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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 11-07-2011, 10:13 AM   #1
M3 2JZ
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 1
My Ride: 03 M3 SMG
Another intermittant start problem...

I would have liked my first post on these forums to be a positive one however that won't be the case this time.

I bought an 03 M3 SMG with 35K miles a couple of months ago and everything was fine until the weather started getting cold. Now on cold mornings (say anything in the 30-40 F) the key will need to be turned on and off (cranked) for anywhere from 10-15 minutes before I can get the car to turn over. For all the key turns before it actually turns over I get no response, no clicking, no grinding, just the normal warning/accessory lights and the fuel pump and smg pump sounds. Lights and radio do not dim/turnoff (due to the power going to the starter) on the key turns until that final twist when it actually turns over.

This trouble starting will only happen on the first start on cold mornings. After the first hard start I can drive to work and back and pretty much anywhere that day with out any trouble starting. After finally getting the car started in the mornings I can shut it off and go back inside and continue getting ready and come back out and it will start with no problems.

Yesterday it was a warmer day and it had no problems starting up in the morning.

The battery is about a year old and I have tried starting the car while being jumped by another car and that would not get it to turn over. Both my normal FOB key and Valet key result in the same amount of time to get the car started.

Now from the many threads I have read through on these and other M3 forums it seems to always come down to the starter. If this is true what would cause this issue only on the first start of cold mornings but not at anyother time of the day. So far it seems to be issolated to only cold morning starts.

I just want to get this issue narrowed down before I go ahead and replace the starter since it is such time consuming project. It just seems strange that this only happens once per day and any other time it works fine. I would think if it works at all other times the starter itself is in working condition but there is a interruption somewhere else that is preventing the solenoid from recieving power. I may start at the ignition switch and go from there.

Yea that's a long post, but I wanted to make sure I put as much detail as I could about this problem.

Any advice would be appreciated.

And for those who have had similar problems did the starter replacement fix your problem or was it something else?

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Old 11-08-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 9
My Ride: M3
Here are some reference:http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...hlight=starter

Had the same problem. The car won't start in the morning when its cold. Turn the key, it goes click, click, click.
Ordered a Valeo starter, went to a trust machanic to have it put in.
Boom! Starts every morning with no hesitation.
I know it is really furstrating to have that issue, especially, you scored a hot date and the car won't start
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