E36 No Crank

Racer75

Tuner
Points
107
Location
Scotland, Glasgow
Car
BMW 323i (e36)
Hi guys. My ‘97 323i has suddenly developed a starting issue.

I can turn the ignition on and hear the fuel pump priming as it usually does, but turning the key to the on position, the starter clicks but does not engage. I have changed the starter and tried it, and it did turn over, on two separate occasions. But now, nothing. Just the click of what I assume is the solenoid.

My car has a different DME than it left the factory with, but my tuner removed the EWS and it was starting and running fine. I have tried plugging the original DME back in and still nothing happens.

I have also unplugged the Alarm as it kept going off randomly and annoying the neighbours. But it was doing this before I unplugged it. Maybe I need to reset my key or something?

Has anyone had a similar problem? I’m so confused as to what it could be.
 

stamford

Pro Tuner
Points
382
Location
Hampshire
Car
MG ZS200
Sounds like you need to get someone to interrogate the ecu/alarm/immobiliser system. Could be something there causing the issues seeing it’s been played with already. Maybe get the fob re-synced? Process of elimination or you could be chasing bugs.
 

Racer75

Tuner
Points
107
Location
Scotland, Glasgow
Car
BMW 323i (e36)
Sounds like you need to get someone to interrogate the ecu/alarm/immobiliser system. Could be something there causing the issues seeing it’s been played with already. Maybe get the fob re-synced? Process of elimination or you could be chasing bugs.
Hi mate, sorry for taking so long to respond.

That was my thinking too, but everything primes correctly and sometimes there is a loud click from the starter but no turning. I had it apart again to double check my wiring was correct and tight, which it was. The car cranked twice after I fitted the new starter but as I was in the process of rebuilding it, it didn’t fire. I plugged my own Code reader into the car this evening and read through some codes, I erased the engine codes and re attached it and I got an error the reads;

“44- Tank Ventilation Valve, Electrical Fault”

and I have no codes relating to the EWS system, which has been deleted on both ECUs. I even tried the wire bridging trick with the two large wires, but nothing came of that either.

I am at a total loss as to what is causing this as the car had started and ran fine for years and then suddenly it just won’t
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
Sorry bit late to the party here, did you find the issue or are you still struggling with it?

Check fuses, disconnect battery to force a reset of the ECU, key fob battery can also cause non starting issues so check this out, did you get a spare key with it?
 

Racer75

Tuner
Points
107
Location
Scotland, Glasgow
Car
BMW 323i (e36)
I have checked all the fuses (even the one hidden behind the glovebox), Tried the key fob reset trick and checked all the power to the starter with a multimeter. It actually does have a spare key but it was never cut

I am going to remove the new starter again just to make sure it absolutely works but it is brand new so it should.

There is also no fault with the immobilizer as the fuel pump primes as well as the rail and the ICV buzzes when the key is at Pos. 2.

There have been a couple of loud clicks periodically which is making me think the starter is faulty or there is A bad earth somewhere.

Will keep investigating
 

obi_waynne

Administrator
Staff member
Moderator
Points
1,157
Location
Deal, Kent UK
Car
A3 1.4 TFSI 150 COD
You could connect power directly to the starter from a battery to test it, just disconnect from the rest of the cars electrical system and don't mix up the terminals.

Does tapping the starter motor whilst cranking it help? Could be the engagement mechanism sticking I suppose.

Will the car jump start and run ok? If so look closer at the starter, if not look at the immobiliser and electrical systems for a fault or problem.
 

Racer75

Tuner
Points
107
Location
Scotland, Glasgow
Car
BMW 323i (e36)
You could connect power directly to the starter from a battery to test it, just disconnect from the rest of the cars electrical system and don't mix up the terminals.

Does tapping the starter motor whilst cranking it help? Could be the engagement mechanism sticking I suppose.

Will the car jump start and run ok? If so look closer at the starter, if not look at the immobiliser and electrical systems for a fault or problem.
I will certainly try that, thanks

I’m at a loss as I said. When I fitted it at first, and before I fitted the intake manifold and ancillaries, it turned fine. It’s so odd for it to just stop.
 

Racer75

Tuner
Points
107
Location
Scotland, Glasgow
Car
BMW 323i (e36)
For anyone wondering, it appears it was a fault with the ACS/ABS system. Pulled the relay and the fuses and suddenly it started turning again!!

Thanks to those who chipped in
 
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