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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 02-18-2010, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Noob here, serious problem.

Hi all, I am a newbie here and this site has some great info! I'm hoping this can help me:

My 2001 325i seems to have a problem.

When I turn the ignition on, all dash lights come on as usual, but when I try to start the car, nothing happens, I mean nothing.

The only sound that comes from the engine is the noise of the fuel line and a single "Click" approximately 1-2 seconds after turning ignition on. I turned the headlights on while trying starting the motor to see if they dim down, but they stayed bright.

I also hooked a Volt meter to the battery and it read 12.6V. While having it hooked up, I layed the volt meter "on the back widow so I could get a read through the rear view mirror while I was turning the ignition. It only fell to 11.9V, but the starter will not engage whatsoever, like it's getting no power at all.

It's like the ignition is completely disconnected from the starter. Completely stumped...


Thanks to anyone who may lead me in the correct direction.

Could the battery still be a problem?
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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sounds like a bad solenoid or relay
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the lead! I looked online for an ignition relay, and the only things to come up are the solenoid and starter switch, so is it safe to assume their is no relay and only a solenoid?

Is there a way to check the solenoid without taking it out and going to the Autozone? (I hate that place!!)
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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if you can get to the starter... I believe it's built in so the only way to check is to tear in to your car
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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if you have a shunt you can check the amperage of the battery you have have all the volts and no power to push them :
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Old 02-18-2010, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I can do that by using my volt meter in line with the positive, correct? I would think that if my Voltage drop is so minimal, then Amperage wouldn't be an issue.

Last edited by bilkner; 02-18-2010 at 06:02 PM.
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Old 02-18-2010, 06:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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if you can get to the starter... I believe it's built in so the only way to check is to tear in to your car
Thanks for the input. It may be the key as well. I remember my wife dropped it last night while we were getting in the car. It's a longshot, but I gotta get a new spare anyway since I'm down to 1 key, so I guess I'll be back in 3 business days lol!
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:10 PM   #8 (permalink)
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good luck let us know what the problem is
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Smile

UPDATE: I actually did have my battery tested for piece of mind, and as previously thought, it was in good shape.

Now, it has been 3 business days, so I went and picked up my new key from the dealer.


First try-nothing
Second try-VROOM!

So, I then took out the new key and tried the old key right away, and VROOM!!

I'm currently running the motor to get it warmed, then I will try again and make sure. If I don't respond, then the problem was solved.

Thanks for replying guys, I really appreciate it!!
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ANOTHER UPDATE: The old key only works for the first 30 seconds AFTER shutting the motor off, so I've established the old key as a paperweight. This is awesome! I actually figured it out and it only cost me $63.00.

The service manager at the dealer was a dickhead, btw. He only wanted to help by trying to charge me $140.00 to start, just to diagnose it, even when I explained the situation to him.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Well at least it's sorted.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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dont want to thread jack but how did you get a key for $63, i needed one and dealer said it was $174.where did you purchase key from?
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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ya the stealer can be pretty gay
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