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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.

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Old 01-14-2010, 01:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine will not turnover!

Hi All, I need some assistance. I have inherited my dad's old 1988 BMW 320i Automatic. The car was running well until I refueled and it began running erratically.

Now when I try and start the car all the lights come on but, nothing except for a ticking sound by what I think is the fuel injection system. Other than that nothing!

Could you please point me in some direction as I have no idea as to where I should even start to look...
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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i would say probably the starter...
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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great car btw...have any pics?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Is the battery fully charged ?
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you put your interior lights on and try to start the car do the lights dim at all?
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Old 01-15-2010, 01:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I tried the horn and it sounds loudly. The interior light dim very slightly when I try and start the car. All connections to the starter seem secure. When I turn the key there is a clicking sound that comes form the glove compartment side (left hand side) could there be a problem with fuses/controller etc. I have checked all the fuses and they appear to be operational.
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If all else works fine, then this points to the starter motor as Carguy has mentioned, try shorting the starter motor with ignition on and see what happens...
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If all else works fine, then this points to the starter motor as Carguy has mentioned, try shorting the starter motor with ignition on and see what happens...
Make sure the car is in neutral when you do this.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Its an automatic, so it wont turn over unless in 'P' or 'N'
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:39 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Does that hold true even if you are effectively hot wiring it? Anyway, safety first.
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Old 01-15-2010, 04:56 AM   #11 (permalink)
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The ecu and egs will not allow the engine to turn over unless its in P or N, whether its hot wired or by normal means.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I can understand how they will stop the engine from firing, but how will they stop the starter from enagaging and cranking the engine over?
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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They don't stop the engine from firing they stop the engine from cranking and send a signal to the starter not to turn. So even with the ignition switched on and in D or R it will not allow the starter to turn even if you short it. The only way you may possibly do it is to remove the ignition block from the rear of the starter...but then I think that wouldn't work due to the ECU detecting the disconnection which would then possibly immobilise the car and set the alarm off.

Also the Input shaft would be engaged in the transmission, the EGS will know this and and send a signal to the ECU, which basically shuts everything off to do with an engine starting, spark/fuel pump etc etc.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:50 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I guess I am taking a too simplistic view of the starter control, seeing it as a basic electric motor which would turn when there is 12v source applied to it.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:00 AM   #15 (permalink)
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These cars are full of electronics as you well know, they are getting more complex by the minute and we are getting older by the minute and just cant keep up....I will have fun when I get hold of an e65/e66 or an FO1 in the future especially with the added bonus of idrive, I will definitely have to buy two and strip one down....
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