2000 E46 318Ci - Non-starter plus wierd electrical goings on!

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  1. 2000 E46 318Ci - Non-starter plus wierd electrical goings on! 
    #1
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    gjoyce84's Car Details
    Model of Car:
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    Year of Manufacture:
    2000
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    I have been experiencing some problems with the electrics on my car.

    Approx 5 weeks ago I thought I got a flat battery - car started fine with jump leads. Strange thing is the jump leads are barely needed - it will start without the "good" car being started at the first turn of the key.

    This has happened a further 4 times over the last 5 weeks but with no pattern. It may be OK for 5 days then fail to start 30 mins after stopping having been out for a while (when you'd assume the battery would have a full charge).

    I had the alternator tested a few weeks back and they said that it was holding a charge and was fine.

    Today I couldn't start it with jump leads. I have had them on for 20 mins and still no change. All of the electrics are OK - the lights come on full beam and the radio works and the clock has the right time etc.. On all occasions that this has happened the electrics have seemed OK.

    I'm reluctant to blame the battery as the electrics appear to work so I would like to know what else it might be.

    The noise when trying to start is like a regular clicking sound and all of the lights (external, internal and dash) flash between clicks (even if the lights aren't switched on.

    If I hold the key turned long enough it clicks about 10-15 times then the noise is slightly different for one click (like it might start) but then it goes back to the original sound.

    Could this be a "loose connection" or starter motor?

    In addition to this the central locking is intermittent - the driver door doesn't always open. Today no doors at all opened for a while - just the flash of the indicators.

    Any help gratefully appreciated as I'm stranded at home since my breakdown cover doesn't include home start!
     
     

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    #2
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    Martyn D.'s Car Details
    Model of Car:
    330 ci
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    Sounds like you say, a loose connection on the starter or maybe a bad earth connection, worthwhile checking both for tightness.
     
     

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    #3
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    gjoyce84's Car Details
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    Is this something that I could do or is it best to get an auto electrician out to have a look?

    If I knew where to look/which wires to check I could check for loose connections. Is it easy to explain what I need to look at?

    So frustrating relying on lifts everywhere.
     
     

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    #4
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    colin.ab's Car Details
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    This really sounds like duff battery or battery connections.
    With this cold weather, lead acid batteries are severely reduced in capacity. You battery sounds like it has insufficient cracking amps.

    I would check the conenctions on the battery, then replace battery.
     
     

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    #5
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    gjoyce84's Car Details
    Model of Car:
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    Yeah someone else told me I may have a dead cell within the battery and to change it. I will try changing the battery first.
     
     

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    #6
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    Ronnie's Car Details
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    Classic flat battery symptoms.

    Change it if it's original.
     
     

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    #7
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    nicktrombone's Car Details
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    I had the same problem with virtually the same symptoms on an E36 320i last winter. That turned out to be the battery, fine for lights etc., but not enough to start the car regularly and with most of my jounrneys being to and from work in the dark the alternator was not putting a lot back unfortunately.

    Nick
     
     

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