2000 323 electrical; no start, following dying - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 08:45 AM
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2000 323 electrical; no start, following dying

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!
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 09:02 AM
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Dont think its the starter, why did it just die after 5 miles is the real question??

Ok, possibles: Crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor or knock sensor

Crank over, remove a plug, wet/dry? spark ?

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#3 (permalink) Old 01-18-2009, 11:34 AM
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2000 323 died...electrical...

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'
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 09:12 PM
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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!
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 09:58 PM
OMFG another one!?
 
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Wow, sorry to see this! Best of luck to you!

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#6 (permalink) Old 01-19-2009, 10:42 PM
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Wow, that sounds terrible. I'd be pissed but I don't understand how you didn't get a warning for low oil pressure or anything like that. That's very odd. Good luck.
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#7 (permalink) Old 01-21-2009, 07:14 PM
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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.
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#8 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 05:08 AM
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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.

GOOD LUCK.

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#9 (permalink) Old 01-22-2009, 05:31 PM
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2000 323 ...seizure...

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)!
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 08:47 PM
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Mechanic sez tons of oil in the upper manifold area, and fuel breather hose soaked with oil: May, in fact be, the dreaded oil-drowning hydrolock! More in the next day or so...
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#11 (permalink) Old 02-01-2009, 01:19 PM
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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).

All feedback welcomed!
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#12 (permalink) Old 02-05-2009, 08:09 PM
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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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