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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 04-07-2013, 03:48 AM
ZLChris ZLChris is offline
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Car wont start again

First off i have a 2001 325xi bmw.. so about 3 weeks ago my car wouldnt start, we thought it was the battery or maybe a fuse. idk its my 1st car and im still learning. After numerous attempts we took it to a shop. They told us it was the starter and that we would need a new key.. After getting the car back, ive only driven it for 5 days and again my car wont start. Does any1 know why? and ty in advance
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2013, 08:53 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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We can't know why because we're not there and you haven't given enough specific facts to work off of.
You never even told us the details of how the car would not start. Any noise from the starter when trying? Did the engine spin at all?
What were the numerous 'attempts' you tried first?
What exactly did the shop say was wrong, and what exactly did they do? What did it cost?

There are more questions you should answer, but I'll wait to see how you do with those so far.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 04-07-2013 at 08:56 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2013, 09:07 AM
b1ghwx b1ghwx is offline
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A little off topic but this is a classic example of why its better to learn for yourself than take it to a shop. Often times the shop doesn't really know whats wrong either and they start throwing parts at it - or worse give you a temporary fix and send you on your way, just to have the problem (or related) pop up again.. after you just spent $700 on the supposed 'fix'.

Rant over... ..
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  #4  
Old 04-07-2013, 11:04 AM
ZLChris ZLChris is offline
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Ok so the numerous attempts i said were just us checking the batteries, fuses and then when we had a friend tell us it was the starter. The car would make a few clicking noises yesterday when i tried to turn it on, but now it just lights up and doesnt make any noise. The shop charged us 700 for the starter, 195 for the key, and 295 for the thermostat that they fixed (forgot to add that). Sry that i didnt give enough details and probably still not giving enough.
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  #5  
Old 04-07-2013, 11:32 AM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Pointed in the right direction!

Need to measure battery voltage first. Can do it easy by using the OBC hidden functions. See attached. #19 and then go to #9.
If that checks out OK, need to measure the voltage directly at the starter. Hard to reach, so first can try the 'jump' terminal in the drug bin. (be sure to reference ground somewhere on the engine, not chassis) Would be good to monitor this while you tried to start the car.
Clicking is a good clue as it eliminates the whole ignition switch consideration.
And checking engine ground strap too. See pic.

Don't know how involved you want to get with all of this. Report back after the above.

And anything is possible. Don't know how much you trust the shop, but possible that they did not change out the starter? Did you see the old one?
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	Ground Strap.jpg
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ID:	370198  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf OBC hidden functions.pdf (33.2 KB, 18 views)
File Type: pdf Starter top Removal.pdf (434.3 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by GoForthFast; 04-07-2013 at 11:36 AM.
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  #6  
Old 04-07-2013, 12:17 PM
ZLChris ZLChris is offline
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Seriously am grateful for ur help. Ok so the car lock and unlock buttons dont work. And the possibility of them not even changing the starter could be true. My mom seemed to trust the shop so ill have to ask when she gets back. Is there any way i could check?
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  #7  
Old 04-07-2013, 12:34 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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From this distance, it's always a guess. But so much you say points to a battery with no charge.

No offense to your sweet mom, but how would she know?
Got to take a look at the starter first to see if it looks new.
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  #8  
Old 04-07-2013, 12:43 PM
chansta chansta is offline
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u want to check for voltage drop on the positive and ground side of the starter circuit. not just for "voltage." get it right.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:19 PM
ZLChris ZLChris is offline
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Ok so i got the car to start, i rly didnt think it was the battery but it was. So now i need to find wats draining the battery, because its a 2month old battery.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2013, 01:22 PM
mofunk mofunk is offline
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When you turn your car off, sit and listen and see if you hear anything still on.
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  #11  
Old 04-07-2013, 01:54 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZLChris View Post
Ok so i got the car to start, i rly didnt think it was the battery but it was. So now i need to find wats draining the battery, because its a 2month old battery.
Need to use OBC to measure voltage before and after starting to see if alternator is putting out 14v.

If alternator is working, need to test for parasitic drain.
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  #12  
Old 04-07-2013, 02:54 PM
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Where in NJ are you located ?

What shop did the diagnostics and the work ?
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  #13  
Old 04-07-2013, 03:11 PM
chansta chansta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Need to use OBC to measure voltage before and after starting to see if alternator is putting out 14v.

If alternator is working, need to test for parasitic drain.
sorry you dont assume alternator is charging by looking at the battery voltage. you need to load test it to see its amp output.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2013, 06:51 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post

What shop did the diagnostics and the work ?
+1
That would be an interesting one!
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