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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 08-24-2015, 10:33 AM
DFW KIRK DFW KIRK is offline
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Mein Auto: E36, e39
Intermittent start. 1994 325 convertable

Copied this that was buried in another thread because I have the exact same problem. My 1994 which has been giving me starting problems. It has an intermittent fault where occasionally when I turn the key to start the car, all the dash lights come on as they should.. all the ancillaries work, windows, ventilation etc.. but the starter won't operate. I can turn the key back and forward to the 'start' position (from the 'ignition on' position) repeatedly but there is nothing there.. no clicking, no noises, nothing. When I do this the dash lights stay bright and illuminated, as they should, the whole time. When it happens, I have tried holding the key in the 'start' position and jiggling the gearstick with the clutch up and down (hoping to move the solenoid if it's sticking) but still nothing. The battery is good. I have noticed sometimes there is a slight delay between turning the key to 'start' and the starter kicking in.. sometimes up to, say, half a second. If, when this happens, (to test the fault) I then turn it straight off and restart again it will usually continue to have this slight delay and that will usually deteriorate into a total no start. If I leave the car for a while and come back to it a couple of times, it will eventually start (even sometimes on the first return). I have opened, checked and cleaned the switch on the base of the ignition barrel as I know these sometimes malfunction.. but that all looks ok too. I am thinking (especially because of the delay) that there might be a relay or control unit somewhere between the ignition switch and the starter solenoid that is messing up. Is there a way to test this or does anyone have any insight
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2015, 11:19 AM
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bliger7gz bliger7gz is online now
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Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 325is
What's the production date of your car?

On late 94 production year cars they added a starter immobilization relay. Could be this relay or something else.
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Old 08-24-2015, 12:36 PM
DFW KIRK DFW KIRK is offline
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Mein Auto: E36, e39
My car build date on door jamb says 11/93. The DME Vin doesn't match the car though. It's a 413. Engine and more may have been replaced.
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Old 08-24-2015, 02:39 PM
john kaminski john kaminski is online now
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Where is that starter relay located ? My 94 convert is a late one and maybe 6 years ago I had a no start episode while on vacation 1500 miles from home. After trying to start a few times and seeing the headlights were bright I took a few minutes to look through the manual for any ideas of what to look for - found nothing so just tried again and it fired right up and never had a hint of a problem again.
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Old 08-24-2015, 03:19 PM
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bliger7gz bliger7gz is online now
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You need to remove the driver side kick panel to be able to see it.
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Old Today, 02:02 PM
john kaminski john kaminski is online now
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Thanks for the valuable info bliger7gz
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