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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 05-14-2005, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Got a 94 325IS that's had 4 no starts. First time I jumped the fuel pump relay and came home. Replaced the relay and it was happy a few days.Second time did the same thing so figured it must be the pump. The car has 140K so I threw a pump at it.It was happy again for a week or so and it happened again.This time I switched the main relay and the pump relay and it cranked. Did notice the transmission check light came on and stayed on when the ignition switch was turned on before I switched the relays. Replaced the main relay [engine control] relay and it was happy again for a few days. Did it again, just messed with the main and fuel pump relays and it started. Now I'm thinking it's something going around the wires at the relay plugs. Pulled everything out, checked all the termials in the main relay plug, wires back the their splice location and everything looks fine. Everytime it happens I'm in someone's parking lot with nothing to check with, or no time to check what's gong on. She 's not going to drive it any more untill it's fixed. I'm a mechanic and usually have a good time with electrical problems but this one is kicking me bad.Has anyone had anything happen to them like this?Never had a hint of any problems other than a brake light switch since we had the car. Also the fuel pump will not cycle on when the ignition switch is turned on when it happens, if that any help. Thanks for any help.
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Old 05-15-2005, 08:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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fuel pump relay is a much rarer problem for E36 BMW than Air Flow Meter failure. I had similar symptoms with my 1995 318i and BMW repalced the AFM for about $480. However I didn't know then that it is a fairly moderate DIY and the piece can be acquired for less than $50 on ebay.
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Old 05-15-2005, 10:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Does the car crank but refuses to start when this happens or does the engine not turn over at all?
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Old 05-15-2005, 04:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gator@May 15 2005, 09:47 AM
Does the car crank but refuses to start when this happens or does the engine not turn over at all?
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It turns over fine, and even tried to start last time. Messd with it today , labeled some wires to check when it happened again and noticed I only had 11.6 volts at the main relay. Went over to the jump point on the right fender and had 11.6 there also. Checked the old battery and it had 11.6. It should have at least 12.5 or 12.6 if it had a full charge. Anyway this is another one of lifes many lessons. Check for the most common thing first. It always turned over fine, and the alternator was putting out a cool 14.0 volts so I just "figured" the battery was happy. After seeing this today I am almost sure it was a weird battery pronlem. If the battery voltage drops enough on start, with the starter loading it, there will not be enough voltage to make the ecu happy and that would not close any of the relays, or maybe some. Why it was intermittin , I don't know. Time will tell.
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