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Cait
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
Garage
BMW Roundel Car won't start. . . but only sometimes

I have a 2001 325CI, it has about 110,000 miles on it. . . and I'll be honest, it is past it's inspection due date. . .
About a month ago said car decided not to turn on when I first turned the key, the engine would not turn over. I tried again and the car started right up.
Long story short, this problem has gotten progressively worse, with me having to turn the key sometimes for about 15 minutes before the car would start.
Took the car to the shop, they told me I needed a new fuel pump, and said it would cost $700. . . which I did not want to pay. So I replaced the fuel pump myself. Car still would not start up. After a few turns of the key it decided to start, and would turn on quite reliably for about a week. Now the problem is back in full force, with the car becoming very unreliable.
I noticed that when I turned the key, that sometimes all the lights in the dashboard would turn on, that the air conditioner would turn on and that (what I believe to be) the fuel pump comes on (or whatever it is that sounds like the ice maker in the freezer filling up). When this happens, I can turn the key the rest of the way and the car will start up no problem. At other times, only one light in the dashboard will come on, and that is the message from the car telling me that I need to get an inspection, air conditioner does not come on, and I do not hear the sound that (i believe) is the fuel pump . . . If I turn the key the rest of the way, at this point the engine will try to start, but will not turn over.

I'm wondering if I have an ignition problem? Any ideas?

-Cait
I have attached a link that will take you to a video that I posted of the problem on youtube. . .
YouTube - 2001 BMW 325IC not starting. . .
Old 04-20-2010, 03:39 PM
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SharkHead
 
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,027
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Cait,
Not that familiar with this model...but check the fuel pump relay in the electronics box. Your manual will show where it's located. Look for any discoloration in the relay socket and on any of the fuse contacts. Also, try to identify where some of the ground contacts are and make sure they are clean and secure. Check the FP ground also, even though you just replaced it.

The intermittent issue is interesting. I think the ignition switch is a low probability, but one also.

Jon
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Old 04-20-2010, 05:38 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Concord, CA
Posts: 1,011
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The lock cylinder and rod mechanism that then operates the electrical part of the key on / start switch are known for "issues".

If you take off the lower shroud of the steering col there are 2 flat screws that hold the switch in place.
Just back them off and the electric part will come out .
from there you can feel the cylinder action separate from the electric switch ... you also can (with the key in the ign) turn the electric part separate, it should start every time .

I'll take some photos.

Also not sure what happens when you get a no start (does the starter spin ? ) if not you may have a starter / solenoid going bad.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:04 PM
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Cait
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2
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I looked at the fuse box and didn't find a problem there. . . My husband made me take it to the shop (reversed roles, I know). . . luckily the owner was able to duplicate the problem and said that he had had another customer with the same problem, and that the problem was the ignition. So, ignition is replaced and everything is running smoothly. Thanks for the feedback!
Old 04-23-2010, 08:00 PM
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fuel pump , ignition , starter


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