Had my R56 for about 9 months now, 21+K miles (US), no problems 'till yesterday. Leaving the office, temp had fallen 30 degrees F during the day to about 19F, so I started up & put it into reverse to back out of my parking slot & the engine started to stumble badly, like running on maybe two or three cylinders. Sat there for awhile, wondering "should I go or should I stay?" as trouble on my route home invariably means a call to AAA or equivalent for a rescue. I shut it off, re-started to the same stumble, which after a minute or two cleared itself up. No warning indicator ever showed up thru all this.
This morning, MINI'S been "cold-soaked" in the driveway overnight, outside temp about 6F. Start it up, no problem, 'cept for the #3 central dial warning lamp comes on in a yellow outline. Manual says "emission system - see dealer ASAP" so I call & get told the "direct injection" MINI needs significant warm-up when cold to avoid problems with misfire and resulting indicator lamp warnings.
I've been driving direct-injection motors for 40 years or so; several SAAB, 1 Mitsu, 2 MINI. Never heard this one!
Scheduled service stop a week from yesterday... soonest they could guarantee me a loaner.
Temps here (Chicago) yesterday started out about 35F / 2 C, then fell hard in about six hours to 19 F / -7 C. Had been raining early on, change to snow & ice after awhile.
I was thinking maybe condensation somewhere in the electrics froze up and affected some sensor somewhere. I had a SAAB once that suffered from ice formation in the air volume mechanism when it was very cold. Many a time I had to stop & take it apart on the side of the road to clear the ice... but that was 30 years ago so I'd have thunk BMW would have engineered around that kind of phenomenon by now.
Last edited by SPClark; Jan 18th, 2008 at 10:08 PM.
Reason: misread -7 C for +7 C; NOT the same thing at ALL!!
We have had issues with some, but not all, R56's and the throttle body causing the exact same problems as you have described. Apparently when the car is warm and running there is moisture collecting in the throttle body. When the car is shut off and gets cold that moisture freezes, and the resulting ice prevents the throttle body from performing properly. This triggers a very rough idle and causes the 'check engine' light to come on. Once the car is warm the idle smooths out because the ice is gone, though the engine light stays on until you turn the car off and restart it. The car can run without threat of permanent damage, though it is very annoying. We have been told that a remedy is currently under development.
I drove about 80 miles last night as the temp dropped from 20F/-7C to 9F/-13C by the time I got home. The car then sat again til this afternoon when it was back up to about 20F/-7C and when I tried starting it, it sputtered and stalled several times as I let the clutch out (while still parked in neutral).
After that, I got it started but had to give it gas to keep it running. Got it in gear, giving more gas than usual in 1st and after a minute or so it was fine. Funny thing is, it's been 20F/-7C loads of times this winter with no stalling issues (though needing more gas when starting off). Maybe because my trip last night was longer than usual, more condensation than usual had built up?
Not sure whether this makes a difference, but like today the car's usually parked on a gentle upgrade overnight.
Thanks, faster, Tobias! Your answer makes me much more comfortable with this situation.
Same thing happened a week later ('course I'd let a service appointment earlier that day go unclaimed as the problem seemed to have resolved itself) and the service engine lamp never lit up until the following Saturday (about 36 hours later), whereupon it stayed lit until this past Monday morning.
Be interested to hear about whatever fix is conceived; I never had ANY problems with my R53 in the 5 winters I drove it (hard!) until the floor heater vents quit blowing heat when the temp was about -12 F one day last spring.... Then my 2007 arrived!
If you'll check the NAM site (faults and fixes) there are posts/threads there about condensation/freezing in the throttle body, one from a person in MN recently. It sounds very much like what you describe in Chicago. The sevice people didn't seem to have a fix, only a diagnosis, which is a bit worrisome.
Worst of winter 2010 is almost over. I've had no more issues with my R56 & the cold-start troubles since: 1) the built-up carbon was removed from the cylinders; 2) a redesigned engine breather system was installed; 3) high-pressure fuel pump was replaced, all this just about a year ago.
Supposedly a redesigned intake manifold was in store (if the problem came back after all that) but they were in short supply back then so was not fitted. As problem has not manifested again, I'd like to think my R56 has "outgrown" it once & for all.
thanks for the info - yes i'd heard about a new intake manifold somewhere on the forums - but couldn't find it again. so not a new manifold but a redesigned engine breather system was installed any idea where abouts on the engine?
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