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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 10-24-2009, 12:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Starter ?slip?

Hello,

Not sure how to explain this. In the last few days when I tried to start the car I just had the starter making a sound and the engine did not turn over. On a second try it ALWAYS turns over and starts easily and runs fine.

The sound is like a "slipping but turning" experience. If you ever tried starting a bike (e-start) while it was running, well that is the same feeling.


I am about to sell the car to someone I know, and better have that fixed if this is going to break on him, given that I am a nice guy and he is paying in 2 payments.


Oh yeah, the question is: what the hell could that be?

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks
Dindi
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Old 10-24-2009, 03:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like the solenoid not engaging, some starters have built in ones some external, I'm not sure on your model, so you can fix the solenoid, replace it or have refurb or if its built in refurb or a new/2nd hand one.

You may also want to check all the connections to the starter first for corrosion and contact, if you try it in the dark with the bonnet up and somebody turns the key and you see arcing or small sparks from the connections remove and clean with sand paper.
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Old 10-25-2009, 01:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by marti5 View Post
Sounds like the solenoid not engaging, some starters have built in ones some external, I'm not sure on your model, so you can fix the solenoid, replace it or have refurb or if its built in refurb or a new/2nd hand one.

You may also want to check all the connections to the starter first for corrosion and contact, if you try it in the dark with the bonnet up and somebody turns the key and you see arcing or small sparks from the connections remove and clean with sand paper.
Thanks for the advice. I will try and take a look at this. The strange thing is that I really think something is turning something (as I have this screeching sensation when you press the starter on an already running engine), but it is not turning the engine over.

Either way I will take a look at it, thanks for the help!
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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What Marti said was probably correct. When you engage the starter, the solenoid pushes the little starter gear over to mesh with the ring gear teeth.
If it doesn't push it over all the way, you will hear the starter turn but the engine won't. If the solenoid pushes the gear over and it doesn't mesh, you will hear a horrible screeching as the starter gear grinds against the ring gear. This will grind the teeth off the starter gear and damage the ring gear. You want to get this fixed right away because fixing the starter is "easy", replacing the ring gear involves pulling the transmission etc.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What Marti said was probably correct. When you engage the starter, the solenoid pushes the little starter gear over to mesh with the ring gear teeth.
If it doesn't push it over all the way, you will hear the starter turn but the engine won't. If the solenoid pushes the gear over and it doesn't mesh, you will hear a horrible screeching as the starter gear grinds against the ring gear. This will grind the teeth off the starter gear and damage the ring gear. You want to get this fixed right away because fixing the starter is "easy", replacing the ring gear involves pulling the transmission etc.
Thanks for the warning ! I will take a look at it right away (I did not use the car too much ever since I wrote this post) ...

I am looking at the Bentley service manual and do not seem to get an idea where this solenoid is exactly located.

I am also not sure if the solenoid is on its way out or in fact it it a connection problem. What I can see is that the problem happens usually when I drive the car, stop for 10 minutes and then try to start. First start *sometimes* fails (no screeching, no bad sound, just spinning), and second start *always works* perfectly. Maybe with heat (motor heat) the connections get screwed, or maybe the solenoid.


Either way, where in the hell in the engine bay is this thing located ????? What is the best angle to access/see it? Sorry for the lame questions, I am spending more time recently on my bikes when in the garage and barely drive my beloved bimmer

Thanks in advance
Dindi
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Just get a new/recon starter...sorted,,,, location normally from the front lower right but could be lower left you will see it to hard to miss big fat cables from it, where the engine meets the gearbox, the s/motor is engine side the shaft and sprocket go in to the bell housing, have a look here:
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I am having exactly the same problem with my e39 530-2002 & my mechanic has advised me to change the starter.
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