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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
nelson1992
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: tennessee
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My Ride: bmw 325 xi
325xi wont start

my wifes 325xi wont start all the light come on but it dontdo anything else. i tried to jump it off under the hood still nothing. checked battery its good.was going to tow it to a shop then it cranked right up and ran good for4 day know it want crank again
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:48 PM   #2
ZiMMie
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try a different set of keys.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #3
SamDoe1
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Auto or manual?
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:22 PM   #4
tomoyer
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania
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My Ride: 03 325xi, 03 330xi
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First and easiest check, try all your keys and see if any of them work/don't work. If that is the case, you have a bad key. Next check, test the battery with a DMM, should have 12.5 or more volts if fully charged. You can remove the battery and have it load tested to make sure that it has the cold cranking amperage and indeed doesn't have a shorted cell(s). These are the 2 easiest and quickest things to rule out. Also, make sure that your battery cables at the battery are clean and tight, also the positive at the jumper point under the hood and that all wires are clean and tight at the starter and starter solenoid. BUT from what you said, I would say that you have a starter solenoid starting to really go bad, not completely shot, but just about there. The solenoid triggers the starter motor to engage and turn the motor to start it. No clicking from the solenoid and the lights staying on when trying to crank is usually a sign of a solenoid that is not "switching", if the lights go dim or out when cranking, its a sign that the starter motor or solenoid is shorted out.
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Old 09-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
Mhnd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelson1992 View Post
my wifes 325xi wont start all the light come on but it dontdo anything else. i tried to jump it off under the hood still nothing. checked battery its good.was going to tow it to a shop then it cranked right up and ran good for4 day know it want crank again
I have the same problem on my 2004 330xi now, hopefully yours is fixed now, what was your problem?

Thanks
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:49 AM   #6
Mhnd
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I found out last night that the problem is the starter, after hitting the starter with a long rod the car fired right away ..... The car previously had only power (lights on, blower on, head light on ... etc.) but no crank no click what so ever ..... I ordered the starter last night and will install over the weekend, I heard it's a PITA on an xi any insight? I looked at the DIY in the forum people were talking about a 7 hour job to replace. Any experience with an xi will be appreciated?

Thanks!
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Old 10-20-2012, 04:08 PM   #7
Mhnd
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I replaced my car starter last month on my 2004 330xi automatic transmission all from above without removing intake manifold, total 7 hours. It's a very difficult job but it's doable and require a lot of patient.
I will post some pictures soon. Followed starter DIY in Forums.
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Old 10-21-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
klixtokw
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: florida
Posts: 35
My Ride: bmw 325 ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
First and easiest check, try all your keys and see if any of them work/don't work. If that is the case, you have a bad key. Next check, test the battery with a DMM, should have 12.5 or more volts if fully charged. You can remove the battery and have it load tested to make sure that it has the cold cranking amperage and indeed doesn't have a shorted cell(s). These are the 2 easiest and quickest things to rule out. Also, make sure that your battery cables at the battery are clean and tight, also the positive at the jumper point under the hood and that all wires are clean and tight at the starter and starter solenoid. BUT from what you said, I would say that you have a starter solenoid starting to really go bad, not completely shot, but just about there. The solenoid triggers the starter motor to engage and turn the motor to start it. No clicking from the solenoid and the lights staying on when trying to crank is usually a sign of a solenoid that is not "switching", if the lights go dim or out when cranking, its a sign that the starter motor or solenoid is shorted out.
Tomo,
I have the identical problem all the electrical devices and lights work fine but when you turn the key not even a click.
I replaced the battery since I was sure this was the culprit sice the cranking sounded a little slower before this happened. But no luck same silence. I tried the other key and no dice. I would love to chech the solenoid or starter but can't see or even find in the motor since its all covered in plastic and no part can be seen. I have been told the access is from below and you need to have it on a lift. I wanted to tap the starter to see if i could at least start to take to a mechanic.

I feel the problem is either the starter, solenoid or start switch and maybe the ignition anti theft if it has one. I have a 2004 325ci.
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:02 AM   #9
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhnd View Post
I found out last night that the problem is the starter, after hitting the starter with a long rod the car fired right away ..... The car previously had only power (lights on, blower on, head light on ... etc.) but no crank no click what so ever ..... I ordered the starter last night and will install over the weekend, I heard it's a PITA on an xi any insight? I looked at the DIY in the forum people were talking about a 7 hour job to replace. Any experience with an xi will be appreciated?

Thanks!
MHND,
how did you get to the starter to tap it? I have looked at the engine and its all wrapped in plastic and np part can be seen. I have your exact same problem and suspect the starter but can reach it to checkand/or tap so I can at least start to take to a mechanic. Please help!!!!
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Old 10-21-2012, 01:05 AM   #10
klixtokw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mhnd View Post
I replaced my car starter last month on my 2004 330xi automatic transmission all from above without removing intake manifold, total 7 hours. It's a very difficult job but it's doable and require a lot of patient.
I will post some pictures soon. Followed starter DIY in Forums.
Mhnd,
that is exactly what I need to change mine in a 2004 325CI. Please post pics and an explanation of the process. Thank you man. I have been dealing with this for 4 days trying every theory in the book including replacing my batt. How many miles have you got in yours? I only have 60,000. Is this that common at low miles?
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Old 10-21-2012, 05:23 PM   #11
325xittt
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I've replace two 325xi starters. You can access the bolts of the starter from the top by removing the cabin air intake tray and panel surrounding the brake booster. This gives limited access to the bolts. They are torx head bolts on the starter but a 12 pt I thinks its 3/8" socket and box wrench works nicely on them, if you don't have torx sockets. Its tight but you can get them out. The starter can be wiggled out the bottom. I didn't discover this until later but there is a panel on the firewall below where the cabin air tray mounts that can be removed that will give you some additional room to work. It is by far the hardest starter to remove that I've ever encountered in 40 yrs of home wrenching ordeals. No need to remove the intake mani or subframe thou.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:20 AM   #12
Mhnd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klixtokw View Post
Mhnd,
that is exactly what I need to change mine in a 2004 325CI. Please post pics and an explanation of the process. Thank you man. I have been dealing with this for 4 days trying every theory in the book including replacing my batt. How many miles have you got in yours? I only have 60,000. Is this that common at low miles?
I will send the documents to your Yahoo .....

I sent it about an hour ago.

Good luck

Last edited by Mhnd; 10-22-2012 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 10-25-2012, 07:57 AM   #13
Mhnd
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I benefited a lot from this Forum and the different DIYs that it offers and would like to contribute back to show my thanks and appreciation. The following thread contains a PDF document (DIY) that explains how to complete a starter removal on an XI model automatic all from the top and without removing the Intake Manifold.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=952329
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