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?

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