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-   -   2007 X3 3.0si makes a "whirring" sound instead of starting (

rletson 11-11-2012 04:26 PM

2007 X3 3.0si makes a "whirring" sound instead of starting
I stopped for coffee in my 2007 X3 on the way home, but when I tried to start it again, my 2007 X3 would only make a loud whirring sound. All the electronics worked, the a/c started blowing, but the engine didn't turn over- just made the sound. The battery and oil indicator lamps came on, so I followed the instructions in the owner's manual and tried jumping it off with my wife's car. I tried letting her car charge the X3's battery for about 10 minutes, but I still got the same loud whirring sound. I didn't see any E83 forum threads on similar issues, so I thought I'd start a new one.

Any thoughts on this? Could it be an alternator? I wouldn't think oil issues would prevent the car from starting.


bmwbob89 11-11-2012 05:58 PM

If it is making an electric motor whirring sound you are going to need a starter. The solenoid or the Bendix is bad. You can try tapping with a piece of wood while somebody else cranks it and see if it will crank. But most likely the starter needs replaced.

rletson 11-11-2012 06:03 PM

Okay, I was afraid it might not be the battery.

I'm going to run down and try tapping with a piece of wood while my wife tries to start it... but what should I tap?

Thanks for your help.

jdauria 11-11-2012 06:22 PM

sounds like starter but providing the codes would help

Supercourse 11-11-2012 07:39 PM


Originally Posted by rletson (Post 7189170)

I'm going to run down and try tapping with a piece of wood while my wife tries to start it... but what should I tap?

The starter motor in the X3 is not as accessible for this trick/test as in many other vehicles.

If you crawl underneath I don't know if you can even see the starter motor amid the front diff. and other things in your way.

And it's more of a thump with a piece of 2x4 I thought.

UncleJ 11-12-2012 07:50 AM

You will need a flatbed transporter -- do not let them tow it -- to the dealer or your trusted BMW specific indy wrench. Probably just a broken bendix spring (the thingy that engages and disengages your starter motor drive from/to the teeth on the rim of the flywheel) but the starter still has to be removed and so the labor is the same, but the part will be less than a rebuilt starter motor. However, the BMW starter motors themselves are not noted for their robustness either -- so don't be surprised if the wrench tells you you need to replace yours.:tsk: Good luck and let us know what it turned out to be.:thumbup:

rletson 11-17-2012 11:52 AM

You guys nailed it- the starter went bad. Kudos to my hometown BMW dealership. They sent a flatbed to grab my car and took care of things quickly. Coincidentally, it was time for my X3 to be serviced, so the transport to the dealership and a new starter together with my routine service only cost me my $50 deductible under the CPO warranty.

With just over 62k miles, I was a little surprised the starter went bad already. But there could be an explanation; the service department told me that their records showed a Miami BMW mechanic had performed work on my X3's starter before. Apparently, after the previous work, the starter was not installed properly- the service department said it was installed "backward", though I'm not sure how that could be.

Thanks for your advice! Hope this helps someone else down the road.


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