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I only get a click when I turn the key on my 2008 X3. I took…

I only get a...

I only get a click when I turn the key on my 2008 X3. I took the clean ground cable off the frame to engine off and cleaned it again and reinstalled it. This is the big braided copper line under the metal plate underneath the vehicle. Last time I had this problem it was because the cable had rotted. No improvement this time. I changed the starter and still just a single click. Last week it would turn over fast and start once in a great while. the rest of the time it would only click. I tried charging the battery for 2.5 hours with no difference. Jumper cables don't help.

Mechanic's Assistant: Is the car in "Park" or "Neutral?" Do you know if your car has a "wheel lock" feature?

I have tried the car in both park and neutral. Locked and unlock the doors and and any other feature that might stir the electrical system. When I try to star it with the lights on, there isn't even the slighted change in the brightness.

Mechanic's Assistant: Are you fixing your X3 yourself? What have you tried so far?

Last year when I did this I changed the starter but that did not make a difference. I then found the braided ground cable was rotten. I changed it and everything has been wonderful up until just before Christmas. Then it started most of the time. I am doing all the work myself.

Mechanic's Assistant: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?

I finished putting in the new starter today. The battery has been disconnected about 5 days.

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Answered in 1 hour by:
1/21/2018
Dan
Dan, Technician
Category: BMW
Satisfied Customers: 26,035
Experience: Independent Shop Experience, 2 Year Automotive Diploma, & Access to Information Database
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At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start. The large wire going to starter should maintain at least 11v while trying to start. Test using both starter as ground and battery negative as ground. If voltage is good when using battery ground but low when using starter ground then this means you have a ground problem. At that point You will need to clean battery ground or run a new ground from battery to starter case. Let me know how it goes or if you have questions, thanks.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?

You are going to need to remove the intake manifold so you can do testing. When the starter makes a single click this either means starter, connection, or poor ground. Let me know how it goes or if you have more questions, thanks.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?There isn't a ground connect on either the original Bosch starter or the replacement. Only two large red cables that joint into a "Y" shaped connector that slides over the copper stud, then the lock washer then the nut. The motor is a tight press fit that is sucked in with two bolts. One from the front and one from the back. So if the large braided copper ground cable that has been replaced is grounding the engine near the starter and the little braided cable to the exhaust mid-vehicle, where else can I ground things?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?There isn't a ground connect on either the original Bosch starter or the replacement. Only two large red cables that joint into a "Y" shaped connector that slides over the copper stud, then the lock washer then the nut. The motor is a tight press fit that is sucked in with two bolts. One from the front and one from the back. So if the large braided copper ground cable that has been replaced is grounding the engine near the starter and the little braided cable to the exhaust mid-vehicle, where else can I ground things? Is there any other junction or fuse that can have an effect on this?
Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?There isn't a ground connect on either the original Bosch starter or the replacement. Only two large red cables that joint into a "Y" shaped connector that slides over the copper stud, then the lock washer then the nut. The motor is a tight press fit that is sucked in with two bolts. One from the front and one from the back. So if the large braided copper ground cable that has been replaced is grounding the engine near the starter and the little braided cable to the exhaust mid-vehicle, where else can I ground things? Is there any other junction or fuse that can have an effect on this? Both starters tested good earlier.

You will need to just use the case as ground. You can use one of the mounting bolts as a ground.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?There isn't a ground connect on either the original Bosch starter or the replacement. Only two large red cables that joint into a "Y" shaped connector that slides over the copper stud, then the lock washer then the nut. The motor is a tight press fit that is sucked in with two bolts. One from the front and one from the back. So if the large braided copper ground cable that has been replaced is grounding the engine near the starter and the little braided cable to the exhaust mid-vehicle, where else can I ground things? Is there any other junction or fuse that can have an effect on this? Both starters tested good earlier.So, if two bolts are going through the starter case, one is screwed into the threaded ear of the starter and the other bolt slide through a drilled hole in the starter case ear and screws into "bell housing??" I would think the ground must be OK here. You mentioned running a new ground cable to the starter from the battery that is in the rear cargo area of the X3. That make me wonder about how the negative battery terminal. When it leaves the side of the battery, does it go through the battery compartment floor and bolt to the frame under the back of the car (excuse me, SAV)? Could a connect back there be giving me a problem?

I'm not sure where it goes but any of the connections between battery negative and bellhousng could be problem assuming problem is actually ground, I'd recommend testing so you know for sure. If so there is typically a ground that goes from battery to frame then from frame to engine. But running wire directly from battery to starter mounting bolt would be a for sure way to fix ground problem.

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Customer reply replied 6 months ago
It is impossible to even see a hint of the starter when a 2008 X3 is assembled. The top cover of the engine, all of the air duct work, complete intake manifold and a lot more has to be completely removed before you can even guess where the starter is. There is absolutely no way to get near it from below the vehicle even after removing the plastic and metal plates. All wires were very clean since the starter was replaced last year and this week. No rust or corrosion. I ran heavy duty jumpers to the battery in the cargo area and then to the front firewall connections. No difference. What do you mean with your statement "At starter monitor power/ground while trying to start."? Are you there?There isn't a ground connect on either the original Bosch starter or the replacement. Only two large red cables that joint into a "Y" shaped connector that slides over the copper stud, then the lock washer then the nut. The motor is a tight press fit that is sucked in with two bolts. One from the front and one from the back. So if the large braided copper ground cable that has been replaced is grounding the engine near the starter and the little braided cable to the exhaust mid-vehicle, where else can I ground things? Is there any other junction or fuse that can have an effect on this? Both starters tested good earlier.So, if two bolts are going through the starter case, one is screwed into the threaded ear of the starter and the other bolt slide through a drilled hole in the starter case ear and screws into "bell housing??" I would think the ground must be OK here. You mentioned running a new ground cable to the starter from the battery that is in the rear cargo area of the X3. That make me wonder about how the negative battery terminal. When it leaves the side of the battery, does it go through the battery compartment floor and bolt to the frame under the back of the car (excuse me, SAV)? Could a connect back there be giving me a problem?Thank you Dan. I was trying to find an alternative to woking outside in weather and taking the top and side of my engine again. I am in Massachusetts and about 10 dys ago, it reached -20 on one thermometer and -22 degrees F on the other. Have a good night!

No problem, I'm happy to help. Let me know how it goes or if you need anything. Thanks .

Dan
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