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-   -   Get spark to the relay - won't start (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=543620)

herbstyle 05-23-2011 08:05 PM

Get spark to the relay - won't start
 
Hi all... Been lurking on this website since I bought my 2003 325i Wagon about a month ago.
Love the car till now...
Seen some similar posts, so forgive if this is a repeat. Car was running great, 56,000 miles, went to start it the other day and all the dash lights and everything lit up as normal, but when I tried to start it, not a sound... didn't start. Starter didn't crank at all. Just a faint click at the relay.
Won't jump start, took out the battery and had it tested at Napa and it tested fine. 12.5 volts, 879 cold cranking amps on a 900 amp battery. When I try to start it, I can hear a faint click at the relay. Tried both keys. Checked the immobilizer fuse and starter interlock fuse, both fine.
I'm thinking it might be the starter motor... but it only has 56,000 miles... I had the starter on my 95 Audi A6 replaced 4 months ago at 150,000...
Just wondering if there is anything else I should check before either trying this myself or getting towed to the BMW specialist.
Thanks in advance...
and Aloha from Hawaii.

smolck 05-23-2011 09:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by herbstyle (Post 6085659)
Hi all... Been lurking on this website since I bought my 2003 325i Wagon about a month ago.
Love the car till now...
Seen some similar posts, so forgive if this is a repeat. Car was running great, 56,000 miles, went to start it the other day and all the dash lights and everything lit up as normal, but when I tried to start it, not a sound... didn't start. Starter didn't crank at all. Just a faint click at the relay.
Won't jump start, took out the battery and had it tested at Napa and it tested fine. 12.5 volts, 879 cold cranking amps on a 900 amp battery. When I try to start it, I can hear a faint click at the relay. Tried both keys. Checked the immobilizer fuse and starter interlock fuse, both fine.
I'm thinking it might be the starter motor... but it only has 56,000 miles... I had the starter on my 95 Audi A6 replaced 4 months ago at 150,000...
Just wondering if there is anything else I should check before either trying this myself or getting towed to the BMW specialist.
Thanks in advance...
and Aloha from Hawaii.


Certainly out of character for a BMW starter to crap out like that at that mileage. I have seen them go much, much farther. Mine has 240k miles on it.

It sounds like the starter relay is toast. Did you check your fuse panel for blown fuses? Sometimes the simple stuff makes all the difference.

herbstyle 05-23-2011 10:17 PM

EDIT:
OK... what my airplane mechanic friend and I thought was the starter relay box, wasn't. we did a google search and the finding was that BMW does not have a starter relay but the wire goes directly into the ECU. I don't know if this is correct as I do not have the service manual. But we could not diagnose the starter or relay. Did check the ECU fuses all 3 of them and they all checked out fine...

herbstyle 06-02-2011 06:47 AM

Update for anyone interested...
Towed car to BMW specialist. Starter motor was bad... starter motor replaced. $550 which I think a reasonable price. I asked the owner, mechanic what might have caused a starter motor to fry with such low mileage. He said maybe age, certainly not miles... Said he took out a Valeo starter out of my car that was bad and replaced it with a Bosch. Anyone know if that Valeo is stock to E46? What kind of reputation for that brand?
Just a note... shop owner is a good friend of a good friend of mine and has nothing but 5 stars on yelp...

tyler3567 06-02-2011 07:57 AM

I find this interesting that this probably the sixth time since I joined that I have looked at the no start issue and others always seem to steer them away from the starter, yet every time, including with mine it was the starter...I realize you have to test the systems that control the power for the starter, but these vehicles are at an age now where starters are going to start going bad....


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