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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I am new to this forum. Thank you in advance for any help.

My BMW: 2005 M3 Convertible with SMG transmission

My Problem:
Intermittently my BMW will not start and I get a clicking sound in the dash.
I have my foot on the break, the transmission in neutral (closest to the driver).
I turn the key and all I get is clicking.
Sometimes fast, sometimes slow but definitely in the dash.
The battery is good. Starter is good.

To "Fix" the problem I move the stick from neutral to in gear and back to neutral multiple times.
It actually failed today in front of my mechanic and he ruled out starter and battery.

I am guessing that there might be a switch that senses the stick position and that might be failing.
I am looking for any help on this. If I could get a diagram that would show me where the switches are located that are impacted by the stick that might help also.
 

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Check alternator it's possible the nuetral safety switch is not working and / or your alternator is slowly showing signs of age. Either way can't lose having a extra good alternator laying around esp find one for good deal when ur not in dire need yet.


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Or it can be electrical fuses / relays. We are driving German here very detailed engineering. Keep me posted and try searching all forums and Internet gateways i.e. Youtube


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A relay could be a problem, but a fuse either works or it doesn't work. The starter could be having issues also. First, check the main ground cable that runs from the engine to the frame. It's located on the passenger side of the engine near the front of the engine. You'll have to get under the car to see it. It's a pretty good size wire: the thickness is at least 1/4" and the color is light brownish. The connection at the frame/chassis could be corroded.
 

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A relay could be a problem, but a fuse either works or it doesn't work. The starter could be having issues also. First, check the main ground cable that runs from the engine to the frame. It's located on the passenger side of the engine near the front of the engine. You'll have to get under the car to see it. It's a pretty good size wire: the thickness is at least 1/4" and the color is light brownish. The connection at the frame/chassis could be corroded.
Also check/clean ground cable connection at the battery itself. Loose connection there caused the dreaded "battery good/clicking but no start" on one of our E39s recently.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update:

Thank you to all who have responded....

Update:

The starting problem has only occurred once since my original post.
I moved the stick back and forth a few times and it started with no issue.

My mechanic checked the battery using a battery checker.

I still need to check the wiring as suggested.

More information that MAY be related:
Outside of this intermittent starting problem...

When I go to start my BMW, most of the time I turn the key and the car starts.
Occasionally (I have not characterized this yet) the car will take about 5 +/- seconds before it begins to engage the starter. Almost like it is thinking about something or checking various inputs to make sure it is OK to start. But after this delay the car starts just fine. During this time I just hold the key in the start position waiting for the starter to go.

When this happens, there is no apparent battery drain, no clicking, no bad starter sounds.
It really just appears that the car is thinking about something else for 5 +/- seconds.

.
 
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