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Old 04-17-2010, 04:20 PM   #1
doogee
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Exclamation Starter Issue

So it's time I finally investigated this problem I've been having intermittently.

Sometimes when I try to start the car, all I hear is the starter spinning or something. Sounds like it isn't engaging with the flywheel. Anyone know what this is?

When it does engage, it' starts perfectly, no drama.

Happens probably 1 out of every 10 or so starts.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
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sounds like the overrun clutch is messed up.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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it is the starter pinion in most likely hood. The gear which comes out to meet the flywheel is thrust forward by the pinion shaft to which it is connected. this engages and disengages when the solenoid activates it. why you hear the spinning at times is because although it was pushed out; it didn't go far enough and therefore doesn't catch the teeth of the flywheel. Don't worry bout it. Eventually it will pack it in. 1 in every 10 tries is damned good. :-)
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:46 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's a solenoid on the starter. I'm not sure if it's available seperatly, but if yo're pulling the starter anyway, might as well put in a new (or rebuilt) unit.
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Old 04-17-2010, 06:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
Yeah, it's a solenoid on the starter. I'm not sure if it's available seperatly, but if yo're pulling the starter anyway, might as well put in a new (or rebuilt) unit.
the solenoid is probably not the issue; because it is either working or not. If it works then it does it's job to activate the starter. If it isn't working then the starter won't work. it won't make the pinion shaft come out more then other times.
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I think I've had 14 bmw's in 4 years.
2 IX's -sold and parts
2 325i 4 dr - sold
4 318is all white - sold and parts
1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
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Old 04-17-2010, 09:13 PM   #6
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This exact same thing happens to me! I've noticed it happens the most when I let the car sit for a day or more without it being started. It also happens sometimes when I start the car, drive it a short distance and it doesn't fully heat up and then turn it off and let it sit for an hour or so. It really is a mystery to me. If you figure it out doogee post up what it is, I'd be very interested to find out.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:57 PM   #7
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Solenoid is most likely your issue. The plunger in the solenoid could be intermittently sticking which would cause the shift fork to not move the starter drive gear out. If its not often just leave it for now unless your gonna be in there for something else. When it starts to get a little worse replace the whole starter as the other internal components (field coils, armature and brushes) will be getting tired as well. $200 at autopartsway.ca
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:34 AM   #8
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Just going to replace the entire starter I suppose.
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Old 04-19-2010, 06:46 PM   #9
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yea new starter
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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If you haven't replaced your starter yet, you can try doing what I do. I turn the key to the position just before start and wait for the climate control to come on, then I start. I haven't had a single starter problem ever since I've started doing that, and it used to grind and spin freely almost every morning.
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