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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Wed, Sep-06-2006, 04:11:08 AM   #21
glenspeed
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sounds like a fuel/intake related problem. it's not broke yet, but it's giving you warning signs at least.

could be the MAF starting to go bad, although mine never gave warning

or could be dirty fuel filter or fuel pump

those are the 3 things I would be checking more closely.
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Old Wed, Sep-06-2006, 04:30:08 AM   #22
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I left my car sitting since last thursday. I took it out today and gave the key a full turn and she started on the first crank. It's gotta be a faulty something?
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Old Wed, Sep-06-2006, 02:20:04 PM   #23
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Well, just want to make something clear, as I stated in the OP, the car fails 1st start up 95% while parked in garage. So far I've only had 1 failed startup while parking outside and it rained really hard the night before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deilenberger
I doubt if it's this simple. The diagnosis by the dealers is loss of residual fuel pressure in the fuel rail. The rail is supposed to stay pressurized for at least 24 hours (probably much longer) after you shut the car off.

The dealer left mine hooked up to a pressure gauge overnight - and the pressure dropped to about 0. BMW told them to replace the fuel pump. One of the check valves to keep the system pressurized is in the fuel pump, the other one is in the fuel pressure regulator.
I 1st suspected fuel related problem as well and it did sound like car is not getting enough fuel. Fuel pressure drop is normal as far as I think. Based on my experience the fuel pressure will drop on most cars, if not all. I am not surprised if the pressure drop back to 0. Usually when you prime/crank the car the pressure should rapidly raise to the normal level. However, by all the posts I've read replacing the fuel pump don't seem to be a resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glenspeed
It starts and then about 50% of the time immediately stalls unless you give it gas as soon as it starts. This seems temperature related - as it gets cooler this happens more frequently, but gas companies also change formulas on a seasonal basis, so we can't discount fuel in this also.
When the car is about to stall during the 1st crank, give a little gas is the only way to get it started as I've done so many times. I initially said this might be caused by weather and not temperature because for me this happens more frequently if the car is in a damp/extreme humid environment. Car operated perfectly during the past winter. Also I've noticed many people started reporting the problem in recent months.


Quote:
Originally Posted by glenspeed
sounds like a fuel/intake related problem. it's not broke yet, but it's giving you warning signs at least.

could be the MAF starting to go bad, although mine never gave warning

or could be dirty fuel filter or fuel pump

those are the 3 things I would be checking more closely.
I just got the inspection 1 around 2k miles ago so fuel filter should be new.
I certainly don't hope MAF is going but you never know. I did take the car to dealer with my K&N on and they blamed on the intake. (wel lI don't blame them) The SA did told me that they've done some circuit and flow test on the MAF and it's working 100% fine.
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Old Wed, Sep-06-2006, 04:50:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvscorp
Well, just want to make something clear, as I stated in the OP, the car fails 1st start up 95% while parked in garage. So far I've only had 1 failed startup while parking outside and it rained really hard the night before.


I 1st suspected fuel related problem as well and it did sound like car is not getting enough fuel. Fuel pressure drop is normal as far as I think. Based on my experience the fuel pressure will drop on most cars, if not all. I am not surprised if the pressure drop back to 0. Usually when you prime/crank the car the pressure should rapidly raise to the normal level. However, by all the posts I've read replacing the fuel pump don't seem to be a resolution.
The fuel pressure shouldn't drop.. theoretically at all, but realistically not in 24 hours. The check valves are in the system so the pressure won't drop. Pressure drop means either a check valve isn't sealing fully, or you have a leaky injector.
Quote:

I just got the inspection 1 around 2k miles ago so fuel filter should be new.
I believe you'll find the fuel filter is not part of any of the Inspections or Services - it's now listed as an "as needed" replacement item. Thing with fuel filters - if you pick up a load of crap(tech-term) in your gas the brand new one you just installed will be immediately plugged as the crap flows into it. And if you never get any crappy gas - the filter will basically last about forever. They don't "wear out".. the plug up, and that's not a factor of time or miles - it's a factor of the quality of the fuel that flows through the filter.
Quote:
I certainly don't hope MAF is going but you never know. I did take the car to dealer with my K&N on and they blamed on the intake. (wel lI don't blame them) The SA did told me that they've done some circuit and flow test on the MAF and it's working 100% fine.
Dunno exactly what circuit and flow test they're doing - be interesting to hear about it. You should remember that Service Advisor's are generally not ex-mechanics, and are really glorified order writers. They sometimes pick up little phrases that sound nice to customers, but mean nothing at all, or have no basis in reality. Take what they say with a grain of salt - for real info - you have to talk to the mechanic who worked on the car.
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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 04:23:09 PM   #25
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so far the weather's been breezy and dry this week here in NNJ and my car's been starting perfect for 4 days straight, even in the garage.

I've ordered a MAF O-ring and will also use some liquid gasket to make sure the MAF housing gets a perfect seal and see if that will make a difference when it gets humid and dampy again.
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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 04:50:08 PM   #26
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it has been nicer..... Im in eastern PA and the past 3 mornings have been first crank after sitting in garage? Then this moring (after leaving outside to see if that caused it), with dew on the car..... would not hit on the first
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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 05:23:13 PM   #27
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Now I am really think this is more related to the humidity/moist and MAF, well at least for me. (perhaps the moist got on the MAF sensor??) The fuel problem just doesn't make any sense since my problem it's so inconsistant. If the air is dry I can start the car with it parked for 24+ hours. If it's humid enough the car won't start up even less than 10 hours parked. As for the fuel issue, i've been using V-power for the past 3 months.
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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 06:15:54 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvscorp
Couple of months back my car started to experiencing the start up problem like most otheres. (Car always stalls on the 1st crank and fires right up on the 2nd) Many have said it's the gas and some said it's the fuel pump/fuel system but I've always been suspicious about this since there isn't a definite fix yet.

Some said switching gas or replace certain part in the fuel system have fixed the problem but unfortunately didn't work for the rest of us. Of course, this start up symptom can be caused by many other things but I am just making this "general" assumption based on my experience.

I see most people posting about the problem are located in east coast, (NNJ here as well) and I think that should say something already and my primary suspicion is weather and there is nothing wrong with either the gas or the fuel system.


I park the car in garage all the time and that's where I find my car stalls 95% of the time. Sometimes I park the car on the street when staying over at friend's place and I have no problem starting up the next day. Also, when the weather is nice and dry, the car would start up normal even in the garage. I tried open up the garage door for couple of hours and let the air circulate through and it did help a big time. I also tried with the garage door open slightly, took out the MAF sensor and let it sit for 20 mins or so, and after I put it back in the car started right away.

This past fri and sat, it rained pretty hard here in NNJ and I got home late on sat morning (3am) and parked the car outside just to test out. 6 hours later when I try to start the car, it stalled. So I guess how long you park the car doesn't really make a difference. On Sunday, it was very nice and dry and I installed the borla midpipe with a friend. I had the garage door open the whole day and the car started up right away after we finished the job. (the car's been in the garage for around 20 hours)

Based on all the experience and testing I suspect the problem is mainly caused by the MAF and humid and damp enviroment. Note that I didn't say cold/warm weather because I got my car in a winter and never had a problem and besides, winter weather are very dry as well. It seems most of people started to have the problem around the same time so the humid season might make some sense.

It'll be nice if some one with the same problem can confirm this buy either leave ur garage door open or take out your MAF and leave it in the circulated air for a short period of time. Also, try park your car outside over night when it's nice and breezy.


-------
Note: I have the KnN 63 intake and I don't think it's the problem because I had it on before the problem started. Also I believe many who's having the same problem are still using the stock airbox.
I might be down with this analysis. I picked my car up in SC the beginning of Mar, no problems, then around June in D.C. it started acting up like the rest. I did switch from BP to Shell and I have noticed that it hasn't stalled since doing that, but it's only been 3 fillups or so. It's not very humid this week, but it still does an idle hunt for the first 10-20 seconds or so. You might have a good point here.

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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 07:03:34 PM   #29
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I run Shell 93 octane exclusively in the M3 and my car stalls EVERY time in the morning regardless if in the garage/out of the garage/cold/wet/dry/hot. All of the time on first start after sitting over night.

It did this when I first bought it from DC and I brought it into the dealer here in KY. They said they "remapped" the fuel algs. and it started fine for about 6 months then it went back to the issue. The previous owner, who of course lived in DC, said she had NEVER experienced the issue and that was after 28k miles and since new.

I used Chevron for a while and no change.

I know of other vehicles that have had this issue and it is ALWAYS related to line pressure-whether it is fuel pump, hard line or any of the regulating components. In other words, I do not believe it to be gas related.

Last edited by Jukelemon; Thu, Sep-07-2006 at 07:05:44 PM.
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Old Thu, Sep-07-2006, 07:19:12 PM   #30
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I live in RI and have been experiencing the 1st start-up stall for months now. I brought it to the dealer and they, like so many others on this post, replace the fuel pump...no change, then the fuel regulator...still no change. They are guessing. I would have to say your humidity hypothesis aligns well with my simptoms. I live in a high water table area, which adds to the humidity problem as it seems to be damp in the house / garage many times during the summer. Winter it is usually very dry...and no starting problems, at least last year. We will see this winter.

I am very interested in seeing if your MAF o-ring / reseal helps your situation. I believe BMW needs to reprogram the start-up algorithm, adding a little more air into the cylinders during start-up. I am aware BMW is working with companies on humidity sensors...mostly for climate control, but seems like there may be another use.

Keep us posted.
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Discussing My findings on the start up problem in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)