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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I am wondering if I have a starter issue or a blown fuse or something.

Yesterday morning I couldn't start my 2007 525xi. After turning the ignition, it cranked (turned?) for 3 seconds then went completely silent. Carly didn't show any faults and the battery's read 11.7V, so I assumed dead battery and Ubered to deal with it later.

8 hrs later I called AAA to have them jumpstart my car, and all of their attempts failed. Even with the jumper cables attached (tried both the hood and directly to battery) the car won't even crank. The headlights still turn on and all but all I hear when I try to start the car is a single faint click from the front right of my engine.

My battery is part of the problem, but this is mostly starter issue right? Or is there something I'm missing? I wanna try replacing stuff before I get it towed to my indy.

Thanks everyone!!

-Kyle
 

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Check your grounds. Then check your starter.
 

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Same issue in my E70 last week. Charged battery overnight and was fine after that. Stupid me had been coding over an hour without car on a power supply, killed it.
 

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Any signs of slow or rough cranking prior to the issue? I would check the ground strap from right side motor mount to chassis first, get battery tested, last resort would be starter if the previous check out. If you have full power while key is in on position, and headlights don't look dim, along with interior lights, id lean towards the starter
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I spent the weekend in the artic winter of new England checking all my cables and fuses with my multimeter, nothing seemed wrong. Tried charging the battery over half a day and still go no, not even clicking.

Prior to this incident the crank was indeed slow, but only when it was below freezing. But given the lack of clicks, I think it's the starter.

It's on a flat bed truck on the way to the indy as I type it. I will update and post so that if anything, it may help someone in the future haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also,

I feel like BMWs were not meant for places with winters...when my car was in Califormia I never had the misfortune of any major issues....then when I moved to MA it's like literally a $1.5k+ repair deficit every winter...
 

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02/2012 X5 35d M57Y CPO 99K miles NOKIAN WR G3 12K miles
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BMW***8217;s have nominally 100 AH AGM batteries that MUST not be charged at greater than 4 Amps. 100 AH / 4 A = 25 H

I charge my 105 AH AGM battery for 2 - 4 hours weekly winter and summer. Average State of Charge is positively correlated with long service / cycle life.
 

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Not certain with your 525xi but on my 06’ 750li, there is a small explosive on the positive battery cable that will detonate in the event of a crash. It is to help prevent the possibility of a fire or explosion. However, with age and possibly other reasons, it may detonate prematurely. I had this happen on mine. Before I researched and found this, the car was having some difficulty starting and the cranking was slower and took longer to start the vehicle. Eventually, I would have to jump the vehicle and that only worked for a day or two. After that, it wouldn’t start at all and I found this BST (battery safety terminal) to be activated/detonated. Ordered an OEM positive cable and replaced that, cleared any codes with INPA and all worked great!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@Trickz: I ran my multimeter through it and i it seemed fine, I think lol...

Also Update:
Just got my car back from the indy and it turns out it definitely was the starter motor. This is how he diagnosed it.

"-PERFORMED TEST PLAN:
-CHECKED GROUND STRAP FOR CONTINUITY, FOUND GROUND STRAP OKAY.
-CHECKED STARTER SOLENOID FOR ACTIVATION FOUND SOLENOID ACTIVATES, HAS BATTERY VOLTAGE AT SOLENOID.
-CHECKED IGNITION TERMINALS WHEN CRANKING, FOUND POWER AT TERMINALS.
-STARTER MOTOR FAULTY."

So along with the starter, he recommended that I replace the crank position sensor as well, and I agreed. Parts came out to $440, labor $580.

Also, I now think my starter has probably been going bad progressively without me noticing. The difference in how fast the car cranks/turns at start is like night and day compared to before... it's like I should've seen it coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The labor on that is high in my opinion, all they did was the starter and crank sensor?

Yeah I thought it was pretty high too...but then again it's the Boston area and I'm not all that surprised...what do you think a reasonable price should be?
 

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To R&R the starter by the book is 2.9 hours and the crankshaft position sensor is 2.5, but the crank sensor is literally underneath the starter so there is a lot of overlap on the labor so i'd say 3.5 hours would be fair. Maybe $110 an hour for shop labor so around 385$ for labor. It almost looks like they charged you full book time for the starter and crank sensor separately.
 

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The crankshaft position sensor is like an extra 10 minutes labor at most if you did the starter.
 

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On my 528 I was able to replace the crankshaft position sensor without removing the intake manifold. I did remove the cabin air filter housings (same procedure as when replacing the spark plugs) to allow room to access the crankshaft position sensor. I do have long arms which may have helped. It's been a few years ago so don't remember the detailed steps.
 
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