BMW M3 Forum
BMW M3 Forum BMW M3 Gallery BMW M3 Reviews BMW M3 Social Groups BMW M3 Chat M3Forum Sponsors >>
Loading


Mobile M3forum
Go Back   BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X) > BMW M3 Discussions > E46 M3 (2001-2006)
Tire Rack Buy Winter Tires Now!
Not a member? Register Now!
Register Gallery All Albums Garage Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Calendar FAQ

E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old Thu, Apr-02-2009, 05:25:10 PM   #1
Fatz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Age: 48
Posts: 154
Reputation: 0 Fatz is on a distinguished road
Location: Ayer, MA





Default Car won't start - diagnosis

I know there are many threads regarding problems with starting. I thought it may be helpful to document my experience for others. Last week my car wouldn't start when I was leaving work. The lights, radio, etc. all came on, but nothing happened when I turned the key. I try to jump the car and it still won't start. My mechanic was convinced it was the battery, so I took it to him and he put a tester on it and said it "was on the poor side of mediocre" and should be replaced regardless. Ok, so I replace the battery and she starts right up. Wow, her was right, problem solved...

So I head out to lunch on Monday and again the lights come on but nothing happens when I turn the key. I tried to jump it again and still nothing, so I sent the whole car to the mechanic.

The battery tested fine and he couldn't detect any load on the battery when the car was turned off. Finally he becan chacking the ignition system and discovered that the clutch switch wasn't registering the clutch being depressed and therefore wasn't completing the circuit to start the car. I am still waiting for him to replace the switch, so I haven't absolutely confirmed that the problem is gone, but it appears that the switch was the culprit.

I hope this helps someone in the future.

BTW, what would be great is for someone technically inclined to come up with a quick temporary fix. Can the clutch switch be bypassed without messing up anything else? Since the switch isn't a part that gets replaced often, the dealerships diddn't have it in stock. My car is likely out of service for 2-3 days just waiting to begin the work. I'd much rather be driving it without the clutch switch.
Jump to top Fatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Register now and remove these ads
Old Thu, Apr-02-2009, 08:11:35 PM   #2
Viper966
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Age: 30
Posts: 1,166
Reputation: 0 Viper966 is on a distinguished road
Location: Buffalo





Default

yes, you can bypass teh clutch....

just twist the 2 wires together...

and just remember not to start the car while it is in gear...
__________________
Jump to top Viper966 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 02:50:48 PM   #3
Fatz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Age: 48
Posts: 154
Reputation: 0 Fatz is on a distinguished road
Location: Ayer, MA





Default Still not solved

Well, two days after having the clutch switch replaced, the problem is back. Mechanic pretty much at a loss, says the only two things that would keep the ignition from engaging is the clutch switch and the alarm. He doesn't think the alarm is the problem as that would be very rare. but suspects that the clutch master cylinder may be hanging up, preventing the clutch from being depressed sufficiently to trip the switch.

I took a look at the clutch master cylinder and it appears to be depressing completely without any stickiness. There are four wires into the clutch switch. I think I'll try to jump accross the wires to eliminate the switch from the problem. There are quite a few post about starting problems, but I haven't seen this exact issue. Has anyone seen this problem before. Any help would be apreciated.
Jump to top Fatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 02:59:32 PM   #4
gpoints
elitist D-bag
 
gpoints's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Age: 36
Posts: 586
Reputation: 0 gpoints will become famous soon enough
Location: Bay Area, Ca

United States




Default

here you go:
http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...arting+problem
__________________
There are stupid threads and stupid people. Stupid people are the ones who make, stupid threads.
I run 87 octane because they don't make anything lower.
Starting OR Posting in these threads will make your car slower:
Which rims Should I buy?
Which color ___ looks best?
Where can I buy this wing?
Why don't other owners wave at me?
Jump to top gpoints is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 03:08:45 PM   #5
Mpoweroo1
OO=00=OO
 
Mpoweroo1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,417
Reputation: 0 Mpoweroo1 is on a distinguished road
Location: TEXAS

United States




Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by gpoints View Post


Also, look into trying your spare key or the valet key. The battery in the key sometimes goes bad.
Jump to top Mpoweroo1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 03:20:23 PM   #6
ohnoes
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,347
Reputation: 0 ohnoes is on a distinguished road
Location: NoVA

United States




Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatz View Post
Well, two days after having the clutch switch replaced, the problem is back. Mechanic pretty much at a loss, says the only two things that would keep the ignition from engaging is the clutch switch and the alarm. He doesn't think the alarm is the problem as that would be very rare. but suspects that the clutch master cylinder may be hanging up, preventing the clutch from being depressed sufficiently to trip the switch.

I took a look at the clutch master cylinder and it appears to be depressing completely without any stickiness. There are four wires into the clutch switch. I think I'll try to jump accross the wires to eliminate the switch from the problem. There are quite a few post about starting problems, but I haven't seen this exact issue. Has anyone seen this problem before. Any help would be apreciated.
Why do mechanics/people in general ALWAYS bypass the simplest fix and pursue the least likely? I am willing to bet dollars to donuts it is either your starter (more likely) or key (less likely, but still possible).
Jump to top ohnoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 05:07:22 PM   #7
deilenberger
Moderator
 
deilenberger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 13,861
Reputation: 578 deilenberger has a reputation beyond reputedeilenberger has a reputation beyond reputedeilenberger has a reputation beyond reputedeilenberger has a reputation beyond reputedeilenberger has a reputation beyond reputedeilenberger has a reputation beyond repute

United States




Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatz View Post
Well, two days after having the clutch switch replaced, the problem is back. Mechanic pretty much at a loss, says the only two things that would keep the ignition from engaging is the clutch switch and the alarm. He doesn't think the alarm is the problem as that would be very rare. but suspects that the clutch master cylinder may be hanging up, preventing the clutch from being depressed sufficiently to trip the switch.

I took a look at the clutch master cylinder and it appears to be depressing completely without any stickiness. There are four wires into the clutch switch. I think I'll try to jump accross the wires to eliminate the switch from the problem. There are quite a few post about starting problems, but I haven't seen this exact issue. Has anyone seen this problem before. Any help would be apreciated.
Jumping the wires is actually a bad idea (as is twisting them together).. it's not a SWITCH with contacts. It's a Hall-Effect-Sensor, that senses the position of the clutch pedal. It's an active device - solid state. Do a Google on Hall-Effect or Hall-Effect-Sensor.

The starter is the problem. It's happened to MANY other people, same symptoms. Sometimes it starts and once in a while - nothing.
__________________
Don Eilenberger AKA bellymeisterburgermeister and denilegiiiiiiiiiiiiibennnnegerieragher (but that's misspelled..)
  • 2001 M-Coupe - TiSilver/Black - Das Boot..
  • 2002 M3C/6 - Imola Red/Black - SOLD
  • 2003 525iT - Green/Tan - SOLD - replaced with Lexus
  • 2006 Cayenne/S - Iceland Silver Metallic/Stone-steel Gray - Truckster.
  • 2007 R1200R - Roadster, black mit/white pinstripes - the REAL BMW..
  • 2011 Lexus RX-350. SWMBO's new toy.
Jump to top deilenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 05:33:55 PM   #8
Satans Idol
Tag Restricted
 
Satans Idol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Age: 35
Posts: 1,112
Reputation: 0 Satans Idol is on a distinguished road
Location: S. Jersey

United States




Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohnoes View Post
Why do mechanics/people in general ALWAYS bypass the simplest fix and pursue the least likely? I am willing to bet dollars to donuts it is either your starter (more likely) or key (less likely, but still possible).
Quote:
Originally Posted by deilenberger View Post
Jumping the wires is actually a bad idea (as is twisting them together).. it's not a SWITCH with contacts. It's a Hall-Effect-Sensor, that senses the position of the clutch pedal. It's an active device - solid state. Do a Google on Hall-Effect or Hall-Effect-Sensor.

The starter is the problem. It's happened to MANY other people, same symptoms. Sometimes it starts and once in a while - nothing.
Exactly. 999/1000 times the most likely solution is the solution. It is very rare that a rare part goes on a vehicle. The M is not excluded. I'd almost put money on that you need a new starter.
__________________
Jump to top Satans Idol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 06:53:20 PM   #9
Fatz
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Age: 48
Posts: 154
Reputation: 0 Fatz is on a distinguished road
Location: Ayer, MA





Default

Thanks for the feedback. I have looked into the key (tried the spare) and read the post that gpoints linked, but my problem was an overnight issue. The first thing that was checked was the battery, as this was the simplest, most likely and cheapest fix. If it was the starter going bad (bad spots), I would think that this would be a problem that got progressively worse and turning the key a number of times would move the starter enough to eventually start the car. The starter hasn't been ruled out, but the mechanic wiggled the clutch when he received the car and it started, so that's where he began. Since there is no noise that would indicate the solenoid engaging, my guess is that the problem is between the solenoid and the ignition, but likely not the starter motor.

Let me know if this logic doesn't hold water.
Jump to top Fatz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Thu, Apr-09-2009, 06:55:13 PM   #10
ohnoes
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 2,347
Reputation: 0 ohnoes is on a distinguished road
Location: NoVA

United States




Default

Try holding the key in the ignition for up to 5 minutes, in the start position of course. Let us know if that starts the car. With this particular starter problem, holding the key for up to several minutes usually gets it to start.
Jump to top ohnoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
car, diagnosis, start

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP, Car WILL NOT start on first try. . .?? LoucasDJ5 General BMW Discussion 20 Mon, Oct-10-2011 04:43:31 PM
Car Won't Start Jason_E36 E36 M3 (1992-1999) 23 Sun, Jan-14-2007 06:31:06 PM
SA Diagnosis: "Sir, your car has Gremlins". TopMarc E46 M3 (2001-2006) 41 Sat, Jul-22-2006 11:30:11 PM
car won't start mching E36 M3 (1992-1999) 7 Tue, Jul-22-2003 04:11:30 PM
HELP: Can't start the car! Paparazzi E46 M3 (2001-2006) 2 Tue, Aug-06-2002 07:01:11 PM



All times are GMT. The time now is 09:01:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
M3Forum.com and M3forum.net is in no way sponsored, endorsed or affiliated by or with BMW NA / BMW AG or any of it's subsidiaries or vendors.
BMW and M3 (E90 M3 | E92 M3 | E93 M3 | E46 M3 | E36 M3 | E30 M3) are registered trademarks of BMW AG.
M3Forum Terms of Service
Copyright 1999-2014 M3Forum.com
Discussing Car won't start - diagnosis in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)