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General E46 Forum
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Old 12-27-2014, 01:49 PM   #1
xpro
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Join Date: Feb 2013
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No crank when car is cold

For the past year or so, my car would not crank on the first try but would on the 2nd or 3rd try this only happened once in a blue moon. But for the past 2-3 weeks it has to a point that it does not crank at all. My car is manual, so when that happens I push it and put it into gear which makes the car start. After driving the car when I turn it off and try to start it again, it does crank. Sometimes I would have to hold the ignition in the start position for 3-4 seconds before the engine cranks. I am trying to find out which part is causing this malfunction. Anyone had a similar experience that can point me to the right direction? Also I notices that my car also cranks even if I don't hold down the clutch. I don't know if the last owner bypassed the clutch switch or that's where the malfunction is coming from.
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:06 PM   #2
westendhooligan
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Lol... It hasn't been cranking for a year now! Damn took you long enough to try and find some answers for your problem! Lol... Just busting your chops! It's sounds like your starter isn't working good or you just might need a tune up! Not sure if the manual engines use distributors? If they do, then you might want to start there...
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Old 12-27-2014, 02:08 PM   #3
xpro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westendhooligan View Post
Lol... It hasn't been cranking for a year now! Damn took you long enough to try and find some answers for your problem! Lol... Just busting your chops! It's sounds like your starter isn't working good or you just might need a tune up! Not sure if the manual engines use distributors? If they do, then you might want to start there...
Could it be the ignition switch as well?
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Old 12-27-2014, 03:33 PM   #4
xpro
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I just read a few posts that say it could also be the battery in my key. How likely would that be?
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Old 12-27-2014, 03:41 PM   #5
jfoj
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It is NOT the battery in the key, the battery in the key is not for the EWS.

It is LIKELY the starter.

The 2003-2004 xi have all sorts of starter issues and the starter is a PITA to replace on the car.

You could try to replace the ignition switch, but my money is on the starter.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:12 PM   #6
jdstrickland
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My money is on the starter. The OP is in a cold climate, so the problem should go away in spring and summer if the starter is binding because of goo and gunk that is freezing. The heat from the engine operations make the starter work on the re-start, so the starter is frozen shut.
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:18 PM   #7
xpro
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Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
My money is on the starter. The OP is in a cold climate, so the problem should go away in spring and summer if the starter is binding because of goo and gunk that is freezing. The heat from the engine operations make the starter work on the re-start, so the starter is frozen shut.
wow that sounds like my problem. Is the starter fixable by cleaning the goo and gunk? or do I have to buy a new one?
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Old 12-27-2014, 04:21 PM   #8
jfoj
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Replace with either a QUALITY rebuilt, if they exist via the dealer or a good source or go with a new starter due to the difficulty replacing it.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...rical/Starter/
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 12-27-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:22 PM   #9
jdstrickland
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Yes, unless I am wrong then no.

It is generally possible to open a starter and clean the insides. Resist the temptation to grease it up because the grease freezes and turns to goo, and the problem returns. You want all of the parts to be clean. I once had a starter with an errant piece of sheet metal that was rubbing on something so that the starter would not engage the gear into the flywheel. All I needed to do was hammer the sheet metal out of the way.

Your starter lives on the left side of the engine, under the intake manifold. Be careful to not damage any of the hoses or ducting in the area, else the resulting leak will cause your engine to run lean.
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Old 12-27-2014, 06:54 PM   #10
jfoj
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Do not even attempt to "clean" the starter on a 2003-2004 XI, they are NOTROIOUS for earlier failure likely due to soft/premature brush wear.

The starter on your car is 10-11 years old, it NEEDS to be REPLACED.

As hard as these starters are to replace on the xi, it is not worth removing it more than once.

A lot of folks just pull the intake and replace the starter from under the hood.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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