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Old 05-17-2011, 09:05 PM   #1
dhong089
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Default NO crank problem.. AGAIN! :(

Hey guys. I had a huge problem with my car not starting at all. Turning the ignition key, you would not hear anything whatsoever. The engine will not crank at all.

You can check my previous thread here: http://318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=33364

So I called the mechanic and push-started my car to drive over. I left it at his shop so he could diagnose what the issue could be.

The next day, the mechanic calls and says that he replaced the battery. In doing so, he said the starter cranked right up without any problems.

I went over the next day, paid for the $120 battery, and the car really did start right up. Apparently he said that it was just the battery (no issue with the starter/solenoid or anything fancy; WHEW!)

For a week and a half, the car worked great. It started up every time.

Well, I got in the car this morning and the same problem occurred. I turned the ignition key and heard NO cranking whatsoever. Nothing, zilch, none! I was so frustrated… This is a brand new $120 dollar battery… so obviously the battery was not the problem. What the heck could be the problem then?!?! : (

I’ll just add this bit of information: perhaps it can point me towards the problem. Yesterday, my car was parked (parking brake up while in 1st gear). I went in the car, pushed the clutch in, and turned the ignition. What I heard was an electric motor whirring sound. It pretty much sounded like the starter motor was turning, however it wasn’t engaging with the engine at all. I quickly released the ignition and sat there confused… I was puzzled (and scared lol!) After sitting there for like 10 seconds, I put the car in neutral, turned the ignition, and the car started right up. What the heck is up with that?
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Old 05-18-2011, 03:22 PM   #2
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Sounds like you have a charging issue. The whirling sound was your starter spinning and not engaging which is normal from a low battery. Charge the battery fully then try to start the car. If it starts put a volt meter on the battery and you should see 13.5+ volts to ensure your charging system is working.

You might have to check your ground cables to the engine since they will cause charging issues like this or a bad alternator
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Old 05-18-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the help John.

I had a feeling it had something to do with the charging system as well. Because the battery was new, and the starter motor worked (at least when the battery had enough juice in it).

I'm kind of relieved that it wasn't the starter (as I heard replacing these things are a pain in the neck).

I'm at school at the moment, but when I get home, I'll try disconnecting the battery, and cleaning the ground wires/connections. Maybe the connections are corroded/dirty?

As for some tools, I should probably get myself a voltmeter and a battery charger. I know a good meter goes for around 100ish bucks. But as for a battery charger, how much do they go for? Not really looking for a top-notch charger, but something that can get the job done.

I guess my main concern right now is simply getting the tools so I can perform the proper electrical tests.
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Old 05-18-2011, 09:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dhong089 View Post
Thanks for the help John.

I had a feeling it had something to do with the charging system as well. Because the battery was new, and the starter motor worked (at least when the battery had enough juice in it).

I'm kind of relieved that it wasn't the starter (as I heard replacing these things are a pain in the neck).

I'm at school at the moment, but when I get home, I'll try disconnecting the battery, and cleaning the ground wires/connections. Maybe the connections are corroded/dirty?

As for some tools, I should probably get myself a voltmeter and a battery charger. I know a good meter goes for around 100ish bucks. But as for a battery charger, how much do they go for? Not really looking for a top-notch charger, but something that can get the job done.

I guess my main concern right now is simply getting the tools so I can perform the proper electrical tests.
Volt Meter $25. Battery charger maybe $40. Don't go big on these since you are not getting all into stuff big only checking voltage. I use a $25 volt meter and I'm fine
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:15 PM   #5
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I am having the same issue in my 97 318ti....I am finishing up a starter replacement..but I am suspecting that will not fix the issue. Since last year when I was driving the car the issue was intermittent(I've learnt to park always on hill).
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Old 05-22-2011, 10:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakobgr View Post
I am having the same issue in my 97 318ti....I am finishing up a starter replacement..but I am suspecting that will not fix the issue. Since last year when I was driving the car the issue was intermittent(I've learnt to park always on hill).
Such an annoying problem, huh? I also think that replacing your starter won't completely fix the issue. When I had a new battery in the car, the starter worked perfectly fine, thus the problem can't be solely in the starter/solenoid. After a week or so, the no-start problem occurred again.

It rained ALL week and I couldn't do anything for my car! HOpefully tomorrow I can actually get a voltmeter to do some actual testing ... and I'll probably grab a battery charger as well... I really have to stop procrastinating >_>
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:09 PM   #7
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Seriously annoying problem...(didn't bug totally until I got stuck outside the Audi dealership). Few things I have noticed after replacing the starter and still having the issue. Last year the issue actually went away by replacing battery and then it came back later in the year. Last year I would hear clicking when trying to start.....I ended the year that way...i.e. didnt use the car last winter. So I charge the battery up this spring and try to start...nothing...not a click. So I go for the new starter(cheap off ebay)...first time I after replacing the starter it starts up(but there are issues so I turn it off).....next time I try...nothing. I charge up the battery while it is still hooked up to the car. Then I try to start and get nothing. So I disconnect the battery and charge it. Hook up and car starts up fine. And this is where I am at..i.e. the car is starting up every time now.....so I am waiting for it to do it to me again. Not sure where I will end up..but if I find something...I will post it.

Jakob
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:18 PM   #8
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Oh couple of years ago I actually took das bmw to a dealership and had them look at the starting issues. They said circuit tested no trouble found........i.e. they said they found corrosion on the terminal which they cleaned. It started fine of course for them..and for me for awhile afterwards.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:03 PM   #9
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It did it to me again today...and the magic fix(probably temporary) was to disconnect the positive from the battery for 10 min or so(disconnecting for 30 seconds did not work). Is starting up every time at the moment and I am still clueless:-)
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:59 PM   #10
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When you say you heard clicking, doesn't that mean the starter is the issue? (I'm really not too sure though).

You then replaced the starter, but you said you got a cheapo off Ebay... Maybe that starter is also the problem! But you said the first time you tried to start the car with the new starter, it started fine, but it had problems. What were these problems?

Maybe we both have charging issues. I think I saw a thread you posted about an alternator. Did you replace the alternator, and still have this starting issue?

I STILL didn't get a voltmeter yet... gotta move my ass... It's just that I have no transportation.. or money! Until I can really test out the battery, connections, etc, then I really can't pinpoint my problem. But once I get a voltmeter, I'll share my results!

I'm also completely perplexed how your little trick worked.. I'm going outside right now to disconnect my battery for 10 minutes.

But the rule-of-thumb is to always remove the negative terminal first! (I don't exactly know why though). Did you only remove the positve terminal, or both? I might just remove both and see what happens.

EDIT: I'm still going to remove the terminals just to see what happens. But I think you and I have very different issues, but similar outcomes. Hopefully we can get our issues fixed soon...
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:05 AM   #11
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I suspect disconnecting the battery gives it time to build upfh or something like that...but I have tryed jumping it and it does not work. So I am scratching myself bald.
As for the clicking which I don't hear any more...I think that was a sign of not enough juice because the lights would dim in the dashboard. Now I don't get any clicking and no dimming of lights.
So I only disconnected the positive because the negative is stuck and wont come off.
Now I have a friend who is a real mechanic(yeah I am not the real deal) and he wants me to come over this weekend and do some testing. My car is actually doing it again...so I am heading out to see if the battery trick works again:-) Will let ya know in a few.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:13 AM   #12
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O.k. didnt work for me the second time...so this time disconnecting battery...putting a charger on..see if that does it.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:27 AM   #13
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So disconnecting positive(negative still stuck) and putting a charger on did it for me. Putting on the charger while battery was connected has not worked in the past. Neither has jumping the battery.
Scratch scratch.
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:40 AM   #14
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Disconnected the battery and re-connected it after about 10ish minutes... No luck for me though I wasn't expecting anything to happen anyways haha

I haven't even thought about jumping my car. I should try that; that is, if I have some jumper cables xP

And you're right, I remember a technician told me that clicking meant (usually) a weakish battery.

I don't get any clicking either, and no dimming of lights either. I put my head lights on, my blower motor, and my radio, and then attempted to start the motor. Did not hear the starter motor budge! The headlights did not dim, nor did I notice any changes of the radio/interiorlights/blower fan.


I know this is the 100th time Im saying this... but I am DEFINITELY without a doubt getting my brother's credit card and buying myself a batterycharger/voltmeter tomorrow... or else I'll kill myself lol >_<

But the more we talk about this problem, the more I think that either the charging system is the issue, OR we may have bad/rusty/corroded electrical connections. Did you try inspecting any of the wire-to-chassis connections?

I inspected the wire that goes from the negative terminal straight to the chassis. The wire looked in good condition and the connection was tight/clean. But perhaps I have a bad connection to the motor or something (or anywhere deep within the depths of the car...) Maybe try looking at that?

And quick question, what kind of charger do you have (and price)? And how long are you charging the battery for?
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Old 05-26-2011, 12:47 AM   #15
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Sounds like we have the identical issue....my auto mechanic friend wants to do a load test on the battery while cranking...I am just gonna go with and we will see if we find something hopefully this weekend.
The charger I got is a Schumacher Speedcharge and it only takes about 10-15 min. It tells me that the battery is %61 charged when I connect it but charges up pretty fast.
I got mine at Walmart...they have different models but they are cheap and handy to have.
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