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Old 06-30-2014, 10:23 AM   #1
firewire2013
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HELP PLEASE! BMW 2003 N42 E46 318Ci Starter Motor clicking

Hello

2003 BMW E46 318Ci Sport N42 Engine

I need some help please this is driving me crazy.

The other day, I went to start the car and it started clicking when I turned the key. So I tried it again and it was fine for about 2 more days. Yesterday it did the same and I was in BP filling up (typical) so a got RAC Breakdown to come out. When he arrived he tried connecting his battery to mine to see if it was the battery it wasn't. The car carried on clicking, so we just bump started it and I drove home.
Tried it again once I was home and it started fine. About 5 hours later tried it again and no joy - it was clicking again.

The RAC guy carried out a test on the battery and he said it was OK, that in mind I when out and bought a re-con starter from EuroParts.co.uk (78)

I removed the air manifold to get access to the starter motor and changed it. The starter came with new solenoid and was mint.

I noticed the CCV pipe was leaking oil so I change the CCV and all the breather pipes too - thought my as well whist its accessible.

Put all the car back together and I even put a new battery on.

Put the key in and turned - no joy ......click click click. OMG!

I have no idea what it could be I have cleaned the positive jumper spot too.

Not sure if this has something to do with but I have noticed the cluck peddle has no bumper stop.


Any help would be great, thanks

James
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Old 06-30-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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Measure battery voltage at terminals "B" and "C" on the starter and report back!

See info in my No start thread!
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:03 PM   #3
firewire2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Measure battery voltage at terminals "B" and "C" on the starter and report back!

See info in my No start thread!
Hi

This would mean the air manifold will need removing as there is no access from below.

Do I put the meter on the starter and turn the key all the way or just take a reading with ignition light on?

Thanks for input.

James
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Old 06-30-2014, 01:41 PM   #4
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No, you don't have to take the manifold off, only the intake boots.

Terminal "B" have constant voltage and yes you have to turn the key to check terminal "C".

You can also hot wire it from the underhood terminal.
If it spins that way, there is a voltage drop somewhere.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:13 PM   #5
firewire2013
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[QUOTE=lszlszx;16221857]No, you don't have to take the manifold off, only the intake boots.

Terminal "B" have constant voltage and yes you have to turn the key to check terminal "C".

You can also hot wire it from the underhood terminal.
If it spins that way, there is a voltage drop somewhere.[/QUOTE


Just checking we are on the same page this is the N42 engine and the only way to access the starter is to remove the air inlet manifold and injectors. Unless you had an extra long pair of voltage tester pins to feed through little gaps.

There is a negative and positive jumping point under the hood which is what the RAC guy connected too.

I can take a reading form there and the battery?
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:23 PM   #6
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Sorry, I forgot you have a 4 cylinder.
I thought it would easier, 2 less cylinders!

Try to go through the gaps.

Did it start after the starter install?
Sometimes people forget to connect/tighten the terminals.
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Old 06-30-2014, 02:41 PM   #7
firewire2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
Sorry, I forgot you have a 4 cylinder.
I thought it would easier, 2 less cylinders!

Try to go through the gaps.

Did it start after the starter install?
Sometimes people forget to connect/tighten the terminals.
I will go out tomorrow and buy some long voltage pins.

All the terminals are connected and tight.

No it just clicks - same as before the starter was changed.

Cheers

James
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:48 AM   #8
firewire2013
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Hi

Even with a thin cane taped to the voltage pin I could'nt get a reading on the back of starter.

So I removed the air manifold just enough without disconnecting the CCV.

Anyway..

At the battery = 12.44
At the jumper points under the hood = 12.44

With the key out

A = 0
B = 12.4
C = 0

With the key in the starting position (starter was clicking)

A = 11.89
B = 12.3
C = 11.98



Hope that helps

Cheers

James
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:58 AM   #9
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There is battery voltage, the starter should crank.

Turn the crankshaft manually to see if it's moving freely.
Then hot wire it, connect a lead to the jumper terminal and terminals B and C.

If there is still no joy, you'll have to pull it again and test it outside the car.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:04 AM   #10
firewire2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lszlszx View Post
There is battery voltage, the starter should crank.

Turn the crankshaft manually to see if it's moving freely.
Then hot wire it, connect a lead to the jumper terminal and terminals B and C.

If there is still no joy, you'll have to pull it again and test it outside the car.
Is there a chance the motor could be stuck and needs a bang... is that common on a new motor?
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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No, it shouldn't.

Hot wire D, not B.
When you do that, the starter motor should spin without engaging.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:19 AM   #12
firewire2013
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Just spun the crank and it was free.

I have no jumper cables will have to go get some.

Im confused now which ones do I jump?

D + C = motor spins without engaging?
B + C = Motor spins and engages with flywheel?

If this don't work is the motor bad?

Thanks
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:22 AM   #13
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Did you check the starter fuses/relays? and the clicking noise is coming from the starter right not somewhere else? You can test the old starter relay and see if it engages the starter. If it does then that confirms the starter was never the issue and your new starter is most likely installed correctly.

I haven't touched the starter on my car ( knock of wood ) I heard its a pain in the ass since its in such a tight space. Thanks BMW engineers!

Last edited by Custom3; 07-01-2014 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:27 AM   #14
firewire2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Custom3 View Post
Did you check the starter fuses/relays? and the clicking noise is coming from the starter right not somewhere else? You can test the old starter relay and see if it engages the starter. If it does then that confirms the starter was never the issue and your new starter is most likely installed correctly.

I haven't touched the starter on my car ( knock of wood ) I heard its a pain in the ass since its in such a tight space. Thanks BMW engineers!
Where are they located?

Cheers
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:56 AM   #15
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D - starter spins without engaging
C - starter cranks

You only need to touch one at a time.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:11 AM   #16
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I know the glove box has a fuse. Might be some more in other places. You have a BMW Maintenance book?
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Old 07-03-2014, 04:44 PM   #17
firewire2013
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Talking

OMG I basically didn't need to fit a starter. It was the earth lead on front of engine. At least I know the starter and battery are good lol

I did change the CCV as well so not a total loss.

Thanks for the help everyone

Last edited by firewire2013; 07-03-2014 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 07-03-2014, 06:02 PM   #18
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Glad you found it and thanks for updating the thread!

Interesting, there was almost full voltage at the starter and yet.....a bad ground.
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Old 07-04-2014, 05:25 AM   #19
firewire2013
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No problem, updating the out come is important for other users, I hate nothing more.

Very strange indeed. I just bypassed the earth lead with a jumper cable and it turned over straight away. Then I removed the jumper and it was clicking again. All I needed to do is sand the contact on the engine lol. TBH if I took it to a garage they would have probably said it was the starter anyway. Sorry to the few honest garage owners.

Anyway next time I'll know check the fecking earth lead first you wholly!

Cheers
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