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Old 08-03-2013, 11:46 AM   #1
ClayMan
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HELP! E36 won't start / electrical problems after wash!

I was power washing the E36 last month and suddenly noticed the DRL (high beams at low power) had come on. The key was in the off position, but the digital climate control was on, the fan was blowing, and the cluster was in an awkward state as well (some of the gauges / lights were on, perhaps intermittently, don't remember exactly). The car would start and run fine, but when I turn it off and remove the key, all of those things stay on (DRLs, climate control, cluster). I tried unplugging the battery for a bit, but all of those things would come back on when i reconnect it.

I figured I shorted something with water, so I unplugged the battery and let the car sit and dry (indoors).

Fast forward a month later, I connect the battery back, and the funny electrical gremlins seem to be gone. However, now the car won't start at all! It just cranks forever. Any ideas where to start looking?
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Old 08-04-2013, 09:32 AM   #2
jabela
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That's either fuel or spark. You should be able to hear the fuel pump come on for a second when your turn the key to the ignition position after the car hasn't been touched for a while.
If it's spark, then it could be the crank position sensor that failed. It could also just be some fuses or a ground wire.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:38 AM   #3
5style
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you flooded your ecu because you have leaves clogging your drains in the wiper/fanbox. When that happens the compartment fills up with water and it seeps into the ecu area. Your ECU is the culprit now. I suggest clearing those drains first so you don't flood the new one
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:05 PM   #4
ClayMan
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That's what I thought too.. Pulled out the DME and unplugged, it seemed dry.. there was also a relay attached to the loom nearby... Unplugged that too.

Blew some air on all of the connectors (like a Nintendo cartridge)... Plugged everything back in, and now the car is fine! WTF.
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:12 PM   #5
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check if you have a CEL in 3rd position, if you dont your ecu is toast. if you do it could still be the ECU but that's less likely
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:40 AM   #6
5style
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClayMan View Post
That's what I thought too.. Pulled out the DME and unplugged, it seemed dry.. there was also a relay attached to the loom nearby... Unplugged that too.

Blew some air on all of the connectors (like a Nintendo cartridge)... Plugged everything back in, and now the car is fine! WTF.
start cleaning those drains!!!!!
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