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  1. #1
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    Is my starter on the way out or....????

    Long story short (sort of):

    Was charging my car battery directly through the battery terminals in the trunk (in my garage - 50 DEGF). Today before going to work I removed the charger and reconnected the negative terminal.

    1) Cranked the car up and the starter starts coughing and moaning. Nothing. Turned it off.

    2) Hmm..I put my foot on the gas pedal and turned the key. There is coughing and moaning again but the car starts up! I have to keep the RPM's at 2500 to keep it from dying. The service engine light comes on.

    Crap - now what? Not knowing what is going on (don't have a code reader) I decided not to drive the car in these southern snowy conditions and turned it off.

    3) A little voice on my shoulder tells me to try it for a third time - car starts right up and the SEL goes off!

    Car runs fine! What am I looking at here? Bad starter, fuel pump, clogged fuel line, ignition switch or a fluke?

    Will have the code read by my indy tomorrow.

    Any ideas?

    Thx,
    Griffin69 (530iA, 98,000 miles)2001 530i


  2. #2
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    Re: Is my starter on the way out or....????

    How old is the battery; Why were you charging it? Just because you put a charger on it for a time doesn't mean it's in tip-top shape. The first start followed by immediately turning it off could have left the engine flooded, so you needed to give it some throttle to keep it going on the second start.
    '03 525i Sapphire Blu/Grey, SP, Nav
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  3. #3
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    Re: Is my starter on the way out or....????

    Battery is 4 months old..re-cjarged it as it was sitting out in the frosty elements for 4+ weeks ..agree...wonder what the SEL code is though..will see.

    2001 530i

  4. #4
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    You may want to try a hard re-boot...

    before taking it in for service. With the battery disconnected, turn on the ignition to pos. 2 for 30 seconds to disipate any stored power in the systems. Re-connect the battery and start it up.

    You may just have had a glich from all the connecting & disconnecting during the charging. You can then see if the code is still there. I agree with JKRIT that the rough idle and CEL may be due to flooding or fouling of the O2 sensors.
    Ed CT
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    Next time U don't need 2 disconnect the battery (m

    when you want to charge it.

  6. #6
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    Inner Circle ©155 since: Jul 21, 2003 edjack will become famous soon enough edjack's Avatar
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    Minus 50 deg F!!!???


    Ed in San Jose. BMW CCA member since 1987 (Nr. 62319). Golden Gate Chapter. '97 540i 6 speed. Build Date 3/97. Aspensilber over Aubergine leather.

  7. #7
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    Re: Is my starter on the way out or....????

    Nope - that's a dash - not minus sign..:)))..

    BTW - must have been flooded engine form when I moved the car from the outside into the garage...big no-no....no problem since...2001 530i

  8. #8
    Craig in Canada
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    Re: Is my starter on the way out or....????

    I was just going to ask if you ran the car for a very short time the last time you started it. Common issue. We used to call it "car wash syndrome" here.

    Start up - back out of garage - shut down - wash car - start up - pull in - shut down - next day start up - runs like crap


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