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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

I hope someone has some experience of this, as my car seems to have immobilised itself and I need to get it running as soon as possible! I have a 1997 E36 328i saloon.

The back story is that the car had been standing for a while, and the battery depleted. I removed it to charge it, reinstalled fully charged as I have done before without issue. I didn't try to start the car at this stage. We then fitted a new set of suspension struts, during which this connector was removed while the main battery was still on:



I thought little of this, it looked clearly non-OEM so I assumed for the CD changer that was once added in the rear. However, with all our work complete, the car won't start. The dashboard lights up as usual, the fuel pump primes and sounds strong as ever, but when going to starter stage, nothing happens. No clicks, no attempt to crank at all.

Jumping it to really eliminate the battery as a cause had no effect, and we cannot bump-start the car. It seems like something has disabled the starter and ignition system.

I believe the car is fitted with the 3G Mk2 alarm system, as I have a key and fob like this:


I've never used this fob, the car was fine with just the key. The fob lights up fine when you press a button, but appears to do nothing to help start the car now.

I've been hunting for the alarm/immobiliser system's control unit. I didn't see anything of note under the steering wheel:



But behind the glovebox, this big metal enclosure on the left looks a likely suspect. I'm going to try and remove this, and see if it contains the alarm system which can be reset like this|http://www.bimmerforums.c...eactivation-red-grey-fob-programming-t102354/..



Am I barking up the wrong tree? Could this be an EWS II fault instead? I'm a bit stumped to be honest, and so far nothing I've tried has had any impact.. Big thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Some additional photos of the setup under the bonnet, the siren type I have:



It has an on/off switch, which was previously turned off. Turning it back on has no effect - I think this is only for the siren itself, not the whole system. In any case, it doesn't make a sound.



The positive side of the additional wiring shown above at the strut top:

 

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Try putting the ignition on (until it all lights up) leave it like that whilst disconnecting the battery then re-connect..hope this works.
 

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I'd read that elsewhere on here and tried it just now.. No joy. Thanks for suggesting it though, I hear it works for some people.

As an update, I've had the alarm module out - it is the type I was expecting, and following the guide linked to above to short various pins to lock the car and arm the alarm (I checked by setting it off, I think this bit impressed my neighbours), then made it unlock and disarm the alarm without issue. Still no joy.

I'm down to three possibilities, unless there's anything I'm missing..

-EWS II key sensor ring is not correctly recognising the key. This is apparently quite common, but I don't think the fuel pump should prime if this is the case?

-Starter motor jammed/at dodgy brush point/died. It's always been a very strong starter, firing the engine up right away, It's turned a lot with our attempts to bump start so shouldn't be stuck or still at one random broken point. Does not tally with failed bump start.

-Ignition switch broken. I don't know much about this, the key behaves properly up to stage 2 but just won't engage the starter. Does not tally with failed bump start.
 

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Definately sounds like an immobiliser fault to me,check fuses to dme,funnily enough this happened to me last week drove me mad it did,I ended up snipping the 2 wires round the ignition barrell(ews ring) and rejoined them and it fired up.
 

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Hmmm - I have checked all the fuses, forgot to mention that, but you've made me think maybe the DME relay might not be a bad idea either. Interesting that your EWS sensor ring was at fault, maybe I should check mine. Is there any chance you could write a quick method, or is it very straightforward?

Did your fuel pump prime as normal with your EWS fault?

If not the ignition ring or other failure in the systems, I've also heard of keys going out of sync either through damage or car battery discharge. I only have one so can't check this, maybe it's worth getting another from the dealer..
 

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Yeah mine was kicking in,mine is the 325 tds so slightly different,i think your relay is number 2 in the fuse box,it's basically removing a couple of screws on the cowling round the steering column,pull the cowling away from the barrell so it's all exposed and you should see 2 thin wires(green i think) cut those and join them back up,i would double check fuses and relays first though get the basics out of the way,you should be able to jumper 87 and 30 on the relay terminals to check if the relay is bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, good to know the pump would still prime even if an EWS II fault.

Many thanks for the relay advice, they're not my speciality but I'll take a look.

I stopped by the dealership just now to pick up a new EWS antenna ring just in case, I'll take a look at mine and if it looks knackered I'll replace it. I had a chat to them about this issue... Turns out they've had identical symptoms in the workshop with the same type of key, after they left it in a car overnight. They say there is no learning process for these non-remote style keys, so a replacement was the only way they could fix it. New one on its way to me for the princely sum of £46, and I'm hopeful that'll sort it!

Happily, BMW put ten (or so) code slots in the EWS II system and the keys you get with the car naturally only take up three or four of those. From the chassis number, they can order a new key with one of the blank, unissued codes so it should not need any initialisation or learning. This is a big advantage when your car won't start and is not in a dealership!

Anyway, I'll update when the key arrives, hopefully on Wednesday.
 

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Most immobilisers don't stop the engine turning over, just stop them starting..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi guys,

To update this for anyone who finds it when searching for help on a similar issue, the key was indeed at fault!

As I mentioned earlier, the dealer techs said they'd seen identical symptoms when leaving the key in a car overnight while the battery discharged, this unlearnt the key and while ignition second stage would work normally, the car wouldn't allow cranking, injection or ignition. I have heard that on some occasions, cranking is possible, but the car still won't give ignition/injection so still won't run under any circumstances.

A replacement key was £46 from the dealer, arrived in two days (take some ID and your V5C with you), and the car runs perfectly now!

Many thanks to everyone for their advice and input :)
 
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