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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 01-09-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
bmwbob89
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Talking Read this or flood your engine!

I've seen it many times when working at the dealer or shop and on the forums. Drivers flood their engines and don't know what is wrong with their car. This is a totally avoidable situation with a little education. Here is the answer and its so simple. Never and I mean never start the car and shut it right back off. Always just drive it around the block and you will never suffer this problem. This usually happens when people wash their cars or are doing maintenance. If you don't listen to this advice you will at some point suffer the consequences. I have seen a lot of money thrown away in tow bills and service receipts. Don't be a fool or you will soon be parted with your money!
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:40 PM   #2
LeMansteve
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What consequences and service bills do you speak of?

Do you mean "don't start a car from dead cold in the winter and then shut it off within seconds"? I have done that on multiple cars and the worst that has happened is a 5-10 second rough idle the next time I start the car.
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Old 01-09-2015, 02:48 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LeMansteve View Post
What consequences and service bills do you speak of?

Do you mean "don't start a car from dead cold in the winter and then shut it off within seconds"? I have done that on multiple cars and the worst that has happened is a 5-10 second rough idle the next time I start the car.
Consequences and service bills are from Bob's perspective working at the dealer where these cars were likely towed in because of flooding problems.

Problems appear to happen more often in colder weather.

I have actually started the engine and had it run rough with fuel cut off, shut the engine off and restarted without problems. BUT I have also had the situation where I started the car, moved it in the driveway to shovel snow or for other reasons, shut the engine off and not tried to restart the engine for hours or days and had issues.

Maybe what happens is if the engine sits for a while after a short start and stop that unburned/raw fuel may drain down the cylinder walls and past the piston rings and cause a loss of compression and/or maybe the injectors might leak slightly when cold??

Do not ask me why, I know I had move the E46 out of the driveway a few days ago when the temps were 9F, I make sure to let the engine run at least 2 minutes before I shut if off just because I knew if I pull the car out of the driveway and shut it down, it would not likely start when the wife went to take it!!
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:26 PM   #4
Alex323Ci
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never had this happen in 14 yrs of driving E46s

but if others do and this Helps more power to you
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:28 PM   #5
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It's 100% a cold weather issue. I see you are also in Mass. I've had issues several times in cold weather moving a car and shutting it off. So what do I do about this now? Never move a car and shut it off, always get in it and if moving it, let it run a bit and warm up, then there are never issues restarting it. Some of the misfiring/etc when trying to restart it after a quick move is scary. E46 issue for sure. Baby these wonderful machines!

Huntington beach Alex, no issues doing this there!
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Old 01-09-2015, 03:29 PM   #6
trizzuth
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Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Consequences and service bills are from Bob's perspective working at the dealer where these cars were likely towed in because of flooding problems.

Problems appear to happen more often in colder weather.

I have actually started the engine and had it run rough with fuel cut off, shut the engine off and restarted without problems. BUT I have also had the situation where I started the car, moved it in the driveway to shovel snow or for other reasons, shut the engine off and not tried to restart the engine for hours or days and had issues.

Maybe what happens is if the engine sits for a while after a short start and stop that unburned/raw fuel may drain down the cylinder walls and past the piston rings and cause a loss of compression and/or maybe the injectors might leak slightly when cold??

Do not ask me why, I know I had move the E46 out of the driveway a few days ago when the temps were 9F, I make sure to let the engine run at least 2 minutes before I shut if off just because I knew if I pull the car out of the driveway and shut it down, it would not likely start when the wife went to take it!!

Your post is just hilarious to me. I've told the wife not to start it and shut it off too quick and she looks at me like I have 5 heads. But I can see from your post that we go through the EXACT same thought process when it's cold out jfoj! HA!
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:07 PM   #7
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never had this happen in 14 yrs of driving E46s

but if others do and this Helps more power to you
You SoCal folks do not understand what the rest of the world deals with!

It was 9F here the other morning when I moved the car.

It is clearly a cold weather issue and the colder the coolant temperature the more cold start enrichment is usually commanded by the DME.

Starting an engine at 70F is much different than below freezing.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:13 PM   #8
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yet another reason I'll save the snow belt for summer vacationing..
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by trizzuth View Post
Your post is just hilarious to me. I've told the wife not to start it and shut it off too quick and she looks at me like I have 5 heads. But I can see from your post that we go through the EXACT same thought process when it's cold out jfoj! HA!
Venus & Mars!

Yep, you have no idea what I go through to head off the issues. 2006 car with 85k miles I went ahead and replaced the entire CCV, valve cover gasket (small leak), OFHG (pretty bad leak), intake boots, DISA O-ring, OCV grommet, TB gasket, Oil Fill cap, dipstick tube and dipstick O-rings, fuel pump. Car had no vacuum leaks or starting issues, but I just wanted to head off problems.

Why bang my head on the wall, I will have to do this all at some point. If I wait, the problems will show up mid Winter and I will have to listen to all the grief. I did get caught with my pants down on the fuel pump. I had it on the shelf for 2 1/2 years, knew either I would need it or someone I knew would need one. Planned on replacing the pump when I did all the above work, ran out of time and it got too cold. Started the car one morning for the wife to get the seats warmed up a bit, heard a moaning at the drivers floor board, KNOW the pump was soft and the FPR was singing. Sent her to work, fingers crossed hoping the car would not die on the way to work or in the parking garage. She made it home fine. Temps were still too cold, so thought I could chance it a few more days, tried to start the car the next morning for her, NO BUENO!

So tossed her another set of keys and sent her on her way. Waited until about 11 am for the temps to warm up a bit. 15 minutes later, pump is swapped and engine is running.

I cut it a bit too close on that one!

But yea, I make sure when the car needs to be moved, I do it when it is cold.

I flooded the car 2 times moving the car twice in the Winter, but each time I was able to floor the throttle and get the car started. Both times I was had to move the car, started the engine and either moved the car 10-25 feet and did not let the engine run for 2 minutes.

Believe me, I have learned on this one.
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 01-09-2015, 04:47 PM   #10
jmo69
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I had to move my xi the other day in cold weather to my other garage till the new alternator shows up, I'm hoping this didn't happen to me. It did last winter but running on just battery power I didn't want to have it die while moving it.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:42 PM   #11
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
You SoCal folks do not understand what the rest of the world deals with!
It was 9F here the other morning when I moved the car.
It is clearly a cold weather issue and the colder the coolant temperature the more cold start enrichment is usually commanded by the DME.
Starting an engine at 70F is much different than below freezing.
show me where he says this is a Cold weather issue in his initial post

sorry you guys have it rough with the Cold. yep we have it pretty good.
but you do know we have snow and mountains here in Socal right?
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:45 PM   #12
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This happened to my mom's E46 when it was brand new. I knew nothing about cars at the time (I was 12), but the tow truck driver recognized it as flooded immediately. So he didn't bother towing it - just gave it gas while starting, and the car was fine for the rest of the time we owned it
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:48 PM   #13
jfoj
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show me where he says this is a Cold weather issue in his initial post

sorry you guys have it rough with the Cold. yep we have it pretty good.
but you do know we have snow and mountains here in Socal right?
BMWBOB89 did not say it was a cold weather problem, but he is from MA so I am sure he has seen his share of cold weather. Also ALMOST ALL of these events have happened in cold weather that I recall on the forum.

I am sure BMWBOB89 can clarify and let us know if he has seen as many problems in warmer temps or if it has been mostly cold temps.

I lived in Pasadena/West Covina for a while and recall seeing the snow on the top of the mountain. I decided to drive up to the top of the mountain one morning when it was 80+F in the area, arrived at the top of the mountain, it was like 34F and played in the snow for a few moments. So I know some area of CA will have colder weather, but for the most part you guys do not have to deal with sub freezing temps for weeks on time.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:50 PM   #14
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Just hold the pedal to the floor to put it in "Clear Flood" mode.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:52 PM   #15
bmwbob89
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It does not have to be cold out for this to happen it just exasperates the situation. This has been going on since BMW started making 4 valve engines. Wasn't really an issue on earlier engines unless you had Weber sidedraft carbs. You all can debate this all you want but I've been on the front lines dealing with it for years. Just thought I'd try and give you all some useful advise knowing they consequences of such advice. Listen to an adults advice or learn the hard way.
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:56 PM   #16
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BMW does not use Clear Flood Mode. If you think they do show it to me in writing. They do usually start by holding the pedal down but that is due to all the air you are introducing to the engine. But once they are really flooded you have to pull the plugs out and add some oil to the cylinders to get compression back. The cylinders get washed down and loose the slight oil film that seals the rings. Do some research and you will read about it.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:34 AM   #17
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You guys crack me up with your "cold weather" stuff. Come up to northern Alberta where this morning it was -32. Should warm up to a balmy -18 by this afternoon.
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Old 01-10-2015, 11:02 AM   #18
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You guys crack me up with your "cold weather" stuff. Come up to northern Alberta where this morning it was -32. Should warm up to a balmy -18 by this afternoon.
Yea you guess get it probably worse, but also where I live there are days where the ambient temps swing 50F+ at times as well!

Not sure what I would rather have, consistently cold or wild temp swings.

The thing is where you are located, the ultra low temps will quickly separate the good cars from the bad cars and once you sort them out for the season you are probably good to go.

Places that do not usually see below Zero will often find an awful lot of weak links quickly on the first cold blast.
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Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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Old 01-10-2015, 12:18 PM   #19
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Speaking of cold weather. My wife and I just got home from Boston. We ran 12 miles on Heartbreak Hill for Boston Marathon training. It was 8 degree at the start of the run and 13 when we finished. Just a bit cold until you get running then its fine. I feel bad for the Patriot fans at the game today. It's going to be cold just sitting there watching. I feel much better in front of the TV with a cold beer or 2 or 3.
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Old 01-11-2015, 09:47 PM   #20
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I had to move my xi the other day in cold weather to my other garage till the new alternator shows up, I'm hoping this didn't happen to me. It did last winter but running on just battery power I didn't want to have it die while moving it.
Got lucky and the car started just fine, the alternator even started working again, still getting changed though.
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