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-   -   Electrical issue, No crank-- NEED Expertise (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=955580)

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 02:22 PM

Electrical issue, No crank-- NEED Expertise
Have a 2002 325ci, manual transmission. My problem being that the car will not start. Have had it into the shop twice and repaired everything they stated needed replacing myself and have gotten no positive results.
I can turn the key to the on position and the lights, radio, ect... all work but the car will not crank.
Things that I have done so far to troubleshoot...
1. bought new key
2. sent ews to company in california to have it tested with key, it checked out fine.
3.bench tested the starter and then later replaced after dealership said it needed to be replaced.
4. New battery with jump pack
5. replace clutch master cylinder and clutch switch b/c of a fluid leak.
6.checked all fuses and relays.
7.checked ground strap- clean and tight.
--I'm truelly at a loss.
The first time into bmw they told me that fluid leaking from the clutch master cylinder onto the clutch switch was the problem. Had it towed home and replaced all the part and new switch and bled the system, with no start.
I had it towed back into BMW and after four hours told me the alternator/regulator was shorting and back-feeding into the system cuasing the vehicle not to start, and also that the starter needed to be replaced((which I had already bench tested and was fine)). Had the car towed back home to save around $600. Replaced the alternator and starter, had both tested and they checked out fine.
The mechanic at BMW showed me a voltage drop with the alternator/regulator connected. When he turned the key the voltage to the starter was dropping from around 12v. to about 0v... What could be causing this. no damage to anything car had been running fine until one day after work it wold not crank. Any help or suggestions will be greatly appreciated and I will keep you posted.

Mango 11-12-2012 02:29 PM

Step 1) Listen for the fuel pump.

Step 2) If you don't hear the pump buzz after key is turned, check fuse.

Step 3) Fuse good? Check relay. Relay good? swap relay with horn relay (or better yet, new relay)

If you confirm fuel pump and related equipment is good with the above steps, check pressure at the fuel rail schraeder valve.

Need to confirm you're getting adequate fuel pressure first.

dmax 11-12-2012 02:33 PM

...and there's also the Kalim fuse...the 20 amp fuse in fuse pack in e-box...it feeds nine things, among them the FP relay.

Low odds, but I had mine blow due to a short in a cps wire...and internal short caused by a kink in the wire.

Also, there is more than one ground. Check under + and grd terminal under hood...for corrosion and tightness...ditto the ground off the battery...and I think there are two main engine ground straps...iirc...but don't quote me on that.

GL...some more things to check!

lcoleman 11-12-2012 02:33 PM

Not a fuel issue if it doesn't crank.

Has the ign switch been replaced?

Stinger9 11-12-2012 02:40 PM

Basics: Have you checked supply voltage to the starter motor from the battery at the large terminal on the starter?
If it is connected properly thru the large cable back to the battery, it will not drop to zero, or you'd be shorting the battery direct to ground!
From the above, I'd suspect something fishy with the emergency disconnect back near the battery. See if you get a voltage drop across it when trying to start the car.
And now I'm even not willing to overlook the ground strap back at the battery. Check it.

Have you checked to see if you get solenoid voltage (at the small terminal) at the starter when trying to start with the key?

Do you get any noise (click or whatever) at the starter when trying?

Get detailed answers to the above and come back here for more.

Mango 11-12-2012 03:19 PM

Right my first thought is the starter but that's in the bowels of the engine bay and might be tough to get to. Thought he'd check the simple things first. And while if it doesn't crank its not a fuel issue (obviously), I don't trust people here on their descriptions of problems. For all we know, the car cranks but OP is describing it as not cranking. Without being there, it's extremely difficult to know what's going on unless we have a video or trust the OP. Seeing as how its his first post, we have no way of knowing of his mechanical background or ability to accurately describe things. This is why I start with the simple and work my way up

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 03:32 PM

Checked voltage at the large terminal at the starter and have 12V. a second lead also runs to the rear of the alternator from this same terminal.
The car will not crank over at all, and the fuel pump is buzzing with the ignition switch on. I replaced the ignition switch about two years ago.
Im getting power to all accessories but the car is not trying to turn over, no starter click, nothing. This starter is brand new, as well as the alternator, both installed saturday.
Something i found on the rear of the old alternator where the lead from the starter bolts was some melted plastic, nothing major but when I had the old alternator tested everything passed, but i went ahead and replaced anyway since i had a lifetime warranty on the part.
Again, the car powers up and the accessories come on but the car will not turn over... New key, new starter, new alternator, and the battery is only about 10 months old.
Going to check for voltage at the small selenoid terminal with the key in the start position this evening. Thanks for all the responses.

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 03:36 PM

I appreciate the responses but I also feel I was pretty solid in my discription and troubleshooting. I have some pictures of some questionable wiring around the clutch switch that I will post and hopefully get some info. Also i will try to attach a video. Thanks again

dmax 11-12-2012 03:43 PM

10 month old battery doesn't really mean that it has an ample charge in it. Many here seem to take lots of short trips and the battery gets weaker and weaker. Might be you...don't know. But, just getting 12V somewhere in the car, doesn't mean the battery has the amps you need to even get the starter solenoid to click.

Also, check all the cables and wires in the system...especially on the starter. Oh, btw, since you were down there, I'm wondering if maybe you didn't plug something in, like crank sensor...something without which the car wouldn't crank.

Stinger9 11-12-2012 03:45 PM


Originally Posted by Jspreezy (Post 14893031)
Checked voltage at the large terminal at the starter and have 12V. a second lead also runs to the rear of the alternator from this same terminal.

I know from your first post that you know what you are talking about. I asked very specific questions and need the answers to them before I can give you next steps.
I'm aware of the wiring from the battery to the drug bin, to the starter, to the alternator. See diagram.
Fuel pump irrelevant to cranking.
Accessory power is irrelevant---they get fed from a separate cable.
Back of melted alternator probably irrelevant for our purposes here.

When you say key in 'start' position, I hope you understand I mean 'crank' position. When checking solenoid voltage.

Do you have battery on charger to insure it is strong?

Car will crank without crank sensor. Juat won't start.

Mango 11-12-2012 04:00 PM

Could OP try to apply 12V directly to the starter positive terminal? I'm no electrician but the fact that he has melting at his alternator terminal is scary. Maybe something is shorting?

Stinger9 11-12-2012 04:06 PM

Application of voltage to starter now will not reveal much. After preliminaries it will be more meaningful.
Melted alternator plastic is evidence that something did happen there before, but not currently.

Mango 11-12-2012 04:09 PM

We can at least rule out the starter isn't failed

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 05:52 PM

Ok, just checked voltage at starter solenoid(black&yellow wire) while cranking and no voltage. I have voltage at the large terminal, registering a volt below what registers at the battery. If I unplug the wire harness from the alternator, will the car crank or could it normally if not for the starting issue that is present?

Stinger9 11-12-2012 05:55 PM


Originally Posted by Jspreezy (Post 14893503)
Ok, just checked voltage at starter solenoid(black&yellow wire) while cranking and no voltage. I have voltage at the large terminal, registering a volt below what registers at the battery.

Not try to use a heavy jumper to feed the solenoid terminal of the starter from the larger terminal on the starter with voltage. Tell me what happens.

If a manual, do not have the car in gear!

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 06:06 PM

2 Attachment(s)
When I got my car back from BMW the first time and they told me to replace the clutch master cylinder and clutch switch(which I have done), but this connector was just hanging. It's located on the left side of the driver side floorboard, underneath the dash. The connector has three slots only two with wires, one brown wire and one red/blue wire. I have no clue where this goes or of its significance. Again this is a 325ci manual trans.

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 06:27 PM

Just tried to jump the solenoid from the large positive on the starter and key on with no luck, which makes no sense to me. It is dark out and the solenoid is difficult to get to but I feel confident I had the lead touching both terminals

Stinger9 11-12-2012 06:30 PM

Right now it totally sounds like your clutch interlock is not working. This would be all you need to prevent voltage from ever reaching the starter solenoid terminal.
I'm too far away to be able to make sense of this, but here's a short fix.
You could connect the two wires that go to the interlock so that you could start the engine without having to depress the clutch. (just like all cars used to be!)
If this gives you voltage at the solenoid, then progress to getting a pro to wire it correctly.
I still would want you to try the jump start procedure outlined before to ascertain that your starter circuit will work otherwise. I never assume there is only one problem.

EDIT: I see your post #17, and if correct then you have two problems. Retry in the light of day to confirm.
I'd want to know what the voltage measures at the large terminal to ground as you make this connection. Before and during.

Jspreezy 11-12-2012 06:44 PM

Thanks stinger9, appreciate you staying on top of this. I will hook the battery to a charger and check voltage at the starter again, while jumping the terminals and re-post. Probably be tomorrow afternoon before I can test it

Stinger9 11-12-2012 06:48 PM

Not ze problem. Hope we can get this licked.
There are a multitude of possibilities.
It is just an electrical problem. My specialty.

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