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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 05-23-2005, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So this morning I get into my car and turn the key and the engine starts coughing really loud..but refuses to turn over...I pop the hood, inspected everything and I repeated starting the ignition for about 5 to 6 minutes (about 15 to 20 turns) before the engine actually turned over and started...when it did..the car was reving wildly and the engine was vibrating alot for a few seconds before settiling in to normal behavior.

Conditions: My car has been sitting cold for three days on driveway and we've had lots of rain in NY during this time. Actually last night I went into my car and started it (to reset the alarm memory that had come on somehow) and it started fine. I also noted that there was some water leaking out from my windshield rubber trim above the DME area and the trunk lid.

I've Ruled Out: It is NOT the Air Mass Meter or Air filter since that is newly replaced (July 2004), Ignition switch is new as well, It also shouldn't be electrical. My neighbor who is good with cars said it sounded like a fuel component or line is clogged up.

Suspicions: Altenator, maybe water got into some key component that has to do with starting the engine such as DME, Altenator, Engine block, Maybe my Belts or timing chain needs to be replaced. Maybe fuel lines are clogged up...

HELP?
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Old 05-23-2005, 03:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Most likely you have an electrical/ignition problem related to the wet weather. Typically, the ignition wires, ignition coils etc. get wet (and especially if they are coated with dirt or dust), this forms a path to ground for any leaking current if everything isn't sealed perfectly. As a result one or more of the plugs misfires and the car is hard to start. When the car warms up and the wires dry out, everything is fine. One quick solution when the car won't start because of this is to spray the ignition components with WD40. This displaces the moisture and breaks the path to ground.
First thing to do is check and clean the ignition components, wiping off all dirt and looking for breaks or cracks and that all boots are on tightly. A good cleaning is often all that is needed.
Specific to BMW's I've read in the forms that the DME is susceptible to water leaking into it. Search the forms for more info on this.
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Old 05-23-2005, 04:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Delmarco check your car alarm. I had the same problem and I thought that it was my starter. I towed my car back to my house. Then I had my starter changed, bought a new battery and the same shit happened. Then I knew that it was my Ghettofabulous alarm. That bitch had no way to reset itself. Also check for any fuses.
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Old 05-23-2005, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Old 05-24-2005, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had simliar problem. For me it was something in my fuel system. Hard to start, then erratic idling is usually caused by some sort of fuel problem, or a horrible vaccum leak. So check out things like fuel filter and injectors. Run some 44k injector cleaner through, or perhaps some gas treatment/additive, I've had good luck with the chevron stuff, but have heard mixed stories about it.
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