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Old 03-23-2008, 03:49 PM   #1
waltbimmer
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Starting problems...

My situation:
I stalled my car a couple days ago, which was silly, but what was even more silly was that my car wouldnt start up again, and I was stuck at an intersection! By not starting I mean the starter motor was not engaging, no noises at all were coming from under the hood, pure silence.

I popped the hood, and I took a quick look at the fuses, and it seems the stall blew fuse # 41, the one for auxilary power. I then pushed my car a bit, and put it into 2nd, and released the cluth while the ignition was on. Pushing didnt start my car, but it did move something around in my engine, and when I tried starting again with just the ignition, it worked.

I went to work, and after my shift I tried starting my car again, wouldnt do anything at all, and it took a friendly samaritan who helped push my car to get it to move and I did the same proceedure (putting it into 2nd). Car started, again not from the push but through the ignition.

So when my car wouldnt start yesterday I thought pushing it would do the trick, since this helped on the previous two occasions. But unfortunately it hasnt worked.

Heres a brief summary of some of the diagnostic work ive already done:
-work has been done on the starter motor (so I believe its ruled out as the problem)
-I smell gas when my starter motor does engage and turns the fans etc.., so it smells like the gas pump works
-no check engine lights are up, and pulling codes using the pedal tricks doesnt result in any codes coming up.
-two spark plugs coils are different from the other four (these two are dated back to 1994) and the other four look quite new. Also these two different coils wont come off for some reason, maybe the springs are seized?
-theres a little oil in one of the spark plug coil cavities (id say about half a teaspoon), so does that mean that this spark plug is fouled up? Im afraid of taking out the spark plugs at this time, because I dont have a torque wrench to put them in again, but I am going out to get one on monday.
-fuse #41, even when replaced with a good fuse still doesnt change anything, so it seems like it isnt the fuse.
-Im currently testing the dme relay.. according to the method in the bentley manual, but Im just getting confused, gonna look up another way of testing them.
-the voltage of my battery when it isnt running is 11.8v (which according to the bentley manual is totally discharged). but i doubt the battery is the source of the problem, since the two previous times I could start through the ignition without any problems.


One of my friends at work said that there is some kind of electrical mechanism that stops the driver from turning the key into the start position while the car is running (as this would cause a horrific grinding with the starter motor and the engine both running), and since I stalled my car this electronic mechanism hasnt reset properly and still thinks its a running car.

What other diagnostic work could I do, to find the problem?? Anyone know what might be the problem??

Im sad without my baby...
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Old 03-23-2008, 08:22 PM   #2
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i have the same problem.....

hey man, i have the same exact problem i stalled the car then it wouldn't start, but when i took the spark plugs out it was fillet with oil i cleaned the dried it up but still car never turned on again now i have to tow it to mechanic or something and the battery dies after like a second when i try to start the car, i tried to boost the car but it wouldn't help....
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Old 03-23-2008, 09:56 PM   #3
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I'll chime in from experience. There is a good change it all comes down to your battery. As you said it was discharged. It's just not supplying enough cranking amp to get the car started.

As for push starting the car... try doing it in 1st gear
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Old 03-24-2008, 09:43 AM   #4
Mickey Knox
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i vote battery /alt

the teaspoon of oil in your spark plug hole is your valvecover gasket, common in the e36 and not too much worries, just replace the valve cover gasket in the spring and keep checking the oil till then.

check the battery/alternator so see which one is the culprit. get the car running with a jumper cable and check the voltage on the battery again. if its 12.6 -13.6 volts your alt should be good. leave the car running for a while so the battery can pick up a charge (30 minutes or so). turn off the car and check the battery voltage again. if it drops to below 12 battery is certainly dead. if it stays up, check it again 12 hours later and see if the voltage is still up in the 12.5 range. if it dropped, battery dead. I am thinking though you are having alternator issues, reason i say that is that when you stalled you where probably already out of juice as the alternator couldnt produce as much as you need to keep the battery charged and the engine running.

did you also notice your windows be sluggish, wipers slow etc?

if you need to replace the alt, and you are thinking upgrade make sure you get the correct pulley if you go from valeo to a bosch unit.

ask me how i know
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:06 PM   #5
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hey,
sure can you tell what kind of pulley should i use, and what kind of battery is good for 325is 1992.
thankz
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:50 PM   #6
Mickey Knox
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you only need a different pulley if you switch between valeo and bosch, reason being that the axle of the motor is crafted a little differently, so if you put the valeo pulley on the bosch your belt wont align properly. you can find the right part number on realoem, just look for the setup that say bosch and grab the number for the pulley from there. pelicanparts has it.
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Old 03-24-2008, 01:51 PM   #7
Mickey Knox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.S.C View Post

As for push starting the car... try doing it in 1st gear
nope, second gear is the right way to do it. 1st gear wont turn over.
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Old 03-24-2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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i got some information now thankz guys.....
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:30 PM   #9
waltbimmer
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Ok, well I tried jump starting my car, my battery voltage is now at around 12.6, but still the engine doesnt ignite. I checked the spark plugs, and they are all dry, but full of black carbon buildup, which is flaking off at points.

I tried switching the o2 sensor relay into the fuel pump relay socket. Since the o2 relay is usually functional and considering this didnt help start the car, this rules out the fuel pump relay.

In replies above, people have posted that the problem could be my starter/alternator, does anyone know a method for testing them out?

*Note on alternator: Cant get the car running through a jump start, I can try bump starting it again to test the alternator, but then again my problem lies in the fact that my car wont start. I think this rules out the alternator? Also, all my electrical components worked fine when I did get my car to start the two previous times with the bump start.

Last edited by waltbimmer; 03-24-2008 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey Knox View Post
nope, second gear is the right way to do it. 1st gear wont turn over.
I've always done it in 1st, for both e36s, oh well
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Old 03-25-2008, 10:59 PM   #11
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Ok well I was searching on the internet, and found out that the car wont start if the crankshaft position sensor is faulty. If this was the case would the car still be able to start if I bump started?

Also someone suggested that if the timing chain is stuck the car wont start. If my fans are turning and the car slightly shakes like its turning over, does this mean my timing chain is ok?
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Old 03-27-2008, 12:24 AM   #12
waltbimmer
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Update:

Car will start when I take out the fuel pump fuse, but since the fuel pump isnt working when I do this, the car stops running when the fuel is burnt out.
When I put the fuse back in the car cranks but doesnt start...
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:36 AM   #13
Mickey Knox
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.S.C View Post
I've always done it in 1st, for both e36s, oh well
i guess it depends on the car, i tried both and find 2nd gear to be easier to push once the clutch is released. I have extensive experience with that, i had an audi when i was young and for severl month before she finally died that was my main mode of starting the car, by myself.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:48 PM   #14
waltbimmer
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changed the spark plugs to ngk iridiums, car is starting fine now.

there was a bunch of white smoke when it initially started, which went away after the engine heated up.

my exhaust smells kinda funny, best way for me to describe it is to say it smells almost like rotten eggs. i hear this indicates catalytic converter damage? any opinions?
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