Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Intermittent Starting Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    253
    My Cars
    2004 325xiT

    Intermittent Starting Issues

    What up! I'm back in another Bimmer wagon and of course the same issues are popping up . However, this is a new one for me.

    2004 325xi Wagon, 118k miles, M/T

    I *think* it's the keys / security (OEM) system, and hard to diagnose that, but posting to see if anyone has had a similar issue.

    Car came with 4 keys. 2 regular key fobs to start the car and two valet looking keys to open the doors. Key fobs don't unlock or lock the car, it all has to be done manually. Doesn't bother me, but this is basically why I think something's up.


    Battery is brand new and charge is good. Starter has no issue kicking over, there's no clicking, no long drawn out starting, no funny noises... I don't think there's anything wrong with it. Fuel pump kicks on and you can hear the system pressurize. Worst part, it's completely unpredictable at this point.

    I tried both sets of keys thinking maybe one needed to be charged... neither worked when the car didn't want to start, both work when the car would start. I left the keys in for a while before trying to start, that didn't make a difference.


    This all started last week when the car wouldn't do anything the first time you tried to start it. No noises, clicking or lights dimming. Nothing happened at all. But, upon second try, it started right up. A few days of this and then I was stranded at work for 20 minutes trying to get the car to start. Again, no usual signs of a bad battery or starter or fuel pump. Absolutely nothing was going on when you turned the key. I was about to call a tow when I got inside the car to turn on the a/c (because it was over 100 degrees in AZ) and it started right up.

    Drove the car home, parked it in the garage, went out an hour later and same issue. Wouldn't start. Left it there from Thursday night to Monday night as we went out of town. Monday night I still couldn't get it started for 20 minutes or so, then it just kicked over no issue. I was pressing all the buttons on the key fob as I was turning it over because I was getting frustrated and just started trying to fix it like a monkey. I have no clue if that did anything, but the car started and has started cleanly for the last 3 days with no issues.




    Other than a ghost screwing with me right now, I'm at a loss. I've replaced batteries and starters on basically all of my cars in the past, but have never had issues like this. I'm thinking it's either the security system or a relay, but if it's working perfectly right now, hard to test it. Hoping someone else has had this weird, random issue. I'm nervous every time I drive the car now, not Starting Roulette is not a fun game to play on your daily driver.
    1997 528i: My intro to Bimmers
    '99 ///M3: I.LOVE.THIS.CAR. - SOLD ... why did I do that?
    2002 325xi Wagon - SOLD
    2004 325xi Wagon - New Wagon, Same Old Issues

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    west chicago il
    Posts
    153
    My Cars
    01 E46 330i 5sp man spor
    Are you familiar with the ews module? It's under the driver side of the dash. It contains the starter relay. The relays fail and can cause your symptoms. It has two larger wires and some small ones. The large wires are for the starter solenoid control. One is power from ignition switch (start position) and the other goes to the starter. Both should have power when the key is in the start position. Must be tested by back probing the terminals with the module connected. If both wires have power it's probably the starter. If only one has power then the ews is the issue. Most common ews failure is the internal starter relay. If you back probe the two larger wires with a jumper to connect them and the car starts then the relay is bad. If it cranks but not start then the issue is with the key communication to the ews. Hope this helps.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    SKOKIE,ILL
    Posts
    2,158
    My Cars
    EXOTICS
    A diagnostic scan with a BMW specific scan tool/software may have indicated an error code,
    and pointed to the faulty circuit/component. Prevents a lot of guessing and wasted time.
    "Choosing the correct shop is as important as the correct diagnosis

    Former owner of a Red RL411 wannabe owner of pictured vehicle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    west chicago il
    Posts
    153
    My Cars
    01 E46 330i 5sp man spor
    Checking for codes is a good idea also but a bad starter or ews relay won't set any codes. Key/antenna ring problems will cause fault codes in the ews.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    253
    My Cars
    2004 325xiT
    Thanks! I will look into this. The problem started happening again and this time I pressed the center button on the key and it started right up. No clue if that did anything, but it's started up fine since.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    253
    My Cars
    2004 325xiT
    Update:

    Could not diagnose it so I gave in and took it to the pros. They tested everything I did, then finally got to the ignition switch.

    To figure it out they tested the voltage at the relay and it wasn't getting power, although the relay worked fine. They then traced it back to the ignition switch and power was getting to it, but not out of it. Replaced it with another switch and no issies since (for them). I pick the car up Monday, Ill update if the problem comes back.

    Also, I may not have explained that right, but thats what I remember them telling me on the phone after driving for 7 hours straight.

    And, it was $372 out the door for those wondering.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Metairie, LA
    Posts
    583
    My Cars
    2001 325i; 2006 325i
    Dang, as I was reading the thread, I was thinking ignition switch, if the relay was ok. Anyway, honestly, I think $372 is a good price for getting to keep your hair.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    253
    My Cars
    2004 325xiT
    Yeah, $372 was worth not spending any more time on it. I'm currently finishing up renovations in our house to put it on the market by the end of this month and this was taking too much time. Also went out of town while they worked on it, so it was nice just to have my car working when I got back.

    But... my a/c just went out on my way home in 110+ heat today. Problem after problem with this car... I bought a lemon.
    1997 528i: My intro to Bimmers
    '99 ///M3: I.LOVE.THIS.CAR. - SOLD ... why did I do that?
    2002 325xi Wagon - SOLD
    2004 325xi Wagon - New Wagon, Same Old Issues

Similar Threads

  1. Intermittent starting "issue"
    By DocSean in forum Z3 (E36/7, E36/8)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 02-22-2010, 02:48 PM
  2. Intermittent starting issue..540 6spd
    By DADx2 in forum 1996 - 2003 (E39)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2009, 10:32 PM
  3. '95 525i Intermittent Starting Issue
    By blk84 in forum 1988 - 1996 (E34)
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 03-25-2009, 06:22 PM
  4. Intermittent Starting Issue
    By UNVMYM3 in forum 1992 - 1999 M3 (E36)
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 06-20-2008, 04:48 PM
  5. Intermittent starting issues.
    By iruleyou1 in forum Z3 (E36/7, E36/8)
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-15-2007, 03:37 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •