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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier today I tried starting my car and it wouldn't start. I had started it and driven it approximately 6 hours before the incident.

The battery is only 1 - 1.5 years old and when I turn it all the lights and radio comes on so I guess we can rule that out.

I tried starting it approximately 7-8 times. The first time it almost turned on, but at the last second it failed. I actually thought I let go of the key too early. The second time it would just make the initial screeching noises an engine makes and it would go no where. I tired this for another 3-4 times before giving up.

A few hours later I went back and tried my luck again. This time it sounded as if the car did start (although it was very rough and the engine seemed to make some grinding noises). 2 seconds after the engine just died again. I retried another 1-2 times but still no luck.

I was thinking the sudden extreme cold weather in NY had contributed to this in some way. What are some common reasons the an e46 won't start?
 
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^always a possibility. But you should start with the basics first.

The battery is only 1 - 1.5 years old and when I turn it all the lights and radio comes on so I guess we can rule that out.
You shouldnt be ruling out the battery so quickly. Just because it can power the lights and the radio certainly doesnt mean it can start the car. Think about how much more power it takes to start a car then run a radio. Try jumping it... or even testing it... cold weather can effect batteries.

Beyond that check you ABCs of starting a car: fuel, spark, air.
 

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Use advanced/title search for 'no start.'

You'll find about 100 reasons why the car won't start. The winners, in approximate order of likelihood from my reading around here:

battery, no fuel, fuel pump (or relay or fuse), battery again! Then all the odd little things like starter, ignition switch, sap (easy to check), etc.

Get multimeter on your battery. It's common in these threads to assume no battery because you have lights, maybe some cranking, but you need amps not just voltage. Lights take no amps, but the motor sure takes them! Don't go past the battery. Get a jump start, or kick start it in 2nd gear. If that works, consider battery really seriously!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Any way to tell if the fuel pump is bad without buying a new one?
 
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Any way to tell if the fuel pump is bad without buying a new one?
yes there are.

Pull out your rear seat. When you turn the key to position 2 you should be able to hear it prime. Beyond that you can check it with an external power source... but I dont really know the best way to go about that.

Have you fully checked out the battery yet? Have you load tested it or even tried to jump it? Listen to Doug, he's a smart man. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just jumped the battery, still no luck. I pulled out the rear seats and turned to position 2, it makes a hissing noise.

For shits and giggles i unplugged the pump and tried starting the car and it seemed to turn on for 2 seconds (although a very rough idle) and then the engine choked out. I think my fuel pump maybe in good order, any other ideas?
 

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Check the fuel pressure. There is a measuring port on the fuel rail underneath the top cosmetic cover on your engine. Fuel pressure varies depending on model year of the car, so you will have to look up the fuel pressure for your year of vehicle. Pressure should be good just by turning the key to the ON position without even starting the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Just incase someone runs into this thread later, it was my fuel pump that went bad. Super easy DIY that my mechanic wanted $300 labor for.
 

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thanks for checking back. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I love a happy ending.

How much did you spend?
Around $135 for an OEM fuel pump from fcpgroton, and about $45 for the fuel filter, Also from FCP groton. I always shop there they usually have the best prices and shipping to NYC usually takes 1 day.

So my complete cost was $180 versus the $240 (parts) + $300 (labor) my mechanic asked for.
 
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