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Steve, BMW Expert
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 24115
Experience:  BMW Expert
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MY 2005 X3 will not crank on or start and I am needing help

Customer Question

MY 2005 X3 will not crank on or start and I am needing help to hopefully fix his issue.
JA: Have you checked the battery, particularly the terminal connections? Are they corroded?
Customer: yes, and nothing. I have also checked the fuses. I had and the EML light turn on and has not turned on since
JA: Are you fixing your X3 yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I have removed the throttle body to see if it was not working and it was dirty but could still her the clicking to indicate it was still good
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: BMW
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome,
My name is ***** ***** it will be my pleasure to assist you today.
What exactly does the car do when you try to start?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It does not start or crank. All lights are on when I turn the key but it turn. I do hear the gas pump humming when I turn the key and I checked the pressure valve and its working. I did get a code out of the vehicle of P0507 though
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.
What is the last 7 digits of the vin?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
had to look for it, sorry. WD21903
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

can you please clarify what you have tried so far and what exactly you would like to know about this issue?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have cleaned the throttle body, checked the disa valve, both seem to work as they should. Fuses are working and relays are too. As I have read, there could be many things wrong and I don't know what it could possibly be at this point. Could it possibly be a starter with no prior issues? Alternator and battery are good. The only issue I was having on the vehicle was smoke going out of the exhaust when I would start it so I replaced the valve cover gasket as is was leaking. Could that be where the issue is and where should I start to look?
Expert:  Steve replied 1 year ago.

I will provide an honest answer. I trust this will be appreciated. Please remember that a low rating PUNISHES me for being honest and that I receive nothing for my time until a positive rating is clicked.
Thank you for your attention to the rating requirement.

there are a lot of different things that can cause this issue. The first thing to do would be to check all fuses. Sometimes a very random blown fuse can cause this. Also unhook the battery for one hour to reset all systems. Also, try locking/unlocking the driver’s door a few times using the mechanical key.

Assuming the fuses are good and the battery reset does not help, nor a jump or the key in door unlocking, then there are a few other things that can cause this. While not all can be trouble-shooted at home, I hope this information will be helpful to you and yield a possible solution.

1) bad key - try another one

2) bad brake light switch - make sure your brake lights work. If not, the switch is above the brake pedal.

3) shifter not fully in park (auto transmission only) - try moving it around a bit, try starting in both park and neutral

4) bad immobilizer (aka EWS or CAS) - nothing can be done, dealer equipment is required to fix. When this goes bad or out of alignment, the car does not get the proper signal that the correct key is present, and therefore, the car will not start and the starter will not be allowed to engage.

5) bad transmission position switch (auto transmission only, located on side of transmission, accessed from under car) - this is what signals the car that it is in neutral/park and is safe to start. Try rocking the car back and forth in park a couple times.

6) bad clutch switch (manual transmission only, located above clutch pedal) - this is what signals the car that the clutch is depressed and is safe to start.

7) dead starter/solenoid/relay - To verify, you would need to access the starter and verify if the start signal is making it or not.

8) bad ignition switch/cylinder – also unlikely as you would generally not get all other functions / power to come on inside the car in that case

Of course, it could also always be something totally random like a wiring breakage or problem with the engine control computer or other control module, but this is unlikely and hard to predict. My guess would be starter, key or immobilizer.

The best path forward, if one of the simpler items above does not pan out, is to have the car scanned with a BMW scan tool that can check all systems live and determine where the start signal is dropping off / getting inhibited.


Please let me know if you have further questions. Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you. Best wishes with your vehicle.