The car sat for a couple of months now there is no power getting to the car?

Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
  • 1997 BMW 318I
  • 1.8L
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • MANUAL
  • 156,550 MILES
Car listed above is 318i E36. When I used to connect the battery on my car the central door locks would make clicking/resetting sound telling me that my battery was connected!Everything working fine up to then. So I recently decided to lay my car up for a few months by disconnecting the battery etc. When I came back to the car a few months later and reconnect the battery I didn't hear the normal clicking/reset sounds telling me that the battery had been connected nothing. Is this a faulty Engine Control Module relay/fuse causing the central door relay switches not to work? PS. Even though I have replaced the battery with a new new one, there is no power getting to car?
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Sunday, June 13th, 2021 AT 3:41 AM

21 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Does your vehicle have the battery in the trunk? If so, check if there is power at the jump start terminal under the hood (see pic 1). Also, make sure the ground from the battery has a good ground.

Here is a link you may find helpful:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-wiring

Let me know if anything electrical is working.

Take care,

Joe
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Sunday, June 13th, 2021 AT 8:57 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your reply. In answer to your query no the battery in fitted in front engine compartment passenger side next to the fuse box/ Battery as it's a right hand drive saloon BMW.
I've studied the image you sent me "B+Jump starter Junction Box" but so far I am unable to find it? Am not sure if there is one. I've checked the Black ground wire and it looks okay? I took the battery out so I don't know if anything electrical is working. So you think it's a grounding problem?
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 9:13 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

If the battery is under the hood, there won't be a B+ jump location. That is provided if the battery is in the trunk. As far as a ground issue, if it is not ground, nothing will work. That's why I asked.

I need to know if anything electrical is functional. If you look at the pics below, it shows the power distribution schematics for this vehicle. In the first, pic, I highlighted the battery under the hood. You'll see why I was confused. LOL. Also, let me know if it is a convertible. Also, the X in pic 1 indicates a different vehicle.

Let me know.

Joe
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Monday, June 14th, 2021 AT 8:15 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

In answer to your reply/query "You need to know know if anything electrical is functional". The answer would be "nothing". There is no power getting from the battery to the car. I've checked the black ground wire and everything looks good. Also answer to question X in picture 1 indicates a different vehicle IE. Convertible, the answer is "no" my car is a 4 door saloon!

PS.I am not very good with electrical diagrams so I couldn't say which is which.
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Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 AT 6:13 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
If nothing is working, there has to be an open between the battery and the power distribution box (fuse box). Do me a favor. Check a couple of the fuses under the hood to see if there is power there. Basically, remove a fuse and use a test light to see if there is power.

I attached a pic of the fuse box below.

Here is a link that explains how to do it:

https://www.2carpros.com/articles/how-to-check-a-car-fuse

Let me know.

Joe

See pic.
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Tuesday, June 15th, 2021 AT 9:03 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

In answer to your reply/query "Check a couple of the fuses under the hood to see if there is power there",
basically I can only do a visual inspection as I haven't got a test light handy.
I see from your attached picture that you have highlighted fuses 1 - 20 and 21 - 30. Is there any particular fuses I should be looking at? If I get your drift correctly to do a power test I would need to have connected the battery up and then test them with the test light? For the moment I'll do a visual inspection and let you know if I find any blown fuse.
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Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 AT 9:23 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

You are correct. Connect the battery. Then using a test light, check to see if there is power. I'm trying to determine if the box itself is bad and if power is even getting to it.

Let me know.

Take care,

Joe
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Wednesday, June 16th, 2021 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

I'm back. I've checked the fuse box and fuses and they all seem to be fine, no blown fuses. I am a bit puzzled though because there's no fuse number 2 connector in my box, so fuses 1 - 6 no connectors no fuses is that normal for my make/model of car?I'll have to get a battery test on-line but it be a few days.
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Friday, June 18th, 2021 AT 2:01 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That could be very normal. Some vehicles came with different options, so those fuses may have been set aside for them.

Was there power to the other fuses?

Let me know.

Joe
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Friday, June 18th, 2021 AT 6:22 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Jacobandnickolas,

I'm back I've checked the fuse box and fuses and the
following fuses where tested using my battery tester light.

*Fuses 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18 Tested Dead
*Fuses 20, 14, 19, Tested OK
*Fuses 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 Tested Dead
*Fuses 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 tested OK
*Fuses 42, 43, 44, 45, 46 Tested Dead

All the dead fuses where not blown fuses!I hope this helps.
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Monday, June 21st, 2021 AT 3:36 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Since you have power to some of the fuses and not others, I have a feeling something got into the connections under the fuse box. That is a theory at this time, but in my mind, that's the direction we need to check.

If you look below, I attached two pics. The red wire from the battery runs to the front power distribution box under the hood. I have arrows showing where it goes to location C on page 1, and then where location C connects into the box. Note the fuses that are powered from that point. Also, the ignition switch is also powered from it. There is an open in that red wire at some point.

Disconnect the battery, remove the fuse box and inspect the underside where that red wire connects.

Let me know what you find.

Joe
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Monday, June 21st, 2021 AT 6:13 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi, Jacob & Nickolas

In answer to your reply/query "Disconnect the battery, remove the fuse box and inspect the Underside where the positive red wire connects to it ", I see that you have a theory that you think something got into the connections under the fuse box and that's the direction we need to check. You also say that all the cars fuses are powered from that point. Also the ignition switch is also powered from it. You think there is an open in that red wire at some point.I 'm not to sure what you mean "Open", do you mean "Brake"in the wire that might be causing an open circuit?. So you want me to check the underside of the Fuse box and do a visual inspection? I'm okay with a visual inspection, but I am worried nervous about damaging something. If you can assure me everything would be okay I am happy to try. The only problem I have is"How do you remove the Fuse Box" what tools do you need etc.

Thanks
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 5:40 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

That is my theory. Also, an open circuit means there is something not closing it. You mentioned a break in the wire. Yes, that would be an open in the circuit.

As far as it being okay, just make sure the battery is disconnected first. However, I want you to check for power in the box at a different point. See pic below. Confirm that has 12v. Please understand, not being there makes it hard for me to guarantee anything.

Let me know what you find.

Joe

See pic below.
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Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your answer to my reply/query "disconnect the battery, remove the fuse box and inspect the underside where the positive red wire connects to it ", So you want me to check for power in the box at a different point. See pic below. Confirm that has 12v. I've looked at your picture(3) with the arrow pointing at the Red input wire which feeds power into the fuse box, yes there is such a red wire on my fuse box next to the relays. So do you want me to check this wire with my battery tester to confirm that it has 12v. Going to it. So I can reconnect the battery to do this test?

Yes, I understand, not being face to face makes it hard for you to guarantee anything. Thanks for your patience
I'm not an expert on car electrics, although I can do basic stuff like changing light bulbs, fuses, repairing wires, oil change, service the car etc.

Thanks
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Thursday, June 24th, 2021 AT 6:18 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Yes, I was interested in knowing if power is making it to that point.

Let me know.

Joe
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Thursday, June 24th, 2021 AT 8:04 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your answer to my reply/query. I'll get back to next week when I've done the test and let you know.

Thanks
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Saturday, June 26th, 2021 AT 2:29 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

You are very welcome. I look forward to hearing the results.

Take care,

Joe
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Saturday, June 26th, 2021 AT 7:21 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

In answer to your reply/query I've done the test with my battery tester and I can confirm that it has 12v. Going to it the wire looks good. I've also re-checked the fuses and gone over them with contact cleaner.I've also discovered 3 dead 5-pin ECM Modules relays R1, R2, R3, I tested them with my relay tester but they all failed the test. I had a feeling they had failed.I am keeping my fingers crossed.I'll have to order replacements.

Thanks
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 AT 3:15 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Hi,

Let me know if that takes care of the problem.

Take care,

Joe
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Tuesday, June 29th, 2021 AT 7:05 PM
Tiny
FORSH
  • MEMBER
Hi Joe,

I'm back. Great news my car bust back into life this morning after replacing the 3 dead 5-pin ECM Modules relays! When I reconnected the battery no clicking/resetting sound at first, so I opened up the boot and fiddled with the wiring which connects the central boot lock and all of a sudden all of the central door locks opened. I then tried the lock on the passenger door with my car key and it locked them down. So at least I can open/close the doors on the passenger side. I can't open the doors from the boot lock so it looks like some wires are corroded/bent touching some where? Everything else is working great; dash, lights, engine, everything! I think I'll get the auto electrician to have a quick look at it as I don't like messing with wires.I'd like to thank all the 2CarPros mechanics for all you support and help with my car's electrical problem.I wish you yo all the best and keep up the good work. Graham UK.
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Monday, August 2nd, 2021 AT 5:45 AM

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