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Old 01-04-2009, 02:41 PM   #1
Termite
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Car won't start and appears to be dead

Not the ideal first post! Tonight I went to start my car and it won't start. The starter motor doesn't click, however all the lights, radio etc.. work fine and don't appear to be dim.

I have a 328i SE Auto. When I put the key into POS 2, the dash doesn't illuminate with the warning lights like it normally would.

I have tried all 4 keys that I have for the car to check if there was a fault in the key, no difference. I have tried attaching a jump pack and that didn't help. so I don't think it is the battery. I also tried disconnecting the battery for 30 mins to see if that reset anything like the immobiliser, but that hasn't helped either.

Any ideas as to what it could be? I am thinking it's either the ignition barrel or maybe the switch in the automatic gearbox and the engine thinks it's in drive rather than park, hence it won't start.

Any ideas welcome.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:50 PM   #2
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might be the alternator.
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Old 01-04-2009, 02:57 PM   #3
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Would it just go like that with no warning? Is there a way of testing it?

I forgot to say I'd checked the fuses for the immobiliser etc... and they were fine.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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Give the key a solid hard push into the ingnition, has worked for me before.
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Old 01-04-2009, 03:59 PM   #5
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Would it just go like that with no warning? Is there a way of testing it?

I forgot to say I'd checked the fuses for the immobiliser etc... and they were fine.
happened to me before. i was driving my cousin's E30 one night and i was a block away from his house.. the headlights started to dim and the radio turned off, blinkers were out and it was slowly dying. when i tried to turn it back on everything would come on but lights were very dim. car wouldn't start. i was driving for 2 hours prior to that happening that same day and it was running fine.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrissspyy View Post
might be the alternator.
alternator wouldn't keep the car from starting. check your battery voltage and report back
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #7
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alternator wouldn't keep the car from starting. check your battery voltage and report back
that's what happened to me and we replaced the alternator.. it started fine then and hasn't given any problems.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
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that's what happened to me and we replaced the alternator.. it started fine then and hasn't given any problems.
the alternator can cause the battery to die which in turn will keep the car from starting. but the alternator by it self will not keep it from starting. you can have a bad alternator and a dead battery and put a battery in it and it will start. it won't run forever but it would start.
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Old 01-04-2009, 04:24 PM   #9
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the alternator can cause the battery to die which in turn will keep the car from starting. but the alternator by it self will not keep it from starting. you can have a bad alternator and a dead battery and put a battery in it and it will start. it won't run forever but it would start.
well yeah that's what I meant though. the battery obviously has something to do with it too lol. sorry i didn't clarify.
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:43 PM   #10
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Well I've been back to where the car is to give it another try (don't think the neighbours were too pleased as it was 10:30pm!). After EDH330CIC mentioned giving the key a hard push I thought I would try that. That didn't have any success. However, my mate was looking as well and got annoyed with it and turned the key really hard as opposed to turning it like normal and it started up.

So I guess there is an issue with the ignition barrel then, or maybe it is the ring that identifies the key.

Are they expensive/pain in the ass to fix?
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Old 01-04-2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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possibly bad ignition switch? thats what it sounds like to me
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:06 PM   #12
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possibly bad ignition switch? thats what it sounds like to me
I think you maybe right.

Is it a simple swap of ignition switches or is it more complicated due to the coded keys etc..?
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
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ignition switch can be replaced without changing or having to code keys.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:46 PM   #14
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it could also be an ignition cylinder.
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Old 01-04-2009, 06:49 PM   #15
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The fact that your dash lights don't come on sometimes, caused by a faulty ignition switch. These aren't very expensive.
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:18 PM   #16
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The fact that your dash lights don't come on sometimes, caused by a faulty ignition switch. These aren't very expensive.
Good, that's what I like to hear. Are they easy to change over? I'm looking to see if I can find a DIY/tutorial at the moment. Time to purchase a Haynes/Bentley manual I think.
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:29 PM   #17
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i have a similar problem in my 330d 2002 model, only difference is that when i turn key to pos1 then 2 dash does not light up, although the engine cranks over, but seems like an electrical cut not letting it start..then i try again and all lights on dash come on and she fires up, and runs sweet!! turn t off and try again, no dash lights and it wont start..i was thinking ignition switch? would it be?
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:23 PM   #18
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Is it OEM battery? could be weak.
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Old 02-15-2009, 04:34 PM   #19
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e46 330

oem battery yes i think..!! battery reading 12.4v and 14.7 when running..this normal? both tested at the terminals and at the cable to test for voltage drop between post and terminal!! would it be wise to assume ignition switch?
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Old 02-15-2009, 06:43 PM   #20
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With my problem, it was the ignition switch. Went to a dealer and bought a new switch. It's an easy job to do, just be careful with the rivet clip things that hold the steering column surround together.
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