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Old 06-23-2015, 04:25 AM   #1
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My Ride: '02 325ci
325, no start question.. help please

I have an 02 325ci, failed to start today in the parking lot at work. It ran fine before I parked and shut it off, no misfires no codes, never had boggy acceleration nor any stalling/rough idle. After around 4 or 5 hours in the sun, I got in, cranked and it fired up, but the EML light was on, it was bogging and then surging and then got down to near normal idle, when it slowly started to climb up the tach, so I shut it off. Then it wouldn't start, so I read as much as I could as quickly as I could here, figuring the fuel pump fuse, relay, or pump itself were the issue.

I pulled the back seat and tried starting ,leaving the key in the on position, and could hear the fuel pump prime for about 1 Second, when the relay would click off and then back on less than a second later, when the pump would prime again. This repeated 4 or 5 times, then the relay clicked off and all would be quiet. I believe I should mention the EML light would be on when the pump primed, then shut off briefly when the relay clicked off, then appear again once the relay clicked on/pump would prime. Disappeared when it stopped clicking/priming. I should reitarate, or say if I haven't already, I never had any codes or lights on my dash before this happened.

So, I swapped the relay with the horn relay as suggested in the no start thread, and the same thing happened. This time without starting the car. Prime, click off, click on, prime, repeat.

checked the relevant fuses and they all tested good...

So in my head the fuel pump must have failed. As far as I know, at 12.5 years old and 85xxx miles the pump had never been replaced. It certainly looked dirty enough on top. Can they crap out that quickly? No warning whatsoever, then rev hunting, then crank/no start?

Am I correct in assuming this was the issue, would anyone hazard a guess? I'll be getting a new pump tomorrow either way as I realized it was more than likely original to the car...

Thank you for any help/suggestions, I've searched quite a lot on here and Google and could not find the exact symptoms I was experiencing.. sorry if I'm just dumb and/or blind and missed the clicky fuel pump/relay thread, I did try...

Either way I suppose I'll find out once I get the pump if it was just its' time to fail, or if I have some other crazy thing going on... I do know it could be a vacuum leak in my intake boots, but the leak I know about never caused me any misery and only made itself apparent when above 5k rpms, which I don't get above very often. I also believe it would be apparent due to rough idle, which I never experienced... never once even coughed. Could this be a cam/crank pos. sensor?

Should I just replace all this stuff anyway? That's what I seem to be learning from reading through the many, many crank/no start threads, incl. the one stickied, which btw is an excellent post. Again, just never found one that matched what my pre - and - post - no start symptoms are/were...

Thank you again, this site has helped me get into working on cars in general and I'm grateful to anyone who has anything to suggest...

Last edited by sdb325ci; 06-23-2015 at 04:31 AM. Reason: added possibly necessary info
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Old 06-23-2015, 06:19 AM   #2
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The first thing I'd check, often skipped over, are the most likely reasons...you're out of gas or your battery is dead.

I didn't hear you say that you're cranking, if you are, and your gauge says you have gas, the gauge might be bad...unless you got gas the day before and filled up...it can show you have gas when you don't. If you're not sure, add a couple of gallons.

Fuel pumps seem to frequently fail intermittently before they fail 100%. Same thing with the ignition switch.

Check all your fuses, too. There are others that will allow cranking, but the car won't start. I was blowing a fuse in the fuse-carrier in the ebox under the hood...because my cps wires had a short. It kept blowing the fuse and that fuse controlled 9 relays/sensors....

Of course, if you have your car's codes, that would help you substantially. There are many reasons a car won't start. You need to tell us if it's cranking...seems like it is since you're checking the FP, but I don't know what you know. If it's a weak crank...jump start the car...or push start it if it's a manual.

Had you or others done anything on the car recently?

I doubt it's the intake boot, even if ripped, you'd have said that the car is struggling to start or something like that.

If none of the obvious, I hope it's your FP, but if not, you really need to get codes...or get real lucky and be able to see something obvious (not too likely but possible).

You can find links to a few well known programs here that are pretty cheap which will get you your codes...and do lots of other stuff too...just need a wire to attach to your car's obdii port.

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Old 06-23-2015, 06:33 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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My Ride: 330CiC, M5, X5, E93
Fuel pumps can fail in all sorts of ways.

Most often they soft fail and owners do not realize this, then they fail to start, once the replacement pump is installed then the stories start about how much better the car runs after the pump was replaced.

If you have around 1/4 tank of fuel, you may have run the passenger/right side of the tank out of fuel if the pump is weak.

Read this thread - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Also be careful as you may have also flooded the engine letting it run for a short period of time then shutting the engine off.


Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:31 PM   #4
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Ah yes, sorry, the car is cranking, as strong as ever, just no start. And I've checked the e box fuse carrier, no blown fuses there.

I had just replaced several in line fuses/relays I had added for my quad bixenon setup, as well as for a secondary 12v power outlet to plug my dashcam into, that would turn on and off with the car, with a fuse block and relay block, trying g to tidy it up.

Car had just been filled up two days prior, needle barely moved in that time. Maybe 1/8th of the way under full.

Battery is good, just replaced a month and a half ago. I did replace the original bmw battery at that time.

If I cannot figure this out I will most definitely get a code reader/cable and get all codes. Thank you guys!

Edit: I should just get the cable anyways as I don't want to be unprepared the next time something happens.

Last edited by sdb325ci; 06-23-2015 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 06-23-2015, 02:33 PM   #5
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I'll update when I figure out what fuse that was, or what it does, it wasn't the 20a in the ebox holder it was the 30a fuse next to it on drivers side... so now I feel dumb. I had spent most of the day in the sun losing brainpower trying to figure it out so I'm not surprised I missed it last night.

Figured it out, I was an idiot and one tiny power wire made contact with the body (ground) and blew the accessory fuse. Time to disconnect everything I've done and go over it with a fine toothed comb to make sure this never happens again.

I must say, thank god for this forum, I would have been at a complete loss were it not for the people here. Thanks again!
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325, crank, fuel pump, no start

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