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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please help! I'm new here as of today, I have a 2000 323i that I am trying to fix for my nephew. He just bought it (real cheap) and to say the least it needs TLC. We drove it home and parked it in the driveway and after a few days the battery went totally dead. Car locked all by itself (I swear it did) but I was able to climb under and managed to get a jumper cable on it to get some juice to it to get the locks to open. Once inside I put the key in the ignition to start it but it will not crank over. Everything comes on, lights, dash lights, I can hear the fuel pump come on, but no cranking. I have read a lot of the forums and opinions vary on possible problems. Today I tried to resync the key in the ignition today and now the key fob does nothing. Trust me when I say I am no dummy I have be working on cars for over fifty years but this car is starting to tick me off. Am I missing the obvious or is this thing have a mind of it's own. I can't afford to get it towed to a dealer so I am hoping someone can help me. Please allow me to thank you/anyone in advance for your time and effort in this request.
 

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Start with basic troubleshooting.
What is the battery voltage? It should be 12.5 - 12.9 volts. If not take it to AutoZone and have them charge/test it.
Since it ran all the way down, you may have enough battery power for the lights but not enough to turn the starter.

http://www.bavauto.com/newsletter/2007_n407_newsletter.pdf#page=4
 

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No need to freak out. Like shanneba said you probably don't have enough power. Just charge the battery up with the jumper cables and try to start the car while they're still on. I had this problem too with my battery..after a few days of sitting it loses the charge.
 

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Whats the status of this issue?

I know I had a bad no start problem where my car died with the alarm activated and when I tried to jump the imobilzer kicked in. Had to get out, lock car and cycle the alarm with the fob.
 

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Not trying to thread jack but maybe someone can jump in on this. Car sat in heated garage for the winter, battery unplugged, hooked it up in the spring and fired up no problem, same as last winter. That was 6 wks ago. The other morning I jump in and it wont start, dash lights and slow crank but no start. Go to work in another car, return and try again and it starts but slow crank. Was heading away on a 3hr trip so I figured the battery must have run low, it will be well charged when I get where I'm going. 3 hours later I turn it off, restart the same thing, very slow crank. So I charge the battery to full, no difference how it's starting. I have normal interior lights and headlight power.

So after returning home from the weekend I pick up a multimeter just to make sure it's not the battery before I pick up a starter and start down that road. Multimeter reads 11.??V with the trunk lights on only. Little low but the car had sat for a day and the trunk lights were on. Try to start the car and it drops into the 6V range on the multimeter. Do you agree this is a bad battery and not the starter? Fully charged but not enough cranking amps? Just pick up a new battery vs reconditioning tablets? I'm in Canada so I can't just swing by Autozone for the Duralast. Advice appreciated.
 

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Threadjacker,

Sounds like bat to me. I have 12.xx v and will drop to 9.xx when starting.

You'd be lower volt, if alt. Suppose starter might be hanging up seriously from sitting, but that seems lower odds.



I'm on phone so if I wrote something stupid, it was probably the phone!
 

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Sounds to me like the battery has a bad cell. Time to replace it.
Autozone will test it for free to confirm. I am sure there is something like them in Canada, maybe Cragens?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
323i won't crank over.

New 1000 amp battery from Auto Zone, still no cranking or starting. everything else still works, even can hear fuel pump , oump up, Immobilizer won't release. It's going to the dealer as soon as I can save up a grand. Thanks to all who tried to help. Brian2000
 

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Not trying to thread jack but maybe someone can jump in on this. Car sat in heated garage for the winter, battery unplugged, hooked it up in the spring and fired up no problem, same as last winter. That was 6 wks ago. The other morning I jump in and it wont start, dash lights and slow crank but no start. Go to work in another car, return and try again and it starts but slow crank. Was heading away on a 3hr trip so I figured the battery must have run low, it will be well charged when I get where I'm going. 3 hours later I turn it off, restart the same thing, very slow crank. So I charge the battery to full, no difference how it's starting. I have normal interior lights and headlight power.

So after returning home from the weekend I pick up a multimeter just to make sure it's not the battery before I pick up a starter and start down that road. Multimeter reads 11.??V with the trunk lights on only. Little low but the car had sat for a day and the trunk lights were on. Try to start the car and it drops into the 6V range on the multimeter. Do you agree this is a bad battery and not the starter? Fully charged but not enough cranking amps? Just pick up a new battery vs reconditioning tablets? I'm in Canada so I can't just swing by Autozone for the Duralast. Advice appreciated.
You just have a dead battery that won't hold a charge anymore.
 

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New 1000 amp battery from Auto Zone, still no cranking or starting. everything else still works, even can hear fuel pump , oump up, Immobilizer won't release. It's going to the dealer as soon as I can save up a grand. Thanks to all who tried to help. Brian2000
Your car sounds like the key is dead. Try a different key to start the car.

The key and the car talk to each other, and if the key doesn't say the right thing, the car assumes it is being stolen and refuses to start. You test this by using another key. You have the main key with the buttons for the door locks, and you have a valet key. You have other keys too, if you have all of the keys that came with the car. Use any key that you haven't been using and see if the car will start. If yes, then the key you like to use is dead. It's possible that the car and key can be syncronized, but you gotta visit a shop with the right diagnostic equipment to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Won't even crank over

Thanks for the reply and info, and only one key came with the car. The car ran when it was dropped off to me for minor repairs, but always needed to be jumped after a few days of sitting. This thing is a mess both in and out. My nephew bought it against all the advise we tried to give him, it has a salvage title from a rear end collision 2005 and it looks like all the work that was done to it was done by a two year old, one big cob job. If he was my son it never would have happened, but now I am just trying to help him out. I just can't figure out why after sitting for a long time it won't even crank, the key fob works the locks and even works the windows and sunroof in some of the procedures I have found on this forum, just no crank or start. The drivers door cannot be locked or unlocked with the key in the lock, just goes left or right with no resistance, the trunk lock won't even turn with the key in it, I think the truck lid itself is from another car. Like I said this is a mess from front to back, I am getting frustrated due to lack of available computer tools to reset this stuff by the average mechanic, but I guess that was BMW's idea. anyway any help is appreciated, thanks again to all trying to help, Bill.
 

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Brain,

First, on your new battery...how long has it been in the car and did you check voltage? I'm thinking that like many new batteries they don't come fully charged, and second, that maybe with all the messed up stuff on the car, that even if it was new, that a parasitic drain from bad repairs might have sucked the juice out of it again. Don't know if the timeline justifies that, but it may.

Also, since it sounds like the door lock doesn't work, I wonder if the car had been broken into, or maybe the EWS system is broken...think that was mentioned before.

Have you looked for a remote starter or other aftermarket stuff? I'd remove or disconnect anything that didn't look bmw.

Finally, I think that you'd possibly save $$$ if you got a Peake reader for $100 or so. There are a few things that will stop car from starting that will send a code...I know that the crankshaft pos. sensor is one of them (think this was also mentioned).

Other random guesses...back to the power issue...some basics, nothing personal...some battery terminals are too small for our cables, so they fit, and you tighten cables, but battery isn't connected. Pull up on cable to check.

Ground issue? We have many grounds around. Some have cleaned the + and ground terminals under the hood and had the car start when it didn't before. Are you getting power at these points under the hood?

How was the car running when it was running? Did it just come directly to you and then not start since?

Sounds like you'll have the car for a little bit yet, so hope you don't mind some arbitrary things to consider. I know you have more experience than me, but I've probably been reading fanatics longer!

Just trying to help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
New 1000watt battery charged up to the max, battery readings taken every day in AM and show 12.4V - 12.7V consistently. I can jump the starter to crank from underneath and it cranks like hell, so the ground is good. No aftermarket stuff, I removed everything I could find. I had a code reader on the car 2 codes but all had to do with emissions. My nephew did have to break into the car, (only one key, that he left in it), he choose the right rear small door window, but the car ran fine after that with no problems. When they dropped off the car from the car carrier (AAA) the battery was low and we jumped the car and it started right up. The car seemed to run fine, but the driveshaft carrier bearing was blown right out of it so moving/driving the car was to say the least was cautious. This is where I am today, thanks for helping.
 
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