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  #1  
Old 11-01-2022, 03:51 PM
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X5 4.4 Starter 'whirs' then starts - no clicking

Is my starter going bad?

2005 X5 4.4 166,000 miles.

I live in Havasu, Arizona and it never really gets cold here - maybe 70F in the morning and during the summer it can hit 115F on a regular basis.

In the morning, I turn the key to start it and the starter will make a 'whirring' sound for 2-3 seconds then turn the motor over and it starts. There have been a few times, I turn the key off then back to start and it starts fine. Seems when the car is warm/hot and I run into the store for 5 minutes and go to restart the car, the whirring problem goes away and it starts right up.

Also about 2 weeks ago, I noticed while idling at a stoplight it idles kind of rough. - I did throw a bottle of injector cleaner in the tank to see if that helps but the rough idle at idle is still there.

Battery is a bit over 2 years old - longtimers in this town, say batteries should be replaced every 2 or 3 years due to the heat. - car is always outside.

Voltage before starting: 12.19volts - voltage at idle: 14.4volts - I replaced the alternator 2 years ago.

There are no 'clicking' sounds from the starter when it does not start, just a whirring noise.

Any connections to the rough idle at stoplights? Any other ideas?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2022, 04:27 PM
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Wow, it's in the 25% battery charged part. Charge it up. Yea, Texas also kills batteries. Any battery that lasts more than 3 years was a good one. 14.4 V indicate it's trying to charge the battery.
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Old 11-01-2022, 04:57 PM
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Replace the starter!! The solenoid is bad! The car has a lot of miles this is an easy one!
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Old 11-01-2022, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CapeX5 View Post
Replace the starter!! The solenoid is bad! The car has a lot of miles this is an easy one!
Yeah, I'd agree that the solenoid is dying.
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Old 11-02-2022, 06:47 PM
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I put a battery charger at 2amps on it overnight to make sure the battery had enough charge and now the starter just 'whirs' with no cranking.... so you guys are right, looks like the starter is shot. I do have another car to drive so it might sit for a bit.
Called a local independent shop $640.00 parts and labor (OUCH).
Thanks you for your help!
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Old 11-02-2022, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nick325xit 5spd View Post
Yeah, I'd agree that the solenoid is dying.

Wouldn't the solenoid make a click? When a solenoid fails it makes a click but doesn't connect the starter circuit.



It sounds to me like the solenoid is working but the starter gear is not getting pushed into the flywheel gears. On other cars this has caused a terrible grinding noise for me. Not sure if that is the failure mode for the BMW design or not. If the gears were not contacting at all, they might whir but I would expect it to be a loud whirring noise.



Is that what you are experiencing, OP? Either way, replacing the entire starter (which the solenoid is attached to) should fix your problem, by my guess.
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Old 11-02-2022, 09:12 PM
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if you have a modicum of mechanical apptitude, this is an easy job. You tube the procedure for tips and just do it yourself. I havn't priced starters lately but I bet you can get one for $200/ish.
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  #8  
Old 11-02-2022, 09:22 PM
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It's the starter drive that is shot not the solenoid but still a starter replacement.
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Old 11-03-2022, 09:02 AM
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Assuming that the OP knows the difference between the starter whirring and not turning the engine over and the engine turning over and not starting and that no clicking means that the starter is not clicking only (without spinning) because the clicking will usually only be noticed if the starter doesn't spin.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2022, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bdc101 View Post
Wouldn't the solenoid make a click? When a solenoid fails it makes a click but doesn't connect the starter circuit.



It sounds to me like the solenoid is working but the starter gear is not getting pushed into the flywheel gears. On other cars this has caused a terrible grinding noise for me. Not sure if that is the failure mode for the BMW design or not. If the gears were not contacting at all, they might whir but I would expect it to be a loud whirring noise.



Is that what you are experiencing, OP? Either way, replacing the entire starter (which the solenoid is attached to) should fix your problem, by my guess.
The solenoid pushes the starter gear into the flexdisc/flywheel.

The whirring sound would generally be the starter motor spinning freely, but not engaging.

I think we agree on the noise source - it's a terminology issue.
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