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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 11-11-2012, 05:26 PM
rletson rletson is offline
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Location: Alabama
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
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.

Thanks,
Ryan
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2012, 06:58 PM
bmwbob89 bmwbob89 is offline
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Location: Newburyport Ma.
 
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Mein Auto: 2004 X-3 740i 325xi 88M5
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.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:03 PM
rletson rletson is offline
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Location: Alabama
 
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
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.
Ryan
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2012, 07:22 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 ///M5
sounds like starter but providing the codes would help
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  #5  
Old 11-11-2012, 08:39 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Quote:
Originally Posted by rletson View Post

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.
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  #6  
Old 11-12-2012, 08:50 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Mein Auto: '06 X3
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. Good luck and let us know what it turned out to be.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2012, 12:52 PM
rletson rletson is offline
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Location: Alabama
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
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Mein Auto: 2007 X3 3.0si
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.

Ryan

Last edited by rletson; 11-17-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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