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E36 General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.

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Old 07-12-2013, 03:54 PM   #1
BostonGreen318

Name: BostonGreen318
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NO START -- Four pipe problem!

It’s been a while since the last post but I’ve got a car that hasn’t started in three weeks! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Here are the specifics:

A. The car sat idle for three days in a very moist environment.
B. The noise heard from under the hood when key is turned to start is only the “electric buzz” sound of the starter. In other words, the engine cranks but no turnover.
C. The battery is fairly new (within 3 years) and was fully charged the first week of the “no start.”
D. Headlights and high beams are normal and strong.
E. All fuses and most relays (fuel pump relay is 3 years old) were checked and all still function.
F. There is approximately half a tank of gas in the gas tank.
G. Fuel filter was removed and examined -- no blockages.
H. Fuel pump buzzes when key is turned to “standby” mode and shoots gas spray from fuel line when key is turned to start.
I. Fuel injectors were removed and thoroughly cleaned.
J. Spark test indicates ignition coils (approx. 3 years old) have healthy spark coming from all four wires.
K. Spark plugs are clean and fairly new (5-10k).
L. Camshaft position sensor and crankshaft sensor were both replaced in the hopes that either one was the faulty part. No dice.

As of now, the car continues to collect dust since a solution continues to elude me.

The only remaining potential culprits to this “no start” mystery (that are apparent to me) are the following:

• The crankshaft ventilation valve is filthy.
• The intake rubber boot (air sensor to throttle body) has some cracking.
• The hose and non-return valve (#116 113 127 37) that extends from vacuum tank to underside of upper manifold has been layered in electrical tape for a couple of years since there was some cracking in the rubber.

Is it possible that any of these issues would prevent the engine from turning over? Or perhaps it’s something I’ve overlooked? Any recommendations would be great.

Also, could a failed fuel pressure regulator prevent startup like this?
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:20 PM   #2
scooter
 
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if you have power and you have spark then you probably are missing fuel.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonGreen318 View Post
It’s been a while since the last post but I’ve got a car that hasn’t started in three weeks! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Here are the specifics:

A. The car sat idle for three days in a very moist environment.
B. The noise heard from under the hood when key is turned to start is only the “electric buzz” sound of the starter. In other words, the engine cranks but no turnover.
C. The battery is fairly new (within 3 years) and was fully charged the first week of the “no start.”
D. Headlights and high beams are normal and strong.
E. All fuses and most relays (fuel pump relay is 3 years old) were checked and all still function.
F. There is approximately half a tank of gas in the gas tank.
G. Fuel filter was removed and examined -- no blockages.
H. Fuel pump buzzes when key is turned to “standby” mode and shoots gas spray from fuel line when key is turned to start.
I. Fuel injectors were removed and thoroughly cleaned.
J. Spark test indicates ignition coils (approx. 3 years old) have healthy spark coming from all four wires.
K. Spark plugs are clean and fairly new (5-10k).
L. Camshaft position sensor and crankshaft sensor were both replaced in the hopes that either one was the faulty part. No dice.

As of now, the car continues to collect dust since a solution continues to elude me.

The only remaining potential culprits to this “no start” mystery (that are apparent to me) are the following:

• The crankshaft ventilation valve is filthy.
• The intake rubber boot (air sensor to throttle body) has some cracking.
• The hose and non-return valve (#116 113 127 37) that extends from vacuum tank to underside of upper manifold has been layered in electrical tape for a couple of years since there was some cracking in the rubber.

Is it possible that any of these issues would prevent the engine from turning over? Or perhaps it’s something I’ve overlooked? Any recommendations would be great.

Also, could a failed fuel pressure regulator prevent startup like this?
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Old 07-18-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
BostonGreen318

Name: BostonGreen318
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The game is afoot! Can anyone shed some light?

Good idea, but there is approximately a half tank of gas present. This is verifiable judging by the fuel gauge and a firm rear-end shake.

As an update, the battery was charged, reinstalled, and remained idle for a week, however, the voltage has since plummeted from about 12.68 V to 7.78 V. This indicates that not only is there something preventing the engine from turning over, but there is also a phantom power drain.

This is a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes. Any advice would be most helpful!
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:25 PM   #4
DEATH2000
 
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Location: Calgary, Alberta
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Your Ride: 1998 E36 328i sedan
Have you checked the fuel pump to ensure it is running? Have you checked for shorts or exposed wires that could be drawing power?
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Old 07-27-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
BostonGreen318

Name: BostonGreen318
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Engine Driveability Troubleshooting - Phase 1

Thanks for the replies. At this point, the plan is to systematically troubleshoot and report the findings. Since I'm not altogether familiar w/ electrical systems, it is my hope that someone can provide a brief education on the subject.

According to Bentley's "Engine Driveability Troubleshooting" checklist under the general symptom of "engine fails to start," the first step is to test fuel pump and fuel pump relay.

Using a digital multimeter and under the DC Volts setting (20V range), the battery voltage was tested at 12.19 V at the time of this fuel pump testing procedure. I realize this is rather low but should still indicate if there is a problem, right?

At the fuel pump, the top white terminal measured 11.60 (+/-) while the bottom black terminal measured .13/.14.

As far as the fuel pump relay goes, it's more complicated. After removing the relay at the fuse box, what is visible are nine slots. The relay has a set of four prongs that fit into terminal 30 (top middle), terminal 85 (bottom middle), terminal 86 (middle right), and terminal 87 (middle left).

Using the multimeter, the following measurements were made:

Terminals 85 and 87 = 12.16/.17
Terminals 85 and 86 = .03
Terminals 85 and 30 = 12.08
Terminals 86 and 30 = 12.01/.02
Terminals 86 and 87 = 12.09

Since I haven't a basic understanding of what this might mean, I am wondering if anyone could shed some light on these figures?

Last edited by BostonGreen318; 07-27-2013 at 01:59 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:55 PM   #6
BostonGreen318

Name: BostonGreen318
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Location: Raleigh, NC
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Your Ride: 1994 318is & 1999 318ti
A solution within reach?

Installed fully charged battery. Following that, decided to roll the dice and try to start the car.

While turning the key, the accelerator pedal was pressed to the floor with the desperate hope that the engine was simply flooded these past weeks.

BINGO, it started! The only problem was, however, the engine roared into the 4,000 rpm range and continued for thirty to sixty seconds. White smoke began pouring from the exhaust pipe soon after. Anxious, I quickly popped the hood to take a look but that's when the engine began to speed up even more. Thinking that this might damage the engine, I hastily shut it off.

The next attempt to start the car a minute later yielded no result whatsoever! No starter noise like before -- nothing. Silence!

Is it possible that this is the symptom of a faulty crankcase vent valve? I'll just order the part and post an update following installation. Thanks.


Last edited by BostonGreen318; 07-30-2013 at 06:57 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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