid: after many attempts we were able to get it to run for a moment with starting fluid. It sometimes seemed like it almost wanted to start but only did once. It sounded terrible.
-Intake Boot: This had a substantial crack. When it ran for that brief second, the crack was being held shut. I've filled the crack with liquid gasket and it's curing now until I can get a new boot. The larger hose coming out of the bottom of the boot is also cracked.

I'm pretty stumped. It's my understanding that if either the crank or camshaft sensor was bad, there would be no spark. The fuel filter has not been replaced for quite a while and could be full of gunk but I am not sure that could cause a no start. The lack of success with the starting fluid is puzzling if it's a simple fuel problem. Vacuum? Ignition issue?
Any information you all have would be appreciated. I have another car to drive so I'm not ready to go crying to the mechanic just yet!
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:29 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Mein Auto: '99 M3 Cab & '05 X5 4.8is
Loose wire causing intermittent gauge problem.

Might be an intermittent crank sensor problem. You're luck you have the M50, so it's at the front of the car instead of under the starter. Try to find one from a working car and swap it just to see.

The cracked hoses on those vacuum lines will make it tough to start and idle. Find a way to seal the cracks or replace the hoses. I was able to seal up my intake boot and get an extra month out of it, but it's $25 on pelican, and nothing works better than new.

Good luck and don't stop trying!
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2012, 10:58 AM
Leusent Leusent is offline
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I've had my gauges go nuts on other cars before due to bad grounds. Clean and reseat your grounds.
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  #4  
Old 11-28-2012, 11:23 AM
Leashes Leashes is offline
Fishtardo
Location: Seattle
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Mein Auto: 1994 325is
Thanks! I am working now but have ordered the boot. I think it might be time for the sensor, too. I'll let you know what happens tonight after I have checked the grounds and installed the repaired boot. I'm going to try to improvise a hose repair too.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:03 AM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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You should search before posting..
There are literally thousands of threads regarding "no start issues"
Since your car was running ok previous to the weather turning.. Im betting you have water someplace it shouldnt be.


Clean, Clean, Clean the MAF.. remove screens on MAF, use spray FIRST, (and LIGHTLY with q-tip if necessary) clean the element.
Clean Throttle body
Clean Throttle position sensor
Check for vacuum leaks
Check the hoses that are plumbed into the boot on intake

Disconnect, clean, lube, and reconnect all associated electrical connections.

Cheers!
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2012, 10:56 AM
Leashes Leashes is offline
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Location: Seattle
 
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Mein Auto: 1994 325is
Well I am behind a couple days here, but she runs! Repaired intake boot and hose, cleaned maf and the car started! Thanks for all the good advice. Now to put it all back together......
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2012, 04:26 PM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
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Glad to hear it!!

Take pics for your future posts.
You never know if you're going to be helping out someone else in the future.



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  #8  
Old 12-16-2012, 05:08 PM
van556 van556 is offline
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Ews???
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