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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 04-02-2009, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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PROBLEM: Car won't start. Help.

My car won't start. I parked my car at school, came out an hour later, and it won't start. Battery is fine. I turn the key to start and nothing happens. I turn the key to on, the cluster lights come on, I turn the key to start and nothing happens. It's as if the ignition wires were cut, which they weren't. So I push started it and it drove fine. What do I do? No fuses are blown. Where do I start troubleshooting?
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Neutral safety switch, or whatever it's called on the clutch pedal, so it won't start in gear. From there to the wires on the starter beginning with the battery connections. Clutch switch would be my guess, but that's only a guess.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't have a neutral safety switch. I was always able to start the car without pressing the clutch. I'm going out there in a few minutes to check the wires. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm guessing the switch is normally open just the oposite of your refrigerator light switch. If you connect the wires together it will complete the circuit to allow starting.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll check that out too. I'll start there actually.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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try jumping it... i think your battery is dead. but you dont think it is.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Battery isn't dead. All electrics work fine and at full power.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Starter Going Bad

If you experience these symptoms, need to start thinking about the un-fun task of replacing the starter. Starts fine, you run it -- then turn it off while hot and when you come back shortly afterwards it won't start. If you let it cool down for a couple of hours and then it will start -- starter replacement is in order. I thought it was everything else until a starter guy told me what those symptoms meant. Replacing the starter on your car is no easy task unless you've been through it before. I thought it wouldn't be too different from anything I'd ever seen before. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Had to remove the intake manifold, fuel rail assembly, wiring harness, and after going at it that way I think it may have been a better idea to pull the transmission to replace the starter. But either way, it takes a lot to get to those two bolts to replace that starter. Hope you come up with another fix. Good luck.
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Old 04-04-2009, 06:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The shop tested my starter and it works. There's just no power getting to it. I'm gonna wire up a push button start. By the way, replacing the starter isn't that hard. Do you have an automatic? It's easy on a manual. You have to go from the bottom. Clamp and remove the fuel filter and you have good access to the starter.
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