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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:26 AM
gsxrman21b gsxrman21b is offline
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won't turn over

I recently bought a 1992 325is it had a bad starter. before i changed it all i would get was a spinning sound of the starter not engaging. so i changed it. now all i get is the click of the starter engaging and thats it. it won't turn over or anything. the car was sitting for about 6 months without running. I'm hoping that the motor isn't locked up but i don't see that happening after only 6 months. What do ya'll think?
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:31 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Conventional wisdom would suggest that your battery is flat.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:37 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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The engine's not seized unless you've parked it somewhere that it went underwater. You have one of three things, in increasing order of likelihood:

1) A bad starter (again, even if it's new/rebuilt). If all else fails in the following suggestions, take it back and get it tested.

2) A poor connection at either the starter (including the ground), or the battery. Clean BOTH battery posts and clamps, the connection where the ground cable connects to the chassis in the trunk, and the connection at the starter. Did you clean the opening where the starter bolts up? The starter grounds through the bellhousing/engine. If the ground is dirty or weak, it won't work. Just click. I ran into this on my 633CSi. The ground looked good, but it wouldn't work until the contact area was spotlessly clean.

3) A weak battery. Make sure it's charged fully. If there's any doubt, take it to an auto parts place that does battery testing (99% do, and do it for free). They'll charge it and then load test it.
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1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2013, 11:38 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Karl said it in far fewer words. Test the battery first.
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Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #5  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:41 PM
gsxrman21b gsxrman21b is offline
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thanks for the info I'll try all that stuff and let you guys know. I cleaned the connections on the starter before I put it in, including the ground. I also tested the starter before i put it in, cause as everyone on here knows it's a bitch to get in and out. I made sure that i wasn't gonna have to go thru that hassle again. I know the battery is shot. I've just been jumping it to try to start it. I'm trying to spend as little as possible till i see if it's gonna be worth it ya know, but again thanks and I'll keep you posted on the situation.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:48 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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You know the battery is dead, yet you still are wondering why it doesn't start?
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2013, 12:52 PM
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Are you saying that now it wont even start if you try to jump it?
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2013, 01:18 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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If you're trying to jump it with the battery completely flat, the dead battery is sucking 90% of the amps, leaving almost nothing for the starter. Disconnect the battery, then jump it from the under-hood connections (passenger's side, just in front of the firewall).
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BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #9  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:39 PM
gsxrman21b gsxrman21b is offline
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So i disconnected the battery and tried under the hood. now i have nothing. not even a click from the starter like i had before. i replaced the fuel pump and DME relays just to make sure. it's priming and i have fuel pressure. There isn't some kind of anti theft thing that is gonna keep it from starting is there? I'm stumped. I really don't want to have to pull the starter again just to get it tested.
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2013, 02:59 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Dude, if you know the battery is dead, which you said you had confirmed, just REPLACE THE BATTERY.

The anti-theft prevents the starter from receiving any power, so the fact that your previous starter spun (bud didn't engage), and the new starter clicks (but doesn't have enough power to spin the engine) suggests that it is not an EWS/Anti-theft problem. Your battery is dead...............
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View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #11  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:13 PM
gsxrman21b gsxrman21b is offline
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I guess i just don't understand why it's not even trying to do something. I'm trying to go spend 150 bucks on a battery and that not fix the situation.
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  #12  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:14 PM
gsxrman21b gsxrman21b is offline
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If it would turn over then i would get a battery and be fine with it, but it's doing nothing. This isn't my first rodeo, well it is with a bimmer
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  #13  
Old 04-04-2013, 03:19 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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If the starter clicks at all, it is "trying to do something". It just doesn't have enough power to actually turn the engine over, which is why "it's doing nothing". Ever had a dead battery before? Very little happens when the battery is dead...

And I know you aren't trying to spend money, but since you already stated the battery is dead, how exactly do you plan to drive your car with a battery which is known to be dead? My point is that it will have to be replaced regardless. You can keep replacing starters, relays, and everything else all you want, but if you don't get a battery which actually works, you will never be able to use your car. It's as simple as that. The smart thing to do would be to stop wasting money and time on other things and replace your battery.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 04-04-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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  #14  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:37 PM
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jonesin jonesin is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsxrman21b View Post
I guess i just don't understand why it's not even trying to do something. I'm trying to go spend 150 bucks on a battery and that not fix the situation.
Then have the battery tested.

Like Chad, I am far too lazy to double check Swype.
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  #15  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:42 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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If the battery in the jumping-off vehicle will fit, swap it into the BMW and try it.
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Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

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  #16  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:57 PM
kmorgan_260 kmorgan_260 is offline
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It might not be a bad idea to stick a 22mm socket on the crank bolt and roll the engine (clockwise from the front) just to make sure it is not locked up.
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  #17  
Old 04-04-2013, 08:06 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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There is basically no chance that his engine is seized. My family has stored cars for 8 months and longer for decades and we've never had an engine seize on us, nor have I ever heard of an engine seizing after not being started for 6 months as was cited in this case.

The guy says his battery is dead, so why not start with the obvious and replace the battery? Am I missing something here?
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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