1995 e31 840Ci - Starting Issue


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  1. 1995 e31 840Ci - Starting Issue 
    BMW Master
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    sjflat's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    840 Ci
    Year of Manufacture:
    Transmission Type:
    Car Body Type:

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    Aug 2010
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    This morning on the way to work I stopped off at a petrol station to pick up something for lunch and when I returned to the car I couldn't get it started.

    I'll bullet point the info for the sake of clarity:
    • BMW 840 (4.0), 85k miles
    • New pair of genuine BMW batteries fitted 2 weeks ago
    • Fitted with aftermarket alarm/immobiliser (professionally fitted over a year ago)
    • Engine Temp normal
    • 1/2 tank of fuel
    • Last driven 3 days ago with no issues
    • When turning the key to position II, the car powers up. Dash lights are bright and a turning on the radio/lights seems to suggest that everything is powering up nicely.
    • Turning the key a little further to start the engine does nothing (apart from dim the dash lights ever so slightly). No noises. No nothing.
    • No check control errors
    • I'm trying to start the car in P/Economy as usual. (This is correctly displayed on the dash)
    • I had previously experienced this problem (around March) and wondered if it was battery related but I have since replaced these. I was also using my other key this time

    Last time this happened I phoned the RAC and tried the car one more time when I got off the phone. At that point it started so I had to call them back and tell them not to send a patrol after all! With this in mind, I decided to leave the car for 20 minutes before calling today. Still no luck so I called the RAC. Just like last time, I went back to the car and it bloody started! Is it possible that my car is exhibiting attention seeking behaviour?


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    BMW Crazed
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    daz850's Car Details
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    735i SE
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    5sp manual
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    Apr 2010
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    Sounds like it might be a dodgy starter/solenoid if its dimming the lights Steve.
    Solenoid might be breaking down when it gets warm.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to daz850 For This Useful Post:

    sjflat (08-11-2010)

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    thepurpleblob's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    840Ci Sport, 330Ci Clubsport, X3 2.0d SE
    Year of Manufacture:
    1999, 2003, 2004
    Transmission Type:
    Automatic, Automatic, Manual
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    Coupe, Coupe, SAV
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    Aug 2010
    Carluke, Lanarkshire (nr. Glasgow)
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    I would start by checking the battery (a cheapo meter will do) - it should be well clear of 12v with everything off. What happens to the voltage when you turn the key? The dim in the lights implies that the car is trying to do *something*. Can you get at the thin wire going to the solenoid? Does that energise when you turn the key?

    Basically, if the batteries are low or go low when you turn the key it's probably a battery problem. If you have a feed to the solenoid and nothing happens it's probably the solenoid. If there's no feed (unlikely with the dimming lights) it's circuit diagram time.

    Also, check the engine earth strap - no idea where it is, but as the engine is mounted on rubber there'll be one there somewhere. If that's snapped or is horribly corroded you will get starting problems.

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to thepurpleblob For This Useful Post:

    sjflat (08-11-2010)

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