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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all!

I have been getting issues with my 01 330ci manual (Swapped from an auto) for quite some time now.

I'm gonna have to keep it reasonably short. My car won't start, as the title implies, I get a crank but no start. Sometimes it will, but over time my chances of it starting have decreased. When it does run however, I have no issues whatsoever. It drives like it should.
2 days ago I took it for a drive. During the drive I got something that I didn't have before. The brake indicator light went on, and the DSC light went on. They didn't come back when I tried starting the car after, but that's when the CEL came on. But the strange thing is, it didn't give me any (new) codes that weren't already present. The codes I've got are (Scanned using INPA):
128 EWS-Transmission/-Parity, 9 of them times since I last erased it. Which was when it didn't start either about a week ago and got 18 of these codes back then.
And a 104 control VANOS mechanical outlet (4 of them)

When cranking, the tachometer does not rise, which leads me to thinking is the crankshaft position sensor, but what confuses me is that the codes indicate an EWS issue. Is it possible that, due to the DME not receiving the correct EWS code, it won't read the crankshaft position sensor or something? (But shouldn't it also cut out the starter motor?)

Some additional information

I have replaced the exhaust camshaft pos sensor, which went bad a while back. This has improved the engine significantly, but wasn't the issue.
Fuel seems to be fine; I've got no issues when it's running, and I hear the pump buzzing during ignition
I've replaced the battery when this first became an issue, so it's pretty much brand new
Fuses seemed fine. Haven't checked relays, but I hear all the clicks I'm aware I should. Seeing as it sometimes does start, I don't think it's the issue.
Although not as fast as an friend's e46, the starter still sounds healthy and turns the engine on after 2 or 3 cranks, when it starts.

Still have to do: Check the ground under the engine passenger side (Seemed fine from quick inspection, but they were stuck and didn't want to break the bolts)

Turned out to be a long post anyway, haha
Does anyone of you have an idea what it might be? I have a crankshaft position sensor ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for your reply!

I've searched a ton of places and have found a lot of useful information. I've made an account because I ended up being too confused and wanted to ask for some second opinions.
The key was indeed another suspect, but the thing is, it's only 9 months old. I know they aren't the most solid, and I have dropped it a few times. This was the reason I needed a new key before, dropped it on the second day of ownership and it wouldn't start anymore. The difference is now, it still cranks, which it didn't do before.

Is it really possible that they go out after 9 months already? If so, is that a warranty thing? Not looking forward to spend another 310 euros on a key. (And it is my only key unfortunately)

Crank/no start
Check battery voltage at fuse 29 while starting. This is the ignition switch input to the DME. - It couldn't be this, since it does sometimes start. If the fuse was blown, it wouldn't start at all.
Check battery voltage at pin 15 on the coil harness with the ignition on. - This is something I haven't checked, and could still do. Though I've never had any stalls, misfires, or anything. Seems a bit odd to me since I have no other issues but starting, but I won't exclude it from possible causes.

Thanks again for your input!
 

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Do you have the ability to view EWS status's with a scan tool?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the document! I'll read it through.

I don't have any tools as far as I know than can scan the EWS. I just have the OBD to USB cable with INPA and whatnot in the package in this forum.
Is there any tool you can recommend that won't break the bank?

Alas, I don't have another key
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I've got an update
I've bought a BMW 1.4 scanner and I'm getting the 80 [128] Signal EWS, timeout elapsed. I've realigned the DME/EWS and successfully started my engine, took it for a ride to a friends house and it started fine a couple of hours later.
Today again, started first time. Again a couple of hours later, it did not start. Again, code 80. I then realigned the EWS again and it started up right away.

Would this be a key, ignition switch or DMW issue?
 

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So I've got an update
I've bought a BMW 1.4 scanner and I'm getting the 80 [128] Signal EWS, timeout elapsed. I've realigned the DME/EWS and successfully started my engine, took it for a ride to a friends house and it started fine a couple of hours later.
Today again, started first time. Again a couple of hours later, it did not start. Again, code 80. I then realigned the EWS again and it started up right away.

Would this be a key, ignition switch or DMW issue?

I've had two "engine computer" malfunctions (including the one I posted about just a few days ago), and in hindsight - I think both were related to electrical fluctuations.

The first time I had a top radiator hose spring a leak right on the alternator regulator and it started throwing all sorts of errors and corrupted my DME. This last time, I found a badly corroded battery cable terminal.


That ignition switch CAN fail - I just replaced it a few months ago, but the symptom there was starter would not turn over without trying the key several times - or without tapping on the steering column - and it slowly got worse and worse - to the point other electrical problems started showing. But I've not seen the ignition switch cause a DME/EWS out-of-sync problem.
 

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Bad EWS alignment cuts engine spark, not starter.
Definitely check grounds, and triple check the pinouts you added when you did the trans swap. Make sure the splices at the brake/clutch switch are good, and the pins into the ews and dme are seated.
 
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