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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

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 03-04-2008, 07:25 PM
Doolz Doolz is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: '95 318is
Wink Starter problem? Help!

Replaced my battery yesterday. car cranked fine (squeels when starting - has since I got it in '05). Today - no start - no lights - no auto door locks - etc.

Is this my starter which needs replacing? I think so but need some reassurance before I go spend $200 since I am a poor college student!

Any help would be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2008, 05:25 PM
Chad Haines Chad Haines is offline
still pushin' big wheels
Location: Denver, CO
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: '95 325i
have you checked your battery cables and made sure the connections are good and the cables are in good condition?
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Doolz Doolz is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: '95 318is
Yeah - cables appear to be almost like brand new. I made sure the connections were tight. Like I said...it started first crank but not the next day.... interior hazard light button dimmed and then nothing.. I think someone mentioned to me some time ago that the starter was making a whining noise on cranking and may need replacing soon.... so I'm guessing soon is now (all be it about a year later). I think i can get a remanuf. starter for arount $180 but finding someone to install it may prove to be a challenge. Not the sort of thing a 20 yr old girl can manage ya know. Thank for your help
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  #4  
Old 03-05-2008, 05:52 PM
Chad Haines Chad Haines is offline
still pushin' big wheels
Location: Denver, CO
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: '95 325i
before you actually shell out the cash for a new starter buy a voltmeter and check that your battery is still charged. If its bad and you just replaced it you could have a bad alternator that isn't charging your battery. Also - call around to auto parts stores - lots of them will test your starter for nothing.

Normally replacing a starter isn't too hard a job, but everything is shoehorrned into Bimmers so tight and the car sits so low to the ground that even simple things are tough.

Good Luck!
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2008, 07:08 PM
Doolz Doolz is offline
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Location: Virginia
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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Mein Auto: '95 318is
Alternator... didn't think of that one. Thanks I appreciate the help
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2008, 01:02 PM
rkrug rkrug is offline
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Location: new york
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 20
Mein Auto: 318 ic
Remember your starter has a built in voltage regulator .. the starter maybe fine but the regulator needs replaced ... on a 1995 the brushes may be gone on the regualtor ..
$200 + for the alternator $40+ for the regulator .
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2008, 11:08 AM
estoril blu estoril blu is offline
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Location: london
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 170
Mein Auto: e36 323 convertable
Diagnose the fault first before buying anything check battery voltage 12v or higher? yes?good no- boost battery crank engine if yes not the starter if still nothing check cables to the starter use volt drop across cables, if it starts,is the alternater charging? 13 - 14v yes probably crap battery alternater not charging 12v dropping alternator cables/belt new alternator if your not sure you really should go to a mechanic to diagnose.
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