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Perhaps somebody can identify this issue. The car is a 2003 BMW Z4. The symptoms are:

Car wouldn't start last week

Jump leads did nothing

Push started the car in 2nd, engine starts.

Took The car for a drive, stopped the engine, started it. All fine

Came back next morning, car wouldn't start

Replaced the battery. Started the car in Halfords car park. Drove home

Started the car again last night. No problems.

Tried to start it again this morning and nothing. Battery near full charge.

Lights etc. still working

If I push start the car again now, drive round the block, the car will start normally again.

Any ideas?

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1 Answer

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Sounds to me like your starter motor is on the way out, as you are getting enough power, as a bump start is working, and sometimes you are able to start normally.

This isn't that uncommon - they do take a lot of stress and load, and the internal friction can end up being too high for them to cope with.

A temporary fix I have used in the past is to whack the starter motor with a plank of wood or a lump hammer, but the real solution is to get your starter motor checked out and then replaced if necessary.

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+1 For whacking the starter motor with a plank ;) –  Chris Dec 3 '12 at 9:50
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I find that handle end of an extpandable wheelbrace (lug wrench) works quite well, rubber coated so it doesn't give quite such a harsh shock, and it lives in the car anyway... The principle, as I understand it, is to jolt the commutators of the motor past the dead spot that has developed and so allow them to get current. –  Nick C Dec 3 '12 at 13:22
    
When my starter went this summer, the starter got progressively weaker, to the point where it seemed like my battery was dying. Over the course of a week, it went from sounding strained to barely being able to turn over the engine. It wasn't the battery, though, it was the starter, and a good whack from a mallot put the solenoid back into position long enough get it a good start. –  Lynn Crumbling Dec 3 '12 at 16:18
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