When I turn the key, I can hear a humming - perhaps the fuel regulator - going, but the car does not start. it doesn't even attempt to turn over. After 3-4 attempts, it finally starts right up. I have had the starter and batteries checked out, and both are fine.
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Re: Car starting problem
I think your right that the humming is likely to be the fuel pump and
so thats OK and should happen without the key being turned to the Start
position. If the humming only happens when you turn the key to the
start position rather than just when you turn the key to the point
where the electrics come alive, then that would be a new symptom that
would be interesting to hear.
I understand how frustrating this can be. Just a couple of concerns
here. I think if your starter truely starts your car then there is not
likely anything wrong with the starter motor itself. However that
would not rule out a solenoid that is being problematic, and only
I have had bad batteries classified as good by shops that check batteries, so don't assume that the battery is not the problem.
If we assume the battery and the starter are good including the
solenoid then I would say you have to check all the connections on the
wiring - i.e. take the terminal connections off the battery and clean
then thouroughly - while the batter is disconnected take it out and
trace the cable links to the Chassis earth connection and the positive
connection down to the starter - take the cables off and clean the
connections to the car, body and to the starter motor. Also clean the
connection that goes to the Solenoid post on the Starter motor taht
comes from the ignition switch ( the smaller connection on the starter)
. Also check the earth strap between the engine block and the car body
that allows the starter circuit to be completed. It could be a poor
connection in any of these places is setting up a high resistance that
is creating a problem for the starter circuit if the starter motor is
physically not turning over.
Stick the battery back in - make sure all the connections are cleaned lightly greased and tightened and try to start it.
If it wont go - try getting a friend to help you put jumper leads
across your battery from their car and trying to start your car. Make
sure their car is running when you try to start your car. If it works
every time 1st time with the jumper leads then I would have to suggest the battery on your car is bad - despite what the test guys say.
If it still plays up with the jumper leads after cleaning all the cables i would point to the Soleniod on the starter motor and suggest that the solenoid is defective.
If you want to check the starter directly - its a bit dangerous so you have to be really careful and have a very good friend who is willing to let you try this with his car battery and that would be while you get under the raised up car which is firmly choked and in neutral, with the starter motor in place connect the negative to the earth strap connector on the engine block, and then while the friend stands ready with the disconnected Positive jump lead and holding the negative jump lead in place on his battery, you climb under the your raised up car with the positive jump lead and a screw drive and attach the positive jump lead directly to the positive terminal of your starter motor while bridging between the positive terminal and the solenoid terminal with something like a screw driver or another think wire. (you have to be really careful doing this cause there are so many things to accidentally touch with the positive cable and cause arching ) but once your all in place your friend can attach the other end fo the positive jump lead to his battery and that way you have taken out all the circuitry and are effectively testing your starter while in place on your car and while under load. As long as your jump leads are good and you are in good contact with the starter connections and the soleniod contacts, if the starter doesn't turn the engine over you have something up with the starter. As you have taken every thing else out of the loop - i.e. the wiring and your battery.
If the starter does turn the engine over this way it says the starter is good and there are problems with the wiring or your battery.
Sorry for the long reply but thats all I can think of to try and work out where the problem may be. Good luck.
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While I agree that the fuel pump would be the most likely suspect for this car failing to restart, if it is the fuel pump, however, the fact that it started after tapping hard on the throttle would be pure coincidence.
I believe that all e46s have used drive-by-wire throttles. That is - there is no throttle cable between the gas pedal and the throttle. The gas pedal generates an electronic signal that tells the computer where your foot is, and the computer opens the throttle. You say that the car experienced a sudden stop. Did the engine get shut off while the throttle was open? If so, perhaps flooring the throttle caused the electronically controlled throttle to cycle and reset itself (just a theory).
Listen for the hum of the fuel pump when you turn the key to the On position, before you turn the key to the crank position. The hum should last only a second or so. The pump shuts off after the system is pressurized. If you don't hear that hum when the car fails to start (if this happens again), then you have a fuel pump problem.
Possibly a weak or dead fuel pump. Try disconnecting the fuel line where it enters the fuel rail ( the metal tube that the injectors are attached to.) Have someone turn the key to the "RUN" position, (not "START") a few times and observe the fuel flow. If it appears weak, then you probably have a bad pump. Be sure to capture the fuel that spills out and DO NOT attempt this while the engine is hot. Altenatetively, you can have someone turn the key "ON" and off a few times while you listen for the humming sound of the pump at the fuel tank. But just because you can hear a humming sound doesn't always mean the pump is operating to capacity. If this doesn't help, reply bvack and we can go from there. Good luck!
First turn the car to the run position, (not cranking but the position where the key would rest after start) go back to the gas tank and listen for a constant "hum" or electrical motor sound, if you dont have that your fuel pump is dead.
If you hear the fuel pump constant sound then the problem is up stream, this could be a clogged fuel filter, fuel regulator problem or even clogged injectors.
If I had to guess it would be the fuel pump as the other things would or could still have the car somewhat running.
with key in ON position can you hear the fuel pump humming uder the middle of car? the pump should hum for about 10 to 15 seconds,then go off and come back on when the key is turned off and then key turned back on.could possibly be a bad fuel filter, or a fuel pump going bad, it's definitly a fuel issue because it starts. try replacing the most inexpensive thing 1st. the fuel filter and then the fuel pump. hope this helps!!!
get into car with windows up close doors so its quiet put key into ignition turn key to on position do not try and start it. when you turn the to on position listen you should hear a hum noise from the fuel tank that will be your fuel pump working the hum will only last about 2 to 5 seconds if you dont hear a hum could mean fuel pumps noy working.
Very good possibility that the Fuel Pump has gone out.
Find the Fuel Port on the Fuel Rail going to the Fuel Injectors. Remove the cap. Pack plenty of rags or paper towels around that area. Wear goggles to protect your eyes from Gas Spray! Using another wadded rag or paper towel partially covering this port and a small screw driver - depress the stem inside this port. Have a partner turn the Key over attempting to start the vehicle. A strong stream of gas should come out.
If no gas is coming out: check the Fuel Pump Relay/Fuses. Use a Voltmeter to check for voltage at these locations. The reading should be 11+ to 12 -volts.
If there is Voltage: Again with a partner behind the wheel, remove the gas cap. Place your ear up very close to the Gas Filler Tube (where you put gas in). Have your partner turn the key over to the On (not Start) Position which is the position just before Start. You should faintly hear the Fuel Pump humming. Have your partner turn the Key to the Start Position, again you should hear a very faint humming (over the car cranking).
If there is not indication of humming: Jack-Up and properly support the rear of the vehicle with jack stands. Once again with a partner behind the wheel: go under the vehicle and place your ear up close or on the gas tank. Have your partner turn the Key to the On Position. You should hear the humming.
If not, have your partner turn the Key to the Start Position. There should be humming.
If no humming there is a great chance your fuel pump has gone out.
Based on your year (1994) this is highly probable.
HOWEVER: If there is humming, change out your Fuel Filter and recheck for fuel at the fuel rail.
Let me know if this helped or if you have additional information or questions. Feel free to contact me at Fix Ya.com!
Sounds like a fuel problem, turn the key on and listen for the fuel pump to run, you should hear a humming noise for a few seconds then it should stop. The pressure regulator could be weak/check valve or injectors may be leaking by and causing fuel pressure to bleed down. Any other drivability issues/problems.
If the car fired after pouring gas into the engine, then you should check your fuel pump, listen when you turn on the key, if you hear the fuel pump start and stop, then check your fuel pressure, all fuel injected vehicles have fuel pressure regulators, if your fuel pump isnt pushing enough pressure to the regulator the car will not start, and if it does start it wont operate properly, and may even leave you stranded.. If your fuel pressure is low, check the fuel filter, dirty filters restrict pressure, and are ALOT cheeper to replace than a fuel pump!