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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-23-2011, 07:05 PM
herbstyle herbstyle is offline
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Location: Hawaii
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Mein Auto: BMW 325i
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.

Last edited by herbstyle; 05-23-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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  #2  
Old 05-23-2011, 08:45 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
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Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbstyle View Post
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.
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  #3  
Old 05-23-2011, 09:17 PM
herbstyle herbstyle is offline
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Location: Hawaii
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
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...

Last edited by herbstyle; 06-02-2011 at 05:50 AM.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2011, 05:47 AM
herbstyle herbstyle is offline
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Location: Hawaii
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: BMW 325i
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...
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2011, 06:57 AM
tyler3567 tyler3567 is offline
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Location: Maine
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 162
Mein Auto: 2003 BMW 325xi
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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