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2005 330Ci ZHP engine hesitates when cold. Normal?

1986 17
I've began noticing that when I back out of my driveway in the mornings, with a cold engine, the car hesitates and spudders somewhat. The worry is that I don't recall this happening during the first month of ownership (car has 1400 miles). It feels as if it has a racing cam and I am idling through the paddock.

The car is fine once the coolant temp gage gets out of the blue area...

Is this normal ? Anyone else feels this?
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I've experienced the same thing... just have to give it a little more gas to prevent it from sputtering/stalling.

Don't know if this is normal... but it's not atypical.

Perhaps it's because of the aggressive cams?
I think it is a software problem, not a hardware problem. That cams aren't that aggressive. My SA told me to run mid-grade instead of premium to help clear up the problem :rolleyes:

At any rate, this issue has been discussed many times before. A breif search should turn up multiple results.
Ah, thanks for the suggestion. I'll gladly try $89 or $$91 octane instead of $$$93.
Apologies for not having done a search prior.
I haven't tried it yet, as it sounded like a crock to me. I probably wouldn't go much lower than 91. 10.2:1 is a fairly lofty compression ratio.
TEV/// said:
Ah, thanks for the suggestion. I'll gladly try $89 or $$91 octane instead of $$$93.
Apologies for not having done a search prior.
I have the same exact problem...in fact, mine DID stall the other morning. I'm kinda glad to hear that its not just me...
I have a 1 month old 330i w/perfomance pack and while I have had no issues with the car I believe what you are experiencing is just a cold engine. You have to baby it a little when it's cold. If you are worried just bring it in for check free of charge.
I have also experienced that problem on my less then one month old 330i ZHP. I thought it could have possibly been bad gasoline. Can this problem damage the engine?
I've owned quite a few cars in my day, but never a brand new, fuel injected $40,000 car that would stall when cold.
brybarrett said:
I have a 1 month old 330i w/perfomance pack and while I have had no issues with the car I believe what you are experiencing is just a cold engine. You have to baby it a little when it's cold. If you are worried just bring it in for check free of charge.
Hm...I don't think this problem has ever been discussed before, otherwise a quick search of "ZHP idle problem" would turn up great morsel of information like this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64414&highlight=ZHP+rough+idle

I could be wrong though, this issue may have possibly come up for discussion once or twice or three hundred times, if it has it surely would've been archived. Why don't you do a little search here:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/search.php?

:dunno:
Yeah, that's my main complaint with my Lamborghini Murcielago. Damn thing idles at 2,000 RPM and if you don't feed it a little gas, on a cold start it would just stall. F**kin' thing cost me over $250,000 and would stall out when cold? Rediculous. My $12,000 Honda/Nissan/Toyota econobox started up everytime, warm or cold. :dunno:

ZHPs come with aggressive cams. One of the trade-off/draw-backs of aggressive cams is that it'll either idle rough, or it will require higher RPM idle (like 1,000) to smooth out the engine at idle. Unfortunately, at 1,000 RPM idle the car will probably throw the CAFE average out the window or p*ss off some consumer with more NVH issues, or p*ss off some tree-hugging state's emission control board, thus BMW kept the idle low at 650-750 RPM. The result? Rougher idle or stalling problems on cold starts.

It's something you will need to come to grip with and accept with a more aggressively profiled CAM, and perhaps something BMW needs to address in their marketing literature or bump all ZHP idle up to ~1,000 RPM.
Gabe said:
I've owned quite a few cars in my day, but never a brand new, fuel injected $40,000 car that would stall when cold.
Can’t people just ask questions without getting the third degree in this forum? **** if you can’t say anything helpful just shut up! The problem was not a “rough idle” just the occasional sputtering.
No, especially if you're going to be a noob and ask a question without bothering to do a quick search first.

This board is an incredible wealth of information, unfortunately 99% of that info is buried DEEP in the archives because everytime a noob has a problem with his/her car, they ask a question without bothering with a search, and therefore solutions to their problems ultimately gets buried underneath a mountain of the same posts/replies over and over again.

If you can't be bothered with doing a little research of your own, don't ask the question here.
weth2 said:
Can't people just ask questions without getting the third degree in this forum?
Again, the problem is not at idle. Sputtering while driving a cold engine does not bring many hits up in the search that are relevant to the problem being discussed.
Due to the particular combination of hardware & sortware, the ZHP is a bit "cold-blooded" on initial startup, much like an air-cooled motorcycle engine, and does`nt really smooth out until it`s gone a mile or three down the road....these are *high specific-output* (high-performance) engines, not meant to run exactly like your garden-variety Toyota....
And putting a lower grade of fuel in is an ass-backward "solution" to the problem....

Regards,
Bob
LOL - The ZHP cams are not that aggressive. Unfortunately the lift/duration specs for the cams have yet to be posted on the net (as far as I know). But what has been concluded is that the duration is about the same as a stock 330's, and the lift is slightly increased. Asides from that, there are other factors which point to them being pretty weak:

1.) They rev 300 RPM's higher on the same valvetrain as the non ZHP 330i's.
2.) BMW only claims a 10hp (at the flywheel) increase over a non-ZHP 330. Even if the ZHP software and ZHP exhaust don't net any power gains, 10hp at the flywheel is pretty weak for a set of "aggressive" bumpsticks.

Finally, the comparison of a 3-series BMW to a Lamborghini is a poor one on many different levels. I see the point you are trying to make, but a Lamborghini is very obviously a complete and total performance oriented automobile. Trade offs with comfort are to be expected. A 330 ZHP is not an ultra high performance automobile (don't kid yourself). I don't think the performance of this car makes the poor cold idle an acceptable trade off. There are plenty of other cars on the market that will run a 14 second quarter mile and idle just fine.

That being said, I am not about to trade in my car for something else, and the issue is admittedly a minor annoyance. I still think it is ridiculous, and something I shouldn't have to deal with.
The HACK said:
Yeah, that's my main complaint with my Lamborghini Murcielago. Damn thing idles at 2,000 RPM and if you don't feed it a little gas, on a cold start it would just stall. F**kin' thing cost me over $250,000 and would stall out when cold? Rediculous. My $12,000 Honda/Nissan/Toyota econobox started up everytime, warm or cold. :dunno:

ZHPs come with aggressive cams. One of the trade-off/draw-backs of aggressive cams is that it'll either idle rough, or it will require higher RPM idle (like 1,000) to smooth out the engine at idle. Unfortunately, at 1,000 RPM idle the car will probably throw the CAFE average out the window or p*ss off some consumer with more NVH issues, or p*ss off some tree-hugging state's emission control board, thus BMW kept the idle low at 650-750 RPM. The result? Rougher idle or stalling problems on cold starts.

It's something you will need to come to grip with and accept with a more aggressively profiled CAM, and perhaps something BMW needs to address in their marketing literature or bump all ZHP idle up to ~1,000 RPM.
Excellent Post! It is frustrating to back my car out of the driveway, and have it stall (which it's only done once):mad:

At first, I thought it might be because I didn't have the 40.2 software upgrade. Took it into BMW, but the car still has problems idle-ing. It also "whistles", or "whines" in the mornings, but after the first stop sign it doesn't have any problems.
Gabe said:
LOL - The ZHP cams are not that aggressive. Unfortunately the lift/duration specs for the cams have yet to be posted on the net (as far as I know). But what has been concluded is that the duration is about the same as a stock 330's, and the lift is slightly increased. Asides from that, there are other factors which point to them being pretty weak:

1.) They rev 300 RPM's higher on the same valvetrain as the non ZHP 330i's.
2.) BMW only claims a 10hp (at the flywheel) increase over a non-ZHP 330. Even if the ZHP software and ZHP exhaust don't net any power gains, 10hp at the flywheel is pretty weak for a set of "aggressive" bumpsticks.

Finally, the comparison of a 3-series BMW to a Lamborghini is a poor one on many different levels. I see the point you are trying to make, but a Lamborghini is very obviously a complete and total performance oriented automobile. Trade offs with comfort are to be expected. A 330 ZHP is not an ultra high performance automobile (don't kid yourself). I don't think the performance of this car makes the poor cold idle an acceptable trade off. There are plenty of other cars on the market that will run a 14 second quarter mile and idle just fine.

That being said, I am not about to trade in my car for something else, and the issue is admittedly a minor annoyance. I still think it is ridiculous, and something I shouldn't have to deal with.
That is NOT the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm trying to make is cost of the vehicle does NOT equate to reliability and ease of operation. Whenever something goes wrong on our car, i.e. stalling issue on the ZHP or M3 engine blows up, you always hear people say "well, I paid $XX,XXX and a $XX,XXX car should not do this." The plain and simple truth is the $$$ you pay for a car has absolutely no corrolation to how "reliable" or how easy to operate it is.
Gabe said:
...the comparison of a 3-series BMW to a Lamborghini is a poor one on many different levels. I see the point you are trying to make, but a Lamborghini is very obviously a complete and total performance oriented automobile...
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