Erratic starter???

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1175

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Erratic starter???

Post by BonBon » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 12:30

Last night the car would not start. Again this morning. I feared it was a failed alarm system.
The diagnosis of the mobile road recovery chap was that it's the starter. Got towed to my Indy - and low and behold - after removing from the truck....it started.
Can a starter be erratic or can it be something else? :shrug
The car is 355kkm..... I've had it for the last 190k and never had a starting problem.

therealdb1
Joined: Tue 25 Jun, 2013 22:47
Posts: 247

  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: Erratic starter???

Post by therealdb1 » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 13:06

Does anything happen at all when you turn the key?
I have yet to work out why but quite a common problem on the Z, well I've had it twice and I know of others who have noticed it, is that the battery leads can become loose on the terminals. There is enough contact to light up the instrument panel but when you try and draw starting current nothing happens.
A simple and FREE check to try before throwing money at a starter motor which might not need replacing. :)

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1175

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Erratic starter???

Post by BonBon » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 13:36

It was not a battery/contact or lead problem - tested by the road recovery.

therealdb1
Joined: Tue 25 Jun, 2013 22:47
Posts: 247

  Z3 roadster 2.0

Re: Erratic starter???

Post by therealdb1 » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 14:17

The other free test you can do then is when it fails to start check if the ignition light on the dashboard dims.
Then if you can reach, give the starter motor a gentle tap with a hammer. Yes really!
Sometimes when the motor brushes wear out there is not enough tension in the spring to keep them in contact with the commutator.
If after the tap it starts then I suspect your starter motor brushes are worn.
You might be able to find an old school mechanic, or yourself, that is prepared to replace the brushes but in this disposable world that we live in even an indy garage will probably try and sell you a new starter motor!

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1175

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Erratic starter???

Post by BonBon » Fri 15 Sep, 2017 15:27

You are correct - we tried tapping the starter - didn't help. So I was a bit surprised that it started at the garage.
I recall he did not do any measurement to check that the voltage reached the starter - so not so clear on how he was so confident on his diagnosis. It probably was the brushes - and perhaps a few bumps on the way to the garage did the trick :roll:

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1175

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Erratic starter???

Post by BonBon » Mon 18 Sep, 2017 20:58

Refurbed the starter - 24hrs SFSG 8-)

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