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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 05-06-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
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2003 BMW 330CI won't start

Here is a video from this morning of what my car is doing...

Eventually it WILL start but on a cold crank, it's VERY difficult. It WAS idling rough and having several issue before, so the intake manifold adjuster unit and PCV valve were just replaced, as well as the spark plugs. Once it finally turns over, it runs great, smooth acceleration, etc. But just getting it to turn over on a cold crank is the main problem. Once it's been running for a while, and I stop for example at a gas station, it will start up fine. But cold crank, no go...
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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Can you hear the fuel pump prime on a cold start?

Is the SAP working?
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:41 PM   #3
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I'm not sure what to listen for to recognize the fuel pump if/when it's priming.

And sorry, but what is the SAP?
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:45 PM   #4
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Could be the fuel pump thats cutting out and on its way to go . Could be your coilpacks , which is another very common problem.

To start your diagnosis Id recommend first scanning the car and deleting all the codes thats there. Then idle the car for about 5-7 minutes and scan again. Misfire codes will come up right away if any, and others will also follow. Most likely your problem is due to coilpacks and a dirty maf, but your Fuel pump is another item that pretty much MUST be replaced if it has more then 120k miles
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:58 PM   #5
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Check hose in secondary air pump (sap)...it might have a hole in it. If so, replace hose.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:43 PM   #6
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My 2001 M3 is doing the same thing, What was the cause ??
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #7
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Engines need 3 things:

Air - Check the SAP like dmax recommended

Fuel - Make sure fuel pump is priming (turn the key to farthest point without cranking the motor and have somebody listen near the gas tank)

Spark - Pull your plugs and make sure they aren't dirty. They probably are now from all the attempted starts. Clean then and then test to make sure they're actually sparking. If you pull the spark plug out and then put the wire back on it you can ground the other end by holding it against the frame somewhere and try to crank the motor. Should see it sparking trying to fire.
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