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Non starter with a hyperactive hooter. sad smileyconfused smiley

Posted by Flyboy 
November 26, 2012 11:44AM
Hi Guys

Can anyone shed some light on a problem with my 318i that raised its ugly head this morning.
Got in to start the car this morning, as soon as I turned the ignition on, the hooter started blaring, tried fiddling with the hooter buttons in case one was stuck, no joy, hooter still goes off as soon as I turn the ignition on.
I got under the front bumper and just pulled a wire off each horn unit to shut them up so I could get off to work.
Any Ideas? I am thinking maybe a stuck relay. any ideas guys?

So after disconnecting the hooter units, the bloody car won't start, the starter just does not engage at all.
A while back the starter decided to give it up, after 400 000+ Km, it would spin but not engage, I assume a bendix problem, took it out, cleaned and greased it up but no better, so I replaced it with a new unit, and it has been fine since then.
However, every now and again it will not come to life with the first turn of the key, I need to turn the key on and off two or three times, then it will engage and all is good, not always, just every now and again.
So this morning, nada, nothing, bugger all, no matter how many times I turn the car on and off, it is just dead.
Battery is strong, shorted the starter out between the supply cable and the little field wire and it spins strong.
Something that may or may not have a bearing on it, a while ago the car started having hard starting problems when hot, and I had to swing the starter for a minute or more for it to start, I am thinking maybe somewhere a wire or connection got very hot, maybe hot enough to melt solder and there is a dodgy contact/connection somewhere, or maybe a dodgy relay, any ideas?

One last thing, somewhere from under the centre consul/centre dash area there is a rely that is going insane at times clicking on and off at rapid fire, also intermittent, I am not sure, but I think it controls the air con fan in front of the radiator.

Any help will be much appreciated guys, this is my daily driver to work and back and I need to get it running ASAP.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Might be the ignition switch has some bad contacts causing the starter problems. Replacing this is a bit difficult. More diagnosis might be in order.

The buzzing relay should be easy to locate once you open up the panel under the dash so you can see up in there. There should be a horn relay and it might be the one that is buzzing. Disconnecting the horns should not make any difference to the starter control.

Bob in Everett
Hi Bob
Yes, I suspect that I may have a faulty ignition switch, or contact on it.
I have this little nagging thing in the back of my mind that a connection/contact/solder joint was damaged/overheated somewhere.
As I said, with the hard starting problem, when hot, there are imes when I had to crank for extended periods to get the car to start, and pulling that many amps on the starter for an extended period can only heat things up beyond normal.
Any idea where the starter relay is located?
I guess it is good old fashion 101 tracing from source with the multi meter and seeing where the juice is leaking out.

The horn issue is the strangest thing, it did this a few years ago, where the horn would come alive as soon as the ignition was turned on, again, I just disconnected the horn units, about six months ago I reconnected them up with the intent of solving the problem (brand new units, in fact) and the problem had "gone away" and they worked as advertised.
Very strange.........

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
It is really a wonder you did not burn up the starter by running it continuously. I have a problem like that occasionally due to injectors needing cleaning. If I put some injector cleaner in the fuel it is good for a few weeks but a good removal and professional cleaning would last two or three years. Fuel economy might improve too. The cost is about 150 dollars to send them out for the process though.

When I have the hot start problem, I stop after about 6 seconds and press the accelerator all the way to the floor and crank for about 10 seconds or so and if it starts to catch, keep the starter on and pedal down until it starts but never more than about 15 seconds. Once it starts you need to be ready to get off the throttle as it will accelerate very fast. If it does not start in about 15 seconds, I let it rest for a couple minutes and do the same again.

The starter is controlled directly from the ignition switch with manual trans and through a start relay with automatic trans. The ignition switch should supply at least 8 volts to the solenoid terminal on the starter (#50).

Bob in Everett
Quote

When I have the hot start problem, I stop after about 6 seconds and press the accelerator all the way to the floor and crank for about 10 seconds or so and if it starts to catch, keep the starter on and pedal down until it starts but never more than about 15 seconds. Once it starts you need to be ready to get off the throttle as it will accelerate very fast. If it does not start in about 15 seconds, I let it rest for a couple minutes and do the same again.

Bob, my exact hot start problem to a T, except I have to crank longer, just like a carburated motor that is flooded.
You say, the problem is dirty injectors, I think mine are still original from the factory 400 000+km later, maybe a replacement set is due, but it will have to wait for money first.
I will run some fuel system cleaner through and see what happens, otherwise I will pull them out and takle them with a brush and some good cleaning fluid of sorts.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Vehicle immobilizer system malfunction?

alan
Al, I do have a basic immobiliser, I will by pass it tonight and see what happens.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
The one where you put in 4 random digits works by tripping a relay. I think after 3 attempts, the horn starts blowing. The relay interrupts current to the starter.
Yeah, mine is not the BMW one, my car has no OBC, mine is an after market one, where you have a little fob with three contact points and pring it into contact with the three contact points on the unit fitted to the car.
Had to get it for insurance.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Ok, so the dash is out and the contact side of the ignition switch is off, I want to test the ignition switch.
There are a load of wires soldered onto the switch, any ideas as to which ones I need to bridge to bypass the switch and energise the starter, there is a thick red wire, I assume power in and a thick green wire, these two wires are thicker than the rest, obviously for load carrying, it looks like the green wire terminates at the starter so I assume bridging hose two would get the starter cranking.
But I see there is also a black/yellow wire to the starter. do I need to supply power to this one as well.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Attachments:
open | download - Start Diag e30.JPG (66.9 KB)
According to the wiring diag you attached, the Black Yellow wire is the one that goes to the starter hold in coil. So it should require power to make the starter work.

Bob in Everett
OK, SO I AM AN IDIOT..............LAMBASTE AND SCORN AT WILL :hitwithrock: :wall:
We all know the story of how the drivers door lock wears out, and the little ball bearing in the tumbler wears a groove and when you lock the door with the key, it does not engage the lock.
Well mine has been like this for a long time now, and has been on my "I will get to it" list, you know how that works out. :rolleyes:
So I have been locking my car from the inside, luckily mine is a four door, so it is quick and easy enough to open the back door, lock the drivers door from inside, lock and close the back door.
Definitely a contributing factor to the lock repair still being on the "to do" list.
Anyway, so I never use the key, only to unlock the door, now keep in mind, with the lock being faulty, it can be in the locked position but you can still open the door at will, as it does not engage.
So Capt. Idiot here, is sitting in the car, with the whole dashboard out, I mean, the entire dashboard, out of the car, poking and prodding the connections on the ignition switch with the multi meter and and jumping pins to get the starter spinning, to verify the ignition switch, when something tells me, just for sh1ts and giggles, just check the position of your drivers door lock...............................................
In the double lock position, insert key, unlock door, car fires up at first turn of the key. :wall: :wall:
CHECK THE BASIC STUFF FIRST.

All is not lost though, my dash suffers from the infamous BMW cracked dashboard syndrome, and recovering has also been on my "to do" list, now that the dash is out, it is happening now, I have 3 metres of imitation leather vinyl lying in the house and it is getting done this weekend.
However, I did find the chattering relay, it is the aircon relay that sits buried in the bowels on top of the heater box, I also want to pull and flush my heater radiator, as it does not get very warm,

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
I had no idea that locking the doors would disable the start circuit. I did not see that on the wire diagram.

Bob in Everett
Hi Bob, yes, by turning the drivers door key to the double lock position, it also immobilises the car, a built in immobiliser, if you will.
In fact the control unit, for it, (in my car anyhow) sits in the boot, right against the panel where the rear seat is, there is a second fuel tank behind a steel plate, and the control unit unit is hidden behind another smaller steel cover.
These sometimes pack up and you just need to bypass them as follows.
You don't have to remove the control box if u can get it unplugged.
Firstly, the 2 THICK green wires, splice them open and twist them together. and tape it up.
Then look for a very thin brown wire with a yellow stripe, splice that open, then find a earth wire, I think its a thin brown wire. splice that open. twist that together with the the brown/yellow wire. tape it up, start your car.
Don't plug the control module in again, it is now bypassed.
I did not even know my car had two fuel tanks until researching this little episode, I speak under correction, but as far as I know, this only applies to the plastic bumper models.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/30/2012 09:07PM by Flyboy.
Well, I spent about 30 minutes studying my Bentley manual and the wiring diagrams do not show any connection from the door lock switch to the start circuit for the 1990 cabrio. I guess I am good with that. The central locking system on mine has some kind of flaw on the drivers door as it will not release the double lock. I have to unlock the passenger door from the trunk. There is a complicating factor with an after market remote lock system that I do not have the key fob for. I do not know what was done to connect it to the locking computer to make it work. I have not had sufficient incentive to take apart the foot well panel to trace the wires. It could be the door lock switch is the problem but I have not taken that apart either.

Bob in Everett
yes, my central locking is also inop, but not just the drivers door, the whole shebang, I know there is the problem with the contact on the pc board of the central locking control unit, when the locks and motors get full of crud and gunk with time, the motors have to pull a lot of amps to lock the doors, this high current draw obviously causes heat and unsolders one or other contact on the controller board, the fix is a simple matter of resoldering it back on, and of course cleaning and lubing the locks to avoid a repeat performance.
I did pull my kick panel and checked mine, but alas that was not the problem, the whole board is burnt pretty badly, so hoping I can source a second hand one for a bit less than a kings ransom.

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
Just so happens I've been perusing the forums for answers with a similar starting problem, Except my problem started all of a sudden and not gradually which I think dirty fuel injectors would do. The day it happened was about 10C (50F) and the engine tempurature does not make the hard starting better of worse. Once it starts it purrs and runs like a tiger. While trying to trouble shoot this last weekend I turned the key to start, heard a "Uunnn" noise and the starter stopped turning over. I am assuming it is the solenoid/ bendix at this point. I have an 87 325i 5-speed with at least 250K miles (odometer broke @ 247K couple years ago), its all pretty much original so I have no room for complaints.

What am I getting at? I found wiring diagrams published by BMW and are year and model specific. Maybe this might you help a wee bit too.


cheers,

p.s. Once a piece of metal got lodged between the horn rings on the steering column somehow, which gave me a startling honk when I turned the ignition on. Wish your problem was as easy to fix as that was.
Can't explain why but the URL did not show up in my post
Here is the hotlink http://shark.armchair.mb.ca/~dave/BMW/e30/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/25/2013 12:16AM by onager.
Hi Onager, yes thanks, I have those diagrams, and they are invaluble, as you say.
The problem seemed to disapear of its own accord confused smiley I guess cars are female after all...... eye popping smiley

Although I have another problem, two weeks ago, they broke in and stole the AFM and airbox out of my car, I have since replaced it with a second hand unit that I got off another e30 club member here, but now the car won't idle and sporadically jerks, this is intermittant, although the no idle is always.

I have gone through everyhing wih a fine tooth comb, more than once, more than twice, all seems in order.
After looking around a bit, it looks like the AFM is an American spec one and not compatible with the ECU......dunno?????
Nothing left to try, so until I can find another one to confirm 100% I am not bothering with it any more, just frustrates the heck out of me.
This motor is fast cruising for a set of DCOE 40 Webers

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E30'S AREN'T BUILT, THEY'RE CAUGHT IN THE WILD!!!



When in doubt, use full throttle,
it may not improve the situation, but it will end the suspence.
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