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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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Unread 01-07-2006, 11:35 PM   #1

Name: singring
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EWS module faulty? Key reprogram?

I previously posted about the starting problems with my daughter's 1995 318i...turn ignition key, dash lights up as per normal, but no starter relay or solenoid "click", and starter is dead. After lots of internet research, I think the problem seems to be the EWS immobilzer, or an ignition key that has somehow lost it's code.
Had the car towed to my mechanic, but he won't be able to have a look at it til a couple more days. But, I will attempt a few things with him :

1. switch car battery with a fully charged one, just in case.
2. try all available keys
3. try the remote start, which is suppose to bypass the EWS...should have tried that before we had the car towed away, but we were focusing on the stupid key.
4. if #3 above works, remove the EWS module, and clean the contacts, then re-install.
5. take the car to dealer to have the keys reprogrammed. Maybe order a new EWS.

Talk about coincidence, I was just at the dealer a few days ago, to order a new master key for the car, as the keys we have are getting pretty worn. Should be here next week, and will be pre-programmed, I would think.

There are instructions posted for re-programming keys, but they appear to be for cars with keyless entry. My duaghter's car does not have keyless enrty, and does not have a central door lock "switch", but does have the central door locks that are activated with the door lock pull knobs.

Can't think of any reason the keys would lose their codes. I did have to change the DME for a used one, but I switched the used DME's EPROM chip with the original EPROM chip form her car. The started right off the bat, and has been working fine until this starting problem this morning.

Any help or suggestions is appreciated
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Unread 01-08-2006, 03:40 AM   #2

Name: Spieluhr
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hmmm, KOMODO had a problem very similar to this a little ways back, but he had blown alternators, and have a ton of electronics in his car.

My initial guesses would of course be to check the battery, see if the starter needs replacing, check the alternator, check the alternator cooling duct. beyond that i have no idea.

and welcome to the forums!

I am transfering this thread to the e36 forum however where it belongs and will get the proper attention.

BMW, The Ultimate Driving Machine
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Unread 01-08-2006, 05:37 AM   #3

Name: Dudesky
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It shouldn't have anything to do with your changing the DME. It's not unheard of for the circuitry in the key to get damaged, so trying another key will narrow things down. Yes, the new master key will be pre-programmed. On early EWS II cars (which your case should be), there are 10 keys made and 3 are given out during the initial purchase of the vehicle, the other seven are stored away in Munich. On later models, a blank can be programmed by the dealer, but still only up to 10 can be produced. At least that's what I've read anyhow.

You mentioned on another forum that the starter was just replaced. It could be that its wiring was not secured properly. You might want to have your installer reinspect his work, just to eliminate that possibility. It's also not uncommon for new/remanufactured starters to fail immediately and inexplicably. Good luck and let us know how things work out.
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