Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Bimmerfest - BMW Forums (
-   E36 (1991 - 1999) (
-   -   Starting Issues - Heelp! (

bmw_novice 12-29-2012 02:32 PM

Starting Issues - Heelp!
Hello All,

Hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I am starting to have some issues with my BMW 328, car won't start easily. I went to Advance Auto and did a a battery check - it was pretty good said the tech. Symptoms:

1) Upon turning the key, it just makes a whirring sound. Then I have to take it back to the original key position and depress the clutch and attempt another start. This video is a very similar except for the fact that I can keep cranking it without going back to original key position and depressing the clutch.

2) After 2 or 3 or more attempts, it might catch and the motor starts as soon as I turn the key .

What is the likely problem?

Starter? I hope not, seems like a very expensive fix and just when I was about to get a suspension refresh too :(

Clutch Pedal Switch? Where is it and what might it cost to replace it?

Crankshaft position sensor - no fault code that I can see though.

Fuel related? Unlikely I think because I just did the sparks about a couple of months ago (and the old ones were pretty OK, no oil leaks in the cylinders that I could see). I think the fuel filter too was replaced a year ago but am not sure. Could a bad fuel filter cause this?

drivinfaster 12-29-2012 02:34 PM

well, since there is no vid link, i am going to say it sounds like a bad bendix in the starter.

no,they are not serviceable, and yes, the starter will need to be replaced if that is the case.


bmw_novice 12-29-2012 02:47 PM

There you go DF, found the video! So what kind of cost am I looking at? And can some main street shop do this? I don't have any BMW dealer or Indy in a 100 mile radius.

drivinfaster 12-29-2012 02:51 PM

yeah, pretty much any repair shop should be able to do this. the intake manifold needs to be removed.

however, if you are mechanically inclined, it's not a horrible diy. there are lots of tutorials online to see you through, as well as lots of write ups on sites like pelican, and whatnot.


bmw_novice 12-29-2012 04:03 PM

Btw, is it a good idea to go with a used part from ebay on this or is remanufactured the best idea?

drivinfaster 12-29-2012 04:13 PM

depends on your funds, and if you are going to do this yourself. don't forget to get the new intake manifold gaskets.

and i would use something to clean the intake off before you try to remove it as they tend to collect lots of dirt and crap. compressed air works well if you have access to it, if not, then i suggest a few cans of brake cleener.

but i would get a reman with a decent warranty if you could


bmw_novice 12-29-2012 05:05 PM


The skill level for this is well beyond me, especially considering that I have no garage and there is 5 inches of snow outside as of now :( No, this one is better handled by the pros, however, I will bite the bullet and buy the remanufactured starter. Better safe than sorry. Oh, and are intake manifold gaskets the same as valve cover gaskets? Would it be a good idea to replace the VCG at this time ( I Have a felpro unit waiting to go in). Further, should i buy the threaded or the non threaded starter?

drivinfaster 12-29-2012 05:52 PM

no, the vc gasket is different than the intake manifold gaskets.

as far as threaded, the m52 s/b a threaded design. i believe only the early models used non-threaded starters.

i have yet to see a nut and bolt set up on the m50, but i have seen plenty on the m30, m20....that's all they ever had...:mad::tsk:

the valve cover gasket set does not come with the rubber grommets needed for around the bolts. you'll need those as well.


bmw_novice 12-31-2012 10:19 AM

Can't be the clutch pedal switch can it?

hornhospital 12-31-2012 11:11 AM

Nope. It's definitely the bendix if it's doing what the starter was in that video. It's a mechanical malfunction, not an electrical one. Clutch pedal switch has nothing to do with it.

drivinfaster 12-31-2012 02:13 PM

the only other thing that it could possibly be, other than the starter, is the ring gear. trust me, you don't want it to be that. it's rare, but is a possibility. the only way to know for sure os to get to a place where you can take a peek at the teeth.


bmw_novice 01-11-2013 09:53 PM

Just wanted to thank you guys, it was the starter. Got a good deal I think for a 2 year warranty on a replacement (new/aftermarket) for $ 270 including labor. Got the valve cover done as well for another $ 160. And the front tires flipped/rotated for $ 40.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:16 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.