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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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Old 11-24-2012, 04:32 AM
iffy iffy is offline
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Location: uk
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Mein Auto: 325i e46
weird weird starting problem

Got a bad ass problem. I was servicing the car, changing ALL fluids and thought I would also change the ps steering filter. Anyway while doing so, I spilled oil on the alternator and since have had issues with the car starting. It will crank and feel as it wants to start but just wonít. There are however a couple things I should highlight to make things easier.

1. As already mentioned, when I was filling the ps fluid, I spilled some on the altenator or around that area. Is there any connections there that would prevent the car firing up?
2. Immediately after point 1, the car started struggling to start. Cranking but would not start, infact it did fire up briefly once.
3. I had stripped threads on the steering rack and oil was SPEWING from the banjo bolt. Could I of have fouled any earth connections?
4. I made many start and stops with ignition, could I of have blown a fuse?
5. Car is in the air, could I of have tripped a sensor?
6. I am low on fuel, is it possible that could cause an issue? Got at least 8 litres in the tank.
7. I think the battery is ok as it is turning the starter motor, hence the crank.

Really canít think of anything else. The fuel pumps are working. We drained the injectors by removing the pump fuse and then noticed that the injectors filled back up with fuel.
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Old 11-24-2012, 09:49 AM
cvx5832 cvx5832 is offline
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Location: Walnut Creek, CA
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Mein Auto: 325Ci, 325Cic, C300
The alternator has brushes that need to make good contact. If you got a lot of oil spilled on the alternator, I suspect these are fouled.

Remove the VR and inspect.

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