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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 01-22-2010, 07:17 PM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Long Cranks to Start

When I start the vehicle sometimes, it takes a noticeably longer than normal cranking period (4-5 seconds) before the engine will turn over. However, the occurrences are sporadic and do not occur on the first start of the day. Kind of worrying when one makes a routine trip to the market or post office, and it just happens on you.

There's a tendency for the long crank to occur if I don't drive the engine long enough for it to warm up to normal temperature (in-town driving), but this has occurred also at random times well after a longer drive as well.

The intermittent problem started occurring about a year or so ago. I use a variety of brands in terms of fuel (although in my town, there is one supplier) and always 93 octane. No warning lights are illuminated.

Thoughts? Fuel pump? Fuel filter? More other problems?

Last edited by AzNMpower32; 01-22-2010 at 07:20 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2010, 07:53 PM
PeteSONJ PeteSONJ is offline
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This sounds exactly like a crank position sensor problem -- which I know exists in other BMW models -- though being new to the X3, its a guess.
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2010, 08:06 PM
new2u new2u is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
When I start the vehicle sometimes, it takes a noticeably longer than normal cranking period (4-5 seconds) before the engine will turn over. However, the occurrences are sporadic and do not occur on the first start of the day. Kind of worrying when one makes a routine trip to the market or post office, and it just happens on you.

There's a tendency for the long crank to occur if I don't drive the engine long enough for it to warm up to normal temperature (in-town driving), but this has occurred also at random times well after a longer drive as well.

The intermittent problem started occurring about a year or so ago. I use a variety of brands in terms of fuel (although in my town, there is one supplier) and always 93 octane. No warning lights are illuminated.

Thoughts? Fuel pump? Fuel filter? More other problems?
I'm having a similar problem here.
Sometime it takes like 6~7 seconds to start the car, and the odd thing is that it appears randomly. I have brought this problem to the local dealer, and they couldn't reproduce the problem. I'll try to bring up the problem again to the dealer before the warranty expires.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2010, 09:55 PM
kraziedn kraziedn is offline
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so glad that someone here brought up the subject. My 06 X3 does the same thing 90% of the time. I had the dealer looked at 2 times already and they said that it's normal for X3 to take 1-2 secs to start!?!?! I have a feeling that the dealer is too lazy to deeply investigate the problem. You might wanna press your dealer to take a look at that and hopefully your dealer can have a better explanation than mine.
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  #5  
Old 01-22-2010, 11:16 PM
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Evlengr Evlengr is offline
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Happened in both my 07 and in my 08 X3's. Not really concerned as long as it starts.

Found out an interesting note that there is a TSB to fix the parasitic battery draining issue I have heard about but never experienced (knock knock on carbon fiber).
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  #6  
Old 01-23-2010, 05:46 AM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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My '09 was doing the same thing. A bottle of Techron and about 100 miles did the trick.
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  #7  
Old 01-23-2010, 06:01 AM
kraziedn kraziedn is offline
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Originally Posted by thayerV View Post
My '09 was doing the same thing. A bottle of Techron and about 100 miles did the trick.
awesome! i will definitely give your trick a try today!
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  #8  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:30 AM
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AzNMpower32 AzNMpower32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thayerV View Post
My '09 was doing the same thing. A bottle of Techron and about 100 miles did the trick.
Doesn't work. When I do use Techron, I actually drive it hard (as in, full throttle redline acceleration) a number of times during the tank to attempt and burn off deposits. Plus, I often overtake on one-lane roads which requires full throttle in the 2,5 anyway, so it's not like the engine doesn't get exercise.

Kind of surprised at how prominent this minor issue is.
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  #9  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:38 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Az, happens a lot to me too. I usually find that after starting it up in the AM (quick start) and driving for a bit, the next time I start it takes a couple of seconds to catch. Never worried about it, just thought it was the nature of a BMW (had a 7 series that did the same thing) just like it is the nature of a Chev small block V8 to start on the first crank every time.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:40 AM
new2u new2u is offline
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It's very frustrating when the cranking problem happens at a public parking lot where people stare at me as if my x3 is a very old car with a problem.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:44 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Well, there is that I suppose. Just keep in your mind that they are looking at you because you have the "Ultimate Driving Machine" and they don't.
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2010, 03:20 PM
YBBB YBBB is offline
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My 2004 X3 does that too, and I have brought it to local dealer several times for this problem, does not really help. Eventually, I found out the remedy in my case is just give a little bit of gas, and it would start instantly. Otherwise, my car does draw attentions, and it is old now, though I just like that year and model, it is stiff, and its bumpers are forgiving . Give it a try, maybe it would solve your problem too.

Last edited by YBBB; 01-23-2010 at 03:22 PM.
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2010, 04:18 PM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
Doesn't work. When I do use Techron, I actually drive it hard (as in, full throttle redline acceleration) a number of times during the tank to attempt and burn off deposits. Plus, I often overtake on one-lane roads which requires full throttle in the 2,5 anyway, so it's not like the engine doesn't get exercise.

Kind of surprised at how prominent this minor issue is.
It's not anything that can be "burned off" that Techron fixes. It's dirty injectors which need time to clean up. Dirty injectors are caused by the varnish that's left after the fuel residue evaporates off the hot injectors after shutdown. The shorter the trips the worse it is.

I also have a theory that because our engines are designed to run so lean it only takes a little restriction to cause a problem. Ever notice how clean a BMW tailpipe is? The soot you see in other vehicles tailpipes are from excess fuel which makes them start easier but also makes them use more fuel.

My father was GM dealership tech for 38 years, and did nothing but drivability for the last 12 or so, and he swore by Techron.
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  #14  
Old 01-23-2010, 04:27 PM
thayerV thayerV is offline
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Originally Posted by UncleJ View Post
just like it is the nature of a Chev small block V8 to start on the first crank every time.
Not always. GM's "poppet valve" injectors on their CPI units were known to be problematic.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf tsb_05D-105.pdf (208.9 KB, 277 views)

Last edited by thayerV; 01-23-2010 at 04:31 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-23-2010, 06:08 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
.... There's a tendency for the long crank to occur if I don't drive the engine long enough for it to warm up to normal temperature (in-town driving), but this has occurred also at random times well after a longer drive as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thayerV View Post
.... My father was GM dealership tech for 38 years, and did nothing but drivability for the last 12 or so, and he swore by Techron.
I've heard that word-of-mouth endorsement for Techron from pro. mechanics often enough that I, for one, believe it.

I fill up with Chevron almost exclusively to make sure of getting that measured dose of Techron.

I can understand that warm starts are much more of a challenge for engine management systems than either cold starts or hot starts.
In the 2 latter cases the computer knows exactly what the parameters are.

For a warm start, how does it deal with the difference between:
- that short quick trip to the Post Office before full operating temp. has been reached
- longer trip where op. temp. is reached, then shutdown for an hour, then restart

The term "car wash syndrome" is used for the somewhat common re-starting problem after just backing a car out of a garage for washing, or driveway shuffling.

Most pro. mechanics are familiar with that one - presumably where an engine has been shut down before the plugs have had a chance to burn off the neat fuel on them.

The computer thinks the re-start is a cold start, but really it isn't, from a fuel-air consideration.

Seems to affect some makes and models more than others (e.g. Mazda rotaries, some other Japanese, VW, Audi, and to a lesser extent, I think, BMW).

The fix for the owner seems to be holding the gas pedal fully down while trying to start.
In theory, this should have no validity for fuel injected engines, but it does appear to work.
Maybe the computer interprets it as "hold the gas, just air needed".

If that doesn't work, the fix at dealerships seems to be plug removal for cleaning/drying.

Since Az has reluctant starts even after longer trips sometimes, other things need to be considered.

Too much fuel or not enough is the more likely cause than a spark issue, so an intermittent fuel pump problem can't be ruled out.
I don't think the fuel filter is a likely culprit - that would tend not to be intermittent if it was an issue.

Any one of several sensors for coolant temperature could be suspected, or an intermittent vacuum leak.
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  #16  
Old 01-24-2010, 07:58 AM
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HT417 HT417 is offline
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AzN, I thought I read on here about a year or two ago about a TSB that referred to the hard starting issue. It might apply since I believe it concerned the pre-facelift engines.

I couldn't find it with a quick search and I'm at work anyway, maybe you'll have better luck.
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  #17  
Old 01-24-2010, 08:03 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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Thayer, never had the poppet problem on any "mouse motor" Chevy I had. Just luck I guess. OTOH I did have the problem of "warm" starting on every BMW I ever owned including a "deuce" back in the day. Just as long as they finally started, it didn't bother me much. I used the "hold down the throttle" remedy too.
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  #18  
Old 01-27-2010, 03:08 AM
phsarch phsarch is offline
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Same problem here. It began at 15k miles. The car had trouble starting up while the engine was cold, warm or sometimes, hot. I took it to the dealer and they couldn't replicate the problem and just blamed it on the cold engine. I say 30% of the time the car will need to crank more than 3 to 4 seconds to start. Or sometimes I have to crank it twice. It's very embarrassing and I try not to do it when people are around. I also own a 10 year old accord V6 and I have had no problem starting it whatsoever.
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  #19  
Old 01-27-2010, 05:33 AM
Sonoman707 Sonoman707 is offline
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Mine has done this, although it is rare. Maybe 2 or 3 times during a week - then doesn't occur again in the next six to eight months. Never could put a rhyme or reason to it - though it seems to be during warm weather. Nothing stands out regarding how warm or cold the engine is.

Once I identify that it is happening - I immediately turn the key off and try again rather than continue grinding. Second attempt it always starts right up with no hesitation.
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  #20  
Old 01-27-2010, 09:02 AM
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We have never had this problem on our'05, but it sounds like a fuel pressure issue. It's possible the regulator/pump hasn't maintained the pressure after ignition shutoff, and when a restart occurs, it needs to build back up...hence the second try always starts right up. Just a guess, but from experience in other makes, it's quite possible.
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  #21  
Old 01-27-2010, 07:32 PM
Chancevought953 Chancevought953 is offline
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Same thing here. If nothing else I feel better I am not alone. Havent had the 2004 X3 that long, but I have the exact same experience. It was enough to mention it as a potential problem to the dealer I bought it from. Completely random. Fires right up then every once in awhile it has a hard time catching. Very interested in this thread
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  #22  
Old 01-31-2010, 03:00 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AzNMpower32 View Post
When I start the vehicle sometimes, it takes a noticeably longer than normal cranking period (4-5 seconds) before the engine will turn over. However, the occurrences are sporadic and do not occur on the first start of the day. Kind of worrying when one makes a routine trip to the market or post office, and it just happens on you.

There's a tendency for the long crank to occur if I don't drive the engine long enough for it to warm up to normal temperature (in-town driving), but this has occurred also at random times well after a longer drive as well.

The intermittent problem started occurring about a year or so ago. I use a variety of brands in terms of fuel (although in my town, there is one supplier) and always 93 octane. No warning lights are illuminated.

Thoughts? Fuel pump? Fuel filter? More other problems?
Mine does it every now and then, I had posted it here too. Dealer also said it was "normal", so I started paying more attention as to when it happens. For some reason something tells me is related to the switch, If I make a little "pause" between the pos. 2 and "start" it NEVER does it; but if I go from pos. 0 to "start" in a fast- one movement, it's when it happens-not all the time, but when it happens, is when I forget to "pause".
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  #23  
Old 01-31-2010, 03:03 PM
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Mystic1 Mystic1 is offline
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Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Mine does it every now and then, I had posted it here too. Dealer also said it was "normal", so I started paying more attention as to when it happens. For some reason something tells me is related to the switch, If I make a little "pause" between the pos. 2 and "start" it NEVER does it; but if I go from pos. 0 to "start" in a fast- one movement, it's when it happens-not all the time, but when it happens, is when I forget to "pause".
Not to sound repetitive to my above post, but the pause would allow the fuel pressure to build back up. Still sounds like a pressure loss in the fuel system to me.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2010, 07:19 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Originally Posted by Mystic1 View Post
Not to sound repetitive to my above post, but the pause would allow the fuel pressure to build back up. Still sounds like a pressure loss in the fuel system to me.
It's a possibility. But since the long cranks occur mainly, shortly after it's been running and not after long periods of time, I wouldn't discard a faulty ignition switch.
But until someone has a real diagnostic and fix, we're just speculating.
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2010, 12:42 PM
sfca-325i sfca-325i is offline
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We experience this on occasion with our 2004. Doesn't really bother me.
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