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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 03-14-2005, 04:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'll get straight to the point, and would like an expert to tell me if he agrees with me, or suggests something else.

When I try to start the car, my engine does not spin. I can hear something spinning, which I assume to be the starter and I also here some tapping, which I assume to be the solenoid. So the only conclusion I can make is that perhaps one of the gears on the starter broke. Would you agree? Could I disregard any suspicions towards any ignition switches, since I believe the starter is spinning.

How should I fix this? Whats more practical, replacing the starter, or getting it repaired (where? BMW?)

Also if you suggest replacing the starter, which I'm leaning towards doing. Is it much easier on 6-cylinder engines, so easy that it is unnecessary to raise the vehicle? I have this HAYNES manual that I'm following, and seem to omit all the precautions, such as disconnecting the battery for Starters on 6-Cylinder engines.
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Old 03-14-2005, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you go to start your car and all you hear is a "click click click" then that is a dead battery. Otherwise i'd say starter as well..
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, I found out that since I have a manual transmission I have to take it out from underneath the car. I have my car on jack stands right now and I can't find the starter. Does anyone know where to look for it. Please help me out.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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the starter is on the drivers side under the engine basically right by the tranny and it's on a plate. If it's not starter make sure to check ALL your fuses. The gauge cluster fuse will cause this issue if it's blown. Another thing to check would be your clutch ignition switch or whatever it's called.

Another thing to try too is to get remote cable starters, hook them up to your starter solenoid and your battery and see if it starts to crank or not. If it does, it's not your starter... please also check your battery and altanator.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Clicking isn't always indictive of a dead battey..... starters will give ya a click or two then die on you two.

Before you start tearing into things leave your car on charge overnight (if you have one of those chargers with a starter option you can try that too) Make sure you got full juice in your battery and try it again. It can easily be a tired battery or bad alternator that isn't giving enough juice to turn the starter.
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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ohh I almost forgot the old way of starting your car.. get a couple of people, put the car in 2nd gear and start pushing it with the key turned on and then pop the clutch. if it doesn't start then, then you've got a different problem other then starter :P
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Old 03-14-2005, 11:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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ooops double post on accident...

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