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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Oh boy, have I gotten myself into something.

I'm new to working on cars, and I got lucky enough to know someone who has a lot of cars to flip, which are just lying around. This one is mine if I can fix it.

Anyways, its a BMW 2008 328xi. Which is the sports wagon.

Previous owner got a new battery before I got ahold of it, as he thought it was the issue.

Now I'm trying to diagnose what in the hell is wrong with this car, I've done my fair share of research on this particular model, and bmw's in general now.

The symptoms: no crank, CAS clicking repeatedly when start button pressed, lots of fun lights on the dash (Abs, low tire pressure, caution sign with an arrow around it, service engine soon), LCD lights up with nice fun symbols too (red caution sign, red service sign with car on lift, sometimes it shows a battery, wiper fluid light, box with waves in it?? not sure what that is, and there used to be a transmission malfunction image before the trans computer was reset).

What I do know: Starter works, and engages when shorted, battery is relatively new, I see lots of people having problems with their new batteries which makes me think that there is a reason that its not working as intended (not sure if the battery is really good or not, I need a good charger to make sure), no detonation device on vcc battery terminal, all accessories in the car power on when start is pressed, key fob is recognized, junction has power. Previous owner said that they parked, came back and car wouldn't shift or start. The car had to be overridden manually in order to get it into neutral.

Suspicions: Alternator draining battery while sleeping, faulty fuse draining in sleep, CAS not powering starter properly, Computer hasn't been coded for battery, bad connection

Need help!
 

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Do you own a Windows Laptop Computer? If so, get K+DCAN Cable from BimmerGeeks ($50) and download BMW Standard Tools (INPA) & E89 Datens (Data files for E9x vehicles). If you are going to try to resurrect a vehicle that has been owned/maintained (loosely-speaking) by owners who knew LESS than you :giggle: , you are going to NEED BMW Factory-Level Diagnostic Software.

See the attached pdf, "E9x References, 220216 Revision", for links to sites you will NEED. Get Software or Scan Tool that can read Fault Codes in ALL ~ 20 Modules in your vehicle, report codes, and we can then actually HELP.

If Starter cranks when Power is applied to White Starter Solenoid wire (that's NOT "shorting", it's applying 12V+ or "B+" to the Starter Solenoid) then the Starter is OK, but there are issues with INPUTS to CAS Module (which powers the Starter via "KL50" or terminal 50 in the CAS) when CAS Module receives "P/N" signal from AT, AND Brake/Clutch signal from applicable Switch. There are ways of testing the system with ONLY a Multimeter, but you need to understand the Wiring and Component Locations (which we can provide from ISTA).

Quick test:
1) Put Remote Key in Insert Compartment, press START button WITHOUT pressing Brake or Clutch (ONLY turn on Ignition with lighted Instrument Cluster);
2) NOW press brake and try to move Shift Lever from Park position (assuming AT); do NOT force;
3) If Shift Lever will move from P to R, to N, to D: does Gear Selected appear in Lower Instrument Cluster Display?
George
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Do you own a Windows Laptop Computer? If so, get K+DCAN Cable from BimmerGeeks ($50) and download BMW Standard Tools (INPA) & E89 Datens (Data files for E9x vehicles). If you are going to try to resurrect a vehicle that has been owned/maintained (loosely-speaking) by owners who knew LESS than you :giggle: , you are going to NEED BMW Factory-Level Diagnostic Software.

See the attached pdf, "E9x References, 220216 Revision", for links to sites you will NEED. Get Software or Scan Tool that can read Fault Codes in ALL ~ 20 Modules in your vehicle, report codes, and we can then actually HELP.

If Starter cranks when Power is applied to White Starter Solenoid wire (that's NOT "shorting", it's applying 12V+ or "B+" to the Starter Solenoid) then the Starter is OK, but there are issues with INPUTS to CAS Module (which powers the Starter via "KL50" or terminal 50 in the CAS) when CAS Module receives "P/N" signal from AT, AND Brake/Clutch signal from applicable Switch. There are ways of testing the system with ONLY a Multimeter, but you need to understand the Wiring and Component Locations (which we can provide from ISTA).

Quick test:
1) Put Remote Key in Insert Compartment, press START button WITHOUT pressing Brake or Clutch (ONLY turn on Ignition with lighted Instrument Cluster);
2) NOW press brake and try to move Shift Lever from Park position (assuming AT); do NOT force;
3) If Shift Lever will move from P to R, to N, to D: does Gear Selected appear in Lower Instrument Cluster Display?
George
Yeah I do have a laptop, actually took it apart tonight and cleaned it to get it ready for a new battery just for this project, software for diagnosis was actually my next thought as there are simply too many points of failure to individually test without much info. I'm trying to get this as cheap as is reasonable with the time investment I put in(this will be my first car, but I'm into tinkering and I have a good amount of experience with computers and coding). Is it worth it to cheap out on the K+DCAN cable?

And for the steps, the car isn't with me right now. I'll be back down there soon enough though and hopefully I'll be able to pick up that cable along the way if it's carried in stores.

Thanks for the help George!
 

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K/d Can cable from bimmergeeks is around 50 bucks .
It's known to be the best one you might be able to get on 20 bucks cheaper but that
is really cheeping out.
Never heard of anybody here getting one from brick and mortar stores.
What you should have is a Volt Ohm meter is you don't to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
K/d Can cable from bimmergeeks is around 50 bucks .
It's known to be the best one you might be able to get on 20 bucks cheaper but that
is really cheeping out.
Never heard of anybody here getting one from brick and mortar stores.
What you should have is a Volt Ohm meter is you don't to.
Yeah I think I'll just go for the bimmergeeks one then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you have Amazon Prime, and want to be a "Guinea Pig" or "Beta-tester" for the Forum, here is one you can get overnight for $30. LOOKS like it might work, and if it doesn't: Amazon Returns
George
This one i just found has better reviews, might try it https://www.amazon.com/Taotao-FT232...&sr=8-3#aw-udpv3-customer-reviews_feature_div
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do you own a Windows Laptop Computer? If so, get K+DCAN Cable from BimmerGeeks ($50) and download BMW Standard Tools (INPA) & E89 Datens (Data files for E9x vehicles). If you are going to try to resurrect a vehicle that has been owned/maintained (loosely-speaking) by owners who knew LESS than you :giggle: , you are going to NEED BMW Factory-Level Diagnostic Software.

See the attached pdf, "E9x References, 220216 Revision", for links to sites you will NEED. Get Software or Scan Tool that can read Fault Codes in ALL ~ 20 Modules in your vehicle, report codes, and we can then actually HELP.

If Starter cranks when Power is applied to White Starter Solenoid wire (that's NOT "shorting", it's applying 12V+ or "B+" to the Starter Solenoid) then the Starter is OK, but there are issues with INPUTS to CAS Module (which powers the Starter via "KL50" or terminal 50 in the CAS) when CAS Module receives "P/N" signal from AT, AND Brake/Clutch signal from applicable Switch. There are ways of testing the system with ONLY a Multimeter, but you need to understand the Wiring and Component Locations (which we can provide from ISTA).

Quick test:
1) Put Remote Key in Insert Compartment, press START button WITHOUT pressing Brake or Clutch (ONLY turn on Ignition with lighted Instrument Cluster);
2) NOW press brake and try to move Shift Lever from Park position (assuming AT); do NOT force;
3) If Shift Lever will move from P to R, to N, to D: does Gear Selected appear in Lower Instrument Cluster Display?
George
Alright, I did the steps, the shifter did not move
 

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1. Charge the battery fully
2. Check the engine to chassis ground strap, they corrode and break off (left engine mount to chassis).
3. Check battery positive BST cable for failure, usually due to a collision of some degree.
4. Check the power supply exit point behind the right rear wheel housing (also battery compartment), it can corrode and and have high resistance or break off.

The clicking and warning lights being illuminated is indicative of a broken/corroded engine to chassis ground strap. Furthermore when this strap breaks it can damage terminal 50 from the CAS module (white wire) due to the high transfer of current through that circuit, this is when many attempts have been carried out to start the vehicle.

When terminal 50 is compromised from the CAS module voltage will be present on the white wire for a split second. There should be power at this wire for about 3-5 seconds upon pressing the start/run button.

Mark.

Oh boy, have I gotten myself into something.

I'm new to working on cars, and I got lucky enough to know someone who has a lot of cars to flip, which are just lying around. This one is mine if I can fix it.

Anyways, its a BMW 2008 328xi. Which is the sports wagon.

Previous owner got a new battery before I got ahold of it, as he thought it was the issue.

Now I'm trying to diagnose what in the hell is wrong with this car, I've done my fair share of research on this particular model, and bmw's in general now.

The symptoms: no crank, CAS clicking repeatedly when start button pressed, lots of fun lights on the dash (Abs, low tire pressure, caution sign with an arrow around it, service engine soon), LCD lights up with nice fun symbols too (red caution sign, red service sign with car on lift, sometimes it shows a battery, wiper fluid light, box with waves in it?? not sure what that is, and there used to be a transmission malfunction image before the trans computer was reset).

What I do know: Starter works, and engages when shorted, battery is relatively new, I see lots of people having problems with their new batteries which makes me think that there is a reason that its not working as intended (not sure if the battery is really good or not, I need a good charger to make sure), no detonation device on vcc battery terminal, all accessories in the car power on when start is pressed, key fob is recognized, junction has power. Previous owner said that they parked, came back and car wouldn't shift or start. The car had to be overridden manually in order to get it into neutral.

Suspicions: Alternator draining battery while sleeping, faulty fuse draining in sleep, CAS not powering starter properly, Computer hasn't been coded for battery, bad connection

Need help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
1. Charge the battery fully
2. Check the engine to chassis ground strap, they corrode and break off (left engine mount to chassis).
3. Check battery positive BST cable for failure, usually due to a collision of some degree.
4. Check the power supply exit point behind the right rear wheel housing (also battery compartment), it can corrode and and have high resistance or break off.

The clicking and warning lights being illuminated is indicative of a broken/corroded engine to chassis ground strap. Furthermore when this strap breaks it can damage terminal 50 from the CAS module (white wire) due to the high transfer of current through that circuit, this is when many attempts have been carried out to start the vehicle.

When terminal 50 is compromised from the CAS module voltage will be present on the white wire for a split second. There should be power at this wire for about 3-5 seconds upon pressing the start/run button.

Mark.
I'll check the things you mentioned, I should be back down there soon to work on it. This time I'll be equipped with a laptop and a cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alright, I'm here with a laptop and cable. Did some fooling with ista and inpa. Found mechatronics faults and quite a few modules that didn't respond: egs and others. Cas is good and recognizes key
 

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Could this possibly be my problem?
I don't know if that's the root cause of your issues or not, but it is very unsatisfactory.
That looks like water damage.
4th pin from left, second row in that picture looks like part of it is missing.
Clean that up, replace that pin if that's within your capability.
Inspect the mating connector for similar ungoodness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know if that's the root cause of your issues or not, but it is very unsatisfactory.
That looks like water damage.
4th pin from left, second row in that picture looks like part of it is missing.
Clean that up, replace that pin if that's within your capability.
Inspect the mating connector for similar ungoodness.
I looked at the pinout, ista told me to check the powertrain Can bus, pins 1 and 14 are the pt can pins. Pin 1 looks corroded, I think I'm gonna go for a good scrub. It lines up with what I'm seeing on ista because all of the ptcan modules past the dme are unreachable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I looked at the pinout, ista told me to check the powertrain Can bus, pins 1 and 14 are the pt can pins. Pin 1 looks corroded, I think I'm gonna go for a good scrub. It lines up with what I'm seeing on ista because all of the ptcan modules past the dme are unreachable.
Nevermind, I was looking at the wrong grouping of pins. One vcc pin was corroded but the rest that were corroded did nothing.
 

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... BMW 2008 328xi [E91]...
The symptoms: no crank, CAS clicking repeatedly when start button pressed, lots of fun lights on the dash...Starter works, and engages when shorted [12V+ applied to White wire going to Starter Solenoid? OK Starter Cranks when Solenoid "Hot-wired", does engine FIRE when cranked? If NOT you have TWO or more separate issues]... all accessories in the car power on when start is pressed, key fob is recognized, junction has power. Previous owner said that they parked, came back and car wouldn't shift or start. The car had to be overridden manually in order to get it into neutral. [MAY be as simple as Brake Light Switch or its wiring, see suggested tests below]...
Alright, I did the steps, the shifter did not move
And actually, now when I hit the brakes, the instrument cluster starts flickering
Alright, I'm here with a laptop and cable. Did some fooling with ista and inpa. Found mechatronics faults and quite a few modules that didn't respond: egs and others. Cas is good and recognizes key
I assume from your description above (Shifter stuck in Park) that you have AT (as opposed to MT)?
Quick test w/o INPA/ISTA: Put Remote Key in Insert Compartment but do NOT Press START button. Does Radio come on (at least when its button is pushed)? Do Brake Lights light (ANY of 3 in rear)? Do Dash icons/lights flicker ONLY when Brake Pedal is pressed? Repeat that test AFTER pressing START button (WITHOUT pressing Brake) to simply turn Ignition ON.

If there are issues with the Brake Light Switch, that may explain "No Crank". E9x models with AT use the Brake Light Switch as a "Safety Switch" to prevent the Starter from cranking/starting the engine if the Brake Pedal is NOT pressed. In addition to sending a signal to the FRM that the brake pedal is pressed, the Brake Light Switch ALSO sends a signal to the CAS Module which MUST be received by CAS before KL50 Start Signal is sent to the Starter Solenoid (when START button pressed).

Likewise, CAS must receive a "P/N" signal, from the Transmission Module (EGS) via the bus system, that the Shift Lever is in P or N position, BEFORE it will send KL50 Start Signal to Starter Solenoid. See steps below for connecting to the CAS Module and viewing/ SAVING the screen related to those two signals.

You now have the necessary TOOLS (INPA/ISTA) to diagnose the issue, but it's a PROCESS, and you have to take the time to think about, and improve your CONCEPTS of HOW the various systems related to the CAS Module work. THAT CAS Module is what must be connected to and DIAGNOSED to determine when a functional Starter will NOT crank. The DME has NO effect on Starter Cranking in 2008 328xi AFAIK.

We can use either INPA or ISTA -- YOUR preference, to begin the diagnosis. INPA is actually quicker & simpler to use (if you have direction which makes it unnecessary to translate the German ;-) so I'll start with that. See the attached pdf: "INPA Tutorial Quickstart" for HOW to get started using "Functional Jobs" in INPA. It contains example Functional Jobs Screens and procedure for Cable setup and saving ScreenPrints.

To get started, we need you to post the two screens:
1) INPA > Functional Jobs > F2 Identification; That Screen shows ALL Modules in your vehicle (that are functioning), and the "SGBD" or "Variant" of each Module (in column 4).

2) INPA > Functional Jobs > F4 Error Memory, ALL Modules; That Screen shows All Faults in ALL ~ 20 Modules of your vehicle.

Those two Functional Jobs Screens are just the Starting Point for more detailed Diagnosis, such as by connecting to the CAS Module (Body | Car Access System) and reading Fault Codes (F4 Error Memory), and Live Data (F5 Status). This is the Important CAS Screen to View, SAVE & Post here:

1) INPA > CAS (Body | Car Access System) > F5 Status > F1 Digital > F2 Terminal Control.
With Ignition ON, Shift Lever of AT in "P" Park, and Brake Pedal pressed, you SHOULD have the two top circles darkened as shown on attached ScreenPrint: Brakes, and Gear PN.

If EITHER of those is NOT filled, the CAS Module is NOT receiving the necessary signal related to Brake Light Function, or Shift Lever Position, and will NOT send KL50 Start Signal to Starter Solenoid.

WHILE CONNECTED to CAS: view the CAS Fault Memory (Codes):
INPA > CAS > F4 Error Memory > F1 Read Error Memory. Save & Post here ANY Screens showing CAS Faults.

Particularly when dealing with a "New-to-You" vehicle, with unknown fault history, a thorough and Methodical Diagnosis of ALL/ Each Fault or issue is needed, instead of ASSuming that fault is caused by a certain thing (here Brake Light Switch) and throwing parts. The switch MAY be fine, and the wiring is the issue. We can show you how to find wiring diagrams with component/ connector Locations and Views in ISTA (D or +) if you have that installed. If you don't, we can provide ScreenPrints of those items so you understand HOW the system works, and WHERE components are located.

There will most certainly be OTHER issues/ Faults, so try to find time to "take your time", and slowly/ methodically develop your concepts of what INPA can do in displaying Fault Information & Live Data, and HOW the various systems (here CAS) work. Don't be afraid to ask questions and to experiment with INPA. In my opinion, it's WORTH the time to learn HOW MUCH information/ Data INPA can provide. If you couple that with ISTA wiring diagrams and FUB Functional Descriptions of HOW a particular system works, you will build a good "Knowledge Base" and Concepts, and become able to "Diagnose It Yourself".
George
Rectangle Font Screenshot Parallel Slope
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I keep getting an implausible position error on the cas for my gear selector, when I try to activate components in the egs via ista I get an error having to do with the module being out of range?
 
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