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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > N55 Odd Start in Cold Weather



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      12-27-2012, 11:04 AM   #1
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N55 Odd Start in Cold Weather

My Car is garaged, non heated so approx 0 C overnight.

I have her plugged in via CTEK Battery Charger. It's about -20C.

Every morning the past couple of weeks, I get an odd cold start.

Starts right up no problem, but after a few seconds (RPMS spike to 12-1500 which is usual in cold engine), it drops to about 1000 and then it sounds like it's having trouble breathing, i.e. it sounds like its about to completely stall but when I look at the RPM its solid at 1000. Then I hear it burbling like a tractor. and its all good. I can take a video if you guys want.

Okay I have PPk2 and Performance Exhaust. Not sure if that makes a difference.

After about 10 seconds it completely smooths out. Never a check engine light. No performance issues.

Normal?

Fuel Pump/Injector/Spark Plug issues??
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      12-27-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
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Interesting, I was thinking of posting this exact same thing in the Canadian SE thread.

Mine does this as well. Almost sounds like it's going to stall, but it has not done so yet. Noticeably worse the colder it is out. RPM drops as low as about 500 and then picks right up again.

I also garage mine, but it still gets down into the -20s C. I have a BMW charger and use it occasionally but not regularly. Even after being fully charged the car behaves the same on a cold start.

Since the car runs fine otherwise I figured I would take a video of it and just show the dealer next time I'm in for scheduled maintenance. Don't want to leave the car overnight for them to try and reproduce it.

My last 2011 335 with the N55 (no PPK or PE) did not do this. Since yours does it as well I'm guessing it is related to the PPK. I'll post a link in the other thread to this one. Would like to see if anyone else with the SEs are experiencing this in our Canadian winter.......

Last edited by Kernel Kurtz; 12-27-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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      12-27-2012, 12:39 PM   #3
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This is normal
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      12-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernel Kurtz View Post
Interesting, I was thinking of posting this exact same thing in the Canadian SE thread.

Mine does this as well. Almost sounds like it's going to stall, but it has not done so yet. Noticeably worse the colder it is out. RPM drops as low as about 500 and then picks right up again.

I also garage mine, but it still gets down into the -20s C. I have a BMW charger and use it occasionally but not regularly. Even after being fully charged the car behaves the same on a cold start.

Since the car runs fine otherwise I figured I would take a video of it and just show the dealer next time I'm in for scheduled maintenance. Don't want to leave the car overnight for them to try and reproduce it.

My last 2011 335 with the N55 (no PPK or PE) did not do this. Since yours does it as well I'm guessing it is related to the PPK. I'll post a link in the other thread to this one. Would like to see if anyone else with the SEs are experiencing this in our Canadian winter.......
Maybe it's "normal" as the third poster said.

Exact reason i didn't take it in, I don't want my dealer having it overnight and me being without wheels for a day.

It almost sounds like with the PE there is just so much backpressure it is simply trying to FART out the initial start up exhaust, gets a big clogged, chugs and then smooths out.
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      12-27-2012, 12:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aig02 View Post
This is normal
Normal for N55? or N55 with PE? Or normal just in winter months for the twin turbo?
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      12-27-2012, 01:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aig02 View Post
This is normal
mine does the same, its normal. brand new
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      12-27-2012, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius909 View Post
Normal for N55? or N55 with PE? Or normal just in winter months for the twin turbo?
Purchased my SE in Calgary (ruby black) its normal for our car, I can't speak for the N54, the N55 doesn't have twin turbos it has a twin scroll but only a single turbo, I wouldn't think the exhaust would have anything to do with the idle, its just a characteristic of the car from what I have read over the past couple of years
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      12-27-2012, 07:32 PM   #8
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My dad's does this too. Just wait for the rpm to settle out at about 1000 and then you're good to go.
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      12-27-2012, 08:38 PM   #9
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Mine does the odd stumble, wiggle, and RPM bounce but its barely noticeable most days. It settles down in about 20 seconds.
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      01-12-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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I have seen this awhile back around 5k-6k range. I also switched for a couple of weeks to non-Shell premium because the tank was low and needed to fill up. When I went back to Shell, it was fine. I havent seen this happen since last winter.
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      01-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firsttimer View Post
I have seen this awhile back around 5k-6k range. I also switched for a couple of weeks to non-Shell premium because the tank was low and needed to fill up. When I went back to Shell, it was fine. I havent seen this happen since last winter.
Firstimer-We SE owners in Edmonton should have a coffee meetup one day!
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      01-15-2013, 12:21 PM   #12
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Same thing happened to me during the 2011 holydays (I also have that special ed).

It had been garaged for a couple of days (3-4) without any activity, in a garage kept at 5 degrees celcius. I had to go to the dealership for something else (they scratched the window on the driver's side while installing the tint) so they checked it out. They came to the following conclusion : BAD GAS. The removed the gas in the tank, and filled it up at shell.

They told me (by email) to stop fueling at PETRO-CANADA, and to stop putting in premium fuel, to go to basic fuel. I did that for a couple of months, and went back to premium fuel, I think I get better mileage from premium. Didn't really notice any change in performance though.

So all that being said, it never happend again, with premium, basic, shell, esso, ultramar or even Petro-Canada (sometimes you don't have the choice).
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      01-15-2013, 12:24 PM   #13
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Same exact thing is happening to mine (N54) and it sits in my garage during the winter (garage is not heated, but it's about 30-40 degrees in there), although I do pull it out on clear days when it's dry out but it sounds like its about to die
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      01-15-2013, 06:35 PM   #14
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flipping odd. Never seen an engine do that.

Gold old N55. Beyond that I love the PPK'd N55. Awesome Engine
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      01-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #15
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So I made a video a few weeks back to show the dealer next time I'm there. It was -14 C in the garage when I took it. Not touching the accelerator at all.

http://qik.com/video/56557861

This morning it was -24 C in the garage (-32 C outside), and it did actually stall, but I was not recording it. Started right up again, and then I gave it some gas to keep it from stalling again. It leveled out after a minute or so.

It's going to be cold again tonight, so tomorrow morning I will make a point of taking another video. However, I'm pretty sure this could not be considered normal. My last N55 car never had this issue in even colder temps.
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      01-24-2013, 09:34 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernel Kurtz View Post
So I made a video a few weeks back to show the dealer next time I'm there. It was -14 C in the garage when I took it. Not touching the accelerator at all.

http://qik.com/video/56557861

This morning it was -24 C in the garage (-32 C outside), and it did actually stall, but I was not recording it. Started right up again, and then I gave it some gas to keep it from stalling again. It leveled out after a minute or so.

It's going to be cold again tonight, so tomorrow morning I will make a point of taking another video. However, I'm pretty sure this could not be considered normal. My last N55 car never had this issue in even colder temps.
I really wonder if it has to do with the PPK2 Tuning...its like its starving for gas for a few brief seconds...

*I can't view the video...darn you Work Firewall, will take a look at it at home*

Let us know what dealer says!
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      01-24-2013, 09:41 AM   #17
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Its been uber cold in Edmotnon lately, and I just realized I recently switched to Petro-94 Gas...for the past several fillups.

Guess what...no wierd starts...

so I wonder if it's the Shell 91 causing issues?

That just popped into my head...not sure how a 3 point change in Octane can have anything to do with it...
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      01-24-2013, 10:36 AM   #18
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Normal, the engine is trying to warm itself quicker by closing one of the two (2) valves to the exhaust until the engine reaches operating temperature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morphius909 View Post
My Car is garaged, non heated so approx 0 C overnight.

I have her plugged in via CTEK Battery Charger. It's about -20C.

Every morning the past couple of weeks, I get an odd cold start.

Starts right up no problem, but after a few seconds (RPMS spike to 12-1500 which is usual in cold engine), it drops to about 1000 and then it sounds like it's having trouble breathing, i.e. it sounds like its about to completely stall but when I look at the RPM its solid at 1000. Then I hear it burbling like a tractor. and its all good. I can take a video if you guys want.

Okay I have PPk2 and Performance Exhaust. Not sure if that makes a difference.

After about 10 seconds it completely smooths out. Never a check engine light. No performance issues.

Normal?

Fuel Pump/Injector/Spark Plug issues??
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      01-24-2013, 12:27 PM   #19
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N54 but mine does just about the same thing. It's funny I came across this tread cause I've noticed it on mine lately. I've had the car about a year, perhaps I've never really paid attention to it. RPM's will bounce a bit and seems like it wants to stall but it levels out. Must be a 335 thing. Unless I'm throwing a code I try not to fret about it. Stock car btw.
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      01-24-2013, 04:39 PM   #20
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So this morning I took another vid at -22 C, but it didn't stall. RPMs seemed low for a normal start, but it held pretty steady.

We'll see what it does tomorrow.

I've always used Shell 91, but from quite a few different stations. I'm pretty sure it's not a fuel quality thing.

But no CELs or any sort of lasting issue. Runs great otherwise so I'm not going to lose any sleep, but I will take some more vids so I can follow up if needed.
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      01-24-2013, 08:47 PM   #21
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I wonder if it isn't dramatically altering the timing to send still-flaming air/fuel mixture out through the turbos and cats. That's why it sounds so different. I seem to remember reading an article about using huge amounts of timing retard to spool turbos up really quickly and eliminate turbo lag through software "tricks", leading to the nearly lag-less turbos we drive today (compared to the 80s, anyways).
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      01-24-2013, 10:23 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kernel Kurtz View Post
So I made a video a few weeks back to show the dealer next time I'm there. It was -14 C in the garage when I took it. Not touching the accelerator at all.

http://qik.com/video/56557861

This morning it was -24 C in the garage (-32 C outside), and it did actually stall, but I was not recording it. Started right up again, and then I gave it some gas to keep it from stalling again. It leveled out after a minute or so.

It's going to be cold again tonight, so tomorrow morning I will make a point of taking another video. However, I'm pretty sure this could not be considered normal. My last N55 car never had this issue in even colder temps.
Yeah my RPMS do the same thing..mine just sounds a little worse then years...in yours you can hear the car nearly go silent..my does this 2-3 times before it levels out...

hmmmm *shrugs*
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