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Old 05-31-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
Colin Hughes
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Cannington
Posts: 88
Couple of issues - ideas, suggestions

I recently purchased a 1999 323i, 5 speed. Sometimes when starting, the starter does not turn over but gives a, for lack of a better description, whooshing sound. Turning the key off and trying again usually starts it. I also notice from time to time when I start the car, I get a burning electrical smell through the heater vents as the heater unit automatically turns on when the car is started. I've also noticed that there seems to be a hiccup in the idle when the car is first started, more noticeable when the car is in neutral and the clutch pedal not depressed. Once warmed up, it appears to be fine.
I'm leaning towards a starter on its' way out, maybe burning a bit on start up, hence the smell.
Any ideas, suggestions or have you experienced this before.
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:14 AM   #2
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The "whooshing" sound would be your starter turning without engaging the gear. This is a solenoid problem. Usually not replacable individually, so might as well replace the starter since you need to remove it anyway. They're not that expensive.

For the idle stumble, it should log codes ... do you have a CEL? If not, maybe the codes are stored anyway ... should get them read.
2007 BMW 328Xi Touring, 6 speed
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Old 05-31-2011, 10:18 AM   #3
14 Years with the E30
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Location: St. Catharines
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One thing I've never had an issue with is the starter, I have 3 spares and never had to use them... lol

Yes starter solenoid, check all the leads going to the starter first, make sure they are all clean and tight. Is it usually the first start of the day, or just totally random?

Performance one step at a time.
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Old 05-31-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
Colin Hughes
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Location: Cannington
Posts: 88
It's random but I'll check all the leads. No CEL light on. I did have the light come on a few days after I bought it and it needed a coil. Misfire cyl 1, swapped 1 & 2, misfire cyl 2, replaced coil, no more light.
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