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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok. Here we go again. My 89 (with automatic) will not turn over, it tries and then just click click like the starter is too weak to turn the motor. I know the battery is good, and the starter is good, and it's getting plenty of voltage to the starter. The flywheel will spin if I manually turn it with a screwdriver. No busted timing belt or anything like that. I drove it for about an hour, then stopped and shut it off, got back in about 5 minutes later, and nothing, just click click click.

Help would be GREATLY appreciated as I am thoroughly stumped.
 

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bratmeister
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My starter was behaving like that last year before it failed completely. It was intermittent for about three weeks before final failure.

Mike
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #3
I thought it was the starter too. I replaced it with a known good one from my mechanic, and it does the same thing.
 

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disconect your plug wire have someone turn the key hold the wire near the spark plug and see if you have a spark. Also check to see if you have fuel going into your engine. maybe fuel pump.
 

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Pelican Technical Article:
BMW On Board Diagnostics
Jared Fenton


Did you know that your BMW 3 Series has an internal diagnostic program built into the computer? Not many people know about this. On the BMW 3 Series, there is a way that you can diagnose common engine problems without having to purchase a code tool or take it to the dealer to have it scanned. This is one of those neat little features of the Service Indicator Computer; the series of lights directly under the tachometer and speedometer that remind you to change the oil and perform service. In this tech article, I will provide you with the procedure for checking the fault codes and what the codes mean. This guide will help you to diagnose any possible problems with your car.

This article is written for both the BMW E30 and E36 3 Series cars (up to 95) and should work on both models where a Service Indicator Computer is used. I will go over the small differences between the early and late cars, as they differ slightly. Keep in mind that this procedure will not work on early cars with Motronic 1.1.

Now on the E30 models, get in the car and put the key in the ignition and turn it to the second turn or ***8220;ON***8221; position, but do not start the car. Now, press the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor, then let it release all the way back. Now repeat the depress/release cycle 4 more times fairly quickly, but not too fast. It may take some time to get this timing down correct. It should only take you a few seconds to do this. What this does is activate the wide-open throttle switch and the idle switch 5 times. This then sends a signal to the Motronic ECU to send fault codes to the Service Indicator Light.

On the E36 models, the procedure works the same way, but the timing at which you press/release the gas pedal is faster than on the E30. Just keep at it, and you will eventually get the correct speed.

Watch the ***8220;Check Engine***8221; light. It should blink once, and then start blinking a series of four numbers. For instance, say this is a sequence you see***8230; the light blinks once, then twice, then four times and lastly four times. If you read it correctly this means that the SI light is reading out the code 1244 (faulty camshaft sensor) The codes appear as a series of flashes for each digit. The flashes indicating one digit are about one second apart, the next digit will appear after a couple seconds interval. If there are no faults in the car, the computer will flash out the number 1444.

Here is the list of codes and what they indicate.

1211 DME Control Unit
1215 Air Mass Sensor
1216 Throttle Potentiometer
1218 Output Stage, Group 1
1219 Output Stage, Group 2
1221 Oxygen Sensor 1
1212 Oxygen Sensor 2
1222 Lambda Control 1
1213 Lambda Control 2
1223 Coolant Temperature Sensor
1224 Intake Air Temperature Sensor
1225 Knock Sensor 1
1226 Knock Sensor 2
1227 Knock Sensor 3
1228 Knock Sensor 4
1231 Battery Voltage/DME Main Relay
1232 Throttle Idle Switch
1233 Throttle Wide Open Throttle Switch
1234 Speedometer A Signal
1237 A/C Compressor Cut Off
1242 A/C Compressor
1243 Crankshaft Pulse Sensor
1244 Camshaft Sensor
1245 Intervention AEGS
1247 Ignition Secondary Monitor
1251 Fuel Injector 1 (or group 1)
1252 Fuel Injector 2 (or group 2)
1253 Fuel Injector 3
1254 Fuel Injector 4
1255 Fuel Injector 5
1256 Fuel Injector 6
1257 Fuel Injector 7
1258 Fuel Injector 8
1261 Fuel Pump Relay Control
1262 Idle Speed Actuator
1263 Purge Valve
1264 EGO Heater
1265 Fault Lamp (check engine light)
1266 VANOS
1267 Air Pump Relay Control
1271 Ignition Coil 1
1272 Ignition Coil 2
1273 Ignition Coil 3
1274 Ignition Coil 4
1275 Ignition Coil 5
1276 Ignition Coil 6
1277 Ignition Coil 7
1278 Ignition Coil 8
1281 Control Unit Memory Supply
1282 Fault Code Memory
1283 Fuel Injector Output Stage
1286 Knock Control Test Pulse
1444 No Fault Codes
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #6
The starter will not turn the motor for whatever reason, it tries but acts as if it isn't strong enough. I can't check a spark if it won't even try to crank. I know about that crazy onboard diagnostic. I've just been trying everything I could think of before I take my cluster out and put a new bulb in the check light. I guess I'll have to do that.
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #8
Almost a month now, I've been trying what I can do when I get time.
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #9
What confuses me is that it started all at once. I mean, I drove home, checked my mail at my lock box, got back in to go up the driveway, and nothing. Just went click click click like the solenoid was bad............
 

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it sounds like you have a short on the negative or possitive cable make sure that the battery cables are tight and u have clean terminals. Take the connectors off and use a wire brush or sand paper and sand the battery terminalls and connectors down so they are all clean and shinny. Put it back and try it and let me know. My caddy had the same **** clean the battery very well and connectors
 

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also try to jump the car if that dosen't help just to give more spark since it's been sitting for a while. The best way is to connect the jumper cables and let the good car run while connected to your car with the doors closed for about 15 - 25 min at idle. That will charge the battery enough to get the car started. Also turn the lights on in the good car that puts out more amps.
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #14
Yup. The coating is cracked an wire is showing in a couple of places, but it appears ok. No obvious breaks. I even clamped my jumper cables on it, to make sure.
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #15
Welp it turns out it WAS the main engine ground running to the oil pan. Replaced it and now running pretty good for having sat for a month!
 

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lordofthewaters said:
Welp it turns out it WAS the main engine ground running to the oil pan. Replaced it and now running pretty good for having sat for a month!
I knew it!!! Where is my prize?:confused:
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #17
LOL. I checked it with my jumper cables, but I guess I didn't make a good enought connection. When i tested it the second time, I put the clamp on the drain plug and she started up. I actually moved the ground as well, I think it'll ground better on the cast as opposed to the aluminium. Anyway I'm just happy she's running again.

Your prize? How bout a big "THANKS MAN YOU WERE RIGHT!"
 

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lordofthewaters said:
LOL. I checked it with my jumper cables, but I guess I didn't make a good enought connection. When i tested it the second time, I put the clamp on the drain plug and she started up. I actually moved the ground as well, I think it'll ground better on the cast as opposed to the aluminium. Anyway I'm just happy she's running again.

Your prize? How bout a big "THANKS MAN YOU WERE RIGHT!"
OK , I guess that will do. Or you could post some girly pics in the thong thread in OT.:D
 

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Rather Large Member
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Discussion Starter #19
Thong pics.

They're up and shining as we speak!
 

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Ok, not an expert on BMW's, but I've had a lot of starter problems. For the symptoms you describe I would suspect (a) a bad ground between the engine and frame or (b) a shorted winding in the starter, which get's worse when it is hot or (c) something I haven't thought of yet.

For the bad ground scenario, the next time it happens I would clamp a jumper cable onto the engine, and the same cable onto the frame somewhere and look for an improvement in starting. If it makes a difference, buy some ground web/cable and get a better connection between the engine and frame, or maybe your existing connection is loose/rusted?

To test for a shorted winding, you might use an Ohmmeter between the hot terminal on the STARTER (not the solenoid) and ground. The resistance should be roughly equal when hot or cold. If the resistance is significantly less when hot - shorted winding is likely, new starter. You might compare your reading to a reading from a known good starter. Make sure you disconect leads before trying to start the car.

Hope this helps, if I think of anything else I will post-
Rich
 
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