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      01-14-2015, 02:52 AM   #1
dannygarcia
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Exclamation 328i engine dying at 37k miles?

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The engine on my 2013 328i dies out when auto start/stop is in use.

I had this issue on my way to work a couple of weeks ago:
Came to a stop in traffic and the gauge goes down to "Ready" like it has hundreds of times before. Everything was fine until I let go of the brake - suddenly the engine cuts out and drops to "Off"! In a bit of panic because there are cars behind me and traffic is starting to move. I turn everything off and back on and luckily the engine starts back up - this time a warning comes up - something along the lines of "Don't turn engine off because it may not come back on." Went straight to the dealer and there it won't come back on. They had to move it on rollers because it wouldn't even switch to neutral!

Service tech said it was a bad starter. "Probably a defective part from the factory." So they replaced it.

I got it back today and everything seemed fine until this evening the same thing happened again!!! Needless to say, I'm going back to the service center first thing tomorrow morning. Really freaked out about getting stuck on the road not being able to push it.

Curious if anyone else has had a similar problem.
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      01-14-2015, 03:39 AM   #2
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that sounds crappy. I have a 2012 328i with 38K as well, but have not been using the start stop feature. Let us know what happens next.
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      01-14-2015, 07:20 AM   #3
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Scary! Is the starter a maintenance item now due to ASS??
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      01-14-2015, 09:03 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KGB_123_99 View Post
Scary! Is the starter a maintenance item now due to ASS??
I would really have hoped they beefed up the starter knowing it would be used constantly.
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      01-14-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithe90 View Post
I would really have hoped they beefed up the starter knowing it would be used constantly.
They actually did. It's supposed to be 8x (or something like that) more robust, just wondering if it's enough.
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      01-14-2015, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smithe90 View Post
I would really have hoped they beefed up the starter knowing it would be used constantly.
Not sure what it's been like in the past but it was covered under warranty.
Oddly, the technician said auto start stop would not cause much wear on the starter and that they don't normally need replacements this early (< 50k miles).
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      01-14-2015, 11:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeezz View Post
that sounds crappy. I have a 2012 328i with 38K as well, but have not been using the start stop feature. Let us know what happens next.
Yeah they're gonna take a look at it tomorrow. I've got a loaner for now...

I also noticed that now the oil temp won't go above 200°F.
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      01-14-2015, 11:56 AM   #8
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Could be a low battery. Our X5 with the N55 engine would start and then immediately die when the battery went bad. Repeated a few times when the tow truck driver got there too - he was actually able to drive it onto the truck but the X5 kept shutting off every few seconds. I was sure it was the fuel pump but turned out to be the battery.

BTW I don't think ASS uses the starter. I seem to recall reading that somewhere.
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      01-14-2015, 01:15 PM   #9
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I bet ASS is hard-on the battery.
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      01-14-2015, 02:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
BTW I don't think ASS uses the starter. I seem to recall reading that somewhere.
Huh? Doesn't use the starter?
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      01-14-2015, 03:14 PM   #11
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I turned off Auto Start/Stop the day I bought my car and never plan to use it NOT ever. If it gains maybe 2 MPG + over the life of the Vehicle that's just not worth it.

An old mechanic (My Grandfather) told me the worst thing you can do an engine is start it. Every time you start an engine you are taking a few minutes off its natural lifespan because the protective film of oil in the bearings isn't fully under pressure and thus the most wear occurs at startup when the bearings, lifters etc are most vulnerable.

I'm sure someone will retort that don't you think BMW has thought of “everything”... Yes I'm sure that they have done their very best to address it.

However, If I never use the Start/Stop function is it possible my overdesigned starter and engine components may be good for 300,000+ miles?
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      01-14-2015, 03:19 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent11202 View Post
Huh? Doesn't use the starter?
Yeah they do some trick thing with reigniting the existing gas mixture in the cylinders or some such. There was a technical description of it floating around somewhere.

If you listen when ASS restarts the engine you'll notice the whirr/chug-chug of the starter is absent. The engine just grunts and starts.
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      01-15-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_RETURN View Post
I turned off Auto Start/Stop the day I bought my car and never plan to use it NOT ever. If it gains maybe 2 MPG + over the life of the Vehicle that's just not worth it.
If you are gaining 2 MPG over the life of it, you are either A) driving only highway with an offramp next to your house or B) doing it wrong.

No it's not going to add up to thousands and thousands of dollars, but I didn't get where I am today pissing dollars down drainpipes either.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_RETURN View Post
An old mechanic (My Grandfather) told me the worst thing you can do an engine is start it. Every time you start an engine you are taking a few minutes off its natural lifespan because the protective film of oil in the bearings isn't fully under pressure and thus the most wear occurs at startup when the bearings, lifters etc are most vulnerable.
Funny thing about old mechanics.....they tend to, at a certain point, stop learning the new technology. I once had a guy who worked on cars professionally for 30+ years tell me ( a young punk teenager) that I was testing his V-belt alternator wrong on the machine....because I had the belt too tight, it should have 2" of play..... maybe in the 40s when he was wrenching that made sense, who knows, but it was directly opposite what the tech at the time was and is.

True, most wear occurs at startup when oil films are low to non-existent, but if the car was just running 1 minute ago a re-start does not occur with zero oil film. Pressure moves the oil through the system, lack of pressure does not vacuum it out, and gravity doesn't work that fast in the tight confines of the engine channels and clearances. In addition, with modern synthetics the protection applied to the metal reduces even the startup friction.

Ultimately it's about design, excessive start cycles on the old starts was hard, they were only designed for X number of starts based on trips averaged. Starters have come a long way, and even in cars without ASS they have been beefed up and improved over time. I promise you the design of a starter in an ASS equipped vehicle has been designed with the expected service in mind.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_RETURN View Post
However, If I never use the Start/Stop function is it possible my overdesigned starter and engine components may be good for 300,000+ miles?
Not any more likely than if you didn't, no.
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      01-15-2015, 12:25 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumper333 View Post
If you are gaining 2 MPG over the life of it, you are either A) driving only highway with an offramp next to your house or B) doing it wrong.

No it's not going to add up to thousands and thousands of dollars, but I didn't get where I am today pissing dollars down drainpipes either.




Funny thing about old mechanics.....they tend to, at a certain point, stop learning the new technology. I once had a guy who worked on cars professionally for 30+ years tell me ( a young punk teenager) that I was testing his V-belt alternator wrong on the machine....because I had the belt too tight, it should have 2" of play..... maybe in the 40s when he was wrenching that made sense, who knows, but it was directly opposite what the tech at the time was and is.

True, most wear occurs at startup when oil films are low to non-existent, but if the car was just running 1 minute ago a re-start does not occur with zero oil film. Pressure moves the oil through the system, lack of pressure does not vacuum it out, and gravity doesn't work that fast in the tight confines of the engine channels and clearances. In addition, with modern synthetics the protection applied to the metal reduces even the startup friction.

Ultimately it's about design, excessive start cycles on the old starts was hard, they were only designed for X number of starts based on trips averaged. Starters have come a long way, and even in cars without ASS they have been beefed up and improved over time. I promise you the design of a starter in an ASS equipped vehicle has been designed with the expected service in mind.




Not any more likely than if you didn't, no.
Clearly we are going to have to agree to disagree...

The official best estimate for fuel savings with ASS is 13%, however 6% is average < 2 mpg based on 28 mpg. I don't live in a dense city center so I'll estimate my savings as average at best.

As far as systems longevity, Duty cycles are duty cycles and they don't test parts by running them less and less to see how long they last. If the starter systems etc are good for say 75,000 start stops cycles MTBF. Environmental conditions not factored. If the car has 30 cycles per week vs 30+ per day, It is going to take a lot longer to get to 75,000 cycles. 48 years VS 6.8 years.

I may not keep it 6 years but you never know. I tend to keep vehicles I like for a long time.
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      01-16-2015, 08:37 PM   #15
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Quick update! I brought it back and the foreman did a road test. Luckily (for me) it would not restart for him so they were able to do some further diagnostics. They'll be replacing the "Auto Stop Start Control Module" on Monday and re-test to see if that fixes it.

Seems like it's a trial and error process now.
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      01-17-2015, 11:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chiefneil View Post
Yeah they do some trick thing with reigniting the existing gas mixture in the cylinders or some such. There was a technical description of it floating around somewhere.

If you listen when ASS restarts the engine you'll notice the whirr/chug-chug of the starter is absent. The engine just grunts and starts.
Some sort of trick thing? No kidding? I won't dismiss that out of hand because I guess anything is possible. I'll be listening very hard for starter noise for awhile.

If anyone ever finds a technical description of this feature, I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to read up on it.
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      01-17-2015, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kent11202 View Post
Some sort of trick thing? No kidding? I won't dismiss that out of hand because I guess anything is possible. I'll be listening very hard for starter noise for awhile.

If anyone ever finds a technical description of this feature, I'm sure I'm not the only one that would like to read up on it.
I couldn't find the original article I was thinking of, but here's a general description of what I was alluding to:

Another approach to Stop-Start uses no battery power at all. Instead of cranking the engine with an electric motor or a combination alternator/starter to restart it, the Mazda "i-Stop" system uses Direct Injection to kick start the engine. When the engine shuts off, the engine management system keeps track of the exact position of each piston. It can then restart the engine by spraying fuel directly into a cylinder that is just at the start of its power stroke and firing the spark plug to ignite the mixture. The resulting combustion starts the crankshaft turning and starts the engine in about 1/3 second. This trick only works if the engine is warm, so a conventional starter is required for cold starting. But the Direct Injection I-Stop approach approach works just as well for idle stop as a high voltage hybrid system, and it can be used on any gasoline or diesel engine with Direct Injection. BMW uses a similar system on its 2012 model 328i.
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      01-17-2015, 01:22 PM   #18
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Chief,

All I can say is Wow! That's really quite clever and makes absolute sense.
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      01-17-2015, 11:07 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NO_RETURN
I turned off Auto Start/Stop the day I bought my car and never plan to use it NOT ever. If it gains maybe 2 MPG + over the life of the Vehicle that's just not worth it.

An old mechanic (My Grandfather) told me the worst thing you can do an engine is start it. Every time you start an engine you are taking a few minutes off its natural lifespan because the protective film of oil in the bearings isn't fully under pressure and thus the most wear occurs at startup when the bearings, lifters etc are most vulnerable.

I'm sure someone will retort that don't you think BMW has thought of everything... Yes I'm sure that they have done their very best to address it.

However, If I never use the Start/Stop function is it possible my overdesigned starter and engine components may be good for 300,000+ miles?
I don't use ASS for the same reason. I'd rather not increase wear on my engine for a small increase in economy. Although, I'd rather not have the engine crap out on my like the OP's did once I'm out of warranty coverage. Hopefully there isn't an issue across the range of models...

Besides, premium gas where I live is $2.25 a gallon and is certainly cheaper in other parts of the country. Screw fuel economy, I'm gonna drive like it's 1999!
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      01-17-2015, 11:47 PM   #20
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BMW start stop uses the starter. It is pretty much the most primitive design possible among start stop systems on the market.
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      01-18-2015, 11:41 AM   #21
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Tiff Needell notwithstanding this video does reflect a real world example of 10% fuel savings if you drive around in traffic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8D6N981zo8

I turned my auto start stop off after reading about turbo failures etc. In a cold climate it just doesn't seem good for the drivetrain to be cycling on and off so regularly.

I'm sure it works as advertised from an efficiency perspective, I just could care less if it does. Its invasive and I don't like it.

Apologies if I haven't embedded the link properly.
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      01-18-2015, 12:46 PM   #22
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ASS was too jerky for me so I leave it off. Seems almost violent.
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