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.
Greetings, all. I have just gotten a new (to me) 330cic, my third BMW. Love the car, but having a problem starting it. When I put the key in the ignition and turn to the "run" position, all the indicator lights come on, the stereo works, etc. When I turn the "start" position, however, the starter does not engage. There is no clicking (like a dead battery), no lights flashing, no nothing. When I return the key back to the "run" position, it locks the "start" position out. I have to shut off the car and try again. Sometimes it fires right up on the first time; sometimes it takes 3-4 tries; sometimes 10-15. When the starter does operate, the car starts right up and there are no problems with running. Then, if I shut off the car and try to start it again, it fires right up with no problems.
I have tried this with the shifter in both "Park" and "Neutral" with the same result, so it does not appear to be the shift lock interface. My best guess is the starter interlock is not recognizing the key and connecting the starter. Any other guesses or possible solutions? Otherwise it's off to the shop next week!
If you have a spare key try using that for a while. Also the shop should be able to read out the EWS module and see if there are any key recognition faults. Bad starter solenoid certainly is possible but faulty keys seem to be more common
The key was my first thought as well. But I tried all the keys (fortunately I got the complete sat with the car), but they all had the same problem. Should hear back from the shop tomorrow. I'm sure they'll run the diagnostic, but when I told them the symptoms, the mechanic immediately said it was most likely the solenoid. I got the feeling he had seen the problem before.
faulty solenoid. i don't like this test, but the only other way is to fit a new solenoid, or skin your knuckles reaching down to the bmw starter motor with a jump lead. get a spanner that will fit the nuts on the battery earth and keep it handy. wear glasses or sunglasses to protect your eyes from possible sparks, and wear a good glove that can take a bit of heat.
Last edited by drz; 08-05-2007 at 02:12 PM.
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