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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Mechanical Maintenance: Break-in / Oil & Fluids / Servicing / Warranty > Yet Another "Is My Starter Bad?" Thread



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      01-09-2015, 12:27 PM   #1
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Drives: 2008 328i
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: North Virginia

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Yet Another "Is My Starter Bad?" Thread

I've looked at countless threads, and I'm not too confident I've found a solution.

Car is a 2008 328i. Bought it used in August. It always seemed to have slow initial cranks. Meaning that if the starter makes, say, 10 turns before the engine fires, the first 3 or so are slow before the starter turns faster. The first few cranks (or the first crank) have been as slow as 2 seconds each, but it always speeds up for the remaining cranks until the engine fires. The starter has never failed to turn, and the engine has always started (but a few times I've been worried).

I put in a new OEM battery in two months ago and it was registered by the dealer.

I had the old battery tested, and the tech wasn't able to say for sure it was bad or not. He gave the car a boost, and it started faster. The new battery did improve the starting a little, but not much.

My daily commute is very short (1.5 miles each way). I usually end up on longer drives on the weekends that should fully charge the battery.

The problem is worse on cold mornings.

My guess is that the starter is failing and requires higher than normal voltage to turn it. I would hate to think that my driving habits are so unusual that I would have to use a maintenance charger at night.

Here's videos of the starting:


First start of the day, temperature in the 20s, battery at 11.97v. First few cranks are definitely slow.


I drove for 15 minutes and parked for an hour. Battery at 12.10. First couple of cranks are still slow, but not as bad.


Drove for another 15 minutes and immediately restarted. Battery voltage hadn't settled yet, but it probably was around 12.3v. Starts up fairly normal.

What concerns me is that on my other vehicles, the cranks are consistent - every turn is equally fast. In this car the first few are slow. I haven't owned another E90, so I'm not positive what it *should* sound like.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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