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Old 04-23-2017, 07:09 PM   #1
Coopsokay
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Swapped Spark Plugs and now it won't start

This morning, I sent my brother to go grab spark plugs for our 2004 325xi. We swapped them following a tutorial step by step (I've also done the same procedure on another E46 with no problems)
Long story short turns out we didn't have the correct plugs. What made me realize this was the fact that the car wouldn't start. So we returned the incorrect plugs and purchased the correct ones (now using ndk laser platinum 3199). Followed the same procedure to replace the plugs. We put everything back and reconnected the battery to start the car and it still wouldn't start. Engine cranks normally but just won't actually start.
Checked voltage on the battery and everything's fine there. Checked the plugs themselves and they're wet indicating that I Shouldn't have any fuel injection / pump issues. The plugs were pre gapped so that shouldn't be a problem. All plugs are torqued to 22ftlbs. Also went ahead and checked fuses just in case and none were blown.
After some testing I tried putting the old set of coils back in and same issue. So clearly something went wrong along the way I'm just not sure what

I just don't know what to check next. Any tips/help would be greatly appreciated.
Also, I don't know a whole lot about this particular car since My brother is the one who drives it. So if you would like me to test something else, please give a quick description of how to do so.

Thanks ahead of time!
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:27 PM   #2
jmo69
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No codes? Did you start and run the car for a very short time before changing the plugs? These cars flood very easily, try cranking with the throttle wide open, crank longer than usual but try not to overheat the starter. 20 seconds and then let it cool. Check jfoj's sig he usually hangs out in the general forum, the local guru.
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2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau almost modless, just lots of new parts. 1998 328is 5sp lowered, X-brace, Sparco strut brace, HIDs and almost everything blacked out
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:58 PM   #3
Coopsokay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
No codes? Did you start and run the car for a very short time before changing the plugs? These cars flood very easily, try cranking with the throttle wide open, crank longer than usual but try not to overheat the starter. 20 seconds and then let it cool. Check jfoj's sig he usually hangs out in the general forum, the local guru.
I don't actually own a diagnostic tool so can't check for codes unless I tow it to a mechanic. I've tried cranking full throttle twice now across the past few hours and nothing there.

I'm actually a total noob with forums in general (most of my problems have been on YouTube but this one was a stumper). Are you telling me to repost this in the general forum?
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:13 AM   #4
Badass_forever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coopsokay View Post
I don't actually own a diagnostic tool so can't check for codes unless I tow it to a mechanic. I've tried cranking full throttle twice now across the past few hours and nothing there.

I'm actually a total noob with forums in general (most of my problems have been on YouTube but this one was a stumper). Are you telling me to repost this in the general forum?
The Only thing i can think of is you do not have the coils pushed down all the way onto the plugs. Its possible that the fuel pump is dead. but really have you have think about what you took a part and now why its not working. its possible that is something very simple.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:43 AM   #5
SSchwab
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Did you change the plugs only, or both plugs and coils?
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:23 PM   #6
Coopsokay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSchwab View Post
Did you change the plugs only, or both plugs and coils?
Only swapped plugs.
Here's the steps I took in case someone notices anything wrong:

1Disconnect battery
2Remove micro filter
3Removed wiring from micro filter housing slots
4Removed micro filter housing
5Removed Engine cover
6Disconected wires from coils
7Removed Coils
8Removed spark plugs
9Replaced spark plugs
10Torqued each to 22ftlbs
11Replaced coils (and I just double checked to make sure they were all pressed down all the way)
12Plugged wires back into their respective coils
13 Replaced engine cover, micro filter, and wiring all back where they originally were.
14Reconnected battery
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Old 04-24-2017, 04:57 PM   #7
SSchwab
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There are a couple of grounds to reconnect when you bolt down the coils. Are they connected?
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
Coopsokay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSchwab View Post
There are a couple of grounds to reconnect when you bolt down the coils. Are they connected?
The coils on this model have the clips not the bolts.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:47 PM   #9
goodmanr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coopsokay View Post
After some testing I tried putting the old set of coils back in and same issue.
In the original post you wrote that you put "the old set of coils back in" did you mean the old set of spark plugs or did you actually change the coils? I would check to ensure that the wires to the coils are correctly installed (did you check the little locking clips), then check the coils to the spark plug boots, then the boots to the plugs again. You might have the coils with the spark plugs boots that are integrated...either way, make sure that what feels like a metal spring inside the spark plug boot is firmly attached to the coil on one end by pressing the spark plug boot firmly against the coil, and on the other end make sure the boot snaps/clicks on to the spark plug.

Last edited by goodmanr; 04-26-2017 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:58 PM   #10
ryanr1299
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coopsokay View Post
The coils on this model have the clips not the bolts.
Check the ground wires anyway. Even though you don't have to disconnect them on this model to change the coils/plugs, they are still right there next to where you are working. Make sure they are not corroded, loose, etc. and you didn't accidentally damage them while working.

Also, did you get the plugs plugged back in in the correct order? Meaning, cylinder 1 coil plug is plugged into cylinder 1 coil, etc.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:03 PM   #11
SSchwab
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Another poster had an issue restarting after changing various parts, including spark plugs.

In his case, he removed each plug again, added a few drops of oil in each cylinder and reinstalled plugs. This was to increase compression. He also used starter fluid to help restart.
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Old 04-26-2017, 01:07 PM   #12
Clovett
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I think your engine is flooded. I'd pull the plugs and leave them out overnight since they are "wet". Then put them back in the next day after you turn the car over without the plugs in.

Then crank the car
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Old 04-27-2017, 12:49 AM   #13
paraklas
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Is this brown wire in place?
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:14 AM   #14
Badass_forever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paraklas View Post
Is this brown wire in place?
its total possible that out of just shear bad luck something else has failed. I'm not there to help you so i cannot say for sure. If it was my car, i would be checking that the fuel pump is coming on, that you have fuel pressure, that you have a crank signal and cam signal.

I dont know why in their write up they wanted the battery disconnected, that is retarded. I think it has something to do with that. but again, i am not there.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:15 PM   #15
mo_e46
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Hey everyone I don't mean to hijack the thread but I was wondering if anyone can help me here.

2002 M3
-Cranks, but will not start

-Pulled plugs, cylinders are filled with fuel

-OBD2 scanner cannot establish. A connection

-previous codes were cylinder misfire 1

-everything electrical turns on in the car

-checked the DME (little black box in driver side fire wall) fuses all looked good

-replaced crankshaft positioning sensor

-fuel pump works

I am running out of ideas of what the hell is going on and have no idea what to do, last time the car drove it was driven for 20mins on the highway to a buddies house. Dropped it off at his house to pick up his car, left it on his driveway for a week in really cold weather, went back to pick it up and it didn't start. It cranks, but will not
Fire. After pulling the spark plugs we found all 6 plugs saturated with fuel. Please help!
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Old 05-23-2017, 09:58 PM   #16
WilloCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Coopsokay View Post
I don't actually own a diagnostic tool so can't check for codes unless I tow it to a mechanic. I've tried cranking full throttle twice now across the past few hours and nothing there.

I'm actually a total noob with forums in general (most of my problems have been on YouTube but this one was a stumper). Are you telling me to repost this in the general forum?
Spend $5-$10 on a bluetooth elm327 adapter. Then another $10 torque pro for an android device. It can read codes, clear codes and all sorts of goodies. Totally worth it just for knowing what's going on.
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Originally Posted by YoitsTmac View Post
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:11 PM   #17
WilloCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mo_e46 View Post
Hey everyone I don't mean to hijack the thread but I was wondering if anyone can help me here.

2002 M3
-Cranks, but will not start

-Pulled plugs, cylinders are filled with fuel

-OBD2 scanner cannot establish. A connection

-previous codes were cylinder misfire 1

-everything electrical turns on in the car

-checked the DME (little black box in driver side fire wall) fuses all looked good

-replaced crankshaft positioning sensor

-fuel pump works

I am running out of ideas of what the hell is going on and have no idea what to do, last time the car drove it was driven for 20mins on the highway to a buddies house. Dropped it off at his house to pick up his car, left it on his driveway for a week in really cold weather, went back to pick it up and it didn't start. It cranks, but will not
Fire. After pulling the spark plugs we found all 6 plugs saturated with fuel. Please help!
Check the battery, low batt will still crank but not run.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoitsTmac View Post
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build

Last edited by WilloCO; 05-23-2017 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:25 PM   #18
mo_e46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WilloCO View Post
Check the battery, low batt will still crank but not run.


Battery is at full charge I should also mentioned I have low compression as well

#1-70psi
#2-70psi
#3-140psi
#4-120psi
#5-75psi
#6-90psi


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:01 AM   #19
Badass_forever
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mo_e46 View Post
Battery is at full charge I should also mentioned I have low compression as well

#1-70psi
#2-70psi
#3-140psi
#4-120psi
#5-75psi
#6-90psi


Sent from my iPhone using E46Fanatics mobile app
that is pretty weird, i would say you broke your timing chain if i had to guess. Have you pulled the valve cover to inspect?

Its just really weird that so many cylinders are down on compression
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Old 05-24-2017, 10:29 AM   #20
WilloCO
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Hmm,
Put some antisieze on the compression tester and try again. You may be getting a poor seal. Did you damage the threads when you put the new plugs in?

After that I'd consider pulling the valve cover. You'll be able to see the sealing surface for the plugs and the threads for the plugs much easier with it out of place. You can also eyeball your cams and your timing chain.

When I did mine, I stuffed some folded up shop towels down in the plug wells to soak up any oil that had leaked down there from the old valve cover gaskets. Maybe you just have dirt down in there that's making the comp tester and new plugs fail to seal completely.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoitsTmac View Post
I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
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