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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 01-10-2017, 09:38 PM   #1
DDavisIAMT
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2000 323i Clutch Switch Diagnostic

How many clutch switches are on these vehicles. I see what looks to be two switches, one that is depressed in while the clutch is not pressed, and one that is depressed in when the clutch pedal is pressed down? What's going on here? ALLDATA says nothing about either one of those switches...


Does anyone have a schematic of the clutch switch for the 2000 323i E46's? Any information I can find seems to be for the 4-pin switch, and not the two pin switch that I have. I'm trying to work my way through a no crank/no start issue so I can get this POS E46 out of my life forever.
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Old 01-10-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
jfoj
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The clutch up switch is for the cruise control to dis-engage the cruise and the clutch down switch is for the starter interlock.
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Old 03-09-2017, 12:21 PM   #3
Datbmwguy
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I'm having the same issue have you found the cause yet was it the clutch switch
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:29 PM   #4
DDavisIAMT
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I ended up buying a momentary switch and hid it under the dash, and bypassed the clutch switch. Ever since I did that, the intermittent starting issue I was experiencing was resolved. Now, with that being said, I sold the car as soon as possible because of the myriad of issues I was having with it. So, if the issue persisted, I'm not sure, but I never received a call from the buyer and I explained the issue to them prior to purchase.

One owner, religious maintenance history, and low mileage didn't seem to matter in this case. This thing was a pile of junk with seemingly every electrical component failing, multiple times. The E46 was BMW's attempt at stealing Camry/Accord buyers and they sacrificed a lot to do it. Only E46 worth owning would be a M3, and even then, make sure you get one after they resolved the bearing issue...
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Old 03-09-2017, 02:46 PM   #5
Dude8383
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I'd beg to differ with that statement. My E46 has 217k on the clock. The previous two owners took good care of the car and the same is true throughout my ownership. They're great cars as long as you stay on top of maintenance. Sure it can pricey sometimes but I think they're great daily drivers. If you compare the features between an E46 and a camry/accord you'll see how much more barebones those cars were.
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Old 03-09-2017, 03:30 PM   #6
DDavisIAMT
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I remember when the E46 was new and BMW was pumping out as many of these 323/325 automatic 4-doors as possible and people were eating them up left and right. Then came the class action lawsuit from the unibody cracks, the brake harness issue, then the plethora of electrical sensors that fail. Insane amount of window regulator failures. The list goes on and on.

There's quite a difference between expected maintenance and reoccurring failure.

I will agree though, they are much more enjoyable to drive than a Honda/Toyota, but are they THAT much more enjoyable to warrant tolerance of the incredible amount of issues? Not in my opinion...Hence why I sold it...

Now, an E30, there is a practical, fun to drive reliable BMW. Heck, my dad's 2000 Z3 hasn't had an issues (yet).
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:23 PM   #7
Datbmwguy
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Mine has over 350,000 miles I got it from my dad the key fob is not the problem the fuel pump is not the problem brand new starter crankshaft not the problem the car simply just not cranking over no attempt other crank at all I was told it's probathe clutch switch I tried looking up the bypass or anything for this matter of a 2000 323 I and all I can find is the 4 wire bypass but I have 3 wires not 4
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Old 03-10-2017, 01:46 PM   #8
DDavisIAMT
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Yep, you have two "positive" wires and a negative for the switch. What the switch does is interrupts the circuit on the positive wires. What you need to do is either remove the two positive wires from the harness, or cut them and hook them to a momentary switch, or if you are just trying to test, leave them together to turn the key. I don't remember which ones were the positive and which were negative, but a cheap test light will tell you that.

Do not leave them connected as they signal the interlock to function and you will wear the functioning mechanism of the interlock. (you can hear it function when power is supplied)
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Old 03-10-2017, 09:32 PM   #9
seattle86
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Or get the BMW Scanner software and turn off the clutch safety feature.
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