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Need to discuss a problem with my BMW
Hello and welcome to ExpertHelp.com! My name is Relly De Jesus and I'm going to do everything in my power to answer your question to your full satisfaction!
Before we get started, I want to remind you ExpertHelp.com is an independent professional support company. We are not associated with BMW nor are we paid to provide support on their behalf. However, we have helped hundreds of customers with similar questions and believe we can help you too. OK, let’s get started! :)
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Hope you are well. What may I help you with your vehicle? May I know the year and model of your BMW? I'll be standing by for your response.
Nice to meet you. I recently purchased a non-running 2004 320i. I purchased it from a teenager that had fun with it and then abandoned it. I want to restore the vehicle but the first issue is understand why the ECM and immoblizer will not functioning. The key will not unlock/lock the doors or allow access to the power trunk. That is why the battery is dead. I check every fuse and relay, other than anything in the trunk and they are all good. I discovered the fuel pump is not activating but the relay is fine. This is a secondary problem. My initial concern is figuring out why the Immobilizer will not work. I am in the same GMT-5 timezone (New York/Toronto time).
I can be available later today if that helps. If you email me we can select a good time to chat.
Good to hear back from you Chris and please to meet you too. Many immobilizer problems can be fixed simply by replacing the battery in the key fob. Many transponder keys depend on a small battery to relay the security code to the car immobilizer. Be careful replacing the battery so you don't accidentally damage the transponder chip inside. Hope that replacing the battery on the key fob resolves the issue Chris. If not then the electrical wirings must be checked physically.
I do not believe the Fobs are the issue from a power perspecitive. A few weeks ago I opened them both up and tested the rechargeable battery in both of them. The are both just under 3V. It could be that the keys no longer work with the immobilizer but I know for sure the Fobs are not being accepted by the car for any functions.
I have ordered a new replacement battery to solder in but highly doubt it is a battery power issue.
Last week I scanned it with my Carly OBD2 scanner and the two critical codes were
1. LLFS open coil electronically (immobilizer)
2. Fuel pump relay
I tested the fuel pump relay and it is good. I understand the immobilizer interrupts current to the fuel pump relay if it is not operating. I beleive I need to address the immoblizer but do not know how to proceed.
Please let me know when you can provide more assistance. Thanks
Lets go for the battery on the keyfob first then lets see it from there. If they wont communicate it will not start. It may need a reset/reprogramming of the immobilizer. Lets hope for the best Chris. Let me know how it turns out. Have a good one.
Ok I will receive a new battery probably this week and will solder it in. I am skeptical this will work but will try. When I rule this out , how do I go about resetting the immobilizer?
You may want to try this procedure Chris
Let me know if this works. Thank you
When I attempt this tomorrow will a jump pack be enough power or do I need to hook up another battery to energize the system?
Just put in the stock battery of the car but be sure that it is fully charge. If you have a good working battery then you may use that just to be sure since the one in the car is old right?
I will hook up a battery from another car to the engine bay of the 320 and then try your procedure with one key. If that fails I will try the other key. Thanks Relly!
Since the FOBs currently do not work I cannot access the trunk. Once I do I am going to replace the battery and register it.
Hi Relly--please give me the opportunity to test your fob advice tomorrow and then I will go through with the payment process.
If we have to reset the immobilizer will that advice still be considered part of this question?
Yes Chris... no problem with that. Please let me know of the result
Thanks Relly--have a good night :)
You are most welcome... you too
Hi Relly tired your reprogramming on both keys and it failed. I am going to leave one of the keys in the ignition in the on position to see maybe if it needs to be recharged more. Otherwise, what is the next step?
Good to hear back from you. Is there a nearest dealer or auto shop near you that can reprogram the immobilizer? They have a software that can relearn the immobilizer and key fob by synchronizing the frequency. The procedure I gave you is the basic soft reset but if it still doesnt work I strongly suggest that yoi take it in for a reprogramming.
Hi Relly, I do have a BMW dealership in my town. If I bring the immobilzer there and they reprogram it and the keys, will I have an issue with the ECM?
The other option is to buy a used immobilizer and key on ebay. I see some for sale for less that $100
If you will ask me I'll go to the dealer just to be sure although it may cost you. There are clients who bought the used immobilizer and key that ends up on the dealer as well. Bimmers are really tricky when it comes to security and electrical components
Ok I will call the BMW dealership this week and inquire about cost. Any thought on a price range a dealer would charge?
Mostly it will cost $200 - $300 Chris
So in Canada about $250-$400. Will the ECM need to have anything done to it? That is assuming the ECM is ok.
Do you work at Budd's BMW in Hamilton, Ontario?
Yes the ECM may take part as well. If the ECN is faulty its like the brain of the vehicle thats not communicating with the sensors thats why it wont run as well.
No I dont work at Budd's BMW. Hope you get back this bimmer back in its normal operating state. Have a good one!
I am going to call Budds and see what they say.
I talked to BMW and they said reprogramming is not possbile
Do I find a used one with the keys to install?
And if I get a new immobilizer to I find a package that included the ECM?
I strongly suggest that you get the immobilizer with the ECM on the same vehicle Chris
On eBay there are several vendors selling the entire kit (ECM, Immobilizer and key) Go for that? I noticed that some of the keys look different that mine. Do I also need the ignition cylinder or will slightly different keys fit?
Here's my thought about the package in ebay. You may still use your old key on the cylinder. The new ECM and immobilizer will do the job. But if the package comes with the cylinder then you may use the key included in the package
I found an ECM, immoblizer with key on eBay. Negotiated a fair price. The key blade look the same as mine. Asked if he still has the ignition lock cylinder. If not I will install the ECM and immobilizer and see if his key fits. If not I need to try and program my key to work with the new immobilizer. Will that key programming process you supply a few days ago work in this situation?
Yes that's the standard soft reprogramming procedure Chris. Let's just hope that the key fits
Ok thanks Relly. Will let you know in a few weeks what happens.
You are most welcome Chris. Have a good one!
Hi Relly, got the new ECM, immobilizer and key and installed them. Hooked up a jump pack and then another battery. Nothing seems to work. The buttons on the new key do not work and when I put it in the lock cylinder it will slide in but not turn. At a loss what to do next. Please help.
Good to hear back from you. If it still doesn't work then I am suspecting a faulty BCM (body control module). It is a comprehensive system that communicates and integrates the work of all electronic modules through the vehicle bus. Strictly speaking, body control module function is to control load drivers and coordinates activation of auto electronics units. This can be one of the reason that's why the car's electronic system is failing. Is there a yard near you where you can pick one and test it?
Hi Relly, should I just go online an find one to purchase?
Im suggesting the yard for if it fails you can somehow return it Chris. If it still fails with the BCM i have nothing else to suspect but a faulty wiring
Well I am committed to getting this car started so I will find a BCM to install. Wish I had the sophisticated diagnostics that BMW dealerships have.
Yes we all do Chris. Just want you to get this car back to it's normal operating state
OK thanks Relly--will source a BCM. Does that work independently of the ECM/immobilizer? What I mean will there be any programming or security problems with installing a different BCM?
The seller of the ECM and immobilizer just responded and said to try and program them. Not sure what he means.
It's the same thing that I suggested but reprogramming is not working for the BCM may not be operational that's why some of the electronic functions in the car is not working Chris
So my next move is a new BCM. Will I have an compatiblity issues?
Just get the same one on your car and you'll be good
You are most welcome Chris.
the seller of the ECM said it is standard procedure to have a dealership reprogram them. I am not sure I believe him.
This is one of the reason why we want to have a diagnostic tool like the one on the dealership. But you already inquired at the dealership right?
The dealership told me that the immobilizer cannot be reprogrammed. I did not as about the ECM. Honestly will I be able to solve this problem(s) on my own?
I see... I was thinking that you asked about the ECM reprogramming. This must be done first Chris. If there's a garage near you that has a diagnostic tool that can work with BMW I strongly suggest that you take it there
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