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  #1  
Old 05-07-2020, 06:39 PM
meloman meloman is offline
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Weird starting behavior

Hello Gang. I need little help. 2007 Z4 3.0si Coupe, 100K miles. My wife started noticing the car sounded like it was struggling to turn over as if the battery was dying. Once running, no issues.

So, I replaced the battery last week with another AGM battery, same as my last replacement 4-5 years ago, just a version with higher CCAs, etc. She drove it daily about 8 miles each way to/from work for about a week. Same issue, trouble turning over, then starts and runs normally. I had her restart it yesterday once she got home. No trouble starting.

I decided to drive it today to work and took it for an additional 50 mile drive to make sure it was being driven enough to fully charge the battery. I get to work, the car sits for about 7 hours, I go to start it and it has trouble starting again. I take the long way home and then take it to Advance Autoparts to have the battery/alternator system tested.

I start the car for the technician, slow starting. He test battery and alternator. Perfect scores for both. No issues, with or without an electrical load. I shut it off then immediately restart. Fires up normally.

Could it be a starter or voltage regulator issue? Any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 05-07-2020, 10:43 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is offline
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Sorry to say but I think your starter is on its last legs.Same thing happened to me (06 Si), slow cranking even after swapping in a new battery (and later) a new ignition switch. But then the starter failed shortly after. I learned that these starters don't last long running on low voltage, and your previous battery probably did it in. The good news is, even though the starter is buried below the intake on your engine, it's not a horrible DIY job.
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Old 05-08-2020, 04:48 AM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
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it does sound like a starter ,one way to test it is to have test equipment on it while it drags [starter amperage draw]
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  #4  
Old 05-08-2020, 04:56 AM
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Charge your battery via the charging points under the hood IAW the vehicle and battery CHARGER's manual. I use a CTEK 4.3 MUS about weekly. For your initial charge allow 24 hours to full indication.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:13 AM
wifesauto wifesauto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Charge your battery via the charging points under the hood IAW the vehicle and battery CHARGER's manual. I use a CTEK 4.3 MUS about weekly. For your initial charge allow 24 hours to full indication.
do you own stock in CTEK ......you are often pushing them......read the post he replaced the battery and had it tested
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:17 AM
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New batteries are not maintained charged on the shelf awaiting installation. He may have bought and installed a new nearly dead battery. A connected battery cannot be effectively tested. An auto parts clerk is interested in further sales. I am pleased with my CTEK for my purposes. It is not adequate for coding for instance.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
New batteries are not maintained charged on the shelf awaiting installation. He may have bought and installed a new nearly dead battery. A connected battery cannot be effectively tested. An auto parts clerk is interested in further sales. I am pleased with my CTEK for my purposes. It is not adequate for coding for instance.
But a 50+ miles drive should have charged it plenty.
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:27 AM
RDAN RDAN is offline
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I have a 2006 Z4 3.0 Is with the same issue but it always starts. I am told a weak starter as well but it has been this way for 2 years, so since it is a stick when it fails I will push start and replace. Please post if you replace and outcome. Thanks
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Old 05-08-2020, 07:33 AM
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But a 50+ miles drive should have charged it plenty.
NO.

Fifty miles takes about a hour. To charge a nominal 100 AH battery from flat to full in an hour would take 100 Amps and boil the battery dry.

My CTEK smart charger maximum output is 4 Amps, taking 24 hours to charge that hypothetical battery and gently enough that a fragile AGM battery is not destroyed.
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Old 05-08-2020, 10:00 AM
meloman meloman is offline
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Everyone, thanks for much for the input and insight. I'll look into the starter replacement option as well as the charging issue. I have the car today as well. No issues this morning and no issues after a couple of stops. I will probably buy a CTEK smart charger just to have on hand. Anyone have info on a DYI for starter replacement just in case it comes to that?

I did find this, https://blog.fcpeuro.com/starter-rep...51-n52-engines . Not too bad.
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Last edited by meloman; 05-08-2020 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Update
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  #11  
Old 05-08-2020, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meloman View Post
Everyone, thanks for much for the input and insight. I'll look into the starter replacement option as well as the charging issue. I have the car today as well. No issues this morning and no issues after a couple of stops. I will probably buy a CTEK smart charger just to have on hand. Anyone have info on a DYI for starter replacement just in case it comes to that?
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...nting/1Mc5cYph
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Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
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  #12  
Old 05-08-2020, 11:29 AM
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dkl dkl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
NO.

Fifty miles takes about a hour. To charge a nominal 100 AH battery from flat to full in an hour would take 100 Amps and boil the battery dry.

My CTEK smart charger maximum output is 4 Amps, taking 24 hours to charge that hypothetical battery and gently enough that a fragile AGM battery is not destroyed.
That's just silly logic.

First, a battery that's able to start the car wouldn't be flat...at the minimum it would be somewhere near or greater than 50% charge.

Second, any battery that's able to fit onto the Z4 would NOT be able to have a specs of 100AH. The nominal rating for an AGM H6 battery is about 70AH at the high end. Pushing 35A into a battery from a 120A Alternator in an hour isn't unheard of...not saying it's good for the battery, but it is possible.
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Old 05-08-2020, 12:44 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is offline
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That's a nice tutorial from FCP Euro on the starter replacement, although some of the photos are pretty dark. On the Si motor, the starter replacement looks complicated with the dual intake manifold concealing it, but once the intake is off it's cake. My install was over 2 years ago so a tad fuzzy on details. But, basically just remove every fastener holding the intake manifold to the cylinder head (and you may also have to remove a few hoses). Then, after you separate the intake from the engine, use a bungee cord to hold the intake away enough to give you good access to the starter.

After the install, you can reinstall the intake straight away as it has o-rings (no gasket) and if the o-rings aren't damaged you can reuse them, just make sure mating surface is clean. This job shouldn't take more than 2 hours tops and there are no special tools required.

As for the starter, just my 2 cents but I don't think the factory oem replacement is worth it for the extra $$ (sorry Bosch). I bought this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. It was a perfect replacement, and is noticeably stronger than the stocker.
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  #14  
Old 05-08-2020, 01:05 PM
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Clearancediver Clearancediver is online now
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Can’t test battery voltage after it’s been charged. Voltage showing is the “floating” charge and isn’t representative of actual battery voltage when it’s “cold” (left overnight).

So.... whatever voltage the auto tech got doesn’t necessarily indicate the state of your battery.

If it’s not the battery it could be battery cables need tightening....

...it could be a deteriorating engine ground strap causing the starting issue as well.


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Old 05-08-2020, 01:44 PM
meloman meloman is offline
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Great pics and tips on the intake manifold as well as the starter recommendation from Amazon!
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Last edited by meloman; 05-08-2020 at 01:47 PM. Reason: Updated info.
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  #16  
Old 05-08-2020, 11:43 PM
Andyz4 Andyz4 is offline
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I failed to mention that the airbox and associated plumbing should also be removed to create some elbow room for the intake when you pull it away from the engine, and the breather hose on the back of the valve cover may need to come off. As I recall the breather hose is made of plastic and cracks/breaks easily. If that happens just tape it up for now. You should be able to get the hose replaced at no charge by your dealer under an extended warranty program (they are not calling it a recall). Actually, it is the heating element that is under the TSB replacement, but since the element is integral to the hose they just replace the whole thing. I had mine ('06) replaced last year, so your '08 should still qualify.
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Old 05-11-2020, 07:37 AM
meloman meloman is offline
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Update

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Originally Posted by Andyz4 View Post
I failed to mention that the airbox and associated plumbing should also be removed to create some elbow room for the intake when you pull it away from the engine, and the breather hose on the back of the valve cover may need to come off. As I recall the breather hose is made of plastic and cracks/breaks easily. If that happens just tape it up for now. You should be able to get the hose replaced at no charge by your dealer under an extended warranty program (they are not calling it a recall). Actually, it is the heating element that is under the TSB replacement, but since the element is integral to the hose they just replace the whole thing. I had mine ('06) replaced last year, so your '08 should still qualify.
OK thanks for the additional info. We drove the car without issue yesterday morning. This morning, the car refused to start so it looks like I'll be replacing the starter in the next couple of weeks. I'll check in as things progress.
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Last edited by meloman; 05-11-2020 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 05-12-2020, 04:07 PM
JayMac JayMac is offline
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I think you need e torx to pull that starter. If you need help let me know and I will drive down and help you if you need it. Bored out of my tree. Haven't been rounded this long since Jr. High!
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Old 05-12-2020, 05:04 PM
henrymw2002 henrymw2002 is offline
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Originally Posted by meloman View Post
Everyone, thanks for much for the input and insight. I'll look into the starter replacement option as well as the charging issue. I have the car today as well. No issues this morning and no issues after a couple of stops. I will probably buy a CTEK smart charger just to have on hand. Anyone have info on a DYI for starter replacement just in case it comes to that?

I did find this, https://blog.fcpeuro.com/starter-rep...51-n52-engines . Not too bad.
check cheap issues first. one common cause of your problem is the ground wire rotting away. clamp a charging cable one end to the engine, the other to some place on the body (ground). start cold. see if different. there is a grounding cable between engine and the body, over time, especially if you get winters, it rots away. will still work for most of electronics, but can't handle the current when cranking. the above clamping give you a temporary working ground. starter would be the next thing, but it requires partially removing intake, so try easy things frist.
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Old 05-12-2020, 05:13 PM
Z4530i Z4530i is offline
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Question Ground wire?

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Originally Posted by henrymw2002 View Post
check cheap issues first. one common cause of your problem is the ground wire rotting away.
Where is the ground wire (07 3.0si roadster)?

Thanks!
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Old 05-12-2020, 05:37 PM
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Should be able to locate it using the diagrams in realoem.com


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Old 05-12-2020, 05:41 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is offline
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no
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Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
(The Works of George Santayana p. 65)

Eschew eristical argumentation. I am responsible for what I write, not for your understanding of it.
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Old 05-12-2020, 06:44 PM
henrymw2002 henrymw2002 is offline
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Originally Posted by Z4530i View Post
Where is the ground wire (07 3.0si roadster)?

Thanks!
driver side toward the bottom of engine, if i am not mistaken. braided wire bolted to the engine and the frame, can't miss it. but it's not the point. create your own ground by clamping a engine to any part of frame, grounded bolt, frame, etc. use jumper cables, you need good contact on both sides. if this fixes your starting issue then look for the ground wire and see if corroded.
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:21 AM
meloman meloman is offline
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Will do a ground check

I will create a ground using jumper cables this weekend to see if the behavior changes. Thanks
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Old 05-13-2020, 11:22 AM
meloman meloman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayMac View Post
I think you need e torx to pull that starter. If you need help let me know and I will drive down and help you if you need it. Bored out of my tree. Haven't been rounded this long since Jr. High!
Road trip!!!
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