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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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Old 01-05-2011, 09:44 PM
Walker1277 Walker1277 is offline
Registered User
Location: Kentucky
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: 2002 325i, 1999 540i
Angry 2002 BMW 325i Cold start Problem!

I recently purchased a 2002 BMW 325i with 114,900 miles on it. One of the first things I did when I decided I wanted to buy the car was to take it to my mechanic to have it checked out. I have been driving Porsche for about 12 years now so I already knew of a shop with experience working on German cars. The car checked out with no error codes and everything looked good. So that day, I scheduled an oil change for the following week, and because of things going on in my life, it ended up being postponed two additional two weeks but no worries because the car wasnít over the scheduled miles for it to be changed. During those two weeks before the oil change, I noticed the service light come on and go off. After taking it back to the shop to have the error code read, it was discovered that the thermostat was having an issue and needed to be replaced. It was and the code bank was reset. I didnít have any further problems with the service light and went ahead and had the oil changed. several weeks passed problem free... until...
it was 18 degrees outside and I had to get up early and head to school, the wife wasnít doing anything that day so I decided to take the BMW.. got dressed went outside and was going to start the car to let it warm up but when I turned the key, it turned over but would not start. I was shocked and dismayed... the newest car that I have ever owned wouldnít start... So I called a rollback and had it delivered to the shop. A few hours later I received a phone call informing me that the fuel pump had to be bad and that they would replace the filter while they had it on the rack; I agreed and went on about my day. The next day I went to the shop and picked the car up. No problems starting, even though it was 24 or 25 degrees that day. I was feeling good about it again and decided to take it on a trip with my wife out of state. Drove there just fine parked and left the car parked for 2 days. When it was time to leave, I went out early that morning and again the car wouldnít start... Now Iím getting So I called the shop and told them that I was still having problems and I needed to get the car back in. After waiting almost 6 hours for the temperature to rise above 35 degrees, the car finally started and we made haste to get back home. The shop had the car again... and decided that this time they needed to replace the Fuel pump relay and the DME relay. I said ok, if it fixes the problem then do it. That was the day before yesterday and Iím still having a problem starting the car when the temperature is below 35 degrees F. Over the course of this experience with this car, I have tried to pay special attention to little things like if the fuel pump comes on or not at the first attempt to start and the answer to that has been a resounding No... Itís come to the point where I have the radio off, the climate control off, so I can hear if the fuel pump is coming on or not and if it does not come on, I donít even try to start it. I just turn the key off and on again until I hear the fuel pump come on. Sometimes the fifth or sixth time turning the key off and on again regardless of the temperature outside, I can get the car started. Sometimes itís stubborn and just will not start. So today I was back at the shop, I told them about the consistent starting problem and my anger at their inability to get it fixed or at least diagnosed correctly.

Having read some of the other forums Iím going to try to answer some questions before they are asked.

Q: What kind of oil did you use when you had the oil changed?
A: Castrol Synthetic 5w30

Q: Does the engine turn over?
A: Yes, the engine turns over as though it was connected to a brand new fully charged battery.

I apologize for the length of this post but I wanted to put out as much information as I could. Thank you for taking the time to read it all and for any suggestions any of you might have. Please realize this is the first time I have ever posted anything on any forum ever.
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