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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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  #1  
Old 10-10-2012, 05:39 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Starting oomph...missing?

What's up fest?

Every once in a while when I start the car for the first time in the morning, I turn the key and the car starts right away, but there is a quick belt chirp and the car seems to sputter for a quick second or two almost like it is about to stall. It's just not a strong start. It doesn't do it at any other time during the day just the first start. There doesn't seem to be a single environmental reason - warm/cold, wet/dry.

I have changed everything - alternator, power steering, w/p, tensioner, Idler pulley, all belts, fuel pump and filter except the a/c compressor. I believe that maybe the ac compressor is about to die but would that cause this starting "sputter"? I changed the fuel pump/filter a few weeks ago and I don't remember it happening before this, but I think it is just a coincidence. Has anyone experienced this before? Any advice? BTW car has 97k miles.
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Last edited by PerfectStorm01; 10-10-2012 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Adding mileage
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  #2  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:06 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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I know you have done a ton of maintenance, did you replace the spark plugs. I know it sounds dumb, but I have seen similar issues with E46's that have ailing plugs. Also could be worn VANOS seals though the cold start issue was more on the M52TU engines and not the M54 (what you have).
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  #3  
Old 10-10-2012, 08:50 AM
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We're assuming you also changed all the belts with all the other replacement parts?
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Old 10-10-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by av98 View Post
We're assuming you also changed all the belts with all the other replacement parts?
He did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectStorm01 View Post
I have changed everything - alternator, power steering, w/p, tensioner, Idler pulley, all belts,
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2012, 01:59 PM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
I know you have done a ton of maintenance, did you replace the spark plugs. I know it sounds dumb, but I have seen similar issues with E46's that have ailing plugs. Also could be worn VANOS seals though the cold start issue was more on the M52TU engines and not the M54 (what you have).
Hi Smolck, I had them changed shortly after I got the car in Jan 2012. The vanos is another idea even though my morning idle is steady. I am exhibiting other vanos related issues though minor in my opinion.
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  #6  
Old 10-11-2012, 03:14 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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video of poor starting

Hi guys, started the car this morning. This is probably the worst I've heard it. It didn't stall, but you can hear how close it actually does. Still think plugs or vanos?



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  #7  
Old 10-12-2012, 03:02 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Bump

No opinions? I find that hard to believe....come on guys
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  #8  
Old 10-12-2012, 06:34 AM
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I also have this problem from time to time so I'm pretty curious if anyone has any suggestions. Always happens Monday morning when I let me car sit all weekend.
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  #9  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectStorm01 View Post
Hi guys, started the car this morning. This is probably the worst I've heard it. It didn't stall, but you can hear how close it actually does. Still think plugs or vanos?



It honestly could be your AC. Make sure you set your AC off and and put the heater all the way up next time you turn the car off for the night. Than when you go to start it in the morning. Let us know what happens. I'm guessing when this happened in the video you had the AC on.
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  #10  
Old 10-12-2012, 09:34 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
It honestly could be your AC. Make sure you set your AC off and and put the heater all the way up next time you turn the car off for the night. Than when you go to start it in the morning. Let us know what happens. I'm guessing when this happened in the video you had the AC on.
Thanks MMV. I very rarely use my AC and I'm one of those guys that turns off everything (radio, heat, etc) every time I turn off the car. This morning (yesterday morning it's 2.30 am right now) when I started her up I turned the key to the start position without turning the car on to let the fuel pump run then started her up right away. No issues and a strong start.

I replaced the FP with a VDO FP (oem), but my fuel filter is a Hengst. I will continue to start the car this way to see if I can repeat the issue, but if I can't do you think my fuel filter is prohibiting fuel pressure? I will admit that my car drives and idles smoother after changing the fuel pump and filter, but maybe after the car sits for a while pressure drops.
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  #11  
Old 10-12-2012, 10:45 AM
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MMME30W MMME30W is offline
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Originally Posted by PerfectStorm01 View Post
No opinions? I find that hard to believe....come on guys
One thought is the coils? I know my 03 was produced right after the recall. It was Bosch or Bremi that had the problem, can't recall. Are they original?
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  #12  
Old 10-12-2012, 11:25 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Originally Posted by MMME30W View Post
One thought is the coils? I know my 03 was produced right after the recall. It was Bosch or Bremi that had the problem, can't recall. Are they original?
I would have to say yes as I don't have any records related to their replacement. Why do you think coils? Can you have a soft failure? I don't have any other symptoms related to coils like rough idle, loss of power, etc.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PerfectStorm01 View Post
I would have to say yes as I don't have any records related to their replacement. Why do you think coils? Can you have a soft failure? I don't have any other symptoms related to coils like rough idle, loss of power, etc.
Well might be worth researching. Search for the TSB on "coils" and maybe "Bremi".
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  #14  
Old 10-12-2012, 12:42 PM
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Here ya go, Bremis: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/att...chmentid=49115
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Last edited by MMME30W; 10-12-2012 at 12:43 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-15-2012, 06:06 AM
PerfectStorm01 PerfectStorm01 is offline
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Thanks MMM, I'm sure mine are original at 11 years old. Will look into them as well.

Over the past 4 days I'e been turning my key to the on position for 2 seconds to let my fuel pump prime. I then start the car and it starts up right away and no bogging.

I've replaced my FP (VDO) and Fuel filter (hengst), but I've been reading that the FPR on the fuel filter may be the issue. Can my non oem filter's FPR be the reason for the bogging? Should I just replace it with a Mann filter and see what happens? The one thing I haven't physically checked is the fuel pressure vac line...I should probably spend the $10 and replace it. Am I on the right track? does anyone else have any ideas? The car runs perfectly (no codes) for the rest of the day. Thanks
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