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Old 10-01-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
1st Gear Newbie
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 9
E46 m3 starting problem

My 2001 m3 has had no problems and its randomly not starting...
When i put the key in everything works like its suppose to.electricity, stereo, lights etc. but the starter doesnt make any attempt to turn the engine over.

It has done this once in the past and it randomly started 4 days later and drove perfectly for the next 2000 kms.

Does anyone know what it could possibly be or any way to fix this problem?
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: brampton
Posts: 787
maybe starter?
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:49 AM   #3
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Location: Milton
Posts: 389
Clutch pedal safety switch?
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:44 AM   #4
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Location: GTA/Markham
Posts: 810
I've read about this issue at numerous places. Just gonna copy paste some responses for you. Hope it helps.

" My car and many others had the exact same thing happen. All of the sudden, the car won't start. I originally started out my cleaning and re-tightening the wires to the starter. That worked for about 4 months and then it got progressively worse. I finally just replaced the starter and my car has been fine since."

"Simply pushing the car a little back and forward (in gear and then in neutral) making sure the electronics know its in neutra solved my problem."

"It happen to me before 1st got in the car in morning car wont star(not even crank) Tried it again 10 min after car starts again. 3 weeks later while driving in freeway lights in dash sudden appear dsc,abs,tires etc. and the suddenly car loss power and stop. I got it tow to my mechanic look for all the problem cant find it. He call me couple days later told me to bring my extra key so I did. Car start right away( my master key went out so thats why while driving car stall thinking car is being stolen(EWS security) now make sense.

Hope this help a little GOODLUCK!"

"hey guys! i went to pick up my key today, got home and started the car and guess what................!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It worked!! it was the transponder after all, thanks everyone for your help! now i just have to get the buttons initialize"

"Happened to me a few times too.
I just reinitialized them:
1) Put key in ignition and turn to pos. 1 quickly and back.
2) Remove key
3) Hold open button and press close button 3 times.
4) Release open button.
Doors should now lock and unlock to acknowledge it worked.

Do steps 3 and 4 for the spare keys.
5) Finalize by putting key in ignition and turning it to pos. 2.

Don't know why the key didn't work anymore and what the solution is to prevent it from happening again."

"The door lock function is completely separate from the EWS (anti-theft) function. And before assuming it's the key - it's really worth checking the starter, they have a MUCH higher failure rate. The EWS part of the key does not use a battery, it is powered up by an RF field generated when the key is inserted in the keyhole (there is an antenna around the keyhole - the black lip thingie.)

And rolling the car back/forth does NOT rotate the starter, so it's not a good test for a defective segment in the starter armature.... At best - the vibration caused pushing the car might jar the brushes back into contact with the armature, making connection. So would beating on the starter with a stick (if you can reach it..) To really test if the EWS system is causing this - you need either a BMW code reader, and/or a voltmeter connected to the solenoid coil connection on the starter."

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Old 10-02-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Toronto
Posts: 9
i tried reinitializing the system with the 5 steps and my key stopped working so i guess its a problem with the computer or my key.
I also tried pushing the car back and foward and nothing il have to bring the car in to get serviced.
thanks tho
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:48 PM   #6
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 217
Bad ground connection.

E46s will start doing crazy sh1t when the ground is loose somewhere.

Now your job is to find that loose ground.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:30 PM   #7
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Wait what do you mean by bad ground connection?
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:33 PM   #8
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 217
There are many many grounds in this car. Everything is electric and all is grounded. Basic principals of electricity. When the ground is broken or loose, the car will do crazy wicked stuff.
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Old 12-18-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
2nd Gear Member
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kingston
Posts: 178
One more thing to consider...

My master was leaking down into my Clutch Safety Switch. Gave me completely random no-starts. I spent so much time chasing other potential issues and then I finally decided to bypass the switch with a paper clip and it worked. I opened up the switch, cleaned out the brake fluid, and it has worked ever since! Might be worth a shot just sticking a paper clip in the plug (you'll have to google what pins to put it in) and seeing what happens.
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