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  #1  
Old 01-15-2020, 04:47 PM
cluesblues cluesblues is offline
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35d crank but no start in VERY cold temps

So I haven't driven the thing in about a week, and the past few days it's been hovering around the -30C mark here in southern AB. Of course, I parked outside like an idiot. Tried to start the X5 to take it to a local shop to get a wobble at highway speeds checked out and change some fluids, and of course it won't start. Just cranks endlessly until I stop it.

This battery about a year old, but I decided to buy a CTEK battery charger (the extreme climate version, I think I qualify lol) and left it on overnight. This morning it did reach level 4 (ready to start) but still not at level 7 (fully charged). Left in in ACC for 30 seconds to get the glow plugs warmed up, and hit the start button but still just cranks and cranks...

Can't say this is the first tie I've had issues starting in this sort of weather, but once I got my new battery last year -35C was no problem at all. Is there anything else I should be checking or do I just need to do a better job of keeping it charged? Or just move somewhere warmer. No CEL's or anything before this non-start issue.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2020, 04:50 PM
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Doug Huffman Doug Huffman is online now
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That is not how your glow plugs work.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:40 AM
robnitro robnitro is offline
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Sounds like gelled fuel or an old clogged fuel filter that becomes pronounced when cold.
Glow plugs auto cycle. You hit start with brake and it waits until it cranks. You can't turn them on with acc as Doug says.
They also supposedly stupidly preglow based on door open and seat occupancy from what I read a while ago. That's why you can get low battery warnings even if you aren't in acc mode.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:56 AM
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Would gelled fuel cause a CEL? How would one know?

Cluesblues, do you use any additives?
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:59 AM
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I do not believe that a gelled fuel filter will itself cause a error. Neither do I believe that fuel sold in the winter in Calgary is susceptible to gelling at their usual temperatures.
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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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Old 01-16-2020, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Neither do I believe that fuel sold in the winter in Calgary is susceptible to gelling at their usual temperatures.
True. I was just asking for my own curiosity.
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:49 AM
edycol edycol is online now
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I agree that fuel sold there should be good for this temperature, but how old is filter?
OP glow plugs at that temperature will go through automatic cycle. I started my 35d numerous times at that temperature and once you press start glow plugs will run as long as it is necessary in automatic mode.



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Old 01-16-2020, 10:39 AM
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Transcribed from p 118 BMW Advanced Diesel Technology Workbook

Concealed Heating
Preheating and start standby heating are activated as so-called concealed heating up to a coolant temperature of 30C.

Concealed heating is triggered a maximum of 4 times and is then not enabled again before the engine is restarted.

Concealed heating is triggered by the following signals:
>> Driver's seat occupancy
>> Driver's seat belt buckle
>> Valid key
>> Terminal R
>> Clutch operated.

Preheating
Preheating is activated after terminal 15 has been switched on. The heater system indicator in the instrument cluster is activated at a coolant temperature of [less than or equal to] 10C.

Preheating is finished when:
>> The engine speed threshold of 42 rpm is exceeded (starter is operated) or
>> the preheating time has elapsed. The preheating time is dependent on the coolant temperature and is defined in a characteristic curve.

Coolant temperature in C. Preheating time in seconds
[less than] -35................................................ ..3.5
................-25................................................ ..2.8
................-20................................................ ..2.8
.................-5................................................. ..2.1
..................0............................... ....................1.6
..................5............................... ....................1.1
................30................................ ...................1.1
[greater than]30................................................ 0

Start Standby Heating
Start standby heating is activated when the preheating process is terminated by preheating time elapsing. Start standby heating is terminated:
>> After 10 seconds or
>> when the engine speed threshold of 42 rpm is exceeded.

Start Heating
Start heating is activated during every engine start procedure when the coolant temperature is below 75C. Start heating begins after the engine speed threshold of 42 rpm has been exceeded.
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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.

Last edited by Doug Huffman; 01-16-2020 at 10:40 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-16-2020, 11:48 AM
ard ard is offline
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Every once in a while, fuel suppliers mix up gas and diesel.

Given the temps AB, one would think there is no 'summer diesel' anywhere at all...but?

Also, if the fuel filter traps water, THAT water can freeze.

Just WAGs...so far it hasnt froze here since last winter
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:32 PM
n1das n1das is offline
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Sticky anti-shudder valve stuck in the closed position and blocking air to the engine? I'm thinking of the classic VW TDI crank no-fire/no-start condition due to a stuck ASV.
If he no-start were due to gelled fuel, I would expect it to start and then soon die from fuel starvation. In the OP's case, it sounds like it never fires at all.
No glow from the GPs would create a no-start condition and won't fire at all in -30C temps.
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PM - https://sites.google.com/view/lmarzccm/home
Air Toxics - https://sites.google.com/view/loren-marz-ccm/home
Ozone Precursors - https://sites.google.com/view/lorenmarz-ccm/home
General - https://sites.google.com/view/emissions-general/home

Last edited by n1das; 01-16-2020 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n1das View Post
Sticky anti-shudder valve stuck in the closed position and blocking air to the engine? I'm thinking of the classic VW TDI crank no-fire/no-start condition due to a stuck ASV.
If he no-start were due to gelled fuel, I would expect it to start and then soon die from fuel starvation. In the OP's case, it sounds like it never fires at all.
No glow from the GPs would create a no-start condition and won't fire at all in -30C temps.
The ASV is what BMW calls the Throttle Valve
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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)

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Old 01-16-2020, 07:17 PM
cluesblues cluesblues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nyc Dito View Post
Would gelled fuel cause a CEL? How would one know?

Cluesblues, do you use any additives?
We have "winter" diesel here with anti-gelling additives. I also use an Archoil additive (AR6200 I wanna say?).

Fuel fliter was on my list of things to do, I think it's been 2+ years since the last time it was done and I've had one sitting on my desk waiting for my lazy self to put it in for a few months.

Left the CTEK charger on ever since last post and now it won't even get up past level 3...
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cluesblues View Post
Left the CTEK charger on ever since last post and now it won't even get up past level 3...
Step 3 is Bulk charging when the bulk of the work is being done. My CTEK limits Step 3 to 20 hours. 20 hours times 4 Amps is 80 AH. That indicates a severely depleted battery or some load other than battery.

IAW my CTEK manual, you should be using the Cold Weather program that allows a higher charging voltage appropriate to the higher TVG voltage at low temperature.
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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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  #14  
Old 01-18-2020, 04:01 PM
cluesblues cluesblues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
Step 3 is Bulk charging when the bulk of the work is being done. My CTEK limits Step 3 to 20 hours. 20 hours times 4 Amps is 80 AH. That indicates a severely depleted battery or some load other than battery.

IAW my CTEK manual, you should be using the Cold Weather program that allows a higher charging voltage appropriate to the higher TVG voltage at low temperature.
Yep, using the cold weather setting. Still not getting past 3 when I checked just now. Battery is <1 year old so if it's that then I'll just take it get it warrantied. Would something like bad grounding straps cause this? I'm also using the battery points under the hood as if I were doing a jump start, curious if finding a longer extension cord and hooking directly to the battery in the trunk would make any difference...

I mean it's been -25 to -33 all week so I'm not exactly surprised it died but it shouldn't be this bad, no?

Also haven't tried firing it up again, going to wait until tomorrow when it's supposed to warm up significantly to -1 C

Last edited by cluesblues; 01-18-2020 at 04:13 PM.
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  #15  
Old 01-19-2020, 02:47 PM
cluesblues cluesblues is offline
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Update

This afternoon it's now a balmy -4 C outside so I checked on the car. CTEK still showing it's at level 3, but it did finally start! Albeit with a slightly longer crank. No CEL's or warnings at all, seems to run like any other cold diesel. Gonna let it run for a bit and take it on a short drive to see how she does. Tomorrow or Tuesday it's going in for an alignment and I'll have them test the battery and give 'er a quick once over. Hopefully simple as a bad battery I can have replaced under warranty or a ground or something.

Later in the week I'll finally be tackling some fluids and do the fuel filter once my buddy's workshop has some space open up.
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  #16  
Old 01-20-2020, 03:43 PM
Michael47 Michael47 is offline
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Good to hear you got it running. It does sound like low voltage. Could be due to a bad wire or terminal situation, or a bad battery. When you installed the new battery, did you register it properly?
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Old 01-20-2020, 03:49 PM
cluesblues cluesblues is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael47 View Post
Good to hear you got it running. It does sound like low voltage. Could be due to a bad wire or terminal situation, or a bad battery. When you installed the new battery, did you register it properly?
The battery was installed at a shop. I paid to have it registered so I hope it was lol
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Old 01-21-2020, 05:12 AM
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thanks for the update!
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  #19  
Old 01-28-2020, 10:15 AM
Badsmerf Badsmerf is offline
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Had this problem a few winters ago in that type of cold. I wasn't the only one with a diesel that wouldn't start. Did my service in the spring including a new fuel filter and didn't have a problem the next winter. There are heaters down there, but letting it sit overnight makes a 5 second warm-up time pointless. Had I stayed in the midwest (now by Portland OR... way better) I would have strongly considered an oil pan heater. Wouldn't help the fuel delivery, but would help everything else. If you search the forum or Xoutpost there are some discussions about it.

For fun... I had to change my active tank heaters in -20 C weather. I was in a detached garage and used my ice fishing sunflower heater to try to keep warm lol.
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