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Old 02-22-2008, 09:54 AM   #1
Smitty
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DOA this morning!

Hey guys,
I recently picked up a 1991 318i (M42). When I went to start it this morning, I got nothing -- No dash lights, no cranking, no noises, completely dead. The battery is pretty new. I had a friend give me a jump-start but it behaved the same way. Any ideas?

BTW, I just saw the below-linked thread, but the other poster hadn't tried a jump before he got a new battery:
http://www.maxbimmer.com/forums/show...ighlight=power

Thanks!
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:29 AM   #2
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The car sat for a while didn't it?

Sometimes jump starting doesn't give a bmw enough juice.

Take the battery out and have it charged, then try again.


or use Zimmie's approach. Use two cars to jump start it. One in the rear connected to the battery a second in the front connected to the terminals.

I know it sounds odd, but we did this to an e39 after one car couldn't jump start it and it worked.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:58 AM   #3
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Hey Trevor, that's an interesting idea -- I'll try it after work today. The car hadn't been sitting for too long, though... I've been commuting in it this week. I parked it around 11pm last night and tried to start it at 7:20 am this morning
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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Hmm, actually when you tried jump starting it the first time, was everything still completely dead? no lights? no clicks/cranking?

It so, could be something else, main relay, bad battery terminals, bad connection...but that is if the car isn't getting any juice at all.
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Old 02-22-2008, 11:46 AM   #5
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Alternator??
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:43 PM   #6
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Update: I tried the 2-car jump starting method over my lunch break and it worked! I'm going to see my mechanic tonight. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T.Dot_E30 View Post
The car sat for a while didn't it?

Sometimes jump starting doesn't give a bmw enough juice.

Take the battery out and have it charged, then try again.


or use Zimmie's approach. Use two cars to jump start it. One in the rear connected to the battery a second in the front connected to the terminals.
U liked. that ehhh
I cant belive the stuff Chalie teaches me everday @ work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty View Post
Update: I tried the 2-car jump starting method over my lunch break and it worked! I'm going to see my mechanic tonight. Thanks for the tip!
that unusual for an m42.
I usually use that trick on M54's or the V8 which need a lot of Cranking power to turn the motor over.

Bring the car over and we'll be happy to diagnose the problem for u.
See my sig for contact info.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:02 AM   #8
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Sounds like a fishy main relay to me.
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Old 02-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #9
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Did you make sure the connection at the jumpers is good?
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:03 AM   #10
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ZiMMie: It could have just been a coincidence (i.e., something made contact that hadn't made contact earlier in the day... or temperature change from morning to afternoon). When it happens again, I'll probably be contacting you.

Axxe: Yeah, the connections were solid. They looked good to begin with, but I cleaned the terminals and terminal connections with steel wool.

Also, I checked the charge on the battery: 13.6v. Well within the range. Weird! Anyways, the car is starting normally now. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:07 AM   #11
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If it does it again, try swapping the O2 sensor relay with the main relay to see if the car will start. A failing relay could do this when its cold / sits for a short while. But figure out which is which now, not then.
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Old 02-23-2008, 11:16 AM   #12
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Update: I tried the 2-car jump starting method over my lunch break and it worked! I'm going to see my mechanic tonight. Thanks for the tip!
I'll tell you right now that it worked only because using one car to jump it, you weren't getting either a good ground or power (12V+) connection to somewhere.

You don't need two cars to jump start a 4cyl unless the battery is so dead that it will not hold a charge again at all, then maybe.

Does the car start again on it's own?
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:27 PM   #13
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You don't need two cars to jump start a 4cyl unless the battery is so dead that it will not hold a charge again at all, then maybe. Does the car start again on it's own?
its got a bigger motor swap not a four banger
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Old 02-24-2008, 04:30 PM   #14
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I'll tell you right now that it worked only because using one car to jump it, you weren't getting either a good ground or power (12V+) connection to somewhere.
I agree -- I've never had a 4-cyl car that required so much power to jump-start. It's starting normally now. I will try the O2 sensor relay/main relay swap if/when it happens again. Thanks for all the suggestions.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:17 PM   #15
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I agree -- I've never had a 4-cyl car that required so much power to jump-start. It's starting normally now. I will try the O2 sensor relay/main relay swap if/when it happens again. Thanks for all the suggestions.
Like Axxe said, check your connections. Just because they don't move, it doesn't mean they're "solid". Solid in this case, means a clean metal-to-metal contact surface. Take the connectors off and clean off any oxide with sand paper or a wire brush. The second car either gave enough power to arc over the oxide or the second clamp added enough force to crack through it.

Also, after it starts, don't let the alternator charge the battery. Charge it properly. A dead alternator is a much bigger bitch than anything discussed here. It will proper strand you.
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