View Full Version : Electricity everywhere but the starter...

10-31-2005, 06:47 PM
I have an '01 M3 that's been running just fine (except the SES light has been on for a while due to a really long wait time at BMW of Fairfax). Went out on Friday and it drove like a champ. I tried to start it Sunday morning, and the lights work, the accessories work, the fuel pump starts whirring, but absolutely nothing from the starter. Battery 'eye' is green. I directly hooked up the battery from my ancient Nissan and got the same results. I tried both regular keys and the valet key, as well.

Is there a fuse or something preventing my starter from engaging? I saw a black cover around the positive terminal, but wasn't really sure what to do with it. As I said, everything else seems absolutely fine, but the starter doesn't make the slightest hint of a sound in trying to engage. The car has 20k miles and is garage kept.


11-01-2005, 10:39 AM
I'd suggest using a volt meter and checking the starter relay and the power to the starter. My entirely uniformed guess - bad starter.

If you don't already have one, grab a copy of the Bentley E46 Manual (BavAuto (http://www.bavauto.com/fland.asp?rid=17563), Turner (http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=6942), Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0837612772/002-6540777-6275222?v=glance&n=283155&n=507846&s=books&v=glance), Olsson's (http://www.booksite.com/texis/scripts/oop/click_ord/showdetail.html?sid=2890&isbn=0837612772&music=&buyable=0&assoc_id=&spring=))

11-01-2005, 11:31 PM
Thanks, SharkD- I guess it's just a lame battery. I pop-started it this evening, drove it around a bit, and it started up fine after that.

11-05-2005, 07:48 AM
Still could be the starter. The starter is actually engergized by the starter solenoid, which also engages the starter. If theis sticks, no engagement, and mo juice.

The normal diagnostic is to rap it with a stick or hammer handle a few times and see if it works. If it does, it will work for a while, but it is failing and needs to be replaced.

So don;t be surprised when it happens again, of course ona cold morning when you are late to an important meeting. :)