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Edward
Edward, Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 2861
Experience:  20 + years experience on various makes and models.
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This morning the starter on my Z3 with 1.9 engine would not

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This morning the starter on my Z3 with 1.9 engine would not engage...only click when I turned the key. Battery is fully charged. This afternoon with the temperature 15 degrees warmer it started right up. Any thoughts?

Edward :

Hello and thanks for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do all I can to help.

Edward :

Let me first ask, what year is your Z3? also, Is it automatic or manual transmission? thank you.

Customer:

Automatic, 1998 model

Edward :

alright, It only happened 1 time correct?

Customer:

Yes, just once, my previous problem had to to do with having to take it out of park, then putting it back in park to get it to start, but that didn't happen this time...weird!

Edward :

Alright, I was going to suggest putting in in Neutral and attempting to crank, So taking it out of park and putting it back into park did affect the problem a few times recently? it would start when doing that?

Customer:

That is correct, and it only happened on the first start of the day

Customer:

I just bought it last Friday and it worked fine then...

Edward :

alright, there is an item called the neutral safety switch . It only allows the vehicle to crank in P and N. If it happens again, then attempt to crank it in neutral. sometimes they get out of adjustment, So HOLD the key in START while you move the gear stick, if it's out of adjustment, it's likely it will crank when you get close to neutral position.

Edward :

If it starts in neutral after failing to start in Park, I would replace the neutral safety switch.

Edward :

If it won't start in Neutral or Park, then I suspect a failing starter motor.

Customer:

Okay, is this a problem that a repair shop can adjust if this is the problem?

Edward :

yes, it's not an overly technical repair, and licensed reputable shop should be able to handle that job.

Customer:

But it started just fine this afternoon, after not starting this morning...

Edward :

right, the contacts on the Neutral safety switch get worn or dirty, and they can be intermittant in operation. You may find that moving the gear stick back and forth from P to L back to P again quickly will clean those switch contacts. and it may start fine for a good while after that.

Edward :

My thoughts are it is the neutral safety switch first. But if attempting to crank in P and N when it's acting up makes no difference, then I would lean towards the starter motor itself at that point.

Customer:

Okay, I'll do as you suggest. There is a German car shop about 20 minutes from me.

Edward :

alright, sounds good. Try cranking in neutral if it acts up again and that will help isolate the problem being the neutral safety swtich or the starter motor itself.

Customer:

Thanks for your help, I'll leave good rating! Nick

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