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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 06-01-2007, 07:01 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter problems - heat sheeld?

Hello all. I got a strange problem that's been hunting me for over a year now.
Everytime the car runs through city driving and gets hot it would not start after i shutt it off. After trying to restart it for couple of times it would start again. It only happens in the summer and it mostly happens after the prolonged usage. I did change a few starters already but it never resolved anything. It seems that maybe the starter get very hot and binds. Usually after the car cools off everything gets back to normal... untill things get hot again. I am also running a cooler thermostat but that didn't help a bit. Is there some kind of heat shield that i am missing on the starter? It sits right next to the motor - so maybe that's what causes the overheating and binding... Any ideas?
PS. in order to prove that it isn't the power issue, i even ran a line from positive to the starter with a remote push button to see if it will start when it binds - no effect there.
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Old 06-01-2007, 05:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are the starters new or used? When it doesn't start, does it make any kind of a noise?
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Actually it is a new starter. It's a Bosch. I already went the rebuilt route and wanted a new one. Got it from Bavarian Auto. It doesn't make any noise - it's just audible that the power gets to it but nothing. After trying for 5 -10 times to turn the ignition key the starter would turn and get the engine running. Nw that only happens when the weather (and the motor) is hot.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ohm check your power cable from your battery to the starter.
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Old 06-05-2007, 06:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I ran a line from positive outlet in the engine bay directly to the starter with a push button actuator inside the car just to see what would happen when the starter wouldn't work after a hot drive. So when I engaged it during the time when starter failed it didn't do anything. Now that tells me that the power is getting to the starter but it is not turning. But again, after trying to start the car for 5-10 times it would turn on... Can this be a weak battery or a weak alternator that doesn't feed the battery?
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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You are not listening, the starter has 1 power source, it is a direct 12v (normally 4 gauge or better) power wire that runs directly to the battery, the solenoid wire (the wire that you bypassed) only moves the drive gear into position and closes an internal switch that sends 100% battery power into the starter motor. What you did is simply by pass the ignition solenoid wire. If the solenoid clicks, your problem is the main power supply to the starter. Check the power wire from the battery to the starter and/or the engine ground.

Last edited by Starmavin; 06-06-2007 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 06-06-2007, 06:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Aha, now i understand! So what you are saying really DOES fit the simptoms. I do hear the solenoid actuating (it's like a short "ummmm" sound) but get no power to the starter... How simple... OK, so I will check all of it and report on my findings.
Thank you!
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