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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 01-09-2014, 04:44 PM
dege13 dege13 is offline
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Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Mein Auto: 2007 328xi
Question Starts then stops in cold weather (with video)

Hello, I am new here. I have been along time reader on the forums when i have issues and look them up. This is usually the place with the answer or at least best next step in troubleshooting. That is why I am here today.

My car will not start.
This past Tuesday, it was -26.5 degrees Celsius (-15.7 Fahrenheit) and my car tried to start a bit, then started and stopped less than a second after.

I tried several times until the battery was not able to spin the starter fast enough anymore. Then I started up my wife's Subaru Forester. It struggled a bit, but fired up.

I hooked booster cables from the Subaru battery to the battery terminals under the hood on my car. I let it sit there for a minute to charge my battery a bit. Then I tried to start my car while still connected. The same issue as the first time happened. It started very very briefly, they died.

I banged my head a few times and tried a few more times with the same result. Made sure the jumper cabled sparked when connected to be sure that there was power going through.

I tried putting in gas line anti-freeze. It did not help.

Then I borrowed a battery charger, pulled the battery out of my truck and charged it over the next ~18 hours until the charger said it was full.

Today it is not as cold (-11 degrees Celsius, 12.2 Fahrenheit), I tried starting it again a few more times. Same result. Here is a video:
(Sorry, links on the forum are not working right)
youtube.com /watch?v=Ny-sLRYVH-o

Here is a video from Tuesday night (two days ago) when I was trying as well before charging the battery, while it was connected to my wife's running Subaru's battery:
(Sorry, links on the forum are not working right)
youtube.com /watch?v=Lzu19rvU2-8
(Sorry about the distortion, some issue with my phone's software)

Since it does start, I do not think it is the starter. I assume it is some kind of safety or sensor, maybe something that kicks in after the engine starts.

I have read many threads with related issues and I have not found anybody with the same issue. I would like to figure it out while it is still cold so that I can get it fixed before the cold goes away and I cannot find the cause till I am stranded somewhere.

I just had an oil change last week. There were no issues at that time. I did not drive it from Monday around noon till I found the issue Tuesday morning.
2007 (E90) 328xi, 80,000km on it.

Last edited by dege13; 01-10-2014 at 12:48 PM. Reason: Trying to fix youtube links...
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2014, 12:58 PM
dege13 dege13 is offline
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Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Mein Auto: 2007 328xi
Got the car towed (flat bed) to my mechanic (my brother in law's shop) today.

These codes came up on their Snap On scanner:
VANOS Inlet
Valvetronic Eccentric Shaft Sensor Power Supply
Cam sensor something
Immobilizer something
Starter something

Many of these were likely related to the low battery a few times.
They cleared the codes and tried to start the car again. No codes came up when trying to start it.

Hooked up a second battery and it still did not start (as I expected).
Tried to work out any possible flooding and it still didn't start.
Tried ether in the air intake to try to point to a fuel delivery issue, and that also did not work.

Parts to be replaced so far:
Spark plugs - They were not clean.
Valve cover gasket - There was lots of oil on the spark plug boots.
Battery - Likely original and getting weak from trying to start so much.

I expect there to be more on Monday when the parts are all installed. I will keep the thread updated in case anyone else sees these issues in the future.
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2014, 06:48 PM
07lilredwagon 07lilredwagon is offline
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Location: NY
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 172
Mein Auto: 07 e91
well, a low battery will throw some weird codes....maybe its just so cold that the car cannot adjust properly or something is frozen shut....

JP
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:11 PM
CALWATERBOY's Avatar
CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Location: San Francisco
 
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Posts: 10,007
Mein Auto: 2009 E93 N54
Quote:
Originally Posted by dege13 View Post
Got the car towed (flat bed) to my mechanic (my brother in law's shop) today.

A....heated shop?
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  #5  
Old 01-13-2014, 06:09 AM
dege13 dege13 is offline
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Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Mein Auto: 2007 328xi
Yes, it is a heated shop. It is a normal consumer mechanic shop with all the amenities.

Just remembered these things that we tried in the shop;
- all fuses in glove box fuse box were checked and work.
- hooked another battery up to the battery with jumper cables to run the started for a bit with the throttle open to make sure the engine was not flooded.

While in the shop, it would no longer even start for a part of a second anymore. So the issue seemed to have worsened. Still waiting for an update from the shop on the status. They had to wait till today for a new battery. Not that the battery was a real issue, but it was likely getting old.

Last edited by dege13; 01-13-2014 at 06:59 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-13-2014, 01:42 PM
dege13 dege13 is offline
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Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Mein Auto: 2007 328xi
Issue is fixed. All the work listed above was done, plus there was a crack in what looked like a vacuum line to the valve cover.
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