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Faults, Fixes and DIY Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix!


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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 02:18:37 PM   #191
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by Alpine335TT View Post
For years, my 2004 has been experiencing this in the winter/cold months, however in the warmer months the car starts up right away 99% of the time. Does anyone know if ambient temperature is connected to any of the possible issues?
Only thing I could think of is maybe the wire insulation heating up in the warmer months, expanding a bit more and becoming a little more flexible, allowing wires to make contact in all places - Then vice versa in the colder months; Wire insulation contracts, gets brittle and forces the wires to break away from the contacts and/or ground to another point of least resistance.

Just to clarify, you're talking about the car not even cranking in the cold months, not just cranking slowly, correct?
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 02:25:06 PM   #192
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by alexjames23 View Post
Only thing I could think of is maybe the wire insulation heating up in the warmer months, expanding a bit more and becoming a little more flexible, allowing wires to make contact in all places - Then vice versa in the colder months; Wire insulation contracts, gets brittle and forces the wires to break away from the contacts and/or ground to another point of least resistance.

Just to clarify, you're talking about the car not even cranking in the cold months, not just cranking slowly, correct?
Correct, when it won't start, it won't crank at all. The only way to start it is to turn the key and hold it there until it starts.
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 10:34:58 PM   #193
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by alexjames23 View Post
Yeah try the brake light fuse, and the ignition module. I've heard people also having a problem with the entire immobilizer unit as well. This is unfortunately just one of those problems that is just trial and error.

Also give your MAF a nice cleaning.

That P0011 is the only code you're getting, right?

Yup, the P0011 is the only code I get but even that is intermittent and the car does not store it after I "erase" or "reset" it to make the light on the dash turn off...which I thought it is suppose to do.

This afternoon I did the "blue wire to violet/yellow" wire splice (wires that plug into the clutch module) and it worked like a charm. Car starts without any problem now. I turned it off and on multiple times to make sure I wouldn't be surprised again the next time I get in it...although that, of course, still may happen...ghost in the machine and all.

Of course, before I went through the trouble of doing the wire splice I checked the brake fuse and all the fuses that I thought may be related to the "no start, no crank" issue and they were all good so I proceeded to do the wire splice.

On a side note that wire splice had another positive affect on the car...

Not long after I bought the car the lights for the control buttons on the steering wheel went out and the volume button for the radio on the steering wheel would only work intermittently, and usually not work. When I started the car after the wire splice the lights for these buttons was on and the volume button for the radio now works perfectly. Very odd but very good. I did some research on "the steering wheel buttons on the fritz" issue a few months ago and most people commented that the likely culprit is the steering wheel slip ring...steering wheel removal necessary to inspect and/or replace that. I never did that and I am glad now that I didn't waste my time...although maybe the slip ring is bad and somehow that effects the clutch module through the ECU...who knows???

I am just hoping that whatever caused the clutch module to get fried does not start frying other stuff.

I made a video of the splice operation I did. I'll post a link here as soon as I get it up on youtube in case someone needs to see what I did.

Thanks for all the help! I'll post more here if more things start to go South.

I would still put my money on the ignition switch being bad.
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Old Tue, Oct-03-2017, 10:39:00 PM   #194
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by Alpine335TT View Post
Correct, when it won't start, it won't crank at all. The only way to start it is to turn the key and hold it there until it starts.
Just my two cents...this really sounds like the ignition switch is on it's way out. They are about $100 and this video shows how to get to it and get it out:

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Old Wed, Oct-04-2017, 01:52:42 AM   #195
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by Alpine335TT View Post
Correct, when it won't start, it won't crank at all. The only way to start it is to turn the key and hold it there until it starts.
I'd have to agree with Sam, I'd give the ignition switch a try. I will say though, when my clutch module was on its way out, I turned and held the key a few times and it would start - This did only last a day and got progressively worse though.

Theoretically, it could be anything in the circuit from the key to the starter turning, so ignition module, immobilizer, clutch module, etc. etc.

You don't have any codes, correct?

Quote:
Yup, the P0011 is the only code I get but even that is intermittent and the car does not store it after I "erase" or "reset" it to make the light on the dash turn off...which I thought it is suppose to do.

This afternoon I did the "blue wire to violet/yellow" wire splice (wires that plug into the clutch module) and it worked like a charm. Car starts without any problem now. I turned it off and on multiple times to make sure I wouldn't be surprised again the next time I get in it...although that, of course, still may happen...ghost in the machine and all.

Of course, before I went through the trouble of doing the wire splice I checked the brake fuse and all the fuses that I thought may be related to the "no start, no crank" issue and they were all good so I proceeded to do the wire splice.

On a side note that wire splice had another positive affect on the car...

Not long after I bought the car the lights for the control buttons on the steering wheel went out and the volume button for the radio on the steering wheel would only work intermittently, and usually not work. When I started the car after the wire splice the lights for these buttons was on and the volume button for the radio now works perfectly. Very odd but very good. I did some research on "the steering wheel buttons on the fritz" issue a few months ago and most people commented that the likely culprit is the steering wheel slip ring...steering wheel removal necessary to inspect and/or replace that. I never did that and I am glad now that I didn't waste my time...although maybe the slip ring is bad and somehow that effects the clutch module through the ECU...who knows???

I am just hoping that whatever caused the clutch module to get fried does not start frying other stuff.

I made a video of the splice operation I did. I'll post a link here as soon as I get it up on youtube in case someone needs to see what I did.

Thanks for all the help! I'll post more here if more things start to go South.

I would still put my money on the ignition switch being bad.
Awesome! Glad to hear all is good (at the moment). That's pretty wild that the lights and functions on the steering wheel started working out of the blue. They don't lie when they say these cars have minds of their own...

On the "what's frying my clutch switch" topic, what voltages is your car running at? Both engine off and engine on. Although unlikely, overvoltage from the alternator, or in rare cases the battery, could "fry" small components like the clutch switch.
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Old Sun, Oct-08-2017, 05:28:38 PM   #196
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexjames23 View Post
I'd have to agree with Sam, I'd give the ignition switch a try. I will say though, when my clutch module was on its way out, I turned and held the key a few times and it would start - This did only last a day and got progressively worse though.

Theoretically, it could be anything in the circuit from the key to the starter turning, so ignition module, immobilizer, clutch module, etc. etc.

You don't have any codes, correct?



Awesome! Glad to hear all is good (at the moment). That's pretty wild that the lights and functions on the steering wheel started working out of the blue. They don't lie when they say these cars have minds of their own...

On the "what's frying my clutch switch" topic, what voltages is your car running at? Both engine off and engine on. Although unlikely, overvoltage from the alternator, or in rare cases the battery, could "fry" small components like the clutch switch.
New developments....

Yesterday I got in the car (2004) to head out and as I was driving down my driveway which is a slight, winding, hill down the car stalled. Strange, I thought, with all that has been going on with it. It started right up and I proceeded down my road which is still a slight, graded, hill down. Got to the stop sign at the bottom of the hill and I could feel the RPMs running down and it stalled again. Now I am thinking the the battery is not holding a charge...but why? I drove the car a bit more to get a feel for this. I pulled in to a large parking lot near my house to listen to the engine. Car needed to be revved to keep from stalling. I kept the revs up and drove home and parked the car.

After I got home I let it cool down and then started it up again to listen to the engine. Of course, now there is a ticking sound from the front that I have never noticed before. Could be the valves or the VANOS.

My suspicions on a % basis:

1. (99.7%) P0011 is telling me something...and I am guessing that the VANOS solenoid is bad or going bad. I revisited the Beisan Systems website and re-read all there is to read about the VANOS solenoid symptoms that relate to the S54. I am sure most that own these cars are familiar with the V-solenoid issues but if not check this out: http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
The "Symptoms" section lead me to think that this is the problem...specifically this:

"The failure of the vanos solenoid will cause the DME to not utilize the vanos. Unfortunately the engine timing is left in the same position as when the failure occurred. Thus the engine will likely behave better at low RPM and worse at high RPM, or worse at low RPM and better at high RPM. Engine misfire with fault codes can also occur."

Surprisingly, my car does not behave that badly at low RPMs, just when cold and idling. It hiccups for a bit but then smooths out as it gets warmer. At high RPMs it runs really well, so much so that just the other day I was really flying out on the Pa Turnpike. Was cruising for a while between 100 and 120 mph. I hope that I didn't damage the valves in any way. That new ticking sound has me thinking that I shouldn't have ignored the P0011 error message for so long. What's done is done and the adventure continues.

Of course the V-solenoid issues don't seem to have anything to do with the clutch module failing...but this could simply be an unrelated issue that has happened at the same time as this new stalling development...but there may be a connection...only the shadow knows....

2. (.1%) Battery...but I doubt it as it has not had a problem holding a charge thus far. Wouldn't explain ticking sound.

3. (.1%) Alternator...I doubt it but maybe. Wouldn't explain ticking sound.

4. (.1%) Ignition switch...again, I doubt it considering what the VANOS solenoid symptoms are...but of course it could have something to do with it.

And of course this, by AJ, sums it up:

"...it could be anything in the circuit from the key to the starter turning, so ignition module, immobilizer, clutch module, etc. etc." -- but again, the new ticking sound points towards the VANOS.

If these cars weren't so much fun to drive this grief wouldn't be worth it.

Last edited by sambking; Sun, Oct-08-2017 at 05:36:06 PM.
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Old Wed, Oct-11-2017, 04:24:48 PM   #197
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sambking View Post
New developments....

Yesterday I got in the car (2004) to head out and as I was driving down my driveway which is a slight, winding, hill down the car stalled. Strange, I thought, with all that has been going on with it. It started right up and I proceeded down my road which is still a slight, graded, hill down. Got to the stop sign at the bottom of the hill and I could feel the RPMs running down and it stalled again. Now I am thinking the the battery is not holding a charge...but why? I drove the car a bit more to get a feel for this. I pulled in to a large parking lot near my house to listen to the engine. Car needed to be revved to keep from stalling. I kept the revs up and drove home and parked the car.

After I got home I let it cool down and then started it up again to listen to the engine. Of course, now there is a ticking sound from the front that I have never noticed before. Could be the valves or the VANOS.

My suspicions on a % basis:

1. (99.7%) P0011 is telling me something...and I am guessing that the VANOS solenoid is bad or going bad. I revisited the Beisan Systems website and re-read all there is to read about the VANOS solenoid symptoms that relate to the S54. I am sure most that own these cars are familiar with the V-solenoid issues but if not check this out: http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
The "Symptoms" section lead me to think that this is the problem...specifically this:

"The failure of the vanos solenoid will cause the DME to not utilize the vanos. Unfortunately the engine timing is left in the same position as when the failure occurred. Thus the engine will likely behave better at low RPM and worse at high RPM, or worse at low RPM and better at high RPM. Engine misfire with fault codes can also occur."

Surprisingly, my car does not behave that badly at low RPMs, just when cold and idling. It hiccups for a bit but then smooths out as it gets warmer. At high RPMs it runs really well, so much so that just the other day I was really flying out on the Pa Turnpike. Was cruising for a while between 100 and 120 mph. I hope that I didn't damage the valves in any way. That new ticking sound has me thinking that I shouldn't have ignored the P0011 error message for so long. What's done is done and the adventure continues.

Of course the V-solenoid issues don't seem to have anything to do with the clutch module failing...but this could simply be an unrelated issue that has happened at the same time as this new stalling development...but there may be a connection...only the shadow knows....

2. (.1%) Battery...but I doubt it as it has not had a problem holding a charge thus far. Wouldn't explain ticking sound.

3. (.1%) Alternator...I doubt it but maybe. Wouldn't explain ticking sound.

4. (.1%) Ignition switch...again, I doubt it considering what the VANOS solenoid symptoms are...but of course it could have something to do with it.

And of course this, by AJ, sums it up:

"...it could be anything in the circuit from the key to the starter turning, so ignition module, immobilizer, clutch module, etc. etc." -- but again, the new ticking sound points towards the VANOS.
My car would stall at low rpms while slowing down, I have to give it gas to prevent a stall just like you. I actually still have the problem occasionally. I cleaned the Idle Control Valve thoroughly thinking it would certainly solve the issue, but it only helped a little. My A/F mix is fine, so that's not why. I do scheduled maintenance to a T. It's a very weird unsolved mystery, but it's definitely not the first with this car.

With the miles you have, I would definitely suggest doing the vanos. Also worth mentioning is the subframe reinforcements if you haven't gotten those done too.

Quote:
If these cars weren't so much fun to drive this grief wouldn't be worth it.
Agreed 100%.

Keep us updated!
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Old Fri, May-11-2018, 04:04:31 AM   #198
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

Replaced the starter recently with the help of this DIY and other posts in the thread. Everything was going well until I couldn't get the starter bolts unstuck. The gearwrench torx ratcheting wrench was too small to get any meaningful torque on the bolts and the clearance is too tight to get a cheater pipe on. Skip the gearwrench wrench listed in the OP and instead get a 10mm spline drive flex ratcheting wrench. A few $$ more but makes removing and tightening the starter bolts so much easier
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612503_200612503


The oetiker ear clamps around the intake throttle bodies are also a pain but with the right pliers they can be removed and reused. I had some home depot hose clamps in case I broke any of them. I bought an Autozone starter so we'll see how long it lasts. Again, F those starter bolts, who the hell decided that it would be a good idea to put them right against the firewall with no clearance
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Old Fri, May-11-2018, 04:19:55 AM   #199
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

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Originally Posted by BeeFsteR View Post
Replaced the starter recently with the help of this DIY and other posts in the thread. Everything was going well until I couldn't get the starter bolts unstuck. The gearwrench torx ratcheting wrench was too small to get any meaningful torque on the bolts and the clearance is too tight to get a cheater pipe on. Skip the gearwrench wrench listed in the OP and instead get a 10mm spline drive flex ratcheting wrench. A few $$ more but makes removing and tightening the starter bolts so much easier
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200612503_200612503


The oetiker ear clamps around the intake throttle bodies are also a pain but with the right pliers they can be removed and reused. I had some home depot hose clamps in case I broke any of them. I bought an Autozone starter so we'll see how long it lasts. Again, F those starter bolts, who the hell decided that it would be a good idea to put them right against the firewall with no clearance
You sir are not wrong. Thanks to our beloved BMW engineers ( strong love/hate relationship ), those bolts require some nifty methods to break loose. That tool you linked looks like something out of heaven for this job. Having done this job with only a 10mm box wrench and that gearwrench tool, I'd highly recommend that tool that is posted here^. Looks like it would be a breeze with that.

This is 2nd on my personal list of most obnoxious repairs / jobs on an E46M - Just an awful DIY project if you don't have the perfect tools for it.
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Old Fri, May-11-2018, 06:13:50 AM   #200
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Default Re: Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal)

This vid might be at the DIY section for the Starter replacement.
Go to 16:28 here:


https://m.harborfreight.com/t-bar-wi...not%20provided

Like 20 bucks.


Last edited by Eduki; Fri, May-11-2018 at 06:16:37 AM. Reason: This vid might be at the DIY section for the Starter replacement.
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Discussing Intermittent Starting Issue-Complete DIY-Starter Replacement (Intake Removal) in the Faults, Fixes and DIY Forum - Please share your experience and knowledge with other members by contributing your own DIY, or by helping another member find the elusive fix! at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)