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New Member X5 starting problems

Discussion in 'E53 X5 (2000-2006)' started by tstevenson, Dec 10, 2012.

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    tstevenson

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    I have a 2008 X5 3.0i with 62,000 miles. A couple of months ago, when the weather started getting cooler, it became very difficult to start, especially on the coldest mornings. The battery is new and was installed by the dealer. Sometimes the engine will crank and crank but will not start. Other times, it starts but immediately stalls out. Usually, on the third or fourth try, the car will eventually start. Only once, when the morning temperature was below 35°, did it fail to start at all. It cranked until a large (! ) appeared on the instrument panel and I gave up.
    I have noticed that when the car does start right up, the RPMs immediately climb to 1000-1100 before leveling off at 800. When it starts and then quickly stalls, the RPMs never get above 600. I have taken the car twice to the BMW dealer. The first time, they could find no problems. The second time, it stayed for two weeks, and they decided that the fuel pressure regulator in the fuel pump was probably leaking intermittently. We replaced the fuel pump but the cold weather starting problems have continued exactly as before.
    Thank you for any advice you may be able to offer.
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    charlson89

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    A couple questions when the vehicle does start after stalling is there any smoke out of the back of the vehicle? Does the vehicle have a check engine light on? Did the dealer pull faults out of the vehicle if so what are they? I can kinda understand a fuel pump direction they went but dont understand why they didn't do a fuel pressure leak down test to see if it was leaking fuel down while sitting overnight. Fuel pressure regulator would have nothing to do with hard starting since it mostly controls fuel pressure when running. The fuel pump check valve is what would cause a long crank and hard start in the morning.
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    tstevenson

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    Thanks for the quick reply. After several failed starting attempts, I can press the accelerator to the floor and the car will start and blow black smoke from the exhaust. The dealer did do a fuel pressure check after the car sat overnight and determined that pressure was dropping but as far as I know they did not examine the fuel pump check valve. The car is back at the dealer today, I will suggest they take a look at that valve. I will post again when this is resolved. Thanks again.
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    charlson89

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    It sounds to me like the vehicle is flooding itself. If the vehicle is indeed leaking down overnight they you might have an injector leaking fuel in to the cylinders. When you push the accelerator to the floor while cranking the engine, the DME (digital motor electronics) will shut off the injectors. This mode is called clear flood mode. Another issue I have ran across is a coolant temperature sensor not reading properly when cold. The engine when it first starts uses this sensor for fuel control until the engine has warmed up and gone into a mode called closed loop where it used oxygen sensors to monitor fuel injection. If the coolant temp sensor is sending the wrong signal to the DME it could flood the engine. Oh and this may or may not set a fault in the DME. Hope some of this info helps, keep us posted interested on this issue.
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    tstevenson

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    Thanks again. My car is still at the dealership, I forwarded your comments to my service advisor. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, I am driving a loaner - 2012 528i.
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    tstevenson

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    Got my X5 back from the dealership yesterday and spoke to the tech who worked on the car. He installed updated software for the engine control unit which he hopes will solve the cold-weather starting problem. I have had no issues yet but the temps are still in the upper 50s. Will see what happens during the next cold spell.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Cold spell? If we get into the upper 50s, we think THAT'S a cold spell!

    :D
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    tstevenson

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    You must be in Florida! It sometimes dips into the low 30s or even upper 20s at night here (Virginia Beach) in the winter. Bad news about my car, too. It was 39° this morning went I went to start it up and the problem returned. The car started then immediately stalled. On the third try, after 20 seconds of cranking, it finally started and continued running. I have already emailed the dealer, hope they'll try again to find the problem. If not, I'll have to find something else to drive, this non-starting issue in cold weather has persisted for nearly four months and three trips to the dealer and it is driving me crazy wondering every morning if my car will start. Has anyone heard of another X5 with this same issue? Other than this recent issue, it has been the best car I have owned.
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    tstevenson

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    Sorry Satch, I see from your nickname you are probably in Southern California.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    It's certainly not a problem I've heard of. And I have driven an X5 from Seattle to the Arctic Circle and back with no hint of a problem...
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    alpinaman

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    sounds like MAF black smoke is rich ..

    initial startup the MAF detects the ammount of air coming in and if the sensor isnt good it thinks your on top of the highest mountain therefore dumping gas
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    tstevenson

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    Quick update...still having problems. The low temps in Virginia Beach have been in the 30s the last couple of days and now the car won't start at all, it cranks and cranks but doesn't start. I am taking it back to the dealer (for the 4th time) on Thursday, will post again.
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    tstevenson

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    Final update.... My X5 spent the first two weeks of January at the dealer where they installed updated software, replaced the DME, then finally the fuel pump relay. The car started right up the last two mornings with outside temps near freezing so I am confident my problem as finally been resolved. Thanks to all for your help.
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    charlson89

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    Good glad to hear the problem was resolved!

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