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Old 04-10-2016, 09:48 PM   #1
bmwtinut
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Default '95 ti won't start all of a sudden

I have a '95 318ti CS that has been my daily driver for the past 16 years. I have 208k on it. Just this morning I go out to start it and it cranks over fine but no start. Doesn't even try. I tried a couple of times and could smell some gas. let it sit for couple of hours and got back to looking at it. Pulled one of the plugs and smelled like fuel. Best guess I am getting fuel. I would think if I have fuel, it turns over and if I had spark it would start. I'm thinking no spark. Anyone have an easy way to test for spark by yourself? If it is truly no spark, suggestions on where to look.

Some additional information. Then car did sit overnight and we had some very wet snow. Water in the ECM?? gonna check this one.

Thanks for the help.

Todd
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Old 04-11-2016, 04:40 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwtinut View Post
I have a '95 318ti CS that has been my daily driver for the past 16 years. I have 208k on it. Just this morning I go out to start it and it cranks over fine but no start. Doesn't even try. I tried a couple of times and could smell some gas. let it sit for couple of hours and got back to looking at it. Pulled one of the plugs and smelled like fuel. Best guess I am getting fuel. I would think if I have fuel, it turns over and if I had spark it would start. I'm thinking no spark. Anyone have an easy way to test for spark by yourself? If it is truly no spark, suggestions on where to look.

Some additional information. Then car did sit overnight and we had some very wet snow. Water in the ECM?? gonna check this one.

Thanks for the help.

Todd
Hi Todd! Are you getting Spark? Coil Pack OK?
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Old 04-11-2016, 12:38 PM   #3
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By your description, you are getting fuel into the cylinders but no spark. This rules out a lot which is good. Make sure your coil pack if fully connected, check fuses and make sure none are blown. Beyond that, the next thing I would think of is the coil pack itself being bad.
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Old 04-11-2016, 01:47 PM   #4
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I'll take a look at the coil pack and wiring. Not sure if it would just fail out of the blue. Any suggestion on how to test coil packs?

I am topping off my battery charge after cranking the engine for awhile. I'll take a look at it again tonight.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:52 AM   #5
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Well I took a look at the car tonight. Checked the harness going to the coils and I have 12v at pin 2. Ohmed out the coils and I got 0.8 on each one which is at the high limit but whithin spec according to the Bentley manual. Next I checked the ecm compartment for water ect. Cleaned that out, was dirty but dry. Next? Not sure what now.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:16 PM   #6
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Anyone near you with an E36 318? Takes five minutes to swap coils and see if that is the issue. If it were the EWS, you wouldn't be getting fuel and probably wouldn't even trun over. Coils can fail mysteriously, suddenly and I have never been a fan of proving it's a good coil by checking the resistance as I have seen them test that way 100% but still be a bad coil.

The other issue that comes to mind is the wiring to the coil, if you have a break somewhere that could answer the question, but that is going to be hard to find if it is the issue.

Sorry I'm not of much help, but kind of hard to diagnose this from 3k miles away.
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:13 AM   #7
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...pull a plug, ground it securely, and crank. If it doesn't spark, well, you don't have any!

Just make SURE it has a solid ground.

You can test all 4 this way.

You can also put a 'noid' light on the input to the coils-
if it blinks, you're getting switched 12v at the coils.

If not, then a light on the injectors would be next. If they're not firing when cranking,
then CPS. If they ARE, it starts to seem like an ECU problem...

hth,
t
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:36 AM   #8
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Checked for spark. I have spark if I ground a plug to strut tower. Plugs seem to be wet somewhat with fuel. Even if I remove let them dry or wipe off and reinstall there is some new gas residue.
Checking fuel relay now per bently manual.
Have 12 at terminal 30, have 12v at 86 with key on.
Checked for ground at 85 with key on, nothing. Negative lead of meter to ground on chassis, meter set for continuity and then connected to terminal 85. No continuity.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:45 PM   #9
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If you have spark, you can always do a rough fuel test by pulling the intake
boot and shooting a bit of starting fluid into the intake AFTER the AFM!

If it coughs and splutters, then that would make me think it's not fuelling.
But I agree, your wet plugs would seem to indicate you're getting some fuel.

Just because it happened to me randomly last week- when it cranks, is it the usual
'chug- chug- chug' or is it suspiciously smooth? When you use certain oils, it seems
(Mobil 1 0-40, in my case) if you cold start it, let it run for 30 seconds, then switch off,
it can 'fuel wash- down' and lose compression. Then the next start MAY go 'chug- chug- whrrrrrrrrrr'.
A 'flood start' will eventually clear it, and then it will miss for a little bit, and then run fine.

Both the M42's do it, and the M54, too.

t
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:17 PM   #10
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It will crank over and over with no real sign that it is trying to fire. A couple of times it seemed like it wanted to fire then nothing.
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:44 PM   #11
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Does the cranking sound normal, or 'too easy'?

t
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:26 PM   #12
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Does sound a little easy. Norm the normal poping or surging of the cylinders going through the compression cycle
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:37 AM   #13
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I'm beginning to think cam or crank sensor is the cause.

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Old 04-21-2016, 05:12 AM   #14
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If it's sparking, the cam and crank sensors are working to some extent.

Try holding your foot on the floor, and cranking for a minute. If it tries to
catch, keep cranking.

Don't go for longer than about a minute.

Might work... costs nothin'

t
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Old 05-16-2016, 05:48 PM   #15
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Ok about 2 weeks ago I go out and I am thinking of what to check next on the car. I took the rear seat out thinking I was going to test the fuel pump. Oh what the heck I'll try starting it up. It started really rough and then smoothed out after a little bit. Haven't had a chance to take it for a drive yet but I have started it up several times since then and it seems to be running as normal.
The most annoying thing is that I don't know what was wrong.
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