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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 01-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: NJ
Posts: 175
My Ride: 2001 325i
Bang to start...no really though

so I've had this problem since I got the car, but it doesn't occur too often.
When I turn the key to start the car, sometimes the car just won't start.
I've found that only after banging on the dash right above the cluster, then turning the key, it starts.

I've tested this numerous times: turning the key multiple (7-8) times with no start, then hitting the dash with a start. or turning it only a couple times with no start, then hitting the dash and it starts.

I'm posting this now though because it seems as though this barbaric method may not cut it any longer (it took me about 20 minutes for me to get my car to start last night and this morning).

I was just wondering if you guys had any idea what may be the problem? Perhaps a weak signal from the ignition to the starter?
Also, it really only occurs after semi-long periods of time (overnight) of not starting the car. However, if I start my car, shut it off and wait perhaps a few minutes, it will start up right away.

Also, it seems that may key has gotten slightly harder to put in and pull out the key from the ignition. Any info would be great!
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:13 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Old Greg's Cavern
Posts: 12,650
My Ride: '13 128i, '04 330Ci
Wouldn't that point to the actual key switch being bad, or that there is a loose connection somewhere?
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: the barnyard
Posts: 2,458
My Ride: '79 Massey Ferguson
That does point to an ignition switch. You can test for a 12V signal to the small wire on the starter when trying to crank...if there isn't one and it doesn't attempt to crank, you've pretty well got your answer.
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