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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-26-2015, 08:42 PM   #1
ZWis212
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No crank, no start. Possibly key?

I have a 2003 e46 with a battery that is from 2007. I went to start it today and when I turned the key to the 1st position, everything was normal. All the lights came on, I could hear the pump going and the normal fans. But when I went to turn it forward to turn it on, nothing happened at all. No click or anything.

I have been searching around here and there and seemed to be a lot of either the starter, the key RFID not working, or possibly battery. I don't think its the battery because lights work perfect and radio and everything is good. I'm going to get a new battery anyway because its probably time for a new one.

But I'm thinking that if it was the starter, wouldn't there be at least a click sound when I turn the key forward? I had a Camaro and the starter went in it, but as I would turn the key, there was a decently loud click.

I kind of think it's the key chip not working properly. I just don't know how I can test the key. I don't have a spare one... Any tricks that I could do to test these or even test the starter? Or even some links to different threads. Thanks
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:02 PM   #2
scottjoh
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No crank, no start. Possibly key?

It could be the RFID in the key. It has absolutely nothing to do with the battery. Valet and wallet keys do not have any batteries and they start the car. Yo know what's going on you need software like INPA to check the fault codes in the EWS module and see if the EWS can read the immobilizer chip in the key properly.

Last edited by scottjoh; 11-26-2015 at 10:04 PM.
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:04 PM   #3
Jeffwrench
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Do they not even crank if the rf key is invalid?
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Old 11-26-2015, 10:55 PM   #4
ZWis212
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From what I read, if for some reason it cannot connect through the RFID chip, it will not do anything at all.
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Old 11-27-2015, 08:17 AM   #5
markusmarkus
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I bet that 8 year old battery needs to be retired! If the key and the EWS don't match the starter won't get any power from the battery.
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Old 11-27-2015, 03:21 PM   #6
scottjoh
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No crank, no start. Possibly key?

Battery in the key is probably fine and has nothing to do with cranking the engine. If the transponder in the is not valid or recognized by the EWS it will inhibit cranking. Lights on the dash and everything else will work fine.

My success rate repairing no start/crank keys is very high. If your key transponder is indeed the problem and you want it fixed let me know in a PM.

Last edited by scottjoh; 11-27-2015 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:45 PM   #7
BaliDawg
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Most likely it's the battery. What is its voltages with key out, key on, and Key in start position?

Anything recently changed with the car?
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:59 PM   #8
ZWis212
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I need to read up more on how to really test voltage and such for everything. I bought a new battery from NAPA today hoping that it would work but it did not. I didn't do anything to the car that recent. Had a front axle replaced around 2 weeks ago but that wouldn't have anything with this. Just been driving it normally. I bypassed the clutch safety sensor and it still didn't start. I'm just going to go down this list with the main basic things until I hopefully find it.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1011677

Could the chip in the key just go bad out of nowhere? I just find it so sudden and out of nowhere for that to happen. I haven't checked the voltage on the battery yet, do you just touch the terminals to do that?
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:21 PM   #9
ZWis212
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Just checked the battery. Read 12.5 with no key in ignition. With key on it stated the same, and when I went to crank it to start, didn't move and stayed at 12.5
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZWis212 View Post
Could the chip in the key just go bad out of nowhere? I just find it so sudden and out of nowhere for that to happen. I haven't checked the voltage on the battery yet, do you just touch the terminals to do that?

Yes, the transponder system in the key can go bad without warning. But, without reading the fault codes from the EWS module or trying another key you really have no idea if the problem really is the electronic immobilizer. I can test keys for immobilizer issues as well as repair them. I highly suggest you get another key from BMW even if it's only the wallet key or valet key (I can turn these keys into diamond remote keys). Your local dealer will have the key ready for pick up about 2 days after you order it.

I don't understand the point of measuring the car battery voltage in the three states as balidude suggests.
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Old 11-27-2015, 07:14 PM   #11
ZWis212
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Would i order the valet key online? Is the valet the one that doesn't have the ability to unlock and lock with the remote, but can start the car?
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjoh View Post
I don't understand the point of measuring the car battery voltage in the three states as balidude suggests.
The point was to see the resting battery voltage and compare that to the on and cranking voltage to see if it dips down significantly below 12V. OP's car may have enough battery energy to power dash lights and whatnot and not have enough to crank the engine over, since that is a lot more current.
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Old 11-27-2015, 09:51 PM   #13
BaliDawg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZWis212 View Post
Just checked the battery. Read 12.5 with no key in ignition. With key on it stated the same, and when I went to crank it to start, didn't move and stayed at 12.5
At least we now know the voltage isn't diving down during a start attempt. Keep working your way down various no-start lists that focus on the start sequence.

Have you checked all fuses?

OP, if you can get your hands on PA Soft BMW Scanner 1.4 or INPA you can read the EWS (and other ECU) fault codes. That will give you some valuable clues.
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Old 11-27-2015, 11:05 PM   #14
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Check your 12v connection at your starter. If your nut has loosened up, you will not get any crank.

You can quickly check your voltage at the +B jump connection in the engine compartment and at the back of your alternator. If you have the same voltage on your battery and these 2 with the engine off, then it might be something else.

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