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Thread: 2008 x3 3.0si won't crank

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Chagrin Falls, Ohio
    My Cars
    1999 BMW 328i

    2008 x3 3.0si won't crank

    Hey guys and gals, I'm a daily reader of the E46 forums but I'm working on a friends x3 because she can't afford to take it to a shop right now. What I know is that the engine started to stutter when coming to red lights and was hesitating to accelerate. One day she went to work, went to leave and the car wouldn't start. Unfortunately that's about all I know. She certainly doesn't maintain the car very well, I've never seen so many leaves and pine needles in a cabin filter housing and there is oil everywhere. Anyway, I heard about the problem and decided to try and help. The battery is showing fully charged, the dash lights, radio and fans work, SES light is on, turn the key and most of the lights go out while the engine doesn't crank at all. Also notable, the light next to P near the shifter is always on no matter how long it sits without the key in. I checked and cleaned some of the ground cables that I noticed had some corrosion. I scanned the codes with a code-only reader, p1017 was the only hit. Valvetronic eccentric shaft sensor. The valve cover gasket was leaking almost all the way around, and the cylinders where the spark plugs sit had oil in them. Cylinder 6 had at least an inch of oil, the rest had a small amount. I scanned the codes again and read p1017 and p0303(misfire cylinder 3). I checked forums and most threads I read said that if the eccentric shaft sensor gets oil into the connection, then it will likely need replaced. Well it did have oil in it, and there was definitely oil leaking from the sensor's gasket too. So I replaced the eccentric shaft sensor, its gasket, valve cover gasket and spark plug gaskets (not sure what they're called). The valve and spark plug gaskets were almost like a hard plastic when I took them out. Got everything back together and did the key on then off then on thing for the computer to relearn the changes, STILL no crank. I cleared the codes, nothing has come back. On further review, I noticed the front bumper was sort of out of place on one side. I didn't see any signs of the emergency battery disconnect being triggered, but the little gray hose is just sitting there disconnected. The battery doesn't have a port for the gray hose though. Also one tire is flat.

    Should I be looking at the starter? If there was in fact a misfire, would that keep the engine from cranking? I have an E46 so I'm not sure what kind of safety features these space ships have to protect the engine. What else could keep it from cranking at all?

    Sorry for rambling, just trying to share as much info as I can. Thank you for any help you can provide.
    Reminder: Worse things have happened to better people.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Middle TN
    My Cars
    Too many/Not enough
    It's worth a try to give the starter a whack with a wrench or something. You may have to come in from underneath. A breaker bar works nicely. If it starts afterward, you'll need to look for a new starter.
    Current Garage:
    91 e34 M5 - spoiled & demanding 27 y/o -glanzshwarz
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    06 325i - undeserving, spoiled & demanding 27 y/o daughter's DD-hellrot
    03 MINI Cooper S JCW -spoiled & demanding, yet deserving wife's DD - Chili/Panther
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    e31 & OHC BMW CCA #385540

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    My Cars
    2000 m roadster 2010 x3
    Could it be the EWS system. Has the key been messed with and lost its transponder

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Tampa, FL
    My Cars
    '06 BMW X3
    If the ground straps showed corrosion, I would replace them. Note there are TWO usually. One up front near a motor mount, and one at the rear off of the exhaust pipes.

    No need to get BMW brand and I think a 8-9" & an 18" will do. Some people even double them up or add others.

    Go here and search.

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