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325iSBimmer 11-19-2003 10:41 PM

Problem with my e36 325is..HELP!!
so here goes the story....

Back in the summer..about a month after buying my car...I took it to the pressure wash station and gave it a good spray down, under the body, in the fenders.. anyways...i made it about 30 seconds down the road and my car just would turn over but i couldn't get it started... so i flip the hood open and call BMW...they tell me it could be a fuel I wait for a friend to come and get me.....after about 20 min he gets there and i go to show him how it wont start.....well i turn the key and started...everything was fine after that..not once did it ever act up i thought maybe something got wet that shouldn't i never took it to the pressure wash station again....all hand washed ever since... it has been raining all day...and my car was outside while i was at work.....i got in my car started it and drove about 30 seconds down the road and the rpms started to go up and down so i pulled it out of gear and then they really started getting i shut it off and pulled over.....i went to restart it againg and it would fire up for a quick second or two but then stall i pushed it back into the shop where i work and tryied starting and it seemed that the more i tried to start it the more it wouldn't want to.....but if i left it for 5 min then it would fire up and run for about 15 seconds then shut down again....

Now...I am a mechanic and know a fair amount about Domestic cars but european cars differ in some areas which im not too familiar with.... like the electronics....

I did the check with the "check engine" light and it gave me a code 1444 which means there's nothing wrong...but obviously there is.....SOOO....... what I'd like to know is has anyone suffered from the same problem and if so what was it that caused the car to stall when it gets really wet..

or if anyone has any suggestions on what it could be feel free to enlighten....

Im sure when i go back to the shop later tonite it will start and everything will be fine...but i wanna find out what it is that causes this so that next time the car gets wet and I'm more that 2 minutes away from home i don't get stranded....

any help would be greatly appreciated

Soldo 11-19-2003 11:10 PM

hhahaha, don't mean to laugh!
Its just that seems like a LOT of people are having a similar problem, two of my buddies had the same thing, one in a sabb and the other a VR6. With both cars its because water has managed to get to the ignition coils, causing the car NOT to start!
Secondly, with the engine codes, i believe if there IS a number that means theres SOMETHING, i have the code reader and it just shows "- - " if nothing is wrong!
Anyhow, make sure the sparks are getting to the engine!
Let the engine dry out a bit, then see how she works!
Hope that helps

325iSBimmer 11-19-2003 11:52 PM

I just got back from the shop....and heres what happened.....i started the car and it ran fine for about 2 minutes then it stalled again.....except now when i go to start it none of the gauges on the dash work.....theres definately water screwing up my electronics i just don't know where to start...

Im gonna do what SOLDOMATIC has suggested and check the coils in the morning.....hopefully it dries out over nite(fingers crossed)

thanx for the info SOLDOMATIC

MarkD 11-20-2003 12:55 AM


Originally posted by 325iSBimmer
I just got back from the shop....and heres what happened.....i started the car and it ran fine for about 2 minutes then it stalled again.....except now when i go to start it none of the gauges on the dash work.....theres definately water screwing up my electronics i just don't know where to start...

Your problem is probably water getting in the DME. Some bonehead at BMW decided it should be put in a location where it can be damaged by water so BMW can sell you a new one.

Do you know where the DME is located? Use these chip change instructions to help you locate and open up the DME.
You should check for wetness in the DME and dry it.

I use a special spray (acyrlic laquuer conformal coating) to sray the boards and protect them form moisture.

Next, try and locate the problem. I think it's usually cause by debris blocking some drain tubes where water runs out of the area in front of the firewall. If the water can't drain, it builds up and finds it's way into the DME.

Now that you know how to change a chip in the DME, don't forget to order a chip from my website!


325iSBimmer 11-20-2003 01:04 AM

Thank you MarkD!!
you may have just saved me many hours of headaches....

Well....I guess since I'm gonna have the unit out anyways i might as well put a chip in and save me from doing the job twice!

How much are your chips and is there a number for me to reach you at.

Once again...Thank you soo much for that piece of info.....

MarkD 11-20-2003 01:10 AM

My tel. number and email address are on my website :
If you want to come and pick up a chip, I'll clean up your DME and spray it with the conformal coating. But that assumes you are able to drive it here. There may be a group buy on the chips, look on in this GENERAL forum for details.


Soldo 11-20-2003 02:45 AM

Hey mark, can you spray this conformal coating thing on say a distriputor cap or so, would it work the same?

Jon@Bimmersport 11-20-2003 02:59 AM

im gonna spray my whole damn car..good bye waterspots! lol

MarkD 11-20-2003 03:03 AM

It is mainly used to enveironmentally protect a circuit board. It could be used on a distributor cap but if the cap is good you don't really need this.

Here is the coating I use:

For a distributor you would want this silicone version:

Here is a definition of a CC:,00.html


duffy325 11-20-2003 03:35 PM

By the way 325isbimmer is right the code of 1444 means that nothing (as far as is known) is wrong.

325iSBimmer 11-20-2003 05:10 PM

today I pulled the DME out and sure enough the there was water inside the aluminum case...

hopefully mine just needs to dry and theres nothing wrong with it cause if there is than a new one from the dealer is $1,680!!

i just about fell over when the guy told me....
so in other words im gonna try and dry it out and then coat it with that stuff that MarkD recomended....

duffy325 11-20-2003 06:47 PM

Does anyone know if you can get a new cover seperate from the dme unit? My tabs are almost all broken off from multiple chip changes

MarkD 11-20-2003 06:50 PM

you don't need the tabs. Use duct tape or that metallic tape you can get at CT.

328is_Perf 11-20-2003 08:49 PM

sorry this is off topic ... but where did you get those 330ci rims???

the look soo awesome

328is_Perf 11-20-2003 08:53 PM

cant the dealer get u one that is remanufactured?

i had a problem with my instrument cluster and my cousin which works at the dealer got me one for $260 instead of the $800 one ...

i guess i could talk to my cousin to see the price ... he could get a discount .. HUGE discount... but it has to be installed in the car at BMW to code it into the car

good luck

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