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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 03-24-2012, 04:13 PM   #1
vancouvervanos
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1999 323i starting problem

Hello, I was driving my car a couple days ago when the engine just cut off, so I coasted to the side of the road. My gas light had just came on so I figured I had ran out of gas, so I went to the gas station got some gas in a jerry and put it in. Still wont start. I left it parked overnight and the next morning rolled it into a shop 4 blocks away. The car cranks and turns over for a second like it is about to start you can feel the engine rumble for a second like it is about to start. At the shop he sprayed starting fluid and the engine ran confirming there is spark in the cylinders. He checked the fuel pump and said it was running (it was also priming, I could hear it when switched to On) The fuel filter was then replaced as it was very restricted. He said there was fuel pump pressure to the filter and somewhere in between the filter and the engine cut off? Still no starting. The mechanic told me it was most likely an immobilizer issue or something with the key triggering a cut-off on the fuel line. I got the car towed to my house as I don't want to spend fortunes at the dealership replacing unnecessary items. I notice there is some sort of humming after the car is off after turning the ignition to on, sounds like it is coming from under the vents. Every time I prime the fuel pump by turning it to on I also hear a click noise from the engine which I imagine would be the relay kicking in? Any input or suggestions on where to start would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:19 PM   #2
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start by adding more gas

Key to pos 2 for 15 secs. then off, then on again for 15 secs. Then try to start. Just to doublecheck that.

At some point in your testing, expect your battery to run low, so charge it, or be prepared to get a jump.

Did the mechanic give you codes; if not, get them read somehow.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #3
vancouvervanos
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I have tried that multiple times, charged the battery still no start. I do have almost a quarter tank in it which should be sufficient. It feels like it is about to start fires for a second Like this video on youtube I found it starts almost exactly like this

on another note if its related in any way one of the turn signals likes to blink fast intermittently even though the bulb isnt out and my dash shows that my tail lights are out even though they are still functioning.
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:38 PM   #4
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No codes showed up in OBD test
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Old 03-25-2012, 10:40 PM   #5
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anyone?
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:39 AM   #6
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Check all your fuses, thoroughly. You'd be very surprised.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
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Checked all fuses, under glove box and in the black box under hood. Is it possible to be an EWS/DME problem with the immobilizer or would the car not crank/turn over? thanks in advance
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
vancouvervanos
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basically there is spark and fuel pump is priming but no fuel is getting to the throttle body.
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
vancouvervanos
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If it is an immobiliser issue would the car still engage the fuel pump priming, crank and almost turn over as it does for me or would it just cut off the fuel and spark?
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Old 03-28-2012, 03:59 PM   #10
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So, back in the day I used to argue with people about their assumptions about battery and fuel. I think you've covered the battery issue sufficiently that I won't bug you about that, but I'd suggest you add more gas. Fuel gauge is often, quite often, incorrect.

Add at least 4-5 gallons of good fuel. Measure fuel pressure at the rail. (btw, fuel shouldn't be going to the TB anyway, you know. It's injected into the cylinders...just saying)

Before you go further, doublecheck your assumptions, but if you want to insist you have fuel, just humor me and add gas anyway. You can thank me later.
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