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      01-20-2018, 10:51 PM   #1
gaz_0001
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(100% Solved) E92 - M3 - Engine Start Problem - DIY Expert Required

Hi All,

I have a new to me M3. Finally got it, dream car :-).
Competition pack, DCT, 2012 model.

I am living in the middle east now, with the car and over here we do not really have great engineering or service and also prices are insane. To that end, I can't really take the vehicle to BMW..... It just won't work. The car would be kept for weeks, they wouldn't fix it, and then I'd be charged an arm and a leg.

Im looking for some advice from a former DIYer.
My position at the moment is that I have no tools or anything. Just a laptop and a phone.
Can anyone advise on what software / cabling I need to buy in order to start troubleshooting and diagnosing the car?

To give an over view of the fault.

When I go to the car, the car opens, either from the fob, or by just walking up to car and pulling on the door. No issue. I get into the car, and press the on button, all the power comes on, lights, radio, dash etc. I press the on button with the brake depleted and I hear just a light click sound but the engine does not fire up.

This has happened 3x now in 2 months. Latest time was last night.
It's always in the same place, parked in garage and car last used the night before. So the engine is cold, but not sure if this is related or not.
On each occasion I have not done anything, at all to fix it. I attempt to start it, around 10x and nothing happens. I give up, then I try again and it fires up.
It should be noted, I don't see any running issues or problems at all. Car works wonderfully with this exception.
I have no warning lights on the dash or in the idrive.
Additionally, I have two keys. When I have the problem active, I have tried with both keys and none of them allow the car to start. Under normal use, both the keys work.
I have probably started and stopped the engine around 100x without issue, just these 3x occasions where it's not started.

Really hoping for someone to share similar experience with this fault and also some directions as to what cables, software, and tooling would be required to start pinpointing the fault.

Thanks in advance.
G

*******************Solved************************* ******

FYI - Update after 2 months.
Issue was the Starter Motor
Part Number: 12417843530

*******************Solved************************* ******

Last edited by gaz_0001; 04-05-2018 at 03:56 AM.. Reason: Solved Reason
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      01-21-2018, 06:09 AM   #2
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Welcome to the club Gaz and congrats to the new car!

For code scanning (+quite a bit more) quite a few of us use "Carly for BMW" app, and their WLAN/BT OBD dongle.

Regarding the power issue it may be worth searching on this issue, haven't done it myself so no personal experiences: http://www.m3post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1373697

I did experience a similar behavior a couple of years ago when the car didn't start, just said click. Happened after I had done some extensive detailing with doors open. Wired start the car, drove to charge and was fine. Cleared a couple of related codes (with Carly) and was fine. I did have power though, clock etc was running fine. Low/bad battery cause all sorts of strange issues on this car. Check voltage supply with/out running engine. If good and reasonable charged it should show a bit over 12V without engine and 13.5 - 14.5 isch with engine.

There is tons of info on battery caused issues to be found on the post.

Good luck mate

Ps. And where are the intro pics man??

Last edited by Helmsman; 01-21-2018 at 07:00 AM..
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      01-21-2018, 07:56 AM   #3
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      01-21-2018, 11:50 AM   #4
///M Power-Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaz_0001 View Post
Hi All,

I have a new to me M3. Finally got it, dream car :-).
Competition pack, DCT, 2012 model.

I am living in the middle east now, with the car and over here we do not really have great engineering or service and also prices are insane. To that end, I can't really take the vehicle to BMW..... It just won't work. The car would be kept for weeks, they wouldn't fix it, and then I'd be charged an arm and a leg.

Im looking for some advice from a former DIYer.
My position at the moment is that I have no tools or anything. Just a laptop and a phone.
Can anyone advise on what software / cabling I need to buy in order to start troubleshooting and diagnosing the car?

To give an over view of the fault.

When I go to the car, the car opens, either from the fob, or by just walking up to car and pulling on the door. No issue. I get into the car, and press the on button, all the power comes on, lights, radio, dash etc. I press the on button with the brake depleted and I hear just a light click sound but the engine does not fire up.

This has happened 3x now in 2 months. Latest time was last night.
It's always in the same place, parked in garage and car last used the night before. So the engine is cold, but not sure if this is related or not.
On each occasion I have not done anything, at all to fix it. I attempt to start it, around 10x and nothing happens. I give up, then I try again and it fires up.
It should be noted, I don't see any running issues or problems at all. Car works wonderfully with this exception.
I have no warning lights on the dash or in the idrive.
Additionally, I have two keys. When I have the problem active, I have tried with both keys and none of them allow the car to start. Under normal use, both the keys work.
I have probably started and stopped the engine around 100x without issue, just these 3x occasions where it's not started.

Really hoping for someone to share similar experience with this fault and also some directions as to what cables, software, and tooling would be required to start pinpointing the fault.

Thanks in advance.
G
Buy a CTEK battery tender !

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      01-21-2018, 02:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by gaz_0001 View Post
Hi All,

I have a new to me M3. Finally got it, dream car :-).
Competition pack, DCT, 2012 model.

I am living in the middle east now, with the car and over here we do not really have great engineering or service and also prices are insane. To that end, I can't really take the vehicle to BMW..... It just won't work. The car would be kept for weeks, they wouldn't fix it, and then I'd be charged an arm and a leg.

Im looking for some advice from a former DIYer.
My position at the moment is that I have no tools or anything. Just a laptop and a phone.
Can anyone advise on what software / cabling I need to buy in order to start troubleshooting and diagnosing the car?

To give an over view of the fault.

When I go to the car, the car opens, either from the fob, or by just walking up to car and pulling on the door. No issue. I get into the car, and press the on button, all the power comes on, lights, radio, dash etc. I press the on button with the brake depleted and I hear just a light click sound but the engine does not fire up.

This has happened 3x now in 2 months. Latest time was last night.
It's always in the same place, parked in garage and car last used the night before. So the engine is cold, but not sure if this is related or not.
On each occasion I have not done anything, at all to fix it. I attempt to start it, around 10x and nothing happens. I give up, then I try again and it fires up.
It should be noted, I don't see any running issues or problems at all. Car works wonderfully with this exception.
I have no warning lights on the dash or in the idrive.
Additionally, I have two keys. When I have the problem active, I have tried with both keys and none of them allow the car to start. Under normal use, both the keys work.
I have probably started and stopped the engine around 100x without issue, just these 3x occasions where it's not started.

Really hoping for someone to share similar experience with this fault and also some directions as to what cables, software, and tooling would be required to start pinpointing the fault.

Thanks in advance.
G
Buy a CTEK battery tender !

The click sound is the starter failing to turn the car. Happened to me last year

OP i made a thread about it too.

But like Belgium said, invest in a battery tender to prevent potential battery issues and prolong its life
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      01-21-2018, 02:14 PM   #6
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Sorry repost. Hate the mobile app sometimes...
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      01-21-2018, 03:06 PM   #7
///M Power-Belgium
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZeroX5 View Post
The click sound is the starter failing to turn the car. Happened to me last year

OP i made a thread about it too.

But like Belgium said, invest in a battery tender to prevent potential battery issues and prolong its life
If you hear only a click noise , most likely the battery died ..
Of course the starter is one of the possibilities as well , but they don't fail much while the ///M3 is eating batteries for breakfast.
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      01-21-2018, 03:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///M Power-Belgium View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZeroX5 View Post
The click sound is the starter failing to turn the car. Happened to me last year

OP i made a thread about it too.

But like Belgium said, invest in a battery tender to prevent potential battery issues and prolong its life
If you hear only a click noise , most likely the battery died ..
Of course the starter is one of the possibilities as well , but they don't fail much while the ///M3 is eating batteries for breakfast.
If the battery is truly dead, there would be at least an attempt to crank. But who knows. Get the batt tested and charge first
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      01-21-2018, 06:31 PM   #9
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Bad battery. Just install a new one and register it.
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      01-21-2018, 06:46 PM   #10
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Ditto on the bad battery....classic symptoms. And definitely invest in a battery tender.
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      01-22-2018, 09:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WingZeroX5 View Post
If the battery is truly dead, there would be at least an attempt to crank. But who knows. Get the batt tested and charge first
The "attempt to crank" is usually a click when the battery is too low to spin the starter.

However, that does not explain the car deciding to start later.

That said, given how funky these cars get when the battery gets old, I would probably go ahead and replace the battery. And register it, which the Carly app can do. (Although annoyingly, there doesn't seem to be a way to read out the battery status without resetting it that I could find - I had to break out ISTA for that.)

You should also start by checking your grounds on the car - there is a ground strap from the engine to the frame rail, driver's side. There's one from the engine harness to the strut tower passenger side. (Make sure that it's on the strut tower, not the positive terminal, which can cause funky behavior.) Also make sure that the battery is securely tightened.

Unfortunately, a *very* intermittent condition is hard to diagnose. You might have codes related to it, but there's a pretty good chance that these codes will have no relation to the actual issue.
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      01-22-2018, 04:16 PM   #12
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OP vanished so guess things got sorted.
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      01-23-2018, 09:00 AM   #13
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Nope. Still here. :-)

I just got the email saying there was a reply just now.

Thanks for all the suggestions.
I ordered the carly BT dongle and it will be here by 29th so I can start looking into it.

Hopefully the dongle will read the voltages so I don't need to find myself a multimeter.
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      01-23-2018, 09:01 AM   #14
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I'll work through the steps this weekend and update with the findings.
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      01-23-2018, 09:20 AM   #15
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This is more than likely not a bad battery. His comfort access is still working. Normally the car will shut these modules down when the battery is no good. And the car fires up on random reattempts.

Starter solenoid is most likely shot and will require a starter replacement.

OP, don't throw a battery at it. If you need to be sure, pull it out and have it checked.


The solenoid output terminal probably has a lot of resistance and is causing a poor connection. On your starting attempts, the connection heats up and allows enough current to activate the starter. I'd be willing to bet you don't have starting issues when the engine is hot?
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      01-23-2018, 11:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
This is more than likely not a bad battery. His comfort access is still working. Normally the car will shut these modules down when the battery is no good. And the car fires up on random reattempts.

Starter solenoid is most likely shot and will require a starter replacement.

OP, don't throw a battery at it. If you need to be sure, pull it out and have it checked.


The solenoid output terminal probably has a lot of resistance and is causing a poor connection. On your starting attempts, the connection heats up and allows enough current to activate the starter. I'd be willing to bet you don't have starting issues when the engine is hot?
Well....its only happened 3 times. On each occasion, it has been a "Cold Start".
Would a starter issue be reported in Carly as a code?
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      01-24-2018, 12:44 AM   #17
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+1 on the starter solenoid, based on the behavior you described I think doogee has it right. If you want to just replace the failing starter solenoid only and not the entire starter, surprisingly it is sold separately by BMW under part # 12417836450, link to part here. That being said, if your car is still on the original battery that needs to be replaced as a little over 6 years is about the maximum most reportedly last in these cars. If you aren't sure if your car has the original battery, snap a photo of the label on top of it and post it here.
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Last edited by Theodore; 01-24-2018 at 12:54 AM..
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      01-24-2018, 04:14 AM   #18
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I left the M3 with the Missus today.

Failed Start number 4 - Again in the garage, having not been used since yesterday night.
Same thing, doors opened no issue, all lights fired up on dash, radio, lights etc all working, press the button and just a click or two but no attempt to start.

She did nothing, waited for 15 min, tried again and it fired up no issue.

What do you think guys, can I just go ahead and blindly order the starter solenoid and take a chance? Or should I wait for Carly and check some 'Stuff'??

Last edited by gaz_0001; 01-24-2018 at 04:21 AM..
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      01-24-2018, 05:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaz_0001 View Post
I left the M3 with the Missus today.

Failed Start number 4 - Again in the garage, having not been used since yesterday night.
Same thing, doors opened no issue, all lights fired up on dash, radio, lights etc all working, press the button and just a click or two but no attempt to start.

She did nothing, waited for 15 min, tried again and it fired up no issue.

What do you think guys, can I just go ahead and blindly order the starter solenoid and take a chance? Or should I wait for Carly and check some 'Stuff'??
Many auto parts places will load test the battery for nothing. Why not start simple and free? Costs a little of your time but throwing parts at this car without some diagnosis will get expensive fast.
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      01-24-2018, 09:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaz_0001 View Post
What do you think guys, can I just go ahead and blindly order the starter solenoid and take a chance? Or should I wait for Carly and check some 'Stuff'??
Starters don't throw DTCs. A scanner isn't going to be much help.

Blindly ordering parts is never a good idea. Diagnose it, or take it somewhere to be diagnosed. This is a simple issue.
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      01-24-2018, 11:10 AM   #21
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What is the age of the battery? If it's more than four years old, you should just replace it. Batteries are cheap and easy, and very much have an expiration date. And a bad or intermittently shorting cell in the battery *can* cause starting issues that intermittently occur only when you are putting a heavy load on them. (I just had to replace a battery in the 325iX because of this.)

I agree that it's more likely to be the starter, but starters are expensive and not so easy to swap out.
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      01-24-2018, 12:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogee View Post
This is more than likely not a bad battery. His comfort access is still working. Normally the car will shut these modules down when the battery is no good. And the car fires up on random reattempts.

Starter solenoid is most likely shot and will require a starter replacement.

OP, don't throw a battery at it. If you need to be sure, pull it out and have it checked.


The solenoid output terminal probably has a lot of resistance and is causing a poor connection. On your starting attempts, the connection heats up and allows enough current to activate the starter. I'd be willing to bet you don't have starting issues when the engine is hot?
Thats what I said too. I think I have a vid somewhere of me having the same symptoms


Edit found it.
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