Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:08 AM
e36m31999 e36m31999 is online now
Registered User
Location: las vegas
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1999 bmw m3
Mechanic can't help maybe you guys can.

My girlfriends e36 328I cabrio has been starting really weak recently. Mechanic says it could be a bad piston. He goes under the steering wheel area and plugs in his diagnostics device and it won't turn on. He says that the obd in the car is not working because he's device won't even turn on so he can't even diagnose the problem. How can I make the whatever it is that won't turn his diagnostics tool work again? Any ideas? Thanks

Sent from my C6606 using BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote
Ads by Google
  #2  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:17 AM
Eight Thirty Eight Thirty is offline
nothing.
Location: Rochester, Ny
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 13,332
Mein Auto: A dream
why start with the computer to diagnose the problems that your having right now though?


how about checking the battery charge?

how about checking the pressure on the fuel rail/pump/filter?

those nifty things that can tell you when there is pressure on a cylinder......... its not plugged in though its twisted in....













find a new mechanic?
__________________
Previously:
1994 325ic "Vanessa", 1992 318i "Noelle", 1992 325i "Lower it"
Currently:
1998 323is "Blue car", 1995 325i "Bomber"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:18 AM
iiNFAMOUS's Avatar
iiNFAMOUS iiNFAMOUS is offline
Lowered.
Location: Kalamazoo, MI
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 234
Mein Auto: '95 325is
do you have a check engine light?
__________________

1995 Hellrot 325is | Raceland Ultimo Coilovers | K&N Full Intake | CCFL Projector Halo Headlights | Smoked "Euro" Taillights
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:30 AM
e36m31999 e36m31999 is online now
Registered User
Location: las vegas
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1999 bmw m3
Yeah engine light is on

Sent from my C6606 using BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-19-2014, 12:34 AM
e36m31999 e36m31999 is online now
Registered User
Location: las vegas
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1999 bmw m3
I'm honestly not that great with getting deep in to the car, sounds ignorant I know but I've never been really good at this I need more education as you can tell. The only reason why I want what plug that is that's under the steering wheel by the pedals to work is yo avoid anymore professional labor and just get a sound diagnosis because the engine seems to be getting weaker and I don't want a chain reaction of mishaps

Sent from my C6606 using BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:41 AM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17,748
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
If your mechanic gave up after not being able to use the OBD2 diagnostic port, I wouldn't recommend going back to that mechanic...

When you say that the car has been "starting really weak", do you mean that it has a hard time cranking the engine over when starting, or that it cranks up fine but then the engine feels underpowered once it has started?
__________________

1998 BMW 328is Shooting Brake
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:08 AM
e36m31999 e36m31999 is online now
Registered User
Location: las vegas
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1999 bmw m3
Yeah sounds like what I'm gonna have to do.
When the engine is turning over that's when it sounds weak not the same power when we first got her.

Sent from my C6606 using BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-19-2014, 09:51 AM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,747
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Take the car to one of the big box parts stores like Autozone or Advance autoparts. Get the battery tested first, then have them try their scan tool. They typically don't charge for doing either test. If the battery is bad, replacing it might solve some of the other issues.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-19-2014, 11:37 AM
outlander108 outlander108 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 145
Mein Auto: bmw 325IS E36
I would never go back to a mechanic like that...had someone like that before trying to charge me 100's for new ABS module cause he couldnt get his scan tool to communicate with the unit...when the main problem was a wheel speed sensor but anyways...
it depends on how much experience you have working on car there are things you can test yourself...
start with the basic and easy stuff first as the guys before me recommended like test battery, if it is fine check to make sure that all coil packs are firing by unplugging and plugging one harness at a time you should notice change in RPM for a functioning coil, no change in rpm means bad coil, or bad spark plug or bad wiring harness or even no signal from the computer, the worst case scenario is loss of compression...
how much do you know about the history of the car...like when was last the cat converter replaced or O2 sensors?

start with cheap and basic stuff first (process of elimination)...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-19-2014, 11:42 AM
guy10596 guy10596 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: WEST COAST FL
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 141
Mein Auto: BMW Z 3 1998
weak start

well it could be many things start with the battery like the owner says above , at advance auto they will run a check that will tell you is it the battery the alternator, or the starter , as for the back yard helper , Dont back to him . from reading your post you know more then he dose .
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-19-2014, 01:59 PM
J. Koopman's Avatar
J. Koopman J. Koopman is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Idaho
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: 1998 323is
If all he checked was the OBD2 port under the steering wheel then he doesn't know much about the e36. Depending on what year your car is, you need to check for codes at the circular OBD1 port in the engine bay. I recommend purchasing a Peak Research tool as it allows you to read codes as well as clear them once you have made your repairs and is reasonably priced.
__________________


“In the olden days I always got the impression that TVR built a car, put it on sale, and then found out how it handled – usually when one of their customers wrote to the factory complaining about how dead he was.” -Jeremy Clarkson
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:11 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17,748
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Koopman View Post
If all he checked was the OBD2 port under the steering wheel then he doesn't know much about the e36. Depending on what year your car is, you need to check for codes at the circular OBD1 port in the engine bay. I recommend purchasing a Peak Research tool as it allows you to read codes as well as clear them once you have made your repairs and is reasonably priced.
We already know the car is obd2 because it's a 328. Also, all e36 models (including obd2 cars) have the round diagnostic port in the engine bay.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is Shooting Brake
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:15 PM
J. Koopman's Avatar
J. Koopman J. Koopman is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Idaho
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 138
Mein Auto: 1998 323is
Doh! I missed the 328 part. On my '98 the OBD1 port will tell the tool things the OBD2 port will not. Maybe a problem with my OBD2 port?
__________________


“In the olden days I always got the impression that TVR built a car, put it on sale, and then found out how it handled – usually when one of their customers wrote to the factory complaining about how dead he was.” -Jeremy Clarkson
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-19-2014, 02:55 PM
ZeGerman's Avatar
ZeGerman ZeGerman is offline
Warm Leatherette
Location: Seattle, WA
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 17,748
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 328is
No, it sounds like your car is behaving normally. I think the port under the hood has greater functionality than the obd2 port in the footwell.
__________________

1998 BMW 328is Shooting Brake
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-19-2014, 05:45 PM
drivinfaster's Avatar
drivinfaster drivinfaster is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: in the sticks you piney
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 10,149
Mein Auto: rescued bmw's
oe scan tools will always be able to do more than the 'generic' port, regardless of make or model. bmw is just one of the few that still uses both ports.


as for the op issue, i agree that clarification needs to be made in regard to the actual issue.

is the car taking longer to start??

is it cranking slower??

is it cranking at an irregular speed fast/slow/fast like wzzzawzzzawzawzzzawzzawzawzzza??




df
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-19-2014, 08:16 PM
hnaz hnaz is offline
BMW CCA Member
Location: Communist Republic of Maryland
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,409
Mein Auto: 328i, M3, 325is M-Tech
It could be a battery if you see your ABS and ASC lights on as well as your dash lights.
__________________
Harry // 1995 Avus Blue M3 - 1994 Alpine Weiss 325is M-Tech (converted to a true M3 prototype) - 1998 Hellrot 328i // BMW CCA #453346 - North Capitol Chapter
My 325is M-Tech Restoration Thread
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:21 AM
dwonda's Avatar
dwonda dwonda is offline
Insane in the membrane!
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,477
Mein Auto: 1996 328iS
As far as I knew the OBDII port on these cars doesn't tell you squat, I fell like they are there just because legally they have to be. Whenever my old mechanic plugged his computer in, (which was a good one, cost over $2000) it just told him to plug it in under the hood (basically). I don't know what else the OBDII port can tell you, but I know for a fact that if you want to communicate with ABS, or an Auto tranny, you need to use the plug under the hood.
__________________
Andrew <OO[ ][ ]OO>

1996 328iS - Original Cooling System, Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit Sport Suspension
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-20-2014, 07:23 AM
dwonda's Avatar
dwonda dwonda is offline
Insane in the membrane!
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,477
Mein Auto: 1996 328iS
Quote:
Originally Posted by outlander108 View Post
I would never go back to a mechanic like that...had someone like that before trying to charge me 100's for new ABS module cause he couldnt get his scan tool to communicate with the unit...when the main problem was a wheel speed sensor but anyways...


Hey what part of Canada do you live in?
__________________
Andrew <OO[ ][ ]OO>

1996 328iS - Original Cooling System, Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit Sport Suspension
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-20-2014, 08:18 AM
dc_wright's Avatar
dc_wright dc_wright is offline
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Orlando, Florida
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 5,747
Send a message via ICQ to dc_wright
Mein Auto: '96 328iC, '04 325Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post
As far as I knew the OBDII port on these cars doesn't tell you squat, I fell like they are there just because legally they have to be. Whenever my old mechanic plugged his computer in, (which was a good one, cost over $2000) it just told him to plug it in under the hood (basically). I don't know what else the OBDII port can tell you, but I know for a fact that if you want to communicate with ABS, or an Auto tranny, you need to use the plug under the hood.
You can get most of the required fault codes for the engine through the OBDII port. There are some BMW specific codes that a generic code reader will read but will give you some obtuse code message as a result. The reason you can't read anything other then engine codes through the OBDII port is because that's all the OBDII requirement made the manufacturers include.
__________________
2006 Z4 3.0si Sport Package (But I'll still hang with my "homies" in the E36 forum)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-20-2014, 10:46 AM
outlander108 outlander108 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 145
Mein Auto: bmw 325IS E36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwonda View Post


Hey what part of Canada do you live in?
Victoria , BC

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-20-2014, 04:54 PM
dwonda's Avatar
dwonda dwonda is offline
Insane in the membrane!
Location: North Carolina
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,477
Mein Auto: 1996 328iS
Oh okay, chances of you being from Winnipeg are low, but I thought I'd ask anyways, because I know the best mechanic over there that you will probably ever meet.
__________________
Andrew <OO[ ][ ]OO>

1996 328iS - Original Cooling System, Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit Sport Suspension
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms