Intermittent starting problems - MINI Cooper Forum

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old Jun 16th, 2006, 06:00 AM Thread Starter
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United-Kingdom Intermittent starting problems

Hi Guys,

My Fiancee has a 2003 52 plate Mini Cooper which has refused to start on 3 seperate occasions over the past 2 months There doesn't seem to be a problem with the electics as all the lights come on, and the car will start when 'bumped off'. I think its the starter motor, and tried to get the work done under the warranty from the dealer we bought it at, but the Warranty Companys Approved Repairer said they couldn't do the work to replace it, as it hadn't happened once during the time they had it! It's so frustrating, because it's so intermittent! Has anyone else had a similar problem?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old Jun 18th, 2006, 11:01 AM
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I had this intermitten problem over a period of 5 months, each time when I sent to the workshop it behave. The problem only occurs after a heavy down pour. Finally I decided to deposit in the workshop for two weeks while I was away ( travelling ). They managed to rectified the problem by changing the ECU and sensors. Till date, just one crank it fires up.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 8th, 2006, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Well I finally got to the bottom of the problem:
The car went into the dealership and they had it all weekend, but couldn't diagnose the problem as it started each time they went to it! My Fiancee went to collect the car on the Monday, and low and behold it wouldn't start for her....thankfully! They then put the diagnostic device on it, and found that it was the starter motor.......£642 to have it replaced!!! (Thank God for my Warranty!) Hopefully that wil be the end of the problem....but we'll just have to wait and see. She isn't called a Little Red Devil for nothing! (The car, not the Missus!)
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old Jul 12th, 2007, 11:24 PM
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the same thing happens to me but the starter motor has been replaced already, and its still doing it...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 03:34 PM
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HELP..urgent

Hi. My daughters boyfriends 2002 Cooper S has developed an intermittent starting problem. Sometimes, when he turns the key, all the lights on the dash come on as normal, but then it won't start.

By "won't start," I mean, nothing happens. No turning of the engine, no clicking of relays or dimming of lights. After many repeated attempts, it eventually starts as though nothing was amiss. You can turn it on and off again repeatedly and it will start every time..or not, what ever it feels like at the time. Then it might go days with no probs and then it does it all again.

BMW say they have not heard of anything specific to this problem and would need the car in to diagnose the fault. However, how do you diagnose an intermittent fault? BMW charges £90/hour ish and you could spend £200 just to pay someone to turn the key for an hour or two.

You can usually tell it's going to start on the next turn of the key when you hear a faint click under the steering column from a box tucked up against the front drivers side wheel arch. The box has EWS3-Steuergerat printed on it. We haven't a clue what that box does, but have taken it out and looked at the cct board inside. All looks normal.

ANY clues or help appreciated.

By the way, the car has approx 40k on the clock and full BMW service history but is now out of warranty.

Last edited by palwing; Dec 23rd, 2007 at 08:31 PM.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 04:38 PM
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It is worth checking the main earth lead from the chassis to the lug on the engine making sure the lead is tight ,it can give elect/starting problems
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MINIMANIAUK View Post
It is worth checking the main earth lead from the chassis to the lug on the engine making sure the lead is tight ,it can give elect/starting problems
Hi.. thanks for the advice. We will be checking the battery and engine earth connections tomorrow, as it's cold and foggy tonight.

Do you know if there are any adverse consequences to completely disconnecting the battery on a 2002 BMW Mini Cooper S? ie, ECU settings lost, etc requiring a visit to BMW to reset stuff? We are thinking of disconnecting the battery in the boot and cleaning up the terminals and then re-connecting it again.

I only ask ,as I once did this to a Rover and lost the engine tick over settings. It ran on an "emergency setup" until I could get the ECU reprogrammed again. Costly mistake.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old Jan 12th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Mini Starting problem SOLVED!

Hi all..posted a short time ago ref my Daughters b/f's BMW Mini Cooper S intermittent starting problem.

After weeks of pulling and pushing wires plus taping the box marked EWS3-Steuergerat under the dash, he decided to order a new EWS3-Steuergerat box. Apparently this box of electronic wizardry controls the Immobilizer. Anyway, it was only around £60 for the box, which he fitted at BMW. Just plugs in once you have managed to get to it and unbolt it from the bulkhead.

However, the keys then have to be re-programmed by BMW. They did that in 30 mins of their time and charged the appropriate labour charge.

Outcome is, since he changed the EWS3-Steuergerat box and had the keys done, it's worked fine ever since (3 weeks, ish now) Looks like it's SORTED.

More by luck than judgement though, however, this might help someone else who has this problem. Total repair cost of less than £120.

Hope this helps someone in the future?

Regards and good motoring!
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old Jan 28th, 2008, 03:20 PM
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Red face primitive diagnostic

We've also had palwing's problem on our 2002. Not fixed yet, but I've noticed a surefire way to get it to start. Once the problem occurs, I pop the hood, then merely touch a jumper cable, not connected to anything, to the red battery terminal. You'll see a little spark, like a discharge of static electricity. Then it'll start up. My nearest mini dealer is 200 miles away, so I work with a local guy, and these forums are invaluable.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 11th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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2004 Just started having starting problems

Hubby went out one morning to go to work and his car wouldn't start. After fiddling with some fuses under the hood and the battery cables it started right up. Same thing happened again yesterday but again.. after confirming connections were tight and fuses were secure and it started up... same thing after stopping off at the store. Each time this happens the windows doing their little wierd thing of moving down a little....WTH is going on with this car????
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old Nov 11th, 2012, 06:47 PM
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New battery is probably required if it is the original 2004 BMW battery, battery output power is critical in a Mini.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old Dec 26th, 2012, 10:18 PM
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I had problems starting with my 52 plate Cooper. Normally, only when it was freezing outside(!) and in the winter, turning key would just give a click (and sometimes nothing) if I remember.

I changed the battery and no more problems! Not quite the problem you describe but it may be of somehelp to someone.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2015, 09:05 AM
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Smile Mini Cooper s 05 plate not starting

Hiya my Mini Cooper s won't start turn the key and nothing. I have changed the battery and starter motor and it still won't turn over the dashboard all lights up ok but nothing when I turn the key anyone any ideas.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2015, 09:11 AM
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Hiya my Mini Cooper s won't start turn the key and nothing. I have changed the battery and starter motor and it still won't turn over the dashboard all lights up ok but nothing when I turn the key anyone any ideas.
You need to do a bit of electrical investigation I think, does the starter solenoid have a supply to it still when you turn the key? If it doesnt the starter wont work.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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You need to do a bit of electrical investigation I think, does the starter solenoid have a supply to it still when you turn the key? If it doesnt the starter wont work.
Hiya I will investigate that it will go with a bump start well it did I parked it up went into macdonalds came out to start it and nothing only lights on dashboard
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