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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 01-21-2013, 08:17 AM   #1
NCbeltwaybound
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2002 325i
Dme

Just got the bad news that my DME is shot. Car was running great on my drive into Class Wednesday then after Class I tried to start it up and it would not turn over just no fire. Wore out the battery trying to turn it over. Friend gave me a battery jump but just would not start. Towed it to the BMW Dealer Thursday and today they told me it was my DME. Dealer wants $1400 that I just dont have. I'm in my 2nd year of Med School and I am watching every penny. So I am planning on calling AAA and getting my free tow and this baby is heading to either Craigslist or Ebay as is unless someone here has any ideas. Peace.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:31 AM   #2
jfoj
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Suggest you get the car to your house, charge battery and buy a $3 can of starting fluid and make sure you do not have a bad fuel pump.

DME just do not die all the sudden, they are usually very robust. It can happen, but not very common at all.

Many times when you run the battery down, the DME will store all kinds of crazy codes. Dealer likely hooked up advanced scan tool and saw things that lead them to believe the DME is bad??

Check the 2nd link below in my signature for Fuel Pump info.

Good luck and I hope your problem is simple and cheap.

Report back what you find.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

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 01-21-2013, 09:11 AM   #3
mw92841
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Dme

Agree could be fuel pump. Don't let Dealer fix anything. Save the bucks and do it yourself. They are however very good at finding problems. There could be more wrong with it than just the DME. You have 2 ways to go. Try and find a Junk Yard that will sell you the DME-EWS and the Remote Key. ALL FROM THE SAME CAR. It needs to be the same year model and engine-tranny as yours. Then swap the chips on the keys and reinstall everything and you should be good to go. If you can find a trusted salvage yard that has them is the issue. Most will try and put stuff together that just doesnt match. So you need to look on Craigslist or Ebay for the complete wrecks. That may take time but eventually you will find one. Figure $300.00. There is also bmwdme.net I used them with success but they are slow. Took about 2 weeks but they gave me a good warranty and its worked out good since. That option is about $600. The last option is to just part the car out. You can make really good cash tearing down your BMW. Just need a place to store it while you dismantle her. Starving students need cash right?

Last edited by mw92841; 01-21-2013 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:23 PM   #4
Mb_330Ci
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I feel your pain. I just recently went through diagnosing and replacing my DME on my '04 330. I just wanted to point out another option for you from RPM Motorsports (http://www.rmsonlinestore.com/BMW-MI...te-Kits_c6.htm) where you can buy a complete "dme-EWS-and set of keys" package for your 325 with a warranty (pretty much plug and play installation). I don't have any affiliation with this company, but I was very happy with their help and the product. Your options include buying a complete package, or just buying the DME itself and sending them your EWS and keys to have them aligned so that they all work together. They may be a bit more expensive than a junk yard (if you can find a complete set to match your car) but a lot cheaper than dealer. I think you may even find that the quoted $1400 could be just to buy the uncoded dme, and that installation, coding and aligning your keys will probably be on top of that.

Is your DME completely off line (dead) when you try to start the car? I assume you meant in your first post that the car will crank but not fire? You said it would not turn over, but then said you wore out the battery trying to start it so I'm assuming it was cranking. My car would also turn over but not start because of the bad DME. It would occasionally put up all kinds of other throttle codes that made me think it was throttle body, but in the end the new DME fixed it.

One way to see if the DME is totally not working is to turn the ignition to the second position (just before you turn it a bit more to crank the engine). If at that point the temperature gauge pins to the right side, and neither the Check Engine symbol nor the EML light up briefly, then your DME is not communicating with the rest of the system. If it is working, then the CE and EML lights will come on briefly and the temp gauge will stay on the left side. My car would always start in warm weather, and almost never when the temperature was below 50F. A hair dryer on the dme in cold weather would allow it to start. I probably could have sent the dme somewhere like bmwdme to have it rebuilt, but I wanted to be sure I got the newest software and a reliable unit so I went with RPM. It was about -15F last night, and the car started immediately and ran perfectly, so I'd say it was worth it.

Try seeing if the dme is online first before chasing fuel pump or spark issues in my opinion. Fuel pump won't come on briefly (like it should) on initial cranking if the dme isn't working, which caused me to replace it too before finally realizing all my problems (rough idle, intermittent no start, strange engine codes etc) were due to the intermittent DME communication.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:02 PM   #5
jfoj
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http://www.ecudoctors.com/

http://www.ecudoctors.com/bmw-325-2002-2005.html

$675 depending on the DME you need?
__________________
Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

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

Last edited by jfoj; 01-22-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 01-22-2013, 07:07 PM   #6
NCbeltwaybound
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2002 325i
DME Replacement

Thanks for the info. I checked out some of the options. None of the Junkyards I called can verify all 3 parts for the same car. DME-EWS and Keys. Also forget about finding them for my model and engine/transmission specs-at least not in Texas. Can't tear this down and store the parts as I'm in an apartment and my landlord is well impossible to deal with. They gave me a dirty look when the AAA driver dropped it off in the parking lot. Me and 3 friends had to push it back to the Apartment Checked out the other options on the DME and both look good. The bmwdme.net is in Florida as the other Rpm guy is out of Canada. Not sure what my options for buying stuff on Credit (and having problems) out of Canada as opposed to the USA are so I'm sticking with the USA and the bmwdme.net people. Let you know how it works out. If this does'nt get the car running I'm out and you guys that have been PM'ing me can feast on the remains.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:38 AM   #7
NCbeltwaybound
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Got the DME back from the bmwdme.net people. Plugged it back in hooked up my ews and started the car. Actually turned over and started!!!!!!!!!!! Thats the good news. The bad news is my CEL light came on. Drove it over to the BMW dealer who was well familiar with my POOR STUDENT BROKE STATUS and the GM felt pity on me. They plugged in their diagnostic tool and told me I had a bad 02 Sensor. Which they wanted $350 to replace. The car drove fine just accelleration was not fantastic. He let me go with out paying anything which I hear is a miracle as BMW Dealers go. Question to all. Should I replace the O2 sensors or just let it go at that? Pelican sells them for $96. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #8
choxor
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I'd replace it, but as long as you don't have to pass emissions you can put it off until the funds are right. It's not going to kill anything.

Glad you got it sorted, though. Also cool that you found a dealership that shows some compassion.
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Old 02-01-2013, 08:56 AM   #9
NCbeltwaybound
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Thanks. Going to sell last semesters textbooks so I got enough. Is it very difficult to put the O2 sensors in? Appreciate the followup. Any of you guys show up in my ER clinic in the future and I'll give you free stitches!!
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:18 AM   #10
Jesse M
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Are they the pre cat or post cat 02 sensors?
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:35 AM   #11
NCbeltwaybound
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Post cat. Behind the converter.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
McDeshen
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DME replacement at the dealer costed me $2000..
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:48 AM   #13
choxor
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http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=293116

That thread covers replacing pre and post cat O2's. They can be a bastard to remove so you'll need some leverage, but it's totally DIYable.
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Old 02-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #14
NCbeltwaybound
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Thanks a million guys.
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