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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 11-30-2005, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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cold start problems with 320i

Having real problems trying to start a 320i when its cold, it can sometimes take 10 mins to get it going which is going to eventually knacker the starter and battery. The car runs fine for the rest of the day after its been started but the problems start again the following morning. Had the same problem last winter but in the summer it always starts with no problems. Occasionally it sarts first time but this is becoming less frequent. Have changed the ecu, plugs., leads and cold start thermostat but it hasnt made a difference.
Suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Try a new battery.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I feel ya! I have the same problem with my 325i every cold morning.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Battery:
What's the CCA (cold cranking amps) rating on your battery? Make sure it's about 500-550 or more. Also, clean the terminals on the battery and the ground to the body. If the battery is in your trunk, just follow the negative cable to the bolt that has all the corrosion on it =) If the starter sounds like it's turning at decent speed (more high pitched) then the battery should be OK.

Starter:
Don't run the starter for more than 15 seconds at a time, or it will heat up and stop working entirely. If the solenoid is bad on the starter, your starter could spin and spin and spin all day long, but if it's not engaging the flywheel (solenoid's job) it wont start the car. Itermittent starts can be narrowed down to a bad ring gear on your flywheel sometimes. Try to remove the starter and look at your flywheel. Is your ring gear still attached? Spin it (in neutral, but it will be hard to move). Are teeth missing?

You could remove the starter from the car, along with your battery, take it to a workbench and get a couple heavy cables and someone to hold it down while you jump it. The pinion on the starter should pop outward and spin very fast. This is how you will know the starter/solenoid is good, and this is how most shops test starters, only they charge you for an hour's labor. If the pinon doesn't pop out, the solenoid is bad. You can do this yourself with basic hand tools. Just jump the B+ side on the solenoid to the ground on the starter.

Last edited by and0pand0; 11-30-2005 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 12-01-2005, 09:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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could be a few things:
battery dead
something wrong with the fuel system
fuel injector leaking

look at those! let me know

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Old 12-05-2005, 02:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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thanks guys. sorry about the delay in replying-dont have one myself and have to use my bro's. car was particularly bad at starting tonight but will check the battery and CCA rating tomorrow and let you know. Dont think it can be the starter though as the problem only happens in the cold

thanks

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Old 02-17-2011, 11:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Could be leaking check valve in the fuel pump. Fuel pressure drains back to the tank if the check valve stays open. It takes several stats to pressurize the fuel to the injectors. Once it's running it will not stall the engine becuae the fuel pump runs continuously. When parked for a few hours it will easily start becuse the fuel pressure has not completely drained back to the tank. Overnight it will. Dirt in the fuel tank could lodge in the check valve past the strainer. Check fuel pressure with a fuel tester and see if pressure drops slowly. Normal fuel rpessure is about 40 PSI.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi!!!
What was the solution to this matter? I'm experiencing the same problem with my 320i 95 model, I was told it could be the coolant temp sensor but I wanna be sure before I buy a new one.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Could be the actual coolant itself !!
Cold start valve of some kind...
Will look into it... Try the link below for more info on YOUR car...

BMW TIS Online Repair Manuals
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Dabsy - thanks for the tis link but I don't know what to do there as I see how to remove some items kinda like Bentley. I hope this is not a stupid request please can you kindly advise what must look under for the 95 320i m50 motor. I can go through the categories but how do I find out what's the main problem .
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Do you have a Bentley manual? If not, I really recommend one. I have an 87 325 and to check the cold start valve, you remove it from the intake (2 allen key bolts on mine) and aim it into an empty bucket/container (helps to have 2 people) then turn the ignition for at least 8 seconds to see if the valve shoots gas like it's supposed to (disengage the ignition system first, you can pull the main wire from the distributor to keep from actually starting the car.) If it doesn't shoot fuel, take off the connector on the back (I'm describing mine, yours could be different) and you can test the cold temp sensor with a test light or I believe a multimeter. I'm not sure how yours is wired, but the Bentley manual describes how to test it this way.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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@ Deafdog - I get your point even though I don't think my car have a distributor, it uses coils per spark plug. I know where the coolant temp sensor is situated on the m50 engine (under the intake manifold) I tried testing it, I took a coolant temp sensor and put in into the hot water and the ohms reading decreased quicker, when I took it off the hot water it increase, I don't know whether its faulty or not. This could be the problem, as when my car is hot, it starts right away but when cold its a problem so I guess it temperature related issue. If I can get the cts voltmeter reading maybe I can be sure that the cts is the culprit. I'm not a mechanic just a diy lover. Somethings I'm learning from you guys
Thanks
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:01 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Replaced the cold start injector per recomondation from the previous owner . Worked good the first few times, then back to the samo samo original prob of the cold start thingy. whats next ? I hate the Hanes or any other "cheapy" manuals . A little help would be good :-P
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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1983 3220i needs a/c , now an Az. car from Ca.
Somebody thought it would be a good idea to totally "S" can the complete a/c system . All is gone except the cooling fan mounted before the radiator.
Is there a company that makes a aftermaeket system that'll fit ?
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:41 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Check the vacume actuated fuel pressure regulator. This could also happen if your fuel pump is dying, where when its cold, or hasnt ran for a while itll work fine, then as it warms up, it slows down, and does not create the proper pressure, causing the engine to die from lack of fuel.
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