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Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #1
Architek
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Question 2000 323i Wont Crank...

So I swapped out a blown motor in my project car 323 convertible. To my surprise, the engine started and ran fine after the swap.

I drove the car for a couple of days and had only 1 check engine code pop up - (P1421 Secondary air system bank 2) - no starting issues, no stumbling, ran perfect.

Then it happened.

On the morning of the second day about 2 blocks from home the Oil and Battery idiot lights came on at the same time. The car was running perfect so I did not think much of it and stopped to get coffee. When I came back out, the car would not crank over. The dash lights up, the heater comes on, all of the general start up stuff seems to happen, but no click, no starter.

I did find that the positive battery cable was a little loose and the battery took a good charge, but it will still not turn over even after I charged and tightened the cable. Battery is brand new. I had not bled the radiator yet but it is colde and the temp needle never moved off center.

I have not tried to have the codes read, and I do not have a code reader yet - one is on order.

Any ideas? EWS? Bad Key? (I only have one key to try)
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:17 PM   #2
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Oh - and when I hooked up the battery last night I heard a fan noise from under the dash. For some reason the Ebox cooling fan is running all the time even though the car had not been started.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:52 PM   #3
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We had a 2002 e46 325i in the shop last week that exibited the same symptoms. I trouble shot keys, starters, battery to no end. After 3 days I started testing every single fuse in the car and a blown brake light fuse (fuse #9 on this car) turned out to be the culprit. Easy enough to check...........just a thought. And I would have NEVER guesssed that a brake light fuse would cause that much headache!
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:03 PM   #4
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Interesting. I glanced at the fuses and pulled a few randomly but not all of them. I did notice that the right hand turn indicator was clicking quickly (like a bulb was out somewhere) before it would not start and seems to work fine now.
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Old 03-05-2013, 06:01 PM   #5
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Check your card for the brake light fuse as I think they may vary from model and year. I used a test light that makes testing multiple fuses easy, but it turned out to be the brake light fuse. One of the bulbs had popped out of the socket and thats probably what caused the issue.

On your blinkers, sometimes these car will indicate a blown bulb or blink fast if they have a poor connection, which may cause intermittent function. I've even heard some say that these cars like specific bulbs, and not just any random AutoZone bulb.
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Old 03-05-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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I will check that. I had pulled one of the rear bulb carriers so maybe I did not get it back in. Not sure why that would keep the car from cranking over though.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #7
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My friend had the exact same issue, turned out to be a bad key/security/ reflash. Does the chip in the key only has to match the ignition or the ecu as well?

Last edited by t5contradiction; 03-05-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:44 PM   #8
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I think it has to align with the EWS unit. I need a new key.

I guess there are no alternatives to going to the stealer for the key?
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Old 03-05-2013, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Architek View Post
I think it has to align with the EWS unit. I need a new key.

I guess there are no alternatives to going to the stealer for the key?
Not true, I had my friends car towed to an indy shop, had it back the next day. My tow guy got us there for $60 and the total shop cost was around $150
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:07 PM   #10
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Unfortunately the brake light / ECU fuse was not the culprit. I left the battery disconnected and that made no difference either. Turn / brake lights seem to be working fine too.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:09 PM   #11
t5contradiction
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Find a cheap tow on craigslist, have the shop diagnose it. If you have the knowledge and will then have it towed back and fix it. If the repair requires bmw only scanners/tools then let the shop do it for you.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:35 PM   #12
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That is my fall back but I was hoping to diagnose before that point. I am stupidly stubborn about figuring this stuff out myself.

I am waiting on one of the NCS Expert cables and software to see what it can tell me. I will probably do some simple things like checking power to the starter and pulling all the fuses to see if any are blown.

If that does not work I will get it into my mechanic.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:38 PM   #13
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Does your key lock/unlock/open trunk remotely?
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:56 PM   #14
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Yes.

I did not think of that as a test for the key at the time, but the key was at least unlocking the trunk after the no-start. I repaired some broken wiring between the trunk and trunk lid and was testing it to see if the key worked to open the trunk. I do not recall if I tried to lock and unlock the doors.

Should the trunk pop open a little when unlocked? Mine does not.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:37 AM   #15
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Does the key unlocking the trunk mean that the immobilization unit is working?
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:44 AM   #16
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I'm not sure if I read the thread right so I'm going to ask 2 newbie questions

1) Will a blown brake light cause the car not to crank.....if so wow....these cars are cool
2) When you swap and engine you need a key specifically for that engine...it doesn't have to do with just the steering column and the programmed electronic stuff....not that I plan on a swap but just for fyi

Thanks!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:58 AM   #17
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1. I think the issue is that the brake light fuse is the same one for the ECU - at least that is what my Bentley manual says. So if you blow that fuse you can expect issues. Mine did not appear to be blown, nor do I think have any other tailight issues, but I was missing a rear turn signal bulb. Not sure where that sucker went, but it ran off somewhere before I bought the car.

2. Since the car ran with the new motor for a few days and multiple starts, I cannot find any evidence that the little man in the computer had any idea that my new M52 was any different than my old M52. I am willing to be enlightened on that point by anyone with knowledge of it.

I had a OBD code P1421 (Secondary air system bank 2) which I think is something to do with the air pump. From what I can tell the air pump fault would not cause the car not to crank over though, and I have cleared the code and still no crank.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:03 AM   #18
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I think the most like cause is a bad alternator.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:16 AM   #19
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I understand that a bad alt would affect the battery by not charging and not powering the car properly, but with a fully charged battery now, how would the alternator prevent the car from cranking over?

If I can get it running again, I will use the OBC function to tell me what the computer says about the battery voltage / alternator output.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:21 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Architek View Post
I understand that a bad alt would affect the battery by not charging and not powering the car properly, but with a fully charged battery now, how would the alternator prevent the car from cranking over?
Sorry, I guess I missed that part. That is puzzeling. Might be a good idea to go through all the elctrical connections that were messed with during the motor swap.
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