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Old 11-26-2012, 07:45 PM   #1
UpOn3
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SOS please help, car wont start

My 01 330 M54 with 156K on the clock recently started running rough and threw codes and now after working on it, it wont start! Previously no issues.

Codes were scanned to be:

P0171B, Bank 1 Lean
P0174B, Bank 2 Lean
P0300B, Random Misfire
P0313, Misfire
P1083, B1 Lean B1 Sensor
P1085, B2 Lean B2 Sensor
P1342, Misfire at Start Cylinder 1

So based on those codes, I figured it was an ignition coils that went intermitent. So I go to check them physically and fine one whos frame is starting to melt. (Happened to be a Bremi/BMW at cyl 5. while the rest were BMW/Bosch.) I replaced that suspicious one with a new Bosch unit and at the same time I noticed the plugs looked a little worn after 50K so I changed those too (NGK BK6EQUP). The plugs looked a little rich to me, black soot, but not oily. Electrodes looked slightly worn and ceramic insulator around electode slightly cracked. Boots looked fine.

Put it all back together and it wont start.

Put back the suspect coil just to see if I could get it to run again and it wont start either. Then I swapped the new coil to each cylinder one by one while trying to start each time, but no combination worked.

Could I have more than one bad/weak coil and they got worse when I touched them? Should I buy more? the entire set? Do they all eventually go out after a set amount of life, like lightbulbs and so maybe more than one are bad at the same time?

could I have a different problem, like a fuel problem? Car has been well maintained since owning it for the past two years. I have records of most everything replaced (except for that one Bremi coil...).

Please help! Any clues or suggestions are welcome. Coils are somewhat expensive so I don't want to replace them all if i don't need to and most say just to replace them as they go out. Thanks!

BTW, I also charged the battery for full current, to no avail.
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Old 11-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
TArse
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Replacing to melted coil and plugs was a good move. But for the lean codes wouldn't that mean there is an intake leak somewhere? If the cylinder was missing because of your coil it would be a rich code, I would think.


As for the not starting.
Are the grounds for the coils secured and making good contact?
Are the coil wires on the correct coils?
Is the motor turning over?


It seems odd that it won't start with the new coils and plugs. If anything I would think it would start and maybe miss on "the problem cylinder".
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #3
jdstrickland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpOn3 View Post
My 01 330 M54 with 156K on the clock recently started running rough and threw codes and now after working on it, it wont start! Previously no issues.

Codes were scanned to be:

P0171B, Bank 1 Lean
P0174B, Bank 2 Lean
P0300B, Random Misfire
P0313, Misfire
P1083, B1 Lean B1 Sensor
P1085, B2 Lean B2 Sensor
P1342, Misfire at Start Cylinder 1

So based on those codes, I figured it was an ignition coils that went intermitent. So I go to check them physically and fine one whos frame is starting to melt. (Happened to be a Bremi/BMW at cyl 5. while the rest were BMW/Bosch.) I replaced that suspicious one with a new Bosch unit and at the same time I noticed the plugs looked a little worn after 50K so I changed those too (NGK BK6EQUP). The plugs looked a little rich to me, black soot, but not oily. Electrodes looked slightly worn and ceramic insulator around electode slightly cracked. Boots looked fine.

Put it all back together and it wont start.

Put back the suspect coil just to see if I could get it to run again and it wont start either. Then I swapped the new coil to each cylinder one by one while trying to start each time, but no combination worked.

Could I have more than one bad/weak coil and they got worse when I touched them? Should I buy more? the entire set? Do they all eventually go out after a set amount of life, like lightbulbs and so maybe more than one are bad at the same time?

could I have a different problem, like a fuel problem? Car has been well maintained since owning it for the past two years. I have records of most everything replaced (except for that one Bremi coil...).

Please help! Any clues or suggestions are welcome. Coils are somewhat expensive so I don't want to replace them all if i don't need to and most say just to replace them as they go out. Thanks!

BTW, I also charged the battery for full current, to no avail.
The good news is, P017n and P108n are two ways of saying the same thing. P0 is the generic code, and P1 is the unique BMW code. (I cannot explain why BMW, or any other, would assign a unique code to a malfunction that is already reported by a generic code, but that's what is happening here.)

The P0300, P0313 and P1342 are also all the same thing, and they arise out of the lean condition.

Fix the lean and you are good to go.

It is better to have all 6 coils wrong than just one wrong. Having said that, it is even better to have all 6 be right. The problem from one wrong coil is that the particular cylinder might operate weak. It is better to have all cylinders operate at the same level than to have a single cylinder be weak. All strong is obviously the desired condition, but if you need to replace one, you have to be sure it is the same as the remaining 5. If somebody along the ownership chain swapped out some coils, and now the car has a mix of original that came with the car, swapped from another car, and a good one, then you will have all sorts of misfire problems. You might not, but you could.

THE DEFINITION OF A MISFIRE
A misfire occurs when a plug fires and the engine takes too long to get to the next firing position. The order is 153624 (15 is too young, 36 is too old, 24 is just right), so when 1 fires, the computer knows that 5 should fire in a given amount of time. If 5 does not get to firing position when it is expected, then 1 is declared a misfire. Get it?

Since a huge part of getting from point to point in the firing order is the mixture, then a lean condition can easily be the cause of a misfire. At least part of your problem is the mix of coils. You need to determine that the coils are all the same. The coils have a rubber boot that is akin to the old spark plug wire of yesteryear when there was a distributor and a pile of wires that went to each of the spark plugs. These boots are a failure item, and they fail more as a result of handling than of being used. With all of that, if there was a problem with the coils and/or the boots, then there would be misfires reported from the particular cylinder, and you have random multiple misfires -- that's what the P0300 means.

Me thinks you have a vacuum leak someplace between the throttle body and the intake valves. Perhaps a cracked hose that lets in mass quantities of air, or a broken intake manifold. But something is broken before the air gets to the intake valves.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TArse View Post
Replacing to melted coil and plugs was a good move. But for the lean codes wouldn't that mean there is an intake leak somewhere? If the cylinder was missing because of your coil it would be a rich code, I would think.


As for the not starting.
Are the grounds for the coils secured and making good contact?
Are the coil wires on the correct coils?
Is the motor turning over?


It seems odd that it won't start with the new coils and plugs. If anything I would think it would start and maybe miss on "the problem cylinder".
A 330 cannot have the wrong coil wires on the wrong coil. Each spark plug gets its own coil and boot that cannot go anyplace else but to the spark plug that fits in the hole directly under the coil and its boot.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:28 PM   #5
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Not clear what work you performed and what you may have disturbed if anything, but suggest you read the first 3 links below in my signature.

Likely you have a fuel related problem??

The first thing I would try, just because it is very easy and requires very little effort on your part, put the engine in clear flood mode. To do this, floor the accelerator before you turn the key and keep the pedal to the floor while trying to start the engine. If the engine happens to be be flooded, you will probably get the engine to start kicking and will likely get the engine to start.

Next I would check fuses in case you had something apart and maybe shorted something out??

Then I would assume you are not getting fuel, so a $3 can of starting fluid will answer that question very quickly.

Your misfires are not likely secondary ignition based upon the information your provided.

Report back what you find.
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 11-26-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
TArse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
A 330 cannot have the wrong coil wires on the wrong coil. Each spark plug gets its own coil and boot that cannot go anyplace else but to the spark plug that fits in the hole directly under the coil and its boot.
I know that each plug has its own boot and coil.

I just thought maybe a coil wire might not be going to the right cylinder.
It's been awhile since I've changed my plugs, but thinking about it now I guess the wires didn't move much.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:00 PM   #7
UpOn3
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thanks. Thought it leaned all cylinders when it detected rich condition in one cylinder, but reading the Bentley today, it said that fuel to one cylinder could be stopped if the coil isn't firing. Plugs at any one cylinder didn't look particularly different, so it may not be the ignition system afterall. I'll look for an air leak.

When it wouldn't start I thought it was the ground too, but both were attached. Should the ground wire terminal be under the coil or just under the bolt head? I don't remember, but I'm pretty sure under the bolt head, and it prob wouldn't matter...

Yes the motor is turning over and all wires are correct.

Just to be clear, I've only tried one new coil on all positions.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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Coil needs to seat fully, so coil, ground, then bolt.

The engine is cranking fine, right?

I agree with jfoj, likely a coincidental fuel issue. It would take a really, really big air leak to not start.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:15 PM   #9
UpOn3
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Thanks guys.

I'll try starting it while flooring the pedal... What gets me is why it doesn't start now when it was running before I messed with the coils/plugs??? Could the offending condition have suddenly gotten worse?

Regarding the coils. My car was running just fine for the past 30+K miles with the mixed coils before this started happening, so I don't think it's the fact that they are mixed.

I'll check for vac leaks in the intake and the fuses in the Engine Electronics Fuse Pack. I did take the intake cover off briefly so maybe I cracked something or knocked something loose. Or whatever was going on, I made worse!
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:32 PM   #10
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I love proximate causes...always have.

Start with basics...is the coil boot on the plugs or could you be off? Did you connect the grounds in the front and rear of engine...and the wire in the center, between 3rd and 4th cylinders I think.

I think you just didn't connect something that you forgot about...or missed something basic.

Proximate causes rule! You didn't do something else you forgot to mention, did you? Have you added fuel recently? If 1/4 tank or lower, I'd try that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #11
UpOn3
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Still can't start the car!

I tried to start the car in "flood clear" mode and no go.

I then checked the fuses to Engine Electronics Fuse Pack and all 5 were still good. What other fuses should I check?

What should I do? Put my old plugs back in too? Could a new plug be defective? Could fuel delivery have gone bad all of a sudden?

Should I go down the path of finding the air leak (causing it to run lean) or should I get my car running first?
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Starting fluid will rule out a lack of fuel!
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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, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:52 PM   #13
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When was the last time the fuel pump & fuel filter were changed?
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UpOn3 View Post
Still can't start the car!

I tried to start the car in "flood clear" mode and no go.

I then checked the fuses to Engine Electronics Fuse Pack and all 5 were still good. What other fuses should I check?

What should I do? Put my old plugs back in too? Could a new plug be defective? Could fuel delivery have gone bad all of a sudden?

Should I go down the path of finding the air leak (causing it to run lean) or should I get my car running first?
Get it running first.

Is there a way to visually check for spark on these cars? Try that.

You could try a fuel pressure test. If the pump is working at all, I don't think it would take much to start though.

While you've got the car in the garage, take your MAF out and spray it all down with MAF cleaner. Can't hurt.

Last edited by Andy2108; 12-03-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:55 PM   #15
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the pump, never. the filter, about 30K miles ago. I thought I'd start hearing noise when the pump starts to fail. I'll read up on fuel pump failures...

How do I use starting fluid and do I just purchase it at any auto parts store?
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Old 12-03-2012, 04:57 PM   #16
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yes. the maf cleaner will be on the same shelf. get some of that too.

FWIW, I doubt starting fluid will really help your situation.
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #17
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Spray starting fluid into the lower intake boot, replace upper boot, try to start. Don't get it anywhere in or around the MAF, just after it. If it starts, sputters, then dies, you have a fuel delivery issue. You can also check this by testing pressure at the schrader valve on the fuel rail (you don't necessarily need a gauge, just carefully see if there is pressurized fuel--use common sense, when you depress the valve, fuel should fly out under ~50psi of force). I wouldn't bother with MAF cleaner myself, but it can't hurt.

I would make sure all of your coils are seated properly, and that you didn't leave the lower plug boot off of one or something. It's pretty likely you bunked something up on reassembly, and it's an easy fix.

The car does crank, right?
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:34 PM   #18
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I'll check for fuel pressure at the schrader valve. Reading the post regarding the failing pumps has me believing that that's the problem given that I had lean codes just before and I'm right in range of when the pumps usually fail. If the fuel pump is not allowing me to start does it mean that there will be little to no pressure when I press the valve? Does the ignition have to be On for pressure, or does residual pressure stay in?

I'm pretty sure I did goof anything up on reassembly. I've check it many times. Where's the fuse for the fuel pump. I can start there and maybe swap relays. I'll also check to see how empty my tank is as this may be an indication of a failing pump as well.

Thanks for all the tips guys. I'll report back.
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Old 12-03-2012, 07:35 PM   #19
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Prime the fuel pump with ignition on, you should hear it cycle. If you do, check for pressure after that. Ign shouldn't be on, since fuel will be spraying out. the residual pressure will remain for a while.

There is a relay, under the hood I believe. IIRC you can swap with the horn relay, as they are they same. There should also be a fuse in the glovebox. If you hear the pump cycle, there is no need to check these.
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Old 12-04-2012, 09:09 AM   #20
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the pump, never. the filter, about 30K miles ago. I thought I'd start hearing noise when the pump starts to fail. I'll read up on fuel pump failures...
Not necessarily, many pumps fail silently. In fact I think most fail silently and do so quite suddenly. I've only heard/read of a few cases where a pump gave out some "warning noises" before being replaced or failing.

If it is the pump, after all of these attempts to start the car, you'll have zero pressure at that schrader valve mentioned earlier.
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