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Discussion Starter #1
Morning all, sorry this is a first post and it's a problem one.

My 1997 320i Auto doesn't want to start. The car has always started on the botton until now with no running issues at all. She cranks over and over so I am eliminating starter or battery.

I have been reading up as much as possible and I'm starting to make checks but i'm not sure i'm on the right lines or not so i'm hoping someone could chime in and help me figure out what the problem is.

I've only looked at the following so far

Checked battery - it has good charge (12.3v)
Fuse #18 - Good
Power to Fuse #18 is 0.00 volts with ignition key in position 2 - should I see anything there without cranking the engine over?

here's my fusebox (upside down) i don't know what the relays are and how to test them as i guess that should be my next step. (Fuel and DME?)



If the fuel and DME relays check out ok then i guess i should start looking at fuel delivery and then spark.

Can someone help me figure out what relays are the Fuel Pump and DME and the steps i need to take to check them

Many thanks one and all
 

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Had this prob on my 97 323 mate and it was the crank sensor.

Can you hear the fuel pump priming when you switch on to 2?

Whats the mileage?

Cant tell you off hand which is which with the relays tho...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Mileage is 111k

I've just checked and I'm getting a few second 12v supply to the fuel pump plug when switching to position 2

Fuel Pump also winds up when jumping 12v to it.

Anyone know how do i check the crank sensor? or have any other ideas on anything else I can check?

Many thanks
 

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Youll need to get it plugged in to see if it has thrown a code for the crank sensor.

Have you checked the plugs to see if they are wet and getting fuel? and that there is a spark?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cheers guys,

How do i get to the crank sensor pickup to clean it?

I removed the plugs and could smell fuel in the cylinders, plugs were a bit wet so I cleaned them up and put everything back together and tried starting again.

There was a little puff of life, then nothing again.

So I'm pretty sure now i'm getting fuel.

I put a plug in one of the coil packs and held it with mullgrips then cranked the engine over but i think i only heard one little tick for a spark and couldnt tell if there was anything there after.

Also what's the best way to check for spark?

Any help much appreciated.
 

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As you have done already, put a spark plug in the end of the coil, then hold the plug a couple of millimetres away from a good engine earth point then have someone crank the engine over for you. There should be a bright spark.

Remove the fuel pump fuse/relay also to be on the safe side. :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As you have done already, put a spark plug in the end of the coil, then hold the plug a couple of millimetres away from a good engine earth point then have someone crank the engine over for you. There should be a bright spark.

Remove the fuel pump fuse/relay also to be on the safe side. :thumbsup
:thumbsup Ronnie

I have spark

I'm pretty sure I have Fuel because once again the plug smelt of fuel

what next guys? thanks for all the input so far
 

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If you have a good spark and have fuel being injected then it should start.

Is the engine cranking over really quickly? the engine may be flooded(not uncommon if you have a Nikasil engine).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Ronnie

It usually seems to spin really quickly when starting (it's a nice whizz whizz whizz whizz vroom) but it did occur to me that while trying to start earlier it didnt seem to be spinning as fast as normal but i put that down to oil pressure building up but I'm not sure so I have put the battery on charge tonight just incase and will give it another go in the morning.

I guess it's worth taking the plugs out again in the morning and leaving it to air for a while in case it has flooded?

It's originally a Japanese car and was built Jan 97 so I understand it's likely to be a Nikasil engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok i have a Nikasil block

All the plugs are out at the moment, i cleaned them and dried them off on an electric heater

Battery ready to go back in

the plugs were wet and smelt of fuel when i took them out this morning, probably after last nights attempt to start so i guess there's flooding, any idea's what i do next before putting back together becuase i'm guess i have to try and clear the chambers somehow?
 

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Remove the fuel pump fuse, put a little bit of oil down each cylinder bore, refit the plugs e.t.c.

Then have a friend ready with the fuel pump fuse, you crank the engine over on the key, when it tries to fire have your friend put the fuse back in. There is a bit of a knack to it but you may get lucky and it will work straight away for you. :hihi
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank Ronnie, I'll give it a whirl after lunch and report back

If it's flooded that much I wonder if the oil is going to be washed out and likely to be too thin now?
 

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"IF" after you get the car started, run it up till it's nice and warm, then look into compression testing the engine. :thumbsup
 

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Remove the fuel pump fuse, put a little bit of oil down each cylinder bore, refit the plugs e.t.c.

Then have a friend ready with the fuel pump fuse, you crank the engine over on the key, when it tries to fire have your friend put the fuse back in. There is a bit of a knack to it but you may get lucky and it will work straight away for you. :hihi


:thumbsup 1st attempt it fired up and purred away, little smokey of course

I will get on that compression test as that may give some understanding as to why it flooded in the first instance but i can't find my tester, so once i dig it out it might have to be a job for next weekend (if it starts again and i don't have to go through the whole thing again)

thanks a million Ronnie much appreciated :D I'll revive this once i've got readings
 

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:thumbsup 1st attempt it fired up and purred away, little smokey of course

I will get on that compression test as that may give some understanding as to why it flooded in the first instance but i can't find my tester, so once i dig it out it might have to be a job for next weekend (if it starts again and i don't have to go through the whole thing again)

thanks a million Ronnie much appreciated :D I'll revive this once i've got readings
Great to hear, :thumbsup

Now I hope it turns out good for you, Nikasil engines can start to play up at any time, once the bore has become damaged they can start losing compression, burning oil and tick over lumpy. :frown

I'll have fingers crossed and I'm glad it worked out first time. :thumbsup
 
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