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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, long time lurker, first time poster here.

Having some serious trouble with my 318i sedan, wanted some expert opinions on whats going on.

Here's the skinny;

Car would crank but would not start on me one night. we were having some wet weather in town.

had it towed home, upon investigation I have determined that I have; no spark from the coils, no injector trigger at the injector connectors, the fuel pump will not turn on and the check engine light is not illuminating when the key is turned to on and the car will not communicate with a basic scan tool. :dunno:

I do have power to the coil, and power to the injectors. I have power to the pump relay.

I have swapped the DME relay for sh*ts and giggles, but at this point I was pretty sure I had a DME box problem. Just for the record the cam and crank sensors are new.

pulled DME box, split it open- boom, corrosion bigtime. :thumbdwn:

Got another box off ebay, split it open and there is a little corrosion but not like the last one. Tossed it in the car and I have 100% the exact same problem. :mad::bawling:

Now my concern is that I even though the 'new' to me DME would do something at least a little different from the last one even though it is slightly corroded. In my searching of similar issues it seems that these DME boxes are kind of touch and go, and they seem to have a wide range of 'issues'.

Do you guys think I'm on the right track here, or is there something else I should check?
Thanks for taking the time to read my thread.
 

· D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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32,077 Posts
In spite of the cam and crank sensors being new, this sounds like a classic "no signal from the rotation sensors" problem, as if the signal was never getting to the DME. However, ANY corrosion in the DME (original or the replacement) is unacceptable. You need to find/borrow a KNOWN WORKING DME that is identical to your original (same part number AND color label) and try it. That will tell you if it indeed is the DME or a bad connection somewhere downstream of the sensors.

Welcome to the fest. Hang in there; we'll get you through this. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In spite of the cam and crank sensors being new, this sounds like a classic "no signal from the rotation sensors" problem, as if the signal was never getting to the DME. However, ANY corrosion in the DME (original or the replacement) is unacceptable. You need to find/borrow a KNOWN WORKING DME that is identical to your original (same part number AND color label) and try it. That will tell you if it indeed is the DME or a bad connection somewhere downstream of the sensors.

Welcome to the fest. Hang in there; we'll get you through this. :thumbup:
Thanks for the reply and good faith! We's gon' get'r runnin 'gain!

I'm not one to give a blanket diagnosis of 'they are brand new, they must be good', I'm sure I'm not the only one who has gotten bad parts out the box, or had new parts fail.

that being said, the major red flag for me is no check engine light operation, no communication with the computer via handheld scanner, and the DME isn't turning on the fuel pump, all that happens before the engine gets cranked, yes?.
 

· Sometimes Out To Lunch!!!
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The fuel pump is turned on as soon as you turn the key on for cold starts. Double check your fuel pressure. Do yourself a favor and stay away from stuff like DME's from ebay, not always will you get what you think your getting. If you have a local wrecking yard try to find one there. It doesn't have to be exactly the same DME (same color label) But you should try to find one at least the same model 318 (M42 or M44) 2 door or 4 door doesn't really matter although it may throw up a CEL if ti's not exactly the same as your car but at least you can use it for trouble shooting. All the DME is for is engine management that's it, it does communicate with other controllers in the car but that is only to manage the engine correctly. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The fuel pump is turned on as soon as you turn the key on for cold starts. Double check your fuel pressure. Do yourself a favor and stay away from stuff like DME's from ebay, not always will you get what you think your getting. If you have a local wrecking yard try to find one there. It doesn't have to be exactly the same DME (same color label) But you should try to find one at least the same model 318 (M42 or M44) 2 door or 4 door doesn't really matter although it may throw up a CEL if ti's not exactly the same as your car but at least you can use it for trouble shooting. All the DME is for is engine management that's it, it does communicate with other controllers in the car but that is only to manage the engine correctly. Good luck
I have 0 pressure at the port on the fuel rail.

unfortunately I haven't been able to locate any 318's of the proper vintage nearby.
The unit I got off 'Teh Ebayz' was the correct serial number, and from a reputable supplier that had a few other DME style units for sale, they have assured me a return is no big deal. Not my first rodeo with ebay, or having to do a return via ebay.. just sucks loosing the time

I went ahead and pulled the trigger on another DME of matching serial numbers from a different supplier, should be in Friday AM. I will post updates then.

Thanks again for the helpful advice guys!
 

· Sometimes Out To Lunch!!!
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888 Posts
Look at your fuel pump. Pull the back lower seat remove the fuel pump and hook it directly to power from the battery. This sounds the same thing my 318 did to me, was working one second and went to go home after work and no workie. Lucky I had the tools needed to replace the fuel pump on the spot and a parts store around the corner. The other problem I was having around the same time was the crank sensor it went very shortly after the pump as a matter of fact it was I think one the problems I was having along with the fuel pump it didn't show until a few weeks later when it completely failed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Update;

apparently I'm screwed here. Got a known good ecu, no dice. According to the local BMW shop, there is 0 way to get a used DME to work without swapping over the matching EMS box and key.

said I have to get a new DME, get a matching DME EWS and Key combo, or scrap it.

:mad::mad::mad::cry:
 

· D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
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What year is your 318? If it's '96 or older you can by-pass the EWS. If it's '97 or newer, you'll have to do what the BMW shop said. The newer EWS system CAN be defeated, but it's a royal pain to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
its a 1997. I've been trying to find some info on defeating the EWS2, but haven't come up with anything solid.. Not really scared of getting my hands dirty, just need a viable solution. I see 'emulators' for sale, but not a lot of info on how to's.

there has to be some cost effective means to bypass this security measure?
 

· D'oh, You Kids!
1984 633CSi, 1985 635CSi, 1985 325e, 1987 325is, 1993 325is, 1995 318is, 1995 M3, 2003 F150
Joined
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32,077 Posts
You need to post your question in the E39 forum. I'd move your posting, but I'd have to move the whole thread to have it make any sense (and it still wouldn't.....we weren't diagnosing DMEs, We were trying to figure out an EWS issue).
 
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