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Old 03-25-2016, 02:22 PM   #1
Mr325ci
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325ci strange crank/no start

Okay! I drive a 2004 325ci with just over 160k on it. Great car, I love it. Yesterday, I drive the car to the auto store and it starts and drives fine, as usual. After being inside for a couple minutes, I come back out and my car will NOT start. It cranks forever, the battery is tested and good.

I removed the rear seats and checked the fuel pump. It seems to prime intermittently when the key is in position 2.

The vacuum hose that connects to the FPR/Fuel filter is disconnected, although it had been like that for awhile and ran fine. I was going to hook it up when I replaced the old gross filter (which may be now).

Fuses are good, I tested each one.

I noticed that before this happened, my gas mileage seemed a bit low and the car seemed to hold gears unnecessarily (e.g it'll hold second gear at 4k and take its time shifting to third)

I lost my gas cap a couple days before, but it didn't seem to effect anything except popping the gas cap light.

I have CEL for lean banks, but I've had that for weeks and always knew it was because that fpr hose was unhooked.

I'll check fuel pressure at the rail once the car gets towed back to the house later today.

Any suggestions before I go and replace fuel pump, fuel filter, crank position sensor, camshaft sensors etc?
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Old 03-25-2016, 02:38 PM   #2
Mr325ci
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And yes, I have spent time searching through the crank/no start threads. Narrowed my search down to the options listed above. Is my fuel filter clogged up do you think?
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:30 PM   #3
330ci04vert
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Take some starter fluid and give it a 2 second spray in your intake (take the elbow boot off and spray directly in your intake) and see if it'll start up, if it does then you definitely have fuel issues...

Best of luck

Last edited by 330ci04vert; 03-25-2016 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:37 PM   #4
FL.325.Ci
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Originally Posted by Mr325ci View Post

I removed the rear seats and checked the fuel pump. It seems to prime intermittently when the key is in position 2.

If that pump goes, you do not.
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:14 PM   #5
Mr325ci
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I'll try spraying starter fluid once I get home. I hope it's just fuel related
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Old 03-26-2016, 02:32 PM   #6
hatetolovee46
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starter fluid is quick test and is usually sufficient, a fuel gauge tester(30$) to test the fuel psi on rail in engine is better.

Other than fuel it needs three things to start, one MUST be absent
Compression, spark and air

If fuel psi on rails checks out(Which is most likely culprit) Id get a compression tester and test(30$) and a plug tester(10$)
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Old 03-26-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
Mr325ci
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Originally Posted by hatetolovee46 View Post
starter fluid is quick test and is usually sufficient, a fuel gauge tester(30$) to test the fuel psi on rail in engine is better.

Other than fuel it needs three things to start, one MUST be absent
Compression, spark and air

If fuel psi on rails checks out(Which is most likely culprit) Id get a compression tester and test(30$) and a plug tester(10$)
Great advice, thanks. I'll keep everyone updated.
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
IcyTurtle
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Auto parts store has rental gas gauge. I was in the same boat as you a few weeks ago I know the struggle.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:43 PM   #9
Mr325ci
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Update! So while I didn't get the pressure gauge, I got to the fuel rail and pushed the valve after attempting to start. Each time about a quarter cup of fuel would come out, so I believe I have fuel to the engine.

I also tried removing the MAF and starting the car but to no avail.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:44 PM   #10
Mr325ci
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Is it possible that fuel would get to the rail and fail to have adequate pressure to start? Looking for my next move.
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:48 PM   #11
Mflara20
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Have you check the fuses in the dme.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:14 PM   #12
austine46
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How about that starter? 2004 models seem to have starters that like to fail out of no where. I had a prob like this and had a thread prob 2 years ago or so. and thats what i found out.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:32 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by austine46 View Post
How about that starter? 2004 models seem to have starters that like to fail out of no where. I had a prob like this and had a thread prob 2 years ago or so. and thats what i found out.
The car cranks, just wont start. When my pump failed it would fire but not enough to run. OP did you try the starting fluid? If it doesn't fire with that it's an ignition issue most likely. IDK if you can check for spark with a coil on plug set up without the coil bolted in place.
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Old 03-27-2016, 08:41 PM   #14
lingon300k
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr325ci View Post
Okay! I drive a 2004 325ci with just over 160k on it. Great car, I love it. Yesterday, I drive the car to the auto store and it starts and drives fine, as usual. After being inside for a couple minutes, I come back out and my car will NOT start. It cranks forever, the battery is tested and good.

I removed the rear seats and checked the fuel pump. It seems to prime intermittently when the key is in position 2.

The vacuum hose that connects to the FPR/Fuel filter is disconnected, although it had been like that for awhile and ran fine. I was going to hook it up when I replaced the old gross filter (which may be now).

Fuses are good, I tested each one.

I noticed that before this happened, my gas mileage seemed a bit low and the car seemed to hold gears unnecessarily (e.g it'll hold second gear at 4k and take its time shifting to third)

I lost my gas cap a couple days before, but it didn't seem to effect anything except popping the gas cap light.

I have CEL for lean banks, but I've had that for weeks and always knew it was because that fpr hose was unhooked.

I'll check fuel pressure at the rail once the car gets towed back to the house later today.

Any suggestions before I go and replace fuel pump, fuel filter, crank position sensor, camshaft sensors etc?
This is probably a dumb/redundant response, but if the fuel pump is original I would say it's that. Are you still driving with no fuel cap? Did you try disconnecting the negative battery lead for a few minutes and try starting the engine again?
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:07 PM   #15
austine46
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
The car cranks, just wont start. When my pump failed it would fire but not enough to run. OP did you try the starting fluid? If it doesn't fire with that it's an ignition issue most likely. IDK if you can check for spark with a coil on plug set up without the coil bolted in place.
very true. i mustve missed that. yeah try that fluid for sure. and even if it wasnt the fuel pump/filter, if its original id replace it regardless
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:30 PM   #16
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If you find fuel in the rail, then it has to be spark related. Check the fuse and relay in the DME box. Did you disconnect any ground wires?
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:32 PM   #17
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Also, just to confirm, remove a spark plug and see if it is wet with fuel. Just an extra check..
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:37 PM   #18
Mr325ci
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I didn't disconnect any ground wires that I am aware of. I checked fuse 54 and the fuses in the engine bay and all are good.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:01 PM   #19
hatetolovee46
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So much bad or not great information/advice in this thread. For the record its fairly simple:

No Crank No start==>
1)Check starter for 12v supply on main wire (verifies voltage supply)
2) check that signal wire has 12v when key hits crank position (verifies starter gets signal to open solenoid and connect the 12v supply)
3) check that the starter body and bolts(grounds to engine which grounds to chasis) has less than .5v to ground during crank attempt. (verifies start has ground connection for path of entering electrons(electrons actually travel from negative to positive believe it or not, + is a dearth of electrons in that area and they "rush in" to fill it, or arc to fill it)
4) Turn engine over manually with a breaker bar to ensure engine is not seized
5) If all four tests pass pull and bench test starter and starter will likely test bad

With no crank no start ONE of these tests MUST fail, there is no alternative

For no start with crank:
1)Check fuel pressure on fuel rail and that plugs are wet after crank attempt(30 bucks for fuel pressure gauge) (verifies pistons are getting fuel)
2) Check for spark with cheap spark plug tester(10 bucks) (verifies combustion chamber getting spark)
3) Check compression with cheap compression test kit(30 bucks) (Verifies compression is occuring in the combustion chambers)
4) check for air supply(??? idk on this one would be rarest of the three but you can figure it out if its all thats left) (verifies o2 for combustion to occur is getting to chamber)

For no start with crank one of these things MUST be absent there is no alternative

Last edited by hatetolovee46; 03-30-2016 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:18 PM   #20
hatetolovee46
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Quote:
Is it possible that fuel would get to the rail and fail to have adequate pressure to start? Looking for my next move.
Yes, is why i look for wet plug after verifying fuel pressure on rail, but if pressure is on rail and not on plugs this would be extremely rare in my experience(never seen it) compared to no or low pressure at rail, see my last reply for your full set of checks moves, get fuel gauge to make sure pressure is correct simply letting a quarter cup come out is a qualitative measurement not quantitative.
Quote:
Have you check the fuses in the dme.
I believe the starter would not get signal if these were blown and you would have a no crank no start, but i would certainly not argue against checking all fuses as a proper step
Quote:
How about that starter? 2004 models seem to have starters that like to fail out of no where. I had a prob like this and had a thread prob 2 years ago or so. and thats what i found out.
The car is cranking, unless crank is very weak i would not suspect starter as it's obviously doing its job and has supply, signal AND ground AND engine is not seized.
Quote:
IDK if you can check for spark with a coil on plug set up without the coil bolted in place.
You should be able to with a standard plug tester, there is a chance the bolts are used as ground in which case this can be easily bypassed to ground it on engine block while not bolted, I am not sure if this is case or not
Quote:
very true. i mustve missed that. yeah try that fluid for sure. and even if it wasnt the fuel pump/filter, if its original id replace it regardless
I rarely advocate replacing parts that are still working unless obviously worn without diagnosing them as faulty first. A large percentage of fuel pumps replaced by shops is actually faulty wiring to them and they fix it during install and don't tell you.
Quote:
If you find fuel in the rail, then it has to be spark related. Check the fuse and relay in the DME box. Did you disconnect any ground wires?
This is mostly true and not bad advice because fuel is most likely then spark is next, compression and air supply a far third and fourth but are also possible so would not use the word "must" myself, i agree here losing compression by just parking would not make much sense
Quote:
Also, just to confirm, remove a spark plug and see if it is wet with fuel. Just an extra check..
This is good advice as a qualitative check and i do this myself after verifying fuel pressure on rail to be 100% sure chambers are getting supply
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