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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all! Something odd with my 2007 X3.

Just started happening today; I turn the key, and it cranks, sometimes starts, often doesn't, but then will start on the second try. Already replaced the ignition switch, as it's an easy swap, but that changed nothing. What's my next step?

Video: https://imgur.com/gallery/DwhbIsh
 

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Why did you change the switch?

What age is the battery? Mileage on car?

Step 1. Load test battery (at Autozone or similar)

Step 2; Change chassis ground cables

Step 3. If no improvement - Change Starter
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Why did you change the switch?

What age is the battery? Mileage on car?

Step 1. Load test battery (at Autozone or similar)

Step 2; Change chassis ground cables

Step 3. If no improvement - Change Starter
Mileage is just over 134K
Battery changed about a year back (was having inadequate voltage issue)

Will give load-testing a shot
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, son of a bucket.

Battery failed load testing. Looks like we will replace that and see if that fixes it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So, update; after my own load test, I took it to autozone, where it passed their load test. It also stopped doing the thing it was doing, firing right up like normal.

Until this morning, when it started doing the same thing again. I***8217;ll try the chassis ground cable next, but has anyone experienced anything like this?
 

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So, update; after my own load test, I took it to autozone, where it passed their load test. It also stopped doing the thing it was doing, firing right up like normal.

Until this morning, when it started doing the same thing again. I'll try the chassis ground cable next, but has anyone experienced anything like this?
Regardless of the exact source of your problem, I can tell you that corroded ground straps are pretty much a rite of passage with the E83.
Check those first. One connected to the first muffler (about right under the middle of car), and one by the passenger side engine mount.

If you get a strong crank when you try and start the car, but it still doesn't start, that could be a bunch of other things.
(failing MAF, vacuum leaks, leaky injectors, fowled spark plugs, failing ignition coils, or bad gas just to name a few).

The E46 M3 is very well known for this issue with "winter gas". It's kind of just become accepted.

Edit:
Also, I'll add, its not normal for a new battery to go bad after just 1 year.
If the battery itself checks out, I'd also hazard a guess that you have a parasitic drain somewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So, update:

Changed my grounding straps, which did nothing (though the front one looked ragged AF, so probably good I changed it).

Discovery! The car starts right up if I give it a little gas when turning the key. That***8217;s got me thinking ICV needs cleaning, maybe? If nothing else, cleaning never hurts. Anyway, it***8217;s a simple job that needs nothing other than some time, torx, a wrench, and some carb cleaner, all of which I have, because of course I do, I own 2 E83s.

Whatever the problem turns out to be, thank all y***8217;all for being so helpful. I appreciate it tons.
 

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Cleaned the MAF sender, and replaced the air filter yet?

How 'bout the spark plugs and maybe the coils?

A check for vacuum leaks would also be good. What's the BMW-specific code-scanner reporting?
 

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Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it seems to me the starter is turning the engine over just fine, it' just that the engine is not firing. All the starter, ground strap, etc. suggestions are applicable when you have a situation where the starter s struggling to turn the engine over fast enough to start. That doesn't sound like your problem, though. If it's turning over quickly enough, but not firing, then you need to focus on the basics that an engine needs to run: fuel, compression, ignition, and timing of all those.

As KS asked above, have you read the codes? They can often give you a clue where to start looking. If you don't have a BMW-specific scanner, at least stop by an auto parts store and have them read the generic OBD2 codes. None of us can really offer much help until we start there.

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Maybe I'm reading this wrong, but it seems to me the starter is turning the engine over just fine, it' just that the engine is not firing. All the starter, ground strap, etc. suggestions are applicable when you have a situation where the starter s struggling to turn the engine over fast enough to start. That doesn't sound like your problem, though. If it's turning over quickly enough, but not firing, then you need to focus on the basics that an engine needs to run: fuel, compression, ignition, and timing of all those.

As KS asked above, have you read the codes? They can often give you a clue where to start looking. If you don't have a BMW-specific scanner, at least stop by an auto parts store and have them read the generic OBD2 codes. None of us can really offer much help until we start there.

AM.
You are reading it correctly; that***8217;s exactly what***8217;s happening.

I don***8217;t have a BMW-specific scanner, but I do have an OBD2 scanner. It***8217;s not reading any codes. Running the scanner was the first thing I thought to try, and I just did it again. Nothing.
 

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With it being sporadic like it sounds, one simple possibility is that you've got some contamination in your fuel. It is a more frequent problem in the winter months. You could pour in a can of Heet or similar, which helps any water in the fuel pass through the system. If the gas in your tank is an ethanol blend, then something like Heet would be redundant. Just a thought.

AM.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
With it being sporadic like it sounds, one simple possibility is that you've got some contamination in your fuel. It is a more frequent problem in the winter months. You could pour in a can of Heet or similar, which helps any water in the fuel pass through the system. If the gas in your tank is an ethanol blend, then something like Heet would be redundant. Just a thought.

AM.
It's definitely a possibility, though it's hardly winter here (it was 65 today); of course, that doesn't stop places from stocking winter gas, and the problem did occur on the bottom 1/4 of my last tank. It doesn't start more often than it does, so I'm going to continue poking around, but it's probably going to vex me for a while.

Thanks again for all your help. I'll update if anything new comes along.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm going to run down the check valve and clean the ICV soonish; I'll report back. I took a weekend away from dealing with it, because the OTHER E83 is working fine (and this one is actually fine when I get it started, which I can do with a minor tap on the gas), so I haven't shown a ton of hustle over the last couple of days. :D
 

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Your 2007 E83 doesn't have an ICV so cleaning it won't do anything.

If you have more than 60k miles on your spark plugs, changing those out is the very first thing I'd do. Hospital clean, slight coating of anti-seize on the threads, light smearing of dielectric grease between the boot and porcelain body. Plugs are good for 60k before performance rapidly falls off the cliff.
 

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Adding to above, I'd also add a can of Seafoam to the gas when you're at 1/4 tank or below.

Anyone running NGK Iridium spark plugs?
 

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I'm going to run down the check valve and clean the ICV soonish; I'll report back. I took a weekend away from dealing with it, because the OTHER E83 is working fine (and this one is actually fine when I get it started, which I can do with a minor tap on the gas), so I haven't shown a ton of hustle over the last couple of days. :D
E83's are becoming the '80s Jaguar of the modern era - everyone seems to have two of them; one to drive and the other to work on :)
 
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