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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 04-22-2015, 08:57 PM   #1
BmwDriver916
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Car said idle for about 10 months, finally repaired everything, now won't start

Quick synopsis:

About 10 months ago, my serpentine belt snaped on the freeway, I immediately pull over and tow my car home.

It sat in the car port for the next 9 months. About a month ago I finally start repairs. I replaced the water pump, all of the pulleys, and the belts. Pulled off my radiator and cleaned it. Put everything back together and today I finally reconnetc the battery and try to start it. And yes before I started it I checked the oil and refilled all of the coolant.

I soon as I turned the key it started up and ran for 1/2 a second then died. I tried to restart it again and now it won't start. I made a youtube video of the sound it makes when trying to start it:



Here are some pics of the engine bay:





Any idea of what it could be? How do diagnose this?
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
zander271
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Sat for 10 months? I would replace the battery.

Last edited by zander271; 04-22-2015 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
BmwDriver916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zander271 View Post
Sat for 9 months? I would replace the battery.
I would think so but did you watch the video? It doesnt seem like a battery problem. Usually when there are battery issues you get no noise from the engine trying to turn?
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:11 PM   #4
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The video is a bit too short.

But it appears the tach was moving at about 100-150 RPM which is good.

It sounds like the engine is lacking compression, probably flooded.

Also the fuel is probably not very good at this point.

Pull the spark plugs. Put about 2 tables spoons of oil in the cylinders. Use a new quart of oil and a drinking straw, extra long straws from 7-11 or Popeye's are good. Put the straw in the oil container, then put your finger over the end of the straw and pull it out of the oil container then put the straw in the spark plug hole and remove your finger to allow the straw to drain. Typically 2 straws of oil in each cylinder will be good enough.

Then crank the engine over a few times before putting the spark plugs back in the engine and try to start it. If you get the engine running, keep in running for at least 2-3 minutes before shutting it off otherwise risk flooding it again.

Also the last car I had that was flooded, I had a hard time starting it even after adding oil to the cylinders.

I jump started the car because the battery was draining down, the moment I connected the jumper cables, the engine started on the very first try. So I think when the battery is low, the spark drops back from a multiple spark attempt to a single spark attempt.

Charge the battery and/or jump start.
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Last edited by jfoj; 04-22-2015 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:17 PM   #5
zander271
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwDriver916 View Post
I would think so but did you watch the video? It doesnt seem like a battery problem. Usually when there are battery issues you get no noise from the engine trying to turn?
Didn't have my sound on sorry. It may just not have enough juice to turn the car over.

If its not a power issues and it is the starter you should be able to roll start the car (it looks like a manual due to the fan you have). If its the fuel pump that won't work.

What about when the key is in (I think its position 2) can you hear the fuel pump prime?
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Old 04-22-2015, 09:44 PM   #6
BmwDriver916
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Thank you for all of the suggestions! I'm still kind of learning about cars (I know the basics, but want to really learn more and diagonse) so I have a few questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
It sounds like the engine is lacking compression, probably flooded.
Sorry, but what exactly does the engine being flooded mean? I have heard this term many times but dont know what the technical definition is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Pull the spark plugs. Put about 2 tables spoons of oil in the cylinders. Use a new quart of oil and a drinking straw, extra long straws from 7-11 or Popeye's are good. Put the straw in the oil container, then put your finger over the end of the straw and pull it out of the oil container then put the straw in the spark plug hole and remove your finger to allow the straw to drain. Typically 2 straws of oil in each cylinder will be good enough.
Is there a good youtube tutorial video on this you recommend? On the E46 the spark plug wires aren't exposed like they are on hondas, and Ive never even removed the engine cover before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Then crank the engine over a few times before putting the spark plugs back in the engine and try to start it. If you get the engine running, keep in running for at least 2-3 minutes before shutting it off otherwise risk flooding it again.
Confused on your terminology, when you say "crank the engine over a few times" do you mean turn the key all the way and try to start it? At this point (with the spark plugs removed) do you expect the engine to start at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Also the last car I had that was flooded, I had a hard time starting it even after adding oil to the cylinders.

I jump started the car because the battery was draining down, the moment I connected the jumper cables, the engine started on the very first try. So I think when the battery is low, the spark drops back from a multiple spark attempt to a single spark attempt.

Charge the battery and/or jump start.
This a hassle since the battery is in the back and I have no way to get another car in the car port. After trying the oil method above, is the next step trying it again but with the battery jumped? I can push the car down the driveway onto the street and jump it, but avoiding that if possible.
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Old 04-22-2015, 10:03 PM   #7
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Sounds like the starter or lack of compression.

Look at your fan when cranking to see if the engine is turning over.

I would try adding some oil to the cylinders because you could have washed down cylinders.


Take your battery out and get it charged if it is weak.


.
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Last edited by BMWCaptain; 04-22-2015 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 04-23-2015, 05:31 AM   #8
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Best to have a strong battery as well. Remember there are the under hood jumper posts near the passenger side strut tower.

You could also buy a battery charger as well.
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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 04-23-2015, 09:59 PM   #9
BmwDriver916
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Best to have a strong battery as well. Remember there are the under hood jumper posts near the passenger side strut tower.

You could also buy a battery charger as well.
Thanks, any chance to respond to my other questions above? I plan on working on my car tomorrow again.
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Old 04-23-2015, 10:13 PM   #10
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwDriver916 View Post
Thank you for all of the suggestions! I'm still kind of learning about cars (I know the basics, but want to really learn more and diagonse) so I have a few questions.



Sorry, but what exactly does the engine being flooded mean? I have heard this term many times but dont know what the technical definition is.
Too much raw fuel in the cylinders, this can cause the oil to be washed off the cylinder walls causing the engine to loose compression. This is a big issue with these cars due to the low tension piston rings.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwDriver916 View Post
Is there a good youtube tutorial video on this you recommend? On the E46 the spark plug wires aren't exposed like they are on hondas, and Ive never even removed the engine cover before.
Engine covers come off easy, HOWEVER, you need to pull the cabin air filter housing, 4 Torx screws under the cabin air filter. Depending on the coil configuration, they may bolt in or have plastic levers to lock them in. Pull the engine covers, coils and spark plugs. You will have to be careful not to loose the socket in the plug well, this can and will happen. Ultra long nose pliers are good for grabbing the socket from the spark plug. You may be able to tape the plug socket to the extension as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwDriver916 View Post
Confused on your terminology, when you say "crank the engine over a few times" do you mean turn the key all the way and try to start it? At this point (with the spark plugs removed) do you expect the engine to start at all?
Turn the key fully with the coils and plugs out, coils should be electrically disconnected. This is after the oil is added to the cylinders. This will allow the oil to be distributed all around the cylinders and make sure you do not end up fouling the plugs with oil.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BmwDriver916 View Post
This a hassle since the battery is in the back and I have no way to get another car in the car port. After trying the oil method above, is the next step trying it again but with the battery jumped? I can push the car down the driveway onto the street and jump it, but avoiding that if possible.
As I mentioned, there are jump start connections under the hood. Read the owners manual, search the web. They are on the passenger side near the strut tower.
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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

Last edited by jfoj; 04-23-2015 at 10:14 PM.
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