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My car wouldn't start this morning, please diagnose.

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by von Rothbart, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. imageWIS

    imageWIS Stylish Dinosaur

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    There may be a sensor that doesn't allow the starter to engage if it detects low amperage from the battery. This, in theory, would protect the starter from damage.

    Ohhhhhhhh...gotcha.

    Jon.
     


  2. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Distinguished Member

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    Ok, if you guys think it's the battery I'll give a jump tonite. But last time I had a dead battery (forgot to turn off light with sub-zero temperature), the light was very dim, the remote didn't work (I had to use the keyhole to unlock), ventilation off, steering wheel didn't move back to pre-set setting. And this time it seems the battery is still full of juicy.
     


  3. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I am almost completely clueless when it comes to inner mechanical working of a car. So what is a solenoid? What does it do?
    The solenoid moves the starter gear into the flywheel or flexplate so it can engage and turn the engine over, and also makes the high current connection to power the starter motor.

    http://www.carcare.org/Electrical/solenoid.shtml
     


  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

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    i'll bet a dollar that he needs a new starter.
     


  5. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    i'll bet a dollar that he needs a new starter.
    Bosch starters are pretty robust (they do die, though), and if it were just the starter, not the solenoid, he would probably get a click or a clunk from the solenoid.
     


  6. Vaclav

    Vaclav Senior Member

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    Did you take a public transport?
     


  7. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Distinguished Member

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    Bosch starters are pretty robust (they do die, though), and if it were just the starter, not the solenoid, he would probably get a click or a clunk from the solenoid.

    okay j, the bet's a dollar.
     


  8. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    okay j, the bet's a dollar.
    Ok, I'm not saying it IS the solenoid (it could be the starter relay or something electronic closer to the key), but I will bet you $1 it's NOT the starter itself.
     


  9. ken

    ken Banned by Request

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    I am almost completely clueless when it comes to inner mechanical working of a car. So what is a solenoid? What does it do?
    Yeesh. You should probably just go to a shop, then.
     


  10. Art Vandelay

    Art Vandelay Well-Known Member

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    Hmm…is there an ignition lock out feature that the computer has that could have been inadvertently triggered? I.e. from an alarm or via the keyless remote control?

    Jon.



    I agree with Jon that your problem may have something to do with the alarm system. Is your remote and key one-piece? I believe it is with E38. Did you drop or bang your remote key since last time you operated the car? Your key may be out of sync with the security system and it can't recognize the code from key and don't allow the car to start.

    Try this, it's real simple. Try your spare or valet key to start the car. Or use your affected key to unlock the door the old-fashioned way, by using the keyhole; hopefully this will reset the code sequence.

    Good luck.
     


  11. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    call the AAA....theres a whole dollar and a whole lotta pride at stake now.
     


  12. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    I agree with Jon that your problem may have something to do with the alarm system. Is your remote and key one-piece? I believe it is with E38. Did you drop or bang your remote key since last time you operated the car? Your key may be out of sync with the security system and it can't recognize the code from key and don't allow the car to start.

    Try this, it's real simple. Try your spare or valet key to start the car. Or use your affected key to unlock the door the old-fashioned way, by using the keyhole; hopefully this will reset the code sequence.

    Good luck.

    I don't know how the E38 starter kill works, but in my E36 (non-coded key) if I do a certain sequence of opening the car wrong, the starter kill kicks in and though the engine will turn over all day long, the car will not start. It always scares me in the morning when I can't think straight anyway and the car is acting like it's completely dry of gas. All I have to do is get out, lock and unlock the car again with the key in the door and it will start right up.
     


  13. von Rothbart

    von Rothbart Distinguished Member

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    Thanks a lot guys. Yes, it's an one-piece key & remote. The key suggestion is really helpful. Failing that I'll have to call tow truck. I don't know what I did to trigger the starter kill if that's the case.
     


  14. A Y

    A Y Distinguished Member

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    It has unreliable electrons --- all par for course for a German car. Good luck! [​IMG]

    --Andre

    edit: This reminds me of funny thing I saw at an autocross once. A Ferrari 360 driver was doing donuts or something else stupid, and stalled his car. He couldn't start it up again, so he got out, and, just like fixing a stubborn laser printer, opened the engine compartment, and slammed it shut. He got back in, and the car started right up. Apparently, for his car, that's kind of SOP.
     


  15. Fabienne

    Fabienne Distinguished Member

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    Turn on the headlights, and then turn the ignition switch to crank. If the headlights dim, or go out, it is a mechanically/electrically bad connection somewhere (probably at the battery). If no dimming, the starter solenoid, or one of the things that control voltage to that solenoid are bad, or sensing something bad.
     


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