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BMW 3-Series Starting Problems

24

Comments

  • It was my starter. The dealer said the only time a fault doesn't come up when the car doesn't start it's the starter. they pulled the starter and found it was bad.
  • My 2002 3-Series developed an intermittent starting problem. Turning the key, all instrument lights come on, but the starter won't turn. Battery is OK, starter is OK.

    For awhile, if I try to start it repeatedly, it eventually starts. Until recently it degenerated, I tried for 20 mins straight and it still won't start. So I called AAA to get it towed.

    The driver came and tried to start it, played with a few things and it started right up. He told me that somehow the anti-theft system is not getting the signal it needs, so it cuts the ignition off. The driver armed and unarmed the alarm a few times, and it seems to have "unjammed" the anti-theft. He recommended that I replace the battery in my key, which may cause this problem.

    Has anyone seen and solved this type of problem before?
  • bossman7bossman7 Posts: 1
    I am considering purchasing a 330 BMW CI with 37700 miles, any problems with that year I should be aware of? Any recommendations?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,456
    The '06 330Ci (coupe or convertible?) was the last year for the E46 coupe.. It was a 7-year run for one of the best BMWs, ever..

    Is the car still under warranty/maintenance plan? You'll have to know the in-service date to find out..

    Common maintenance issues are control arm bushings... The car shouldn't go "klunk" over bumps... if it does, looking at half a thousand..

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  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Try to find a car with the Performance Package(ZHP). It's virtually a cult car among hard-core Bimmer addicts- and with good reason.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • My 2000 BMW 328i wont start, Battery, starter, alternator all good. Replaced the ignition switch, tumbler, and code reader ( that black plastic ring on the tumbler assembly) and still no luck. All lights and everytything works when the key is on but no juice to the starter. I don't know where to go from here. I need some help to do this myself as I do not live anywhere near a BMW shop.
  • geointgeoint Posts: 1
    Our 2002 BMW 330CI just did the exact same thing... The anti-theft/key problem. I almost had it towed as well. Bottom line - keep an extra key with...
    Ours came with the plastic wallet key, the valet key, and the 2 larger battery keys. The pure plastic key is in my wallet now... (Never leave home without it...)
  • mailbox20mailbox20 Posts: 4
    I finally took mine to the BMW shop. It turned out to be the ECM (the module that tells the brain that the code reader has read the right code for that car). Every time I take the car to the shop its always $600 to fix it. Is it a BMW thing or what. I will never own another BMW as soon as I can find someone to buy this POS from me. Thought they were built well and reliable but I have found out that the 3 series was made to be a cheap line of cars.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    edited July 2011
    Thought they were built well and reliable but I have found out that the 3 series was made to be a cheap line of cars.

    Exactly; my 1995 3 series has run up maintenance and repair costs that amount to an unbelievable five cents per mile over the 16 years that I have owned it. To top things off, I've taken to two HPDEs this year and each time it has only managed to return 15 mpg on the track. What a disappointment...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • try the ignition switch.. its found in the steering column i believe
  • Brilliant. You must be the same mechanic i've been taking my car to. Thank god for geniuses like you. I dont know what the world would do without you. Your a lifesaver. Thank you
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,870
    Sounds like you're being quite sarcastic to another member, which we frown on around here. If you'll notice, sunrhythms wasn't responding to you or your issue - he was providing advice in response to another member's question.

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  • skyrgrskyrgr Posts: 2
    I have similar problems with my '94 BMW 325i. I bought it used 2 months ago for local transportation. It has issues with transmission slipping, ABS brake light and when cold check engine light. Other issues include hood and trunk latch and radio which may be electrical related. BLUF: the vehicle had no problem starting for two months it cranked over perfectly even in extremely cold weather. I left the vehicle sit for 6-7 days without starting it and now she won't crankover for me. The Battery is brand new and supposedly the starter was new one year ago.

    My intent is to put another starter on the vehicle and if this doesn't solve the problem then junk it. Any other suggestion from BMW expert would be appreciated. - mike
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    My intent is to put another starter on the vehicle and if this doesn't solve the problem then junk it. Any other suggestion from BMW expert would be appreciated.

    DON'T start throwing parts at the problem. First, clean the battery terminals and clamps as well as the ground cables in the trunk as well as the engine grounds under the hood. Next, have the battery load tested. If the battery is good, find out how much current the car is drawing at rest- it should be 0.25 - 0.4 Amperes. If the radio is an aftermarket unit and the installer butchered the wiring harness all bets are off. Check to see if the glove box or trunk lights remain on, and inspect the wiring that goes to the trunk lid, they sometimes short due to insulation rubbing off.
    If you can't perform this work yourself I STRONGLY recommend finding a shop that KNOWS BMWs. I've seen far too many people pay a mechanic their hard-earned money so that he can learn about BMWs...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Do you know how much the ECM cost by itself? I'm having the same problem with my 2004 325ci.... Had the problem a couple weeks ago but a new battery solved the problem. Now when I turn the key nothing happens???
  • ornativeornative Posts: 1
    My 318i started perfectly until last week when I got fuel, drove home (about 3-4 miles) and parked in garage. Next start attempt car cranks to speed but won't start. Checked fuel filter and changed on suspicion, but still no start. Checked fuse 11 for fuel pump and it is OK. Any ideas anyone?
  • toppercattoppercat Posts: 8
    I have a 2006 325i bmw-replaced battery because sometimes the car wouldn't start-had to be jumped-would be okay for a couple weeks and then wouldn't start. Now that battery is replaced-it starts but sometimes you aren't so sure. It starts slow. I am going to take it to my bmw dealership on Friday-but know nothing about repair work-could anyone give me advice on what the dealership might say and what might be cost? Any help greatly appreciated:)
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,796
    A known issue on BMWs--the dealer will probably perform an "energy diagnosis" to determine if there is some fault causing the battery to drain--for instance, the car could not be entering "sleep mode", or it could be constantly re-awakened out of, and back into, sleep mode.

    The Technical Service bulletin on this issue is identified thusly:

    SI B61 13 05
    General Electrical Systems
    April 2011
    Technical Service
    This Service Information bulletin supersedes SI B61 13 05 dated February 2011.

    If you have some "non-approved accessory" installed on the car, the dealer might bring that up.

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  • PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 325I 06 long story short first replaced battery-by bmw dealership said that fixed problem then same problem went back then they said oh now it needs new starter-said fixed week later same problem-going back Tuesday-$1500.00 later-I am not wealthy-can't keep throwing money in this car-can any one help and tell me if the dealership should give me my money back???? How do I handle this with the dealership?????????? Any advice-sooooooooooo appreciated:)
  • Thank you for your information-I have no after factory on my car and now I am having more problems-have posted the nightmare-if you can-I would love to hear your comment on my situation. Thank you again:)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    edited August 2012
    This is a dealer problem, not a car problem. You need to find a shop that will perform a systematic diagnosis and not merely throw parts at the problem. As for the dealer reimbursing you, I'd note that the battery may have been going bad, although the original batteries in my BMWs have always lasted for at least 7-8 years. As far as the starter goes, I'd be willing to bet the farm that it was not bad. I've owned 10 BMWs over the past thirty years and I have never-EVER had to replace a starter- and I've owned several past 130,000 miles.
    I'd go to BIMRS.org and look for a good independent shop.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • Thank you roadburner-I am going to speak with the dealership tomorrow:)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    edited August 2012
    Ask them to explain how they determined that the battery and starter were bad. They will either give you a deer in the headlights stare or els say something like, "It's all very complicated and technical, we hooked it up to our diagnostic computer and it told us what was wrong."- which is another way for an incompetent shop to say "We made our best guess and threw the likely parts at it.
    One more thing, BMW charges less than $400 retail for a new starter, solenoid, and mounting screws. How do they account fot a $1100 labor charge?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • fedlawmanfedlawman Posts: 3,118
    edited August 2012
    "How do they account for a $1100 labor charge?"

    I'm guessing:

    Check fluids, belts, hoses
    Inspect filters
    Inspect brakes
    Inspect exhaust
    Inspect suspension
    Inspect, inspect, inspect.... :sick:
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    +1!!!

    It never ceases to amaze me just how much damage an unscrupulous/inept dealer can do to a brand's reputation.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    edited August 2012
    I am SO blessed to have a dealer that is more than competent and charges a fair price. I recently had my 1995 ti in for a brake fluid flush and my service adviser told me "We'll keep an eye on the serpentine belts; you might want to consider replacing them next spring." He never tries to push unneeded work.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    edited August 2012
    Like you, I have a pretty decent BMW/Mini dealer.

    As an example... Recently, my wife's 05 Mini convertible (optioned-out, bought new) went into the shop for a power steering fluid leak. The prognosis was a leaking secondary (rack to reservoir-low pressure) hose.

    Turns out, it was both hoses, to and from the reservoir. The dealer covered the second hose AND labor at no additional cost to me.

    Then again, I've developed a good working relationship with the dealer over the years, and I have had the dealer perform oil changes at every 5K miles instead of the suggested interval determined by the car's onboard computer while the car was under warranty. Even then, on the Mini, an oil/filter change was only $75-80.

    Once out of warranty, I do the routine service myself. It helps getting me to routinely inspect the car mechanics on a regular basis...

    Her Mini has over 70K miles now, and has been every bit as reliable as any American or Japanese built car we have ever owned...and in several cases, far MORE reliable...
  • So went back to the dealership today-jumped started the car-Thank God it started!!!-spoke with the same service person-and asked about how could this be that since we needed a new starter then the original battery was probably good right-Oh NO-see the battery was bad and then the starter was bad also and now what is probably making the car not start is the new battery they just put in is bad-see the starter can sometimes make the battery go bad. (REALLY???) Lord please help me and give me patience:) Has anyone is the world ever had a BMW that started out with one battery that was bad so another put in and then a starter went bad and then after that the 4 week old battery goes bad- or are we just that lucky??? Oh and yes when we got the car back the key thing amajiger(fob)will start the car but won't unlock or lock the car. So that is the nightmare story today from our 3rd trip to the dealership. I came home with a loaner-and boy is it a pretty one-a wagon-Yuck-no offense to anyone who drives one-just not for me-but is starts and that right now is the main thing. So will keep you informed on what they come back with this time. Curious to see how many times we will be at the dealership. Maybe third times a charm:) I know you all think we are crazy to keep going back and not switching-but I they have $1500.00 of our money and darn it they should have to make it right with us-don't ya think!!! P.S. This dealership is 1hr away-we have to take off work and not to mention gas prices right now-holy moley:( Wish us luck:)
  • busirisbusiris Posts: 3,490
    First of all, you have my sympathy here. Clearly, this dealer doesn't seem to have entered the 20th century yet, much less the 21st.

    From a battery perspective, any decent Auto Zone, NAPA, Oreilly Auto Parts, etc. can do a load-test on a battery, so it would seem a BMW dealer should be able to do as much...

    Seems to me they are throwing darts at a dart board trying to figure out your problem, and right now, your wallet is the dart board.

    Having said that, it IS remotely possible your replacement battery is faulty, but I would bet slim odds on that possibility. If I knew more specifics, I might have a different opinion... Then again, maybe not...

    I guess it depends upon your "pain" threshold, but at some point you may have to decide if this dealership is going to "make the cut", so to speak.

    Good luck!

    At least they gave you something else to drive...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,453
    Your so-called service adviser is an incompetent fool at best and a bald-faced liar at worst. It's almost impossible for a starter to kill a battery. As I suggested earlier, Ask them to explain how they determined that the battery and starter were bad. Did the battery fail a load test? Were the starter and solenoid BOTH bad? If so, how did they diagnose that? They are idiots.
    If you don't mind me asking, what dealer is causing all this needless misery?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

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