Car clicks but won't start when I turn the key, battery's new

Asked by Jul 13, 2011 at 06:16 PM about the 1985 BMW 5 Series 528e

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have an automatic 1985 528e with over 160k miles on it. In the last few days, when I try to start it it clicks when I turn the key all the way, but won't start. It started twice randomly since this started happening but hasn't started 9 or 10 times. The battery's fairly new and I didn't leave anything on, so could this be the starter? How do I tell/anything I can do about it myself?

3 Answers

445

Have you tried to jump the car off? Sounds like the starter is not getting enough juice to kick over. If that does it, you may have a short or a bad alternator / alternator connection. Any other electrical gremlins of note? I think Autozone with help with cursory troubleshooting for this kind of thing for free if you can get the car there... Good Luck.

255

Sounds like a loose connection. Check connections at battery or to the chassis ground. Chassis ground can seem tight but they can still be faulty. Just some suggestions. I have seen people who have replaces starters for the same reason and it was just the chassis ground.

255

Oh yeah... A way to check this is by jumping the car with the neg of the jumper cables on the neg of the battery. If it doesn't start the place the neg on the chassis and see if vehicle starts. If it starts then it is the chassis ground.

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