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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 07-15-2013, 11:33 AM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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2004 X3 Starting issue.

Hi Guys.

Wonder if anyone could shed any light on my X3 starting issue? I have the 3.0i 2004 X3 and it seems a few weeks ago I started to get an occasional starting issue. The car has not failed to start yet, but it seems to be taking longer to crank (as in normally you turn the key and it fires up, but when the issue occurs it turns over a few times 6-7 and then fires). Just to rule one thing out straight away, I always turn the key to the first position to let the fuel pump prime for about 5-10 seconds then attempt to start the car.

It is really odd because the car is fine once it is started, idle is good as is performance. I am trying to figure out exactly when this happens because I had BMW look whilst they were going the MOT and couldn't replicate the issue (nor are any error codes being logged). What seems to happen is in the morning the car will usually start fine (think it has had trouble once or twice) but once I get to work and leave it (a 40 min drive) for the day when I come back 8/10 times it will take longer to crank. It is left in the sun as there are no shaded spots and the car does get very hot, so I was wondering if this was a factor at all.

I am pretty sure it is not the starter motor because there is no hesitation on the start, it just takes longer to catch. I would doubt it would be the battery because it would surely be a bit more consistent and I would have noticed other battery related issues (although I don't know how old the battery in this car is).

Reading some forum, people seem to talk about a fuel pressure regulator. Does anyone think the above symptoms fit in with this?

Thanks a lot for anyone that could shed a bit of light on this, or even if they could give a suggestion for BMW to look at when trying to fix it!
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2013, 12:28 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Welcome, try using the search function before posting new threads.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=428058
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:05 PM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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Thanks, but just wondered if anyone has actually solved the issue or got to the bottom of it.
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  #4  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:09 PM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsimian View Post
Thanks, but just wondered if anyone has actually solved the issue or got to the bottom of it.
Its not just one specific thing. It could be multiple things.

Fuel pump/relay issue
Starter issue
Battery
etc etc
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:34 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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Is it a slow turnover (starter motor) or a fast turnover but no fuel (Fuel pump)?
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2013, 01:38 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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same problem for me with my 2004. I've narrowed it down to the fuel pump, but can't justify pulling the trigger without knowing for sure. Let me know if you do decide to replace the pump. This is a typical issue anytime after 100K.
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2013, 02:24 PM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joylove View Post
Is it a slow turnover (starter motor) or a fast turnover but no fuel (Fuel pump)?
I have had a starter motor go on another vehicle and its not that. As you say it is slow turning over. This turns over at the regular speed and doesn't struggle, but for some reason it just doesn't catch. It seems quite odd circumstances. Why would I not have performance issues, or issues starting all of the time if it was the fuel pump?

Also my car only has 52K on the clock, so I would expect things like a fuel pump to last longer.

Its kind of annoying since I am sure BMW are quite happy to just keep replacing parts on the car until they solve it rather than work out a solution. Hence why I am trying to narrow it down myself.

Last edited by mrsimian; 07-15-2013 at 02:27 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-15-2013, 02:49 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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OK to be specific, does it turn over for too long, does it turn over slowly or both? Please check carefully!

The starter motor and fuel pump are both know early failure points.
Also when was the last time the car was serviced and the plugs checked?
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  #9  
Old 07-15-2013, 07:14 PM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Try an overnight fuel system pressure check. Yes it does seem odd for any car made after 2000 to have this problem without 100 k miles. I've had a few Japanese and American cars since then and none of them have had fuel system pressure problems to the extent as I'm reading about these BMW's. But then again none of them are as FUN to drive!
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  #10  
Old 07-15-2013, 09:34 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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He is experiencing extended cranking prior to starting, if it even does start. His symptoms are not overnight, but instead after driving the car, then letting it sit for a few hours (example: going to work).

Bottom line, its not getting fuel like it should. We could all go back and forth about fuel pressure checks (normally a good idea, but it starts great in the morning), how the heat affects it, why it can't be the pump because it wouldn't start in the morning, etc.... Truth is, if you haven't recently seen a fuel pump in the last decade they are electrical, sensitive, pieces of junk, which are so fragile poor fuel or low fuel tanks can ruin them in no time. There isn't much else to the fuel system.

You said your car was a 2004? Thats 9 years on the original pump and probably the original filter, 52K miles or not, still both sensitive, temperamental pieces of crap. I'd replace the filter, then replace the pump. If it wasn't the pump, I'd be happy to know my pump won't go bad anytime soon.

Forgot to ask.... with 52K miles how often are you driving it? Running fuel through the system?
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  #11  
Old 07-15-2013, 10:13 PM
joylove joylove is offline
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I'd be tempted to sort with the cheapest things, spark plugs and fuel filter. Then consider. Fuel pump or high pressure regulartor.
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  #12  
Old 07-16-2013, 12:21 AM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
He is experiencing extended cranking prior to starting, if it even does start. His symptoms are not overnight, but instead after driving the car, then letting it sit for a few hours (example: going to work).

Bottom line, its not getting fuel like it should. We could all go back and forth about fuel pressure checks (normally a good idea, but it starts great in the morning), how the heat affects it, why it can't be the pump because it wouldn't start in the morning, etc.... Truth is, if you haven't recently seen a fuel pump in the last decade they are electrical, sensitive, pieces of junk, which are so fragile poor fuel or low fuel tanks can ruin them in no time. There isn't much else to the fuel system.

You said your car was a 2004? Thats 9 years on the original pump and probably the original filter, 52K miles or not, still both sensitive, temperamental pieces of crap. I'd replace the filter, then replace the pump. If it wasn't the pump, I'd be happy to know my pump won't go bad anytime soon.

Forgot to ask.... with 52K miles how often are you driving it? Running fuel through the system?
Hi.

Thanks for the reply. It certainly seems like it might be a fuel issue, I will take a video of it tonight and upload it so that you guys can see what is happening. The car is driven every day for about 40 miles. I drive it a good 400 miles the other day and after leaving it for the day in the heat it did the same thing when I came back to it.

Interestingly enough though, once it happens I can then drive it for short journeys to and from shops and it will start up every time.

Anyway thanks everyone for the suggestions, I shall update later on with a movie.
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  #13  
Old 07-16-2013, 02:25 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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Why do people go right for the fuel system or maf? (no one said maf yet but im sure its coming)

Why dont you go for the normal things... Like on every other car in the world when this happens?

TUNE UP?
plugs, air filter, fuel filter

your at 100k ?
especially with a temp related issue This is a classic sign for new plugs... (Im whilling to bet its that alone)
But i wouldn't just stop there... DO A TUNE UP
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  #14  
Old 07-16-2013, 05:35 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Why do people go right for the fuel system or maf? (no one said maf yet but im sure its coming)

Why dont you go for the normal things... Like on every other car in the world when this happens?

TUNE UP?
plugs, air filter, fuel filter

your at 100k ?
especially with a temp related issue This is a classic sign for new plugs... (Im whilling to bet its that alone)
But i wouldn't just stop there... DO A TUNE UP
The car is a 2004 with 52k.
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  #15  
Old 07-16-2013, 05:37 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joylove View Post
I'd be tempted to sort with the cheapest things, spark plugs and fuel filter. Then consider. Fuel pump or high pressure regulartor.
Sounds like a classic case of guessing and just replacing the cheapest things first; in my experience with cars and motorcycles not the best way to go.
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2013, 05:41 AM
Burning2nd Burning2nd is offline
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yea.. sounds about right then 52k.. first major
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2013, 08:08 AM
joylove joylove is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbrdad View Post
Sounds like a classic case of guessing and just replacing the cheapest things first; in my experience with cars and motorcycles not the best way to go.
But they are things that will need to be eliminated as being faulty and are service parts.
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2013, 09:07 AM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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Again, thanks a lot for the reply guys. I am not really a fan of replacing parts until the issue gets solved as that can soon get quite expensive. I know garages like this, but I am more a fan of finding the fault and resolving it.

A video of the issue (although this is not as bad as it has been, it can sometimes take 6-7 seconds to start).

Just for information the car is cool in the morning and started fine. However this was taken after work where it has been sitting in the sun for a good 8 hours. Drove home and went to two places within a short distance, again started fine first time.

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Old 07-16-2013, 09:44 AM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burning2nd View Post
Why do people go right for the fuel system or maf? (no one said maf yet but im sure its coming)
Typically your right, I failed to mention I've been battling this exact same issue for two years now, realizing now I should share what I've done to help the OP and I narrow it down.

OP, I'm experiencing the same exact issue as I stated before. Exactly the same with my 04. Starts fine in the morning, long starts sporadically after sitting or driving to work. I believe from reading what you wrote and watching the video, we are experiencing the same problem. I'm about to order a fuel filter in a week or so as its only $88 from ecs, and its not too hard of a replacement.

Here is a list of replacements I've already made which have not helped my starting issue, (some obviously will have no affect), but at least we can start to narrow things down.
- new battery
- plugs
- air filter
- MAF
- intake boot
- DISA and O-ring
- Entire coolant system
- Oil filter housing gasket
- Valve cover
- belts and pulleys
- entire AC system

Yet to be replaced:
- Fuel filter
- fuel pump

Oddly enough, I sold my Silverado to buy the X3 and prior to selling it had same starting issues. Always started in the morning, drove into town or to work and when I came out it would start intermittently, was starving for fuel. I replaced a lot of stuff, fuel pump finally fixed it.

Last edited by can0n4; 07-16-2013 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 09:57 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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[QUOTE=mrsimian;7713587]Again, thanks a lot for the reply guys. I am not really a fan of replacing parts until the issue gets solved as that can soon get quite expensive. I know garages like this, but I am more a fan of finding the fault and resolving it.

A video of the issue (although this is not as bad as it has been, it can sometimes take 6-7 seconds to start).

Just for information the car is cool in the morning and started fine. However this was taken after work where it has been sitting in the sun for a good 8 hours. Drove home and went to two places within a short distance, again started fine first time.
QUOTE]

I would start with the fuel filter.
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  #21  
Old 07-16-2013, 10:40 AM
mrsimian mrsimian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by can0n4 View Post
Typically your right, I failed to mention I've been battling this exact same issue for two years now, realizing now I should share what I've done to help the OP and I narrow it down.

OP, I'm experiencing the same exact issue as I stated before. Exactly the same with my 04. Starts fine in the morning, long starts sporadically after sitting or driving to work. I believe from reading what you wrote and watching the video, we are experiencing the same problem. I'm about to order a fuel filter in a week or so as its only $88 from ecs, and its not too hard of a replacement.

Here is a list of replacements I've already made which have not helped my starting issue, (some obviously will have no affect), but at least we can start to narrow things down.
- new battery
- plugs
- air filter
- MAF
- intake boot
- DISA and O-ring
- Entire coolant system
- Oil filter housing gasket
- Valve cover
- belts and pulleys
- entire AC system

Yet to be replaced:
- Fuel filter
- fuel pump

Oddly enough, I sold my Silverado to buy the X3 and prior to selling it had same starting issues. Always started in the morning, drove into town or to work and when I came out it would start intermittently, was starving for fuel. I replaced a lot of stuff, fuel pump finally fixed it.
Wow, did you replace these things just to solve that one issue? Seems pretty extreme. At this rate I may ask them to change the fuel filter and look at the plugs to see if that cures the issue.
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  #22  
Old 07-16-2013, 10:49 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Sounds as though OP has read most of the relevant earlier threads.

I'm not convinced it has to be a fuel deficit problem, could be too much fuel from leaking injectors for example.

Or a sensor problem, especially temperature sensor. Or an ignition problem that only shows up when hot.

This is what I would do first without throwing money at parts:

- check whether that 2004 VIN was included in the Bremi to Bosch coil pack recall and if so confirm it was done (up to late 2004 build date, I think)

- try some BMW Advanced Fuel Treatment on the off chance the injectors need a bit of cleaning (a previous owner may have been in the habit of running the tank really low)

- check out possibility of heat soak condition by cooling the intake area with a cold pack when coming out of the office to the sun drenched car

- check out possibility of weak compression when hot by pouring in a small amount of engine oil (if level not already up to max.) before trying a start

Agree that at only 50K miles the fuel pump should still be good. The filter too, but there are some unknowns there under previous ownership.
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  #23  
Old 07-16-2013, 11:13 AM
mtbrdad mtbrdad is offline
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Originally Posted by Supercourse View Post
Sounds as though OP has read most of the relevant earlier threads.

I'm not convinced it has to be a fuel deficit problem, could be too much fuel from leaking injectors for example.

Or a sensor problem, especially temperature sensor. Or an ignition problem that only shows up when hot.

This is what I would do first without throwing money at parts:

- check whether that 2004 VIN was included in the Bremi to Bosch coil pack recall and if so confirm it was done (up to late 2004 build date, I think)

- try some BMW Advanced Fuel Treatment on the off chance the injectors need a bit of cleaning (a previous owner may have been in the habit of running the tank really low)

- check out possibility of heat soak condition by cooling the intake area with a cold pack when coming out of the office to the sun drenched car

- check out possibility of weak compression when hot by pouring in a small amount of engine oil (if level not already up to max.) before trying a start

Agree that at only 50K miles the fuel pump should still be good. The filter too, but there are some unknowns there under previous ownership.
I wouldn't disregard the fuel filter. Within the last 15 years here in the greater Chicago area I've had 2 filters replaced that were loaded with crud and some gooey type build up and this isn't even counting the numerous times I've gotten bad gas in motorcycles.
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  #24  
Old 07-16-2013, 12:09 PM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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My 04 does it and I don't care. If I am concerned I turn the key and let the fuel pump run for a moment and it starts fine... but it always starts.
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  #25  
Old 07-16-2013, 03:38 PM
can0n4 can0n4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsimian View Post
Wow, did you replace these things just to solve that one issue? Seems pretty extreme. At this rate I may ask them to change the fuel filter and look at the plugs to see if that cures the issue.
No, just regular and preventative maintenance.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fhopper View Post
My 04 does it and I don't care. If I am concerned I turn the key and let the fuel pump run for a moment and it starts fine... but it always starts.
Not for long.
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