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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 08-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #1
datopaz325ci
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: issaquah washington
Posts: 34
My Ride: 2003 topaz 325ci
my 325ci is having problems starting

its been 2 weeks since i bought my car and ive been having a problem starting it. about 75% of the time when i turn key to the second position no dash lights will come on. when i try starting the car without the dash lights on it just cranks but wont turn over. the only way to get it started is to turn the key from 1st to 2nd position on the ignition until the dash lights come on (usually takes 5~25 times) before the lights come on. once the lights are on the car starts and runs fine then will start normally for the the next 2 hour after the car has been running. after the 2 hours the same thing happens again. ive been trying to figure out what the problem is wether its a relay, sensor, fuse. could somebody help me and tell me what the problem is and if there is one a link to a diy. thanks...
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:55 AM   #2
2003silver330i
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: N. Las Vegas, NV
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See if you can find a date on your battery and post it for us to see. Almost sounds like you have a dead battery or lose ground wire. When the dash light don't come on in second position try wiggling the key up/down and side/side to see if the lights will come on that way.

Last edited by 2003silver330i; 08-23-2012 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:23 PM   #3
datopaz325ci
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: issaquah washington
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My Ride: 2003 topaz 325ci
no luck when the problem first started happening i thought it was a dead battery so i charged the battery until it was full and it didnt make any difference.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:31 PM   #4
2003silver330i
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Sounds like something in the key tumbler isn't making a connection when you turn it to position 2. Try moving the steering when up or down and turning the key to position 2 and see if that works.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:36 PM   #5
2003silver330i
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Location: N. Las Vegas, NV
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My Ride: 03 BMW 330i
Possibly the ignition switch (key tumbler) is worn out and needs to be replaced.

The ignition switch is a multi-function switch located on the steering column. When you turn the key, contacts in the switch send current to the corresponding wires, thus providing signal to the DME, accessories, starter, and fuel pump. If a connection within the switch fails, signal output to many components may be eliminated, leaving you unable to start the vehicle.

The BMW part number for your car is: 61326901961
Price depending on manufacturer ranges from: $40-$75

Last edited by 2003silver330i; 08-23-2012 at 12:47 PM.
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