BMW/ Mini Cooper, NO CRANK/ NO START:
Fault code: 2F44 EWS preventing manipulation.
This is a common fault code flagged by BMW & MINI vehicles when the EWS (also known as the CAS module or immobilizer) no longer communicates with the DME.
Some of the most common causes, for this condition, is battery failure or ignition key failure.
Many times, a customer will bring a BMW into the shop or have it towed into the shop, and explain that “the car just won’t start, suddenly”. Upon further investigation, it is common for a technician to find poor battery condition or a failed ignition key.
In the case of poor (low) battery condition. A low voltage level has caused the immobilizer (CAS/ EWS) to lose its alignment with the DME.
In the case of a failed key, the immobilizer (CAS/EWS) cannot “see” the key in the ignition and therefore will not allow the vehicle to start. This is the “no crank” part of this fault.
So where do we start?
Using a factory level scanner, connect to the vehicle. After identifying the vehicle, proceed to the immobilizer module (CAS/EWS) and investigate if the key can be identified. If the key in the ignition slot cannot be identified and the key slot/ receiver is functioning correctly, then the key must be replaced. Typically, at this point, the first thing we want to do is ask the customer if another valid key is available. If so, let’s try this first! If not available, a NEW key FROM THE DEALER, must be purchased.
NOTE: Aftermarket keys will not work i.e. E bay etc. The keys for these cars are VIN specific and need to be supplied by the dealer only!
A new key will work “right out of the box” from a dealer. Simply put it in the ignition, allow the vehicle to identify it (give it about ten seconds) and try a startup.
After replacing the key and regaining key identification the immobilizer (CAS/EWS) must be aligned with the DME.
Using a factory level scanner, perform the DME to CAS/EWS immobilizer alignment procedure. Clear fault code(s).
So, what about the battery?
All the above information is based on having strong battery voltage. In regards to BMW vehicles, 11.0 volts is NOT good voltage. These vehicles are designed to operate in the 12.4 to 13.0 (average) voltage area.
Before attempting to start the engine, a technician should perform a battery load test. When working with BMW vehicles, if the battery is marginal or too old (more than three years old) replace it.
NOTE: New batteries for later model BMWs (CIP vehicles from approx. 2004) will need to be registered. With a dealer level scanner, a tech can perform this function.
Note: As time passes BMW will change the way immobilizers are aligned. Typically, this happens when BMW changes manufacturers. If performing a standard CAS /DME alignment does not work, A later procedure is available. With late model (EWS 3 type onward) immobilizers, the tech must perform a three-step procedure. Using a dealer level scanner, carry out 1) CAS reset, 2)steering lock counter reset 3) reset the starter interlock.