doesn't start - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)

E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2009, 08:24 PM
bughaus bughaus is offline
Registered User
Location: Ventura, CA
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1986 325es
doesn't start

I have a 1986 BMW 325es which I bought a couple weeks ago. This was pretty exciting for the 2 weeks that it ran. But now that nothing happens but a single click when I turn the ignition, I've quickly become weary of push starting it. Just doesn't look cool.
I charged the battery; no help. I took out the starter and tested it; it works. I bypassed
the 26-year-old wiring by connecting the starter directly to the
battery; nothing except the sparks when I connect it.
Clearly there is something else at play, but I'm too inexperienced to know what it
is. Maybe there's something wrong with the ignition (certainly
possible when you consider that to start the car you turn the key to
the "on" position and then depress a doorbell installed by the last
owner) but I don't know how to test that. Or there is some kind of
clutch interlock messed up and blocking the way.
I'm driving my bicycle to work every day, but I haven't left a 5 mile radius from my
apartment in a long time. Help me move on to the 27 other problems
which need fixing once it starts!
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 09:22 PM
JohnMadd's Avatar
JohnMadd JohnMadd is offline
Location: VA
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 811
Mein Auto: 1989 325is 03 330i ZHP
unhook your battery for a couple minutes-2-and then rehook and reply what happens and this is the first thing to do.
This will reset the computer.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2009, 09:24 PM
Ryan M Ryan M is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: .
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,274
Mein Auto: .
Conduct a voltage drop test. Put the positive and negative leads of a voltmeter on the positive and negative battery terminals. Then have someone crank the car. You should get a voltage drop.
For Sale: M60B30 intake manifold, M50 intake manifold, 2.81 differential, new OEM upper control arm bushings, 8 M62 fuel injectors.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2009, 07:52 AM
lordofthewaters's Avatar
lordofthewaters lordofthewaters is offline
Rather Large Member
Location: The thriving metropolis of Hickory, NC
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,553
Mein Auto: 88 325is 04&09 jetta TDi
Check your engine ground on the driver's side of the oil pan.

An easy way to test if this is your problem is to: Clamp one neg clamp of your jumper cables on the oil plug, and the other neg clamp on the strut tower or steering rack, and try and turn it over. If it cranks you need to replace the ground.
Sarcasm is a body's natural defense against stupid.
When a man talks dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to a man, it's 3.95 per minute.

"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch." Jack Nicholson
Old age and treachery, will always overcome youth and skill.

Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2009, 11:54 AM
metroman810 metroman810 is offline
Registered User
Location: uk
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 85
Mein Auto: e30 325i cabby
how did u test the starter , your sure the thrust bearing on the starter is good, or there aint a flat spot on the starter bushes , have u tried bypassin the starter relay with a screwdriver .if u do this an it still just goes clunk, then im stumped sorry
Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2009, 11:38 AM
bughaus bughaus is offline
Registered User
Location: Ventura, CA
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 1986 325es
OK, so the problem is the starter motor won't turn over when I turn
the ignition. the problem is not the battery as it's charged and jump
starting did not help. The starter does work; it was tested at
autozone, and also it works if you do some bypassing.
I took a piece of wire and connected the power source to the wire going
from solenoid to starter motor; this works. So you might think the
solenoid is shot.
But next I connected the power source to the terminal that runs the switch allowing current through the
solenoid and it worked again. which would argue that this terminal is not
getting juice.
So I took the wire off of the terminal, touched it to a test light, turned the
ignition, and it lighted up; power gets through the wire to the terminal
that operates the switch in the solenoid. The connection is not corroded; I replaced it.
I suppose maybe not enough current gets through the wire to the terminal
; I don't have a voltmeter, but the test light is nice and bright.

Is there some other angle I should be taking here?
unhooking the battery for a few minutes didn't help.
I should get the battery load tested some time, but things didn't work with a jump.
I did not check the engine ground thing yet.
Reply With Quote

See More Related BMW Stories

1986, 325e, electrical, ignition, starter

Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E30 (1982 - 1993)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:16 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.