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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 10-19-2012, 03:29 AM   #1
klixtokw
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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 325 CI Vert E-46 body.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:23 AM   #2
0mega9
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If the key is remotely opening the doors, turning in the ignition key and you are getting all the accessories to turn on without any problems, I'm guessing it has to do something along side the starter and/or ignition system...
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:45 AM   #3
///MPR77
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Have you checked your connections at the battery?
If you measured voltage at the battery terminals, that would only tell if battery is good.

Check the voltage on your cluster.
Unlock menu 19
Then
Menu 9 will show you voltage at the battery.

If you tested 12.5 at the terminals, and read less on the cluster, then I would guess a connection.

I have started my car on as little as 10.9, and have had a no start issue because loose terminal connection, even when the fob key was still able to unlock the car.
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Last edited by ///MPR77; 10-19-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
trippmann
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Maybe your key battery is nearly dead, I have a key that will bring my car to position 2 and light everything up but will not start the car

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:03 AM   #5
///MPR77
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Maybe your key battery is nearly dead, I have a key that will bring my car to position 2 and light everything up but will not start the car

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App
Interesting, so the key battery can unlock the car remotely, but couldn't start the car?
I haven't heard of that, and please don't take that as an argument...just curious, because my key has nearly 300k miles.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
VUMA
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my car did the same thing i think. took it to stealer and paid $1000 for it. a new key and ews
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Old 10-21-2012, 10:44 PM   #7
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///MPR77 View Post
Have you checked your connections at the battery?
If you measured voltage at the battery terminals, that would only tell if battery is good.

Check the voltage on your cluster.
Unlock menu 19
Then
Menu 9 will show you voltage at the battery.

If you tested 12.5 at the terminals, and read less on the cluster, then I would guess a connection.

I have started my car on as little as 10.9, and have had a no start issue because loose terminal connection, even when the fob key was still able to unlock the car.
MPR,
what is the cluster, menu 19 and 9??

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 )

Battery is brand new and reading 12.5 at its terminals and at the jump terminal in the engine. All the electrical equipment works fine.
My car is a 2004 325CI.
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Old 10-21-2012, 11:27 PM   #8
MyNewRag
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Same problem with my prior car. My 325 did the same thing. I went the same route you did, then had it towed to the shop...STARTER replaced, never happened again.

Replaced battery, checked keys, fuses, connections...etc.

Almost every thread that starts this way, ends with a new starter. Not all of them mind you, but most. And there have been many.

Good luck, please remember to report back with your resolution
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:17 AM   #9
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Long shot, but I recently had this happpen to my m3 too. Surprisingly, it ended up being th positive terminal junction under the hood. The bolt was lose. Tightening this bolt solved the issue for me. Same symptoms as you, all electronics worked, but car wouldn't crank. One tightened, it fired right up. Is it a stick? If so, can you roll start it?
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Old 10-22-2012, 01:04 AM   #10
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Here is a video of the cluster test



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Old 10-22-2012, 05:33 PM   #11
hagsdg7
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Hey All new to the forum and first post, but this happened to me on my old e46 and my new (to me) 04 vert. In both cases I did the battery to no avail, and took it to a local specialist by my house- needed a new key- programmed it in and all was right with the world. Cost me $170 bucks, but better than other options... Worth a look if you have a mechanic you can trust and are willing to chance it. Good luck!
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:41 PM   #12
rbalazsi
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Mine failed recently with the same type of symptoms. I could hear the fuel pump priming and when I tried to turn it over, nothing; but the interior lights would not dim at all and the voltage on the cluster test was somewhere around 12.3.

Ended up being my starter which is a bit of a pain to get at; but doable. I bought the part from OEMBimmerparts.com as it was only $50 more than a rebuilt unit and had free shipping.

Call around for pricing though if you don't want to DIY. I'd called my indy when elbow deep in this and his labor was going to be around $230. I don't know if he would have used the part I'd procured or what he would have charged for the part itself had I brought it to him; but at least it would have been closer to $500 rather than the $1000 I keep hearing about from a dealership.

Last edited by rbalazsi; 10-26-2012 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:38 PM   #13
wrecklessfool
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Originally Posted by edrock200 View Post
Long shot, but I recently had this happpen to my m3 too. Surprisingly, it ended up being th positive terminal junction under the hood. The bolt was lose. Tightening this bolt solved the issue for me. Same symptoms as you, all electronics worked, but car wouldn't crank. One tightened, it fired right up. Is it a stick? If so, can you roll start it?
I was about two clicks away from buying a new starter and then I saw your post about the loose terminal. Went and checked and it was sure as sh1t loose! It was so close of a tolerance between the lug and the ring terminal that it had begun to arc weld and create corrosion on the metal. The plastic housing was also in bad shape but I believe it's salvageable. I'm going to clean up all the metal surfaces with some emory cloth and put a healthy coat of dielectric grease on all the newly exposed metal and tighten everything down. This looks like it could have been dangerous if it had been left to get worse. Lesson learned and hopefully this will help another fanatic like it did me!! Thanks again, bro. You saved me $200 and a day of work which would have all been for nothing.
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:49 PM   #14
xXJay22Xx
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I don't know if you figured it out yet, but I had the similar problem with my Bimmer. First I had changed my starter because I thought that was the problem and it had a shreaking sound to it. So I paid my mechanic to change it. By doing so it took off the shreaking sound, but when I attempted to turn on the car the ignition didn't work and all the lights were turned on just as you said. My mechanic then said that it was the key problem. So I went to the dealer and order a new key took about 1 week or so for the key to get there. Once I had received the key the car would start, although once in awhile it had the problem over time even with the new key. So I'm not sure if it's your key that is worn out
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