3-Series (E46, E90)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.
Following weeks of no-problem frigid starts, the E46 started, got me five miles, then died: Upon trying to restart, I was greeted with a "CLACK-CLACK-CLACK"; all of the while lights dimming as the pulsing ensued. It wasn't anything like a smooth turnover, nor the quiet fast-clicking of usual dead battery. I even popped in another known good battery, no change.
Ok, so then I toss jumpers on, just in case I am wrong about the battery...no difference. It's as if there is a large power/contactor-relay (ie. feeding the "bendix" on the starter motor) that was being engaged/disengaged. Think "pulsing the engine" to move to T.D.C., back when we used to set ignition timing - but the key is fully maintained in start. I could sure use some troubleshooting ideas on this one.
I am at a loss, fearing brain-box / disabler / ???. My last Bimmer was a much simpler 1985 325is - so this fifteen year newer one has me stumped!
Good thoughts/questions - but as it won't actually "crank", per se, I'm not expecting to event get to the usual fuel/air/spark diagnostics. I've scoured my Bently manual in search of something that would interrupt the cranking process itself...to no avail.
Bad connection? <ground/otherwise>: Suspicious as it is drawing substantial current during momentary contactor engagement - albeit no motor movement. If there was a weak path, it wouldn't pull the lamps to darkness.
Seized engine (gasp)? Also feels wrong, due to no curious sounds, drivability or sensor indications beforehand - oil level checked good a few days ago.
Might any of the noted sensors - cam, for instance - have a "self protect" mode to kill the ignition, lest an out of adjustment situation risk lifter/piston woes? Thinking-out-loud is about "all I got" at this point... Thx again, tho'
Horrific update: Engine seizure...it appears to have lost all oil, and locked up the motor <?!?>. I just checked the oil on it last week and it was nearly full - and topped it up with BMW's own synth-oil. I am even more baffled now, seeing it neither on the ground, nor obscuring in smoke the poor devil behind me. It was terribly cold, so what I thought was blowing snow and exhaust steam could have been smoke - but no idiot lamps (oil pressure, etc)?
I'm about to see if 3rd party / aftermarket warranties are worth anything; mine's within a few weeks of expiring, but valid!
And this was to be the "no work required" car...! I'm now about to enter the Aftermarket-Warranty-Fight, I fear. The document isn't clear how catastrophic motor woes are handled...
So, who out there has had a remanufactured/rebuilt engine installed in an E46 <may need a separate post>? If I can reach some warranty compromise, it may only be 'used' and not reworked in any fashion. This was to be a keeper for several more years, so a 3-5 year engine warranty would be a requirement.
Thanks for the moral support, all. I'll let everyone know how it plays out.
Thats just horrific, seems really strange no warnings at all, hope you warranty battle goes well for you, you will have a battle as the 1st thing will be why didnt you take any notice of the warning signals????? and unfortunately BMW's dont have black boxes fitted.
__________________ 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!
Ah, but if there was only some warning - 'nary an idiot light to be evidenced! I am struggling with how (even if a stuck CVV / failed separator allowed spraying or burning quarts of oil that quickly), that the oil pressure warning didn't sense something amiss and alight the friendly little oil can icon?!?
Tomorrow, I try to elicit a position from the warranty company. Fingers crossed (and animalistic lawyers at-the-ready)!
The mechanic is in agreement, and now I am facing the cost of the fix. Can I get some "comparable" costs for the work, from any of those having had it done? I just don't have the time - nor heated garage - to do the separator/CCV process on the YouTube series. I've seen from $750-$1800...what's the concensus?
Also, frustratingly, the upgraded "cold weather kit" seems to be unavailable - so I would only be back-where-I-started once R&R'd with the original misdesigned parts. Does anyone know if there IS a source of the dipstick tube, etc...and is there one, or two versions ('seems to be confusion on a heating element valve option).
2000 323 ...seizure... CCV/Oil-Sep now repaired. Ouch
The car is back, cold weather kit installed, oil still purging itself from the recesses of the engine. Rough way to part with > kilo-$... I just pray that the xmission holds another 80,000 miles, lest it be "next"!
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