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I have sometimes this problem:

The engine coughs for a long time before starting ...

I don't understand why, because, sometimes, with the same cold weather and cold engine, it starts very fast. How can that starting time vary so much ?

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Are you allowing the glow plugs to warm the combustion chambers prior to try to start it? – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 29 '14 at 12:21
@Paulster2 : Yes I do... – Skippy Fastol Jan 30 '14 at 0:23

The problem could be that the glow plug relay is going out. If it is intermittent, the glow plugs will heat sometimes and other times not. I don't know if this is a known issue with BMW diesels, but it is plausible this is your issue.

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