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Old Yesterday, 05:06 AM   #1
illmatic37
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Weird no start problem, looking for similar experience

Have a weird intermittent no start problem. Canít figure out where to start to try and diagnose it so maybe someone has had a similar experience or has some advice?
2001 330ci manual trans 78,xxx miles
So occasional no start, presents like dead battery, has the usual clicking, no crank, headlights come on. I know the battery is not the problem, itís 2 months old, Iíve load tested it, correct voltage, charging system tests fine also. Hereís the strange part. If I roll the car (clutch in, brake down) maybe 6 inches or so, the car starts fine like normal. The clock resets to óóóó as if the battery was disconnected.
Also seems like the following do not make a difference: rolling the car forwards or reverse, itís happened when the car was parked out in the rain, parked in the garage, I donít think temperatures a factor, Iím in Hawaii so itís around 70-80 degrees average.
Iíve searched and found nothing. Others have suggested bad starter or stuck flywheel which both donít sound logical to me. Clutch in, rolling the car wouldnít free up a stuck flywheel as the clutch is not making contact with the flywheel and starter gear isnít engaged when I roll the car either.
I do have an intermittent ses light that I believe is due to a vacuum leak after the MAF, I suspect lower intake boot causing extra air. When the ses comes on it doesnít affect drive ability. I donít think the ses is related to this no start issue.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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Old Yesterday, 05:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by illmatic37 View Post
Have a weird intermittent no start problem. Canít figure out where to start to try and diagnose it so maybe someone has had a similar experience or has some advice?
2001 330ci manual trans 78,xxx miles
So occasional no start, presents like dead battery, has the usual clicking, no crank, headlights come on. I know the battery is not the problem, itís 2 months old, Iíve load tested it, correct voltage, charging system tests fine also. Hereís the strange part. If I roll the car (clutch in, brake down) maybe 6 inches or so, the car starts fine like normal. The clock resets to óóóó as if the battery was disconnected.
Also seems like the following do not make a difference: rolling the car forwards or reverse, itís happened when the car was parked out in the rain, parked in the garage, I donít think temperatures a factor, Iím in Hawaii so itís around 70-80 degrees average.
Iíve searched and found nothing. Others have suggested bad starter or stuck flywheel which both donít sound logical to me. Clutch in, rolling the car wouldnít free up a stuck flywheel as the clutch is not making contact with the flywheel and starter gear isnít engaged when I roll the car either.
I do have an intermittent ses light that I believe is due to a vacuum leak after the MAF, I suspect lower intake boot causing extra air. When the ses comes on it doesnít affect drive ability. I donít think the ses is related to this no start issue.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated
I would think it would be electrical since the cluster resets. Check all your positive and negative cables again.
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Old Yesterday, 06:11 AM   #3
Brewtus79
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The cluster resetting is strange. Had a similar issue w my father's e28 5 series a few years back and it was a bad starter FWIW. Roll the car either way and it would start up just fine. GL.

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Old Yesterday, 07:03 AM   #4
dmax
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As mentioned, start with electrical. I am 'feeling' that it's a common issue where the clamps on the battery are tightened, but too large to grip the lug well...they make spacers for that.

Continue on...check for clean and tight connections where you can--including 'up' the positive cable in the trunk and the + terminal under the hood....and two major engine grounds--flat braided cables under the car.
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Old Yesterday, 07:09 AM   #5
markusmarkus
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The clicking noise is the starter not getting adequate power. The main red battery power cable is routed up the right side of the car. It terminates at the jumper post located under the red plastic cover under the hood. 2 other cables are connected to the post:
- starter cable
- fuse panels (in dash and next to the engine computer)

This connection at the jumper post can become corroded, not allowing the required electrical current to reach the starter.

A little bit about electricity. The starter needs a specific amount of electrical power, measured in watts. A watt is 1 volt DC (direct current) times 1 ampere (amp) of current (1VDC x 1 amp). Btw, 735 watts is 1 horsepower. As an example, the starter needs 2400 watts of power to crank the engine. A nice, new, fully charged battery will, for this example, supply 12VDC. That means the battery will need to also provide 200 amps of current (12VDC x 200 amps = 2400 watts). Now, letís assume (me bad) that the connection between the battery power cable and the other connectors (starter and fuse panels) is corroded. The starter still needs 2400 watts of power to crank the engine. But that corroded connection drops the voltage thatís getting to the battery and the fuse panels when engaging the starter. So, disconnect the ground/earth/negative battery cable and disassemble the jumper post. Check it for corrosion. Use a 3M green scrubbing pad to clean the corrosion. Also, check the connection at the starter. Next remove the positive cable from the battery. Use the same scrubbing pad on the battery posts and in the inside of the battery cable connectors. Reinstall the positive cable and then the ground/earth/negative cable.
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