Car will not crank when key is turned - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 02:17 AM
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Car will not crank when key is turned

My car has been working witout any problem. I came home 3 days ago with car working fine and parked the car for 2 days. On the third day I went to turn the key and no action watsoever not even a click. Had radio and all warning lights lit up as well as the front lights and AC fan. Nevertheless I figured it was the battery and bought a new one and changed it out. When I went to start much to my surprise no response at all. I checked the voltage in the jumping terminal under the hood and the voltage was 12.5 Volts. I worked the windos and no problem.

I did notice that when I closed the doors the windows did not close the 1" that is usually open in verts. But after I operated them from the car switches then they started to open and close the 1 inch when door is open.

I have no idea of what could be happening I have done nothing other than look at the fluid reservoir for the top hydraulic pump since I'm having a problem raising or lowering the top.

I have no security system on the car but I understand the car has some theft deterrent gizmo.
Can someting in this area be malfunctioning. I did notice there is a fuse called "starter interlock" but I don't have that fuse.

DOES ANYBODY HAVE AN IDEA OF WHAT COULD BE HAPPENING! PLEASE HELP!!!!

If I can get it started I will have to tow to a mechanic.

BTW my car is a 2004 325CI E-46 body
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#2 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 02:57 PM
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Could be that your starter failed, like the solenoid that pushes the gear out getting stuck thus no sound not even a click. You could try taking a small hammer or something and tap, hit on the starter solenoid to free it up. If it starts you will know the starter needs to be replace. This test has worked for me in the past.
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#3 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by PicksBimmers View Post
Could be that your starter failed, like the solenoid that pushes the gear out getting stuck thus no sound not even a click. You could try taking a small hammer or something and tap, hit on the starter solenoid to free it up. If it starts you will know the starter needs to be replace. This test has worked for me in the past.
Great suggestion! Thanks for your reply. The only problem is that I raised the hood looking for the starter and solenoid which I'm familiar with on American cars. I found the engine totally covered with a cover and have no idea where I can find the starter solenoid or the starter motor.
Can you or anyone else give me an idea of how I can easily access these items?
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#4 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 08:32 PM
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I had this same problem on my 318, but you can see the starter from above. For both it's located on driver side in back underneath the intake. Looked at my 325 and it's buried. I had to go from under car to replace the starter on my 318, and the only access to the starter at all looks to be from below for the 325, so my suggestion is impractical I suspect for you.
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#5 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by PicksBimmers View Post
I had this same problem on my 318, but you can see the starter from above. For both it's located on driver side in back underneath the intake. Looked at my 325 and it's buried. I had to go from under car to replace the starter on my 318, and the only access to the starter at all looks to be from below for the 325, so my suggestion is impractical I suspect for you.
Picks,
thanks for your suggestion. Its excellent but as you say noy doable because the starter needs to be accessed from below and good luck w/o a lift.

I was told that BMW"s have an EWS chip that is an anti-theft that disaganges
the starting circuit when it fails? Have you ever heard anything about this gizmo?

BMW has everything run by some kind of a subchip or intelligent ckt that reports to the main computer and I understand the starting ckts has two steps to complete (via the computer) before it open the ckt to the starter?

Of course w/o a starting ckt diagram its not possible to say for sure. Does an anybody know where I can get a diagram of this ckt for an 2004 E-46?

I'm pretty sure its the starter system or something to do with the computer and the key that enables or disables the starter ckt.

I guess I will have to tow and take to a shop. Now the problem is finding a shop that has the knowledge and equipment to troubleshoot this.
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#6 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 02:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
Picks,
thanks for your suggestion. Its excellent but as you say noy doable because the starter needs to be accessed from below and good luck w/o a lift.

I was told that BMW"s have an EWS chip that is an anti-theft that disaganges
the starting circuit when it fails? Have you ever heard anything about this gizmo?

BMW has everything run by some kind of a subchip or intelligent ckt that reports to the main computer and I understand the starting ckts has two steps to complete (via the computer) before it open the ckt to the starter?

Of course w/o a starting ckt diagram its not possible to say for sure. Does an anybody know where I can get a diagram of this ckt for an 2004 E-46?

I'm pretty sure its the starter system or something to do with the computer and the key that enables or disables the starter ckt.

I guess I will have to tow and take to a shop. Now the problem is finding a shop that has the knowledge and equipment to troubleshoot this.
The EWS system is an anti-theft system. The ignition sends a code to the key, and the key has its own code. If the two codes do not match, the EWS system disables the ignition. Should their be an issue with the EWS system, such as a loss of power, the car may not start. The EWS module is located behind the glovebox. The Bentley Manual has wiring diagrams in it. Not sure if their is a link to the E46 Bentley manual at the top of E46 section or not. If not, i have a PDF copy of it available.

As for the comment of the starter, its possible to fix without a lift, just difficult. Most places actually remove the intake manifold to remove the starter which adds at least 1-2 hours of labour to the total job.


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#7 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
The EWS system is an anti-theft system. The ignition sends a code to the key, and the key has its own code. If the two codes do not match, the EWS system disables the ignition. Should their be an issue with the EWS system, such as a loss of power, the car may not start. The EWS module is located behind the glovebox. The Bentley Manual has wiring diagrams in it. Not sure if their is a link to the E46 Bentley manual at the top of E46 section or not. If not, i have a PDF copy of it available.

As for the comment of the starter, its possible to fix without a lift, just difficult. Most places actually remove the intake manifold to remove the starter which adds at least 1-2 hours of labour to the total job.
Lord,
thanks for such valuable information. At least now I know what EWS system is. Does anybody know what EWS stands for? I always suspected BMW had something similar.
This could very well be the problem. On the other hand I don't believe I lost power before I decided to change the battery since it was the 1st thing I suspected. I also tried the 2nd key and not a sound. So I don't know why the key would all the sudden lose its code so maybe the ignition ckt when haywire.

I'm not too sure I know what is the intake manifold. Is that under the air filter box? A picture may help. Is it too difficult for a non mechanic to remove?

If you have a PDF copy of the manual I would appreciate if you can make it available to me.

I had the car without a battery for 16 hours before I installed the new one. Do I need to re- install the original factory BMW program to the main car computer??.
I hope this did not screw up the delicate top up and down program as well as all other computer controlled units in the car.
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#8 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 07:10 AM
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The Intake Manifold is behind the air inbox in a sense. Air goes into the air inbox, and then through the MAF and into the throttle body and then the intake manifold. The manifold takes about 1-2 hours to remove depending on skill level.

I do have a PDF copy of the E46 manual, and i will send you the link to it.

Having the car without the battery for that long wont damage anything. All it does is reset the computer. You will need your radio code though.


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#9 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 04:23 PM
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Thanks lord that does it for me to see I can't takle the job. It would be an area I have never been to and afraid i would screw things up besides I'm not sure I know all the parts you have mentioned. I would appreciate the link though. Is it a BMW doc or a third party?
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#10 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lord Vader View Post
The Intake Manifold is behind the air inbox in a sense. Air goes into the air inbox, and then through the MAF and into the throttle body and then the intake manifold. The manifold takes about 1-2 hours to remove depending on skill level.

I do have a PDF copy of the E46 manual, and i will send you the link to it.

Having the car without the battery for that long wont damage anything. All it does is reset the computer. You will need your radio code though.

Is it not solid proof that the solenoid is not closing when you hit the starter and there is no sound and the high beams do not even blink? It seems that no current is delivered because either the starter motor would crank or if shorted would not crank but would cause a heavy current flow that would dim the lights considerably.

Based on this since my lights did not dim and no sound was heard I'm pretty confident my problem is the solenoid and I would also change the starter because I have heard its a difficult job to do.
Anybody have any idea what the starte motor cost? How about the labor to change? (hours )
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#11 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
Thanks lord that does it for me to see I can't takle the job. It would be an area I have never been to and afraid i would screw things up besides I'm not sure I know all the parts you have mentioned. I would appreciate the link though. Is it a BMW doc or a third party?
If you have basic mechanical ability, a decent set of tools, and a fair bit of paitence then its fairly easy to DIY. The longest part of the job is removing the manifold.


Here is the link to the PDF. The Bentley Manual is written by Bentley Publishers, but is considered the foremost guide to BMW repair.

https://skydrive.live.com/#cid=FB674...6055A752%21110


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#12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 06:23 PM
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Lord when I click on the link I get this:



This item might have been deleted, expired, or you might not have permission to access it. Contact the owner of this item for more information. More info
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#13 (permalink) Old 04-03-2013, 09:21 AM
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Had same problem on a 318i turned the key and starter did not work. Battery not flat and everything else worked.

Assumed same, that solenoid not kicking in.

Lets go through this logically before talking EWS coding, blah blah blah.

the starter is a pig to get to so checking feed at solenoid is a pig. Solenoids rarely fail, ususally you hear a click but starter wont turn, which indicates that terminals on solenoid are burnt. A bash with a hammer will normally cure this, but soilenoid will need replacing at some point. I wasn't even getting the click!

OK so lets eliminate the transponder on the key, the inductor coil for the key and the coding between thye EWS and ECU.

Simply done by turning ignition on and bump starting. If it starts you can rule out all those things.

Next step......take lower cowl off steering column to let you get at the contacts on the ign switch. Check for 12v coming into switch, if ok check that 12v is available on the start contact when you fully turn key. this is the bottom right contact. if not get a wire and jump it across to contact on left. Car should turn over if it is the switch.

If you are lucky (like i was) you will find that there is no voltage. IGNITION SWITCH IS DUFF!! Take off plug and loosen the 2 small grub screws either side of switch,( usually painted red) you can now remove switch.

If you are carefull you can dismantle and clean all the contact points and re assemble (like i did). Or buy a new one.

Replace switch and try..........................mine started first time.

I have read so many misleading posts that all focus on the EWS...As with any diagnostics alwaysstart at one end and work towards the problem, never mind all this guess work. All i needed was a test meter......TRY IT
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