1985 325e turns over but won't start - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
BMW Forum BMW Forum

Auto Insurance

» Featured Product
Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 3-Series (E21, E30)
Register Home Forum Active Topics Gallery / Showroom Auto Loans Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Auto EscrowInsurance

3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

BimmerWerkz.com is the premier BMW Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-12-2009, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
1985 325e turns over but won't start

Hello everyone,

I am new here, but I am looking forward to hearing any ideas you may have as to what may be ailing my car - a 1985 325e. Here is what has been happening:

About 6 weeks ago or so my car started and ran perfectly.

The next week (I only drive the car once or twice a week on average), the car started, but took longer (more craking) to start, but it ran perfectly once it started.

The next week the car took much longer to start, but again ran perfectly once it started.

The following week, the car took so long to start that my battery was weakening due to all the cranking, and I needed to add a jump to prevent the battery from being completely drained, but finally the car did start and yet again, it ran perfectly.

After that the car hasn't started at all.

Originally I was thinking this was just a fuel delivery issue, so I tried replacing the fuel pressure regulator, then the in tank transfer pump, and then the external (main) fuel pump. I also tried swapping both the fuel pump relay and main relay, but none of these swaps fixed the problem. I then checked and discovered that I am not getting fuel OR spark, and I know that my distributor, rotor, spark plugs, wires, and coil are all nearly new and are all in great condition, plus since the car ran perfectly once it would start, this problem seems to be related to just starting the car, and not anything that affects driveability.

Anyway, since I found that I am not getting fuel or spark during starting, I thought that maybe the Motronic ECU was bad, so I tried swapping in a used but supposedly working one, yet the car still won't start - I guess it is still possible that the ECU that I swapped in was not working as I had thought, but it was stored at room temperature away from all heat sources, so I thought it should be ok. I also checked the reference and speed sensors on the bellhousing, and both test out fine, and I checked for the pin on the flywheel and I am nearly certain that I saw it still in place in there, although it is tough to see in the small sensor holes. The other thing that I checked was the fusable link on the positive lead wire about a foot in front of the battery in the trunk, as that fuse had corroded and caused a no start issue for me about 3 years ago, but this time I am getting full 12V on both sides of the fuse, so it doesn't seem to be that this time. I have also checked for any obvious corrosion on any wires or connectors, as well as loose connections, and I have not been able to find anything yet. And finally, my timing belt was just replaced within the past 10,000 miles or so, therefore I don't forsee any issues there.

One further note - I went through the diagnostic check noted in the Bentley manual for testing at the ECU connector, and although the fuel pumps will not run while trying to start the car, they do run when touching pin 20 in the ECU connector to ground in the test (so they work as expected in that test), and they also run when the ground pin of the fuel pump relay (when left in it's socket) is touched to ground with the ignition on.

Is there anything else that anyone can think of that would cause this type of a problem?

Thank you in advance for any assistance you may be able to offer.

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 11-12-2009, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
OMFG another one!?
 
witeshark's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Miami FL
Car: 89 E30 325i, 2007 Honda
Posts: 14,690
Photos:
witeshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nicewiteshark is just really nice
How many miles on the engine? Has it been compression tested? Has the crank position sensor been checked?
__________________
BMW

Sig by zeaq

Last edited by witeshark; 11-12-2009 at 12:33 PM.
witeshark is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2009, 12:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
The car has approximately 250,000 miles on it. The compression was tested about a year ago and everything was within the normal range.
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2010, 04:48 PM   #4 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: wisconsin
Car: 86 bmw 325es
Posts: 6
Photos:
grandersyo is on a distinguished road
alot of time the fuel filter could be pluged up. if you sit in the car and tun the key to the on position with out turning it over and you hear a buzzing or squarting noise then your fuel pump is working but it could still be the problem by not having alot of powerto push the gas to the engine. as for the spark. i would try to replace the plugs one more time and when you check them take the wires and test them one at a time to see if there is a good flow through them. if there is a good flow and it still doesnt start go to a junk yard and pick up a new distributer. or if your just getting sick of it not running take it to a shop that will fix it for you
grandersyo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 01:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Well, the fuel filter is almost brand new, but more importantly, the fuel pumps do not engage when the switch is turned to the on position. They do work, as I can get them to run and pump fuel when doing a voltage test at the connector for the ECU (the pin for the fuel pumps and ground), and also when doing a similar test at the fuel pump relay with the relay in place, by testing on the underside of the connector to ground. The spark plugs are also clean and new and when I placed one of the spark plugs in a wire of a different car, I got perfect spark, so the plugs do not seem to be any part of the problem. Being that I am not getting the fuel pumps to engage AND I am not getting spark, it seems to be an electrical glitch somewhere - I just don't have a clue where. I have replaced the ECU three times, all with tested working ECUs and none made a difference. I hate to give up, but I do believe it has got the best of me and I will most likely be taking it to a garage - I don't want to, but I just don't have any further ideas of what to try and I really miss driving this car, so I think the garage is my only option at this point. Anyway, I do really appreciate the suggestions and if anyone does come up with any further ideas, please let me know, as it may still be days or even weeks until I get the car to the garage (depending on my schedule and the schedule of the garage). Thanks,

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 03:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
Help from over the pond
 
marti5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IPSWICH. U.K.
Car: E38 1997 728i Individual
Posts: 3,242
Photos:
marti5 is on a distinguished road
Crankshaft sensor, your fuel pump will not cut in until the engine starts crank,it cuts in approx 2 milliseconds after you turn the to crank. there will be no spark or fuel if the crankshaft sensor has failed,when the C/sensor fails it will not send a pulse to the fuel pump to pump or a pulse to the ECU and Camshaft sensor to create a spark.

Crankshaft sensor..... as W/shark has already mentioned.

This sensor can be located in the transmission bell housing - reads marks on the flywheel. Or it can be in the rear of the block below the starter and it reads a toothed wheel attached to the crankshaft.
__________________
VELVET BLUE UK INDIVIDUAL , IM THE LAST
UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL

I stepped in a plate of Pasta the other day - now I have to worry about my Carbonara footprint!

Last edited by marti5; 01-22-2010 at 04:05 AM.
marti5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Oh, I guess I forgot to reply about the sensors - I have checked and also replaced the reference and speed sensors on the bellhousing (my car is an 85 and has them on the bellhousing) and I replaced them one at a time to make sure I didn't mix them up. Again I do appreciate the suggestion, and I know from the Bentley and Haynes manual as well as the advice of many people, that these sensors can cause a problem like ths, so I had tried this fairly close to the beginning of this ordeal. I also really felt that this might have been the problem originally as the original reference sensor had the proper resistance when tested, but the speed sensor didn't, so I thought I had it solved, but when I replaced those with new tested sensors, both with the appropriate resistance, nothing changed. Also, someone thought about the pin on the flywheel (as I hear those are notorious for falling out on these cars), but this problem I have started intermittently (the car would start fine one time, then take a while another time, and now not start at all), and I would think that if the pin was to blame, the car would have gone from running and starting just fine to not starting ever (until the pin issue is fixed), plus I did look in the bellhousing through the sensor hole while I was down there and slowly turned the flywheel, and I am nearly certain that I saw the pin still on the flywheel. Anyway, thanks again for the suggestion,

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 11:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
Help from over the pond
 
marti5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IPSWICH. U.K.
Car: E38 1997 728i Individual
Posts: 3,242
Photos:
marti5 is on a distinguished road
Ok, from re-reading this whole thread that leaves one thing....the ignition switch, if the contacts in the switch are dirty or are stuck closed your pump wont engage and you wont get a spark at the plugs, I have seen instructions on goolge to remove it not sure about a re-build, you may have to source one from a breakers or Ebay.

With the age/mileage and symptoms and all youve done this would be my next option. As an ignition switch would fail over time which is what im reading here....

Ps. Im not fully conversant with your model but most BMW's have a seperate switch which is wired to the barrel,its a box seperate from the barrel but situated just under or next to the barrel.
__________________
VELVET BLUE UK INDIVIDUAL , IM THE LAST
UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL

I stepped in a plate of Pasta the other day - now I have to worry about my Carbonara footprint!

Last edited by marti5; 01-22-2010 at 11:11 AM.
marti5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 12:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Thank you. Do you happen to know if the engine could still crank normally when the key is turned (when trying to start the car) if the ignition switch is bad. I only ask because someone suggested the ignition switch being the culprit for my situation on another forum but one of the main mechanics on there seemed pretty sure that if the ignition switch was bad, the engine would not turn over, whereas my car turns over perfectly normal when the key is turned - it just isn't getting the fuel pumps to engage during that cranking, and it isn't getting spark either as I described. I would sure love to hear that this is the problem, as I don't think it would be very difficult to swap ignition switches, and I had just put this idea behind me since that other person thought it couldn't be the issue. Let me know if you have any further info on this. Thank you very much.

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 12:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
Help from over the pond
 
marti5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IPSWICH. U.K.
Car: E38 1997 728i Individual
Posts: 3,242
Photos:
marti5 is on a distinguished road
Yes the engine would still crank if the switch was the problem.as it all depends on the contats inside, I dont know how many you have,but In mine there's 8.
__________________
VELVET BLUE UK INDIVIDUAL , IM THE LAST
UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL

I stepped in a plate of Pasta the other day - now I have to worry about my Carbonara footprint!

Last edited by marti5; 01-22-2010 at 12:22 PM.
marti5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2010, 04:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Well I am certainly glad you mentioned this and had this valuable information, as I think I can handle this project as soon as the weather cooperates and I find a replacement switch, but this has at least restored my hope in fixing it myself (without taking it to a garage) - hopefully. Although I have gotten my hopes up so many times since this problem began and so far every time I have ended up disappointed, but hopefully this is the solution. Thank you very much once again.

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2010, 02:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
Help from over the pond
 
marti5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: IPSWICH. U.K.
Car: E38 1997 728i Individual
Posts: 3,242
Photos:
marti5 is on a distinguished road
Before you go changing the ignition switch just have a read of this, if you havent already done so as it may be the main relay:

http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/3-s...art-62882.html
__________________
VELVET BLUE UK INDIVIDUAL , IM THE LAST
UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL

I stepped in a plate of Pasta the other day - now I have to worry about my Carbonara footprint!
marti5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2010, 10:06 AM   #13 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Hello, Thanks for the suggestion here, but I have tested the relays (both the fuel pump relay and the main relay) and I have swapped other working ones in just in case, and that did not fix my problem - that was one of the many times I got my hopes up only to be disappointed, as the relay is a simple swap and cheap, but unfortunately it didn't solve this particular problem. So I think I am currently set at the ignition switch next. Thanks again,

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2010, 02:03 AM   #14 (permalink)
5th Gear Member
 
darkhorse737's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Car: 88 super ETA, 95 525i
Posts: 1,494
Photos:
darkhorse737 is on a distinguished road
Cool

before y'all do anything else... did u check all your fuses?

then... the MAIN RELAY. My experience with E30's is when the main relay is defective, it does not pulse the injectors also... so there. no start condition

if still no start.... find an opening near the throttle body and shoot some carb cleaner or brake cleaner in... then start.

it starts then dies? = you have a fuel supply problem

it just turns over but does not start = you have an electrical problem

if u hvnt found the solution to your no-start condition yet, let us know

Last edited by darkhorse737; 02-15-2010 at 02:07 AM.
darkhorse737 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2010, 10:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
n00b
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Richfield, PA
Car: 1985 BMW 325e
Posts: 12
Photos:
greg325e is on a distinguished road
Hello,

Thank you for the suggestions. I have checked ALL the fuses and they are all fine. I have also checked and replaced the Main and Fuel Pump relays both with verified working ones and that did not fix the problem. I had also tried the starting fluid procedure to try to determine if it was a fuel delivery issue or something else, and the car does not start when the starting fluid test is done, because despite having all nearly brand new (and all tested recently) ignition components (including spark plugs, wires, distributor, rotor, and coil) the car is not getting fuel or spark at startup. The fuel pumps themselves work, and they run when you do the diagnostic test at the ECU connector or at the relay, but the pumps do not engage when you try to start the car so I am still thinking this is either an ignition switch or other electrical issue. I have replaced the ECU twice and that did not solve the problem and I have tested all electronic components that I knew to check and I could not find any loose or broken wires. So I am most likely going to be taking the car to a mechanic when the weather warms a bit and the snow melts from around the car unless I find other possible solutions, as I am just getting fed up with the car here and I have tried everything listed in the bentley manual, haynes manual, and suggestions from many people on several forums and nothing has solved this issue yet. Again, I certainly appreciate your suggestions and would appreciate any others you may have. Thanks,

~Greg
greg325e is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com > BMW Model Specific Forums > 3-Series (E21, E30)


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1985 325e DanielBMW 3-Series (E21, E30) 5 05-08-2009 08:12 AM
1985 325e DanielBMW 3-Series (E21, E30) 6 01-06-2009 04:20 PM
1985 325e DanielBMW 3-Series (E21, E30) 15 09-28-2008 01:19 PM
1985 325e trgarcia 3-Series (E21, E30) 10 09-18-2008 07:24 AM
1985 325e Questions offabroadway 3-Series (E21, E30) 8 03-13-2005 05:30 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:59 AM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.