E46 won't start

My 2003 325i won't start. The last few times I started the car it did have a kind of "choked" feel to it. The battery seems OK as the lights and stuff turn on fine. When I turn the ignition
I here clicking, but no life in the engine.
The car has 118K miles.
Any ideas what the problem might be? I'm planning to get it towed to the service shop by AAA tomorrow.
Anoop
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And how many years on the battery? If it is original, that is the problem. No matter about the lights, etc.
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Thanks for all the replies.
The battery has never been replace. However, the car was in for an oil service a couple of months ago and at that time the battery tested out fine.
Hard for me to do anything else; car is not in a place where it can be push started, nor can I get help for that. I'll just call AAA tomorrow...most likely they'll try a jump-start before towing. Will keep you guys posted on what the problem is. :-)
Anoop
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Clicking when the key is turned is a good symptom for a bad voltage.
Could be * a discharged battery, it couldn't if the car is normally used and the lights not left on for long. Otherwise, there's a leakage or a bad charge current or something else. * a partly shorted battery (one element and it happened to me last month), the impact on the lights is barely visible from inside the car. The voltage may almost be constant around 10.2 V. * or bad contact between the battery terminal and the cable.
first check the bad contact, second connect a DVM into the cigar lighter and turn the key on, read the voltage before and while clicking, third, if trying to charge the battery doesn't solve the issue, replace it A fully charged battery should exhibit 12.7 V everything below 12V means that a service is necessary.

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The car started again this morning (just barely!). Took it to the mechanic and he said it's the battery...got a new one and all seems OK.
Thanks again for all the responses.
Anoop
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When you turn the key and hear clicking, that's the sound of a dead battery.
Power to a device is a function of the voltage, current and the load. When the voltage is low and a load comes online that demands high current (the starter motor for example) the voltage will drop to the point where the load turns off but you've not let go of the key so the voltage comes up again and the load returns drawing the voltage down, and so on. The result is clicking.
Buy a new battery.

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Clicking means that the starter solenoid is working. Not starting means that the battery is bad. Lights working is not a good test.
Jim
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Do the lights dim when you hear the click?
If not, it's most likely the starter.

Can't you just push start it and drive it down? Odds are if it is the starter that it will pushstart fine. --scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

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On Jul 27, 6:30pm, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I went out to test this and the car started! May be it just wanted the day off. I went out for a spin. I'm hoping it'll start again tomorrow morning so that I can take to the mechanic to get it checked.
(But it was definitely a "weak"/hesitant start.)
Anoop
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(Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I went out to test this and the car started! May be it just wanted the day off. I went out for a spin. I'm hoping it'll start again tomorrow morning so that I can take to the mechanic to get it checked.
(But it was definitely a "weak"/hesitant start.)
Anoop
Well charge the battery overnight.
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Yes, every now and then a bad battery will recover enough to start the car, it is still living on borrowed time. I have been through this scenario several times in the last 50 years or so, and every time I solved the problem by replacing the battery. Another cause could be a bad starter, but this case is far less common than a worn out battery. Jim
(Scott Dorsey) wrote:

I went out to test this and the car started! May be it just wanted the day off. I went out for a spin. I'm hoping it'll start again tomorrow morning so that I can take to the mechanic to get it checked.
(But it was definitely a "weak"/hesitant start.)
Anoop
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smog control system ...
my 528i ... as soon as all the lights on dashboard go out, it is running clean and according the government specifications for clean air, it smog tests itself and passes at the turn of the ignition ...
... this is a very quality car and really doesn't need smog checks at all if the person wants to keep the car running, keep it up to snuff.
don't fox around with it ...
in your case, you got some high mileage repairs to sort out.
sometimes it is just a matter of replacing the oxygen sensor or what ever is broken ... and it will run as it is suppose to .. until the engine is spent.
sumbuddie wear blind sea
:)
in article snipped-for-privacy@u36g2000pro.googlegroups.com, anoop at snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote on 7/27/08 1:18 PM:

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