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E90 No Crank No Start
#1
Hi all

As the subject suggest I am having a no crank / no start issue with my 2005 e90 330i. 

This literally happened overnight. So last week one evening the car started without hesitation. I started the car twice within a short period of time and also only drove a short distance from home and back and used the xenon headlights during both short trips as it was dark already. 

The following day I got in the car and tried to start it, but to no avail. The dash and interior lights came on as usual, but the car would not start, not even crank or turn over. There was no engine light or error symbol on the dash. I did the check control and nothing came up. When trying to start the car there was only an audible click/tick sound. 

My first thought was the battery, especially given the previous evenings' driving style, thinking the load on the battery was heavy and the alternator didn't have sufficient time to recharge it. I tested the battery and it read 11.8/11.9V. 

So I charged the battery in the car through the terminals in the engine bay. Directly after charging it tested just over 13V at the engine bay terminals. This was quite late at night, so I left the car thinking it will be okay now. 

The following day i tested the voltage again prior to starting and it dropped a little bit to around the high 12's. Tried starting the car and it did the exact same. After a couple attempts i tested the voltage again and it was down to the 11's again. I left the car as is for about two days and tested the voltage again and it was still in the high 11's.

From here i took the battery out to have it tested. I also tested it out of the car and it read 12.2V. The battery is in fact a VW dealership issued Exide battery. I bought the car with this battery. The specs on it is 72Ah & 640CCA. From what I could research this battery is underpowered for my car. A replacement would be a 658 with about 90Ah & 720CCA. 

Nevertheless, I had the battery tested. State of charge was 52% @ 12.21V. State of health was 86% @ 556CCA. The shop's test result said the battery is good, but needs a recharge. 

So that's what I did. I charged the battery out of the vehicle and it's still in the garage in order for me me to monitor the discharge without anything drawing power. Directly after disconnecting the charger the battery read 13.05V. During the course of yesterday it gradually dropped through the 12.9's and my last reading last night was 12.88V. This morning it was 12.82V and still is at the time of posting of this. I'll continue to monitor for discharge. 

I am thinking 12.8V should be sufficient to start a car, but it didn't work the first time round and drained the battery down to 50% after a couple of attempts. Is this battery actually still good, but just too weak for my car? Or should this battery still be able to start my car? If so, it would indicate something else is wrong. 

Because the battery seems underpowered to start with and has now lost further CCA's, it's too weak for my car, but I would appreciate some other inputs/suggestions, as guessing what it could be could become expensive. 

Is there a known minimum required CCA for e90's?

I have checked the CAS relay and the two ignition fuses and they are all good.

Any thoughts on the situation?
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#2
Your battery sounds fine. My N52 130i has a 70A battery and starts no problem.

I’m willing to bet it’s the crank sensor that’s faulty. If you get the car scanned there will probably be all sorts of errors.

You can get a replacement crank sensor at Goldwagen as well, it’s just a real crap job to get to as it sits at the back of the motor under the intake manifold
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here
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#3
During your investigation, did you jump the car from the front terminals to see if it starts. Atleast this will tell you if it is the battery. The CCA is more important than the Ah rating. My e90 330i is having a 80Ah 670CCA battery and I had to replace it twice in 5 years. But my car has electric seats, sunroof, satnav, manual, FRM3, bluetooth so a lot of extras and it still cranked over. But try the jump thing first, that will indicate your are looking into the right direction before you start buying things. This car is expensive when starting to buying guessing things.

If it was my car, I would jump it. If it starts with the battery present I will take the battery out and get another one just to see if it do start the car. Your voltage of the battery can still read acceptable over 12v but the CCA might not be enough to start the car up. Did this to my E64 to determine the battery problem and sure it was although the battery still read fine.
Current: 2005 645ci convertible metallic

Ex's:
2005 - E90 330i manual
2001 - E46 330i auto
1994 - E36 316i modified

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#4
Thanks for the speedy responses @gavsadler and @Lizzard.

@Lizzard I thought I did a proper write up, but I didn't mention that I did in fact try to jump start the car as well. I now see how vital/important a little detail can be in diagnosing an issue. So yes I did attempt to jump start the car and it made no difference at all. The vehicle I jumped from was a Hyundai Getz. Not really a big battery in the Getz, but I suppose it should have made a difference if the problem was with the e90's battery? A friend of mine will come past tomorrow with a diesel truck battery just to attempt a jump once more with a stronger battery.

@gavsadler Lizzard's reply got me thinking. I've had a slighty discharged battery before. The engine had to turn over 2 or 3 times, but it started. This time there's absolutely no cranking and it's after the car started perfectly fine the previous evening. I'm guessing if it was the battery it wouldn't go out on me so quickly - there should at least be an attempt to swing the engine over (whether it would start or not is another story). So your diagnosis is starting to make much more sense.
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#5
I wouldn’t recommend a truck battery to jump start. As far as I know those are 24v so there is big risk of blowing something up.

Any fresh battery (small or large) should be enough to at least crank the car a little bit, so the Getz test should be fine.
2011 E90 M3 M-DCT, Akrapovic Exhaust, more to come... Build thread here
2011 F25 X3 35i M-Sport, JB Stage 1, ex-Downpipe Build thread here
2007 E87 130i M-Sport: Alpine Upgrade, BMWP Intake, BMWP Exhaust Build thread here
2007 Corsa C Ute 2l 16v Tebbo Bluebiggrin : Build thread here
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#6
@gavsadler I think you are right, attempting a jump start with a diesel battery is going to pointless.

Are there any forum members from the West Rand area with software or a scan tool who would be willing to assist me?

I'd really appreciate it.
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#7
@Danny@DSCmotorsport may be able to assist you.
Current:
11' BMW 320d Exclusive (A) - Space Grey Metallic
03' BMW 330i Sport (M) - Alpine White III

Exes:
10' BMW 335i Motorsport (A) - Alpine White III
04' BMW 330i Motorsport (M) - Titanium Silver Metallic
02' Audi A4 1.9TDI (M) - Crystal Blue Metallic

[Image: smallimage%202019-08-17%20at%2008.56.09%20-%20copy...72615.jpeg][Image: dsc_2696_9297329336_5231673726.jpg]


The following 1 user Likes KPM_330's post:
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#8
I based on the east rand, but you welcome to contact me and will try and assist where possible.

PM me
The following 1 user Likes Danny@DSCmotorsport's post:
  • Lizzard
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