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I have a 1997 318ti that will not start. When I turn key all…

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I have a 1997 318ti...
I have a 1997 318ti that will not start. When I turn key all dash lights come on as they are supposed to but when I turn to start it I get nothing, no cranking or anything. I have replace the ignition switch and same thing. I tried a different battery and same thing. I am however able to push start the car and it runs fine. When I did this I drove it for about 45 min and when I turned it off I tried starting it again right after and it cranked but did not start so I tried again and the second time it started. I came back about an hour later and it's back to no cranking.
Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: BMW
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10/2/2017
BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago
Steve
Steve, BMW Expert
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Have any diagnostics been carried out at this time?
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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
What I have tried so far is:
1. Changed ignition switch
2. Tried different battery
3. Checked all fuses
4. Using my finger I pressed the clutch switch thing
5. Tried jump start
6. Cleaned battery terminalsI'm confused since it will push start. I can't even see the starter to check connections or test it, apparently it's hard to get to on this car.
I don't have a spare key to try but if it was the immobilized I wouldn't think it would push start. I've read that there is an engine ground somewhere that may get corroded but I'm not sure where it's at. I also just noticed and doubt its related, but the power door lock switch is not working although both doors lock using the key.
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I also connected a reader to see if any computer codes were is the computer and there were no codes. Didn't have it connected while running though.
BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago

Please do not forget to click a positive rating as this is the only way I receive credit for my answer, thank you

the problem could be the clutch switch (pressing it is the same and depressing the clutch so if its bad it wont send the proper signal), key (can still push start so if you don't have a second key I would suggest buying one), an issue with the immobilizer or possibly the starter. All would need to be checked to verify the underlying cause.

if you need a good non dealer option to cut down on costs, check out www.bimmershops.com or www.bimrs.org for options.

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...

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Is there a way to bypass the clutch switch? Can I short it?
Where is the starter on this car? I can't see it, is there a way to test it if I can't reach it?
BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

you can just jumper the connector closed at the clutch switch.

the starter is down towards the base of the engine, very hidden. It can only be tested if accessed directly or removed.

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

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BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

you can just jumper the connector closed at the clutch switch..

the starter is down towards the base of the engine, very hidden. It can only be tested if accessed directly or removed.

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok so jumping the clutch switch closed will tell me one way or the other if that switch is bad or not correct?Is there any other way to test the starter? I read something about shorting two of the wires on ignition switch or on round test terminal under hood, are you aware of a way?
If I were to push start car and drive it to auto zone they would not be able to test the starter for me cause they would not be able to get to it?
BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

yes it will tell you if the clutch switch is working or not.

there is no other way to test the starter as I said. I dont know what you read but the starter has to be access and/or removed to be tested.

the starter would have to be removed for autozone to test it.

Please do not forget to click a positive rating

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BMW Mechanic: Steve, BMW Expert replied 8 months ago
did you have additional questions?
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