BMW 3-Series Starting Problems

jayleno212001jayleno212001 Member Posts: 1
My BMW 94 318 did not started this morning. When I try to turn it on, I hear the clicking noise like a machine gun and nothing happens. It was working fine yesterday. Any ideas?


  • abfischabfisch Member Posts: 591

  • katrinajob2002katrinajob2002 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought an 02 325i, and not even a month later, i cant start it. The dash clicked the first time it went dead, then i had to jump it a second time the folowing day and now nothing dont even click. I hope its just the battery!
  • rochadeb126rochadeb126 Member Posts: 2
    Luv my 1995 325i and not ready to give it up!! Cannot get starter prob. resolved. First starter was replaced about one month ago, turned out to be a defected starter was replaced one week later it went out again. Had starter replaced by another shop three days later starter whet out again! Was replaced under warranty today that starter went out which makes it the fourth within 2 months time! Does anyone have any suggestions, or maybe have heard of similar prob.??
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Check to see if they were rebuilt or new. Then demand a "Real New" starter.

  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Have the system checked. It is probably the alternator. You might also need a new battery.

  • rochadeb126rochadeb126 Member Posts: 2
    All except for one was rebuilt, last one installed was new! THanks for your help! Do you think this is good enough a reason to want to sell the car, at 4 a164,000 miles.
  • circlewcirclew Member Posts: 8,666
    Perhaps but you really got your value! It depends on if you feel you are now spending more money than it is worth and how comfortable you feel about the reliability going forward.

    Good luck on whatever you decide.

  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,325
    I've owned and wrenched on BMWs since 1983 and I can tell you that BMW starters tend to be very reliable. They rarely fail before 150,000 miles, and once replaced last at least another 150K. Something else is going on. What type of shops are working on your 325i? Did the shops replace the solenoid as well as the starter? What brand were the rebuilt starters? I may be wrong, but it sounds as if the shops are just throwing parts at your problem rather than trying to actually solve and fix the problem. I assume you know that a starter installed by a BMW dealer carries a lifetime warranty. I usually recommend that owners of older BMWs find a good independent BMW tech to service their Bimmers, but if you plan to keep the car for a long time I would strongly consider using a dealer when the part in question is covered by the BMW Lifetime Limited Parts Warranty Those parts include: shock absorbers, strut inserts, mufflers, alternators, starters, and water pumps.
    I perform a lot of the minor maintenance and repairs on my BMW myself, but I'll probably use my local dealer if anything other than the water pump or alternator goes south.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • jrose318isjrose318is Member Posts: 1
    Went to start and it just wont turn.. same click noise as talked about....everything seemed to be there power wise....We arked the started from underneath and it just spun ....the ignition was on....Is this a definate started issue?... Or ... Is it possible it could be the solenoid.?. Because, when i try to start in car its just..."click"... Starter does nothing... I ark, it spins, what's the deal? Should i replace starter, solenoid, what..?????
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you can "motor" the starter (make it spin) it probably is a solenoid. But by the time you take it all apart, it might be easier to replace it with a rebuilt.

    Are you quite sure your motor turns and isn't seized?

    (just checking).
  • widriver2widriver2 Member Posts: 36

    My 2002 BMW 325CI has not started 5 different times in the last three months. In three of those cases the car started 10 to 15 minutes later. Took it to the dealer and they could not find anything wrong with the vehicle, nor was there a code indicating a problem. Once it would not start for 2 days. Power seems to work as radio and lights come on. We we raised the front hood, the engine seemed to make a hiss when we tried to start it, but did not start to turn over at all.

    My car has 53,000 miles and I live in the upper midwest.

    Any ideas?
  • fv900fv900 Member Posts: 1
    I was wondering if you found a solution to the problem you had with your car no starting. It appears I have the same problem on my 2002 325 ix.
    I took the starter out and had it tested. It tested fine. I 'm wondering if there's a problem with the alternator since one of the two main leads to the starter comes through/from there.
  • jphsiehjphsieh Member Posts: 1
    I have the same issue with comment # 12. My car is now at 103,000 miles and this is the first time I've had problems with it. I know it's not the battery because I just had the dealer change it out a few months ago. By the way, don't be fooled by thinking only the dealer can deal with this "special" battery as they said. I was fooled because I read in the manual that the battery could be fixed sometimes by recharging it. But when i was at the dealer, they said something was wrong with the battery and couldn't be recharged. So in my case, or our case I should say, would it be the starter?
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,325
    It could still be the battery- have it load tested. Also check and make sure that all battery connections and main grounds are clean and secure. It might be the starter, but in 25 years of BMW ownership and maintenance I've never had to replace one. Find a good indie BMW tech who knows how to diagnose problems- not just throw parts at them.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • mschukarmschukar Member Posts: 351
    Over the last 6 weeks or so, I have several incidences where my 325i won't start. The starter turns over for several seconds, but there is no ignition. Every time I've been able to get it started by turning the key all the way off and retrying, usually several times.

    Today when it happened, I noticed that the gas gauge needle was pegged on empty and (I think) non of the engine lights where lit. When it finally did start, the gas gauge was working. The radio was working fine.

    So it seems there's a loose connection somewhere between the key and the rest of the system. Any ideas on where I should start looking?

  • stunyccpastunyccpa Member Posts: 48
    No idea, that doesn't sounds good though. I also have a 2002 325i, I havent had any problems with it. How many miles do you have on it?
  • harv62844harv62844 Member Posts: 2
    my daughters 330 has an occasional no start. engine cranks but will not complete firing. all has been checked including steering column teardown with no results. not a daily occurance but weekly and i am at my wits end. since its at bmw when i drive it, it never occurs. thanks for your help. harv
  • roadburnerroadburner Member Posts: 16,325
    What about the main and fuel pump relays?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • harv62844harv62844 Member Posts: 2
    hi and thanks for the reply. i'll request they look at those recommendations and should you think of any other possibles please let me know. once again, thanks, harv
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    fuel pressure regulator? If the fuel rail pressure bleeds down overnight, or after a day's parking, then you have to crank and crank to force the fuel pump to re-pressurize the entire rail.
  • bobos6bobos6 Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased 325i for 27k with 12k miles and love it ,except for starter but want m3 now, can any one suggest most economical transition to obtaining 2005 or 2006 m3.That is 2006 325i for a m3 2005/2006 with 30-40kmiles.At dealer what will I likely experience?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Your best bet would be to sell the 325 privately, not trade it in; otherwise you'll take a substantial hit on value IMO--unless you absolutely stole the 325.

    You might visit our True Market Value calculator and see where you stand. TMV
  • batiborbatibor Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2006 325i with 25,000 miles, bought it brand new in 2005. I have been having problems starting it over the course of the last year starting in sept 08. The brake gets hard & doesn't start. I have taken it to the dealers and they did some work on it (originally they couldn't duplicate the prblm so they never did anything), was OK for a while and then started having problems again. The warranty will expire next month and am worried it's not gonna get fixed before my warranty expires. Any suggestions?
  • cjblatch1cjblatch1 Member Posts: 2
    i'm having the same problem. did you get yours fixed?
  • batiborbatibor Member Posts: 2
    No, the dealer could not find anything wrong with it. I just learned to deal with it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Please stop posting repeated duplicates of your problem. They should be posted only in BMW 335 topics, and only once is sufficient for comments and responses.

    Visiting Host
  • bmlexusbmlexus Member Posts: 755
    Where is that post now and where can I read it :confuse:

    Since u have deleted it, now I am unable to know where it is.

    Sometimes a repeated post can be useful
  • srs_49srs_49 Member Posts: 1,394
    It's one thing to post to one or two threads - for instance a model specific one and the maintenance and repair one for some troubleshooting/repair advice. It's another to just spam the post to half dozen or more topics.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I understand, but l your regular host and I thought 14X a bit much for our members.

    Here's the original post:

  • docuwizedocuwize Member Posts: 7
    I apologize for the multiple postings. I was looking to the forum to figure out if anyone else is having the same issue with their BMW 335xi or 335i bursting into flames with only 20K miles. I was looking for feedback not trying to spam.

    Thanks for the note.
  • cjblatch1cjblatch1 Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • wogaswogawogaswoga Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Moderator Posts: 213,627
    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 Member Posts: 16,325
    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.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • mailbox20mailbox20 Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 16,325
    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...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • sunrhythmssunrhythms Member Posts: 1
    try the ignition switch.. its found in the steering column i believe
  • mailbox20mailbox20 Member Posts: 4
    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 EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 16,325
    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...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2020 C43; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i; 2018 330i xDrive

  • ophidian_pr1m3ophidian_pr1m3 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    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.
  • toppercattoppercat Member Posts: 8
    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:)
  • toppercattoppercat Member Posts: 8
    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:)
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