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Discussion Starter #1
The car is an 03 330ci, about 102k miles, auto, bone stock. This issue started a couple days ago, it didn't start right away but after a few tries it eventually turned over and started. When the key is turned everything is normal until you try to start the car, at that point the starter does nothing...no click, no flashing lights, you just hear the fuel pump. Here's what I've done so far:

-tried to jump start with no luck, the battery has plenty of power.
-tried spare key but it didn't work, same problem.
-checked fuel pump, it's definitely working
-no bad fuses in the glove box and I'm not aware of another fuse box.

So other than banging the starter with something, what else can I try before I start buying parts? I haven't tried the "tap the starter" trick because I'm assuming I'll have to get to it from the bottom, which wasn't an option last night. If that doesn't work I may just start with a new ignition switch. :dunno:

Are there relays or fuses for the starter in another location? Where is the "main relay" located and how can I test it?

I don't have a bentley manual so any help/suggestions will be appreciated.
 

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I think you should start with the battery. You say it has power; I believe you. But, how do you know it's in good shape otherwise? Voltage isn't the only measure you need. Batteries do go bad.

Connections on battery and under the hood terminals get corroded and prevent flow.

If you didn't keep cars hooked up a long time...and directly to the battery, you might not have had enough amps to crank. Radio and lights can work, yet the battery can still be too weak to start the car.

Just make sure of that before moving on is my advice.
 

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First thing to do is check and see if you have any codes. In the bentley manual there is atest you can try to see if the starter is working so you should look there. On an auto it could also be a neutral saftey switch (i have a manual so not sure about that).

Sent from my DROIDX using Bimmer App
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm sure about the battery and it's not showing any codes. The battery was replaced recently by the PO and it's showing 14+ volts. I don't have a scanner and I can't get it to autozone so there might be a stored code but idk.

It would be awesome if someone could explain the procedure to test the starter, I don't have a bentley manual and it'll take too long to get one shipped here. :banghead: Otherwise I'll probably just put 12v straight to the starter and see what happens.

It looks like I might need to start throwing money at it, that is if the "bang the starter" trick doesn't work...First on my list is ignition switch, even though I'd like to be positive before I spend any money I just don't have time to "figure it out."

I'm still open to ideas/suggestions.
 

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Search load test...I think you're using your cluster test, so you can find out more about the battery's condition.

You're sure about the battery, but I'm not. PO's always put in new batteries...of course!

Also, you didn't say if you tried jumping for any length of time.

The same thread as yours a week or two ago...I pressed three times to check out the battery and miracle of miracles that's what it was. I won't press anymore...just trying to help. Think battery before starter. My starter is original.

BTW, there is a date code on the battery somewhere, and voltage won't tell you amps, and that's what starts the car. Just saying!
 

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When you say you are getting all of the lights on the dashboard which ones are they exactly... If it's your ignition switch you will be missing some of the dashboard lights. Furthermore, you should be able to turn the key from position 0 to position 2 and observe the difference in the dashboard lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I understand why you're pushing the battery idea, lol, I've seen many of the other threads...haha. The battery is definitely good, as are the connections and the "saftey terminal." I left it hooked up for a few minutes when I tried to jump, but I have known good "spare" batteries that don't help either.

The thing about the dash lights is good info, I don't recall any difference but I'll check again when I get off work. One thing I noticed that didn't seem normal was that the oil level/pressure light (oil can next to high beam indicator) is orange at first but then changes to red. I don't know if it always did that or not.
 

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Take ur battery to autozone and have it checked, just because u have 14v does not mean ur battery has the cranking power to start the vehicle. U can also check voltage after trying to start the vehicle for significant voltage drop. If battery is good as u say and ur crank does turn then u do have ignition problems if not then take out ur starter and have it tested...
 

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OP,
You need to check two main things:

1. Since you have an auto, you need to make certain you shifter is in Park (or in Neutral, just to be certain that it's NOT disabling your start.) If that doesn't solve it, then
2. Use your Valet Key (NOT the spare Master key) There could be some issues with your main key(s) for whatever reason.

Let use know the results. It could be just that simple...
Hope that solves it.


PS: With the Heatwave that we've been having for the past 2.5 months, don't be surprised your new battery choked. (The battery may be "new" to you.. but who knows what its condition was before you got it. Just saying.)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the tips. I'll re-check the battery one last time just to make everyone happy...lol

And I wish I could try the valet key but I don't have it. I only have the 2 regular keys and the plastic "wallet" key. The plastic key doesn't work, only on the doors, you can't turn it at all in the ignition.

The park/neutral switch was one of the first things that came to mind, I should have mentioned that. I tried to start in both park and neutral, no difference.
 

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^
Incorrect - The creditcard "wallet" key WILL Start the car.

Thanks for the tips. I'll re-check the battery one last time just to make everyone happy...lol

And I wish I could try the valet key but I don't have it. I only have the 2 regular keys and the plastic "wallet" key. The plastic key doesn't work, only on the doors, you can't turn it at all in the ignition.

The park/neutral switch was one of the first things that came to mind, I should have mentioned that. I tried to start in both park and neutral, no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
alright, it's a couple days later and my wallet is a little lighter. Still having the same problem but at least I know a few things for sure.

-it's not the battery
-it's not the key
-it's not the ignition switch
-it's not a blown fuse

The only things that come to mind now are the starter and relays. The problem there is I don't know which relay is which, anyone have a diagram or link?

Any other ideas? What would YOU check next? What am I forgetting about the EWS? frustrated.
 

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.....what it does, it just reset the EWS rolling code....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
bump...open to any and all suggestions.

I'm going to look at it again tonight, I ignored it last night in an attempt to ease my frustration...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'll check that after work...I would've never thought to check those fuses
 
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