E46 2800 RPM Stutter Club [DME FLASHED - PROBLEM SOLVED]
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Come one, come all, and welcome to the 2800 RPM Stutter Club.
The purpose of this thread is to collect as much information as possible regarding troubleshooting and resolving the issue of hesitation from 2500-3000 RPMs, sometimes accompanied by a SES.
TerraPhantm - 2003 330i, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
mjdehlin - 2004 325i, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
MrMaico - 2004 330ci, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
GriswaldE46 - 2004 330ci, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
Haverstock - 2004 330ci, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
coldiguana - 2004 330i, Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
RF330i - 2004 330i, Flashed DME, didn't solve it. Replaced O2 sensor, Problem Solved.
PainBreak 2004 325i Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
wildirish317 Flashed DME, Problem Solved.
Jchimbolo - 2003 325ci (Currently Unsolved)
Mctronics - (No Vehicle Listed) Vanos Seals, Rattle Kit, VCG, Fuel Filter, Crank Position Sensor, DISA, Valve Cover Gasket, Plugs, All Plumbing: Intake, Vacuum, Oil Separator, Flashed DME, (Car also dies. May not be same issue.) Problem Still Exists
jlboygenius (Potentially Unsolved?)
DME FLASH FIXED MY PROBLEM
If you car stutters, flash the DME.
I would be willing to bet that everyone here has an MS45.1 car. So I would try flashing the DME in your cases as well.
The problem for the ZHP "stutter problem" was two main issues: DISA and KNOCK SENSOR.
The older DISA would make a loud noise when the DISA flap gets activated. As a result, the knock sensor would retard the timing because it thinks there was actual engine knock. the solution that BMW came out with was to update the DME and to release a different DISA.
I hope this helps. good luck!
To the OP:
If you have any type of OBD monitoring software, all you need to do is monitor/record the ignition timing when the problem happens and see if you have any specific timing related issues. I resolved a LONG standing issue on my M5 by doing this and found out Dinan does not know how to tune software!
Just BE CAREFUL as if you lean out, you may end up with knocking and have timing retard.
But if the DISA is even in quetion, just unplug it and it should clear this as an even likely source.
I commented in quite some detail in my other thread where you asked questions.
I do not think a software fix is in the cards for your car?
Sorry, this wasn't really a thread to request help, so much as it was a thread to document this issue. It's an extremely, extremely specific problem, which does not point to the fix of "throw parts at it until it goes away." Shotgun troubleshooting doesn't satisfy my desire to pinpoint exactly what's wrong, when so many others have had the exact same issue.
I don't want to give the impression that I'm holding out hope there's a "software fix" for my car. It's just where my research has taken me. As you can see above, only one other contributor to this thread thus has experienced the exact same issue, and it was fixed via a code update to the DME. We're batting 1000 on software right now, sample rate be damned! :) I will modify the OP to reflect their resolution, however.
I have spent an exorbitant amount of time researching this particular issue, and I have yet to see someone fix it by doing anything with the DISA. There are a ton of posts that say, "Oh, this is classic bad DISA behavior!" but I haven't run across any that have said, "My car stutters between 2500 and 3000, on a consistent basis, and by replacing the DISA it is fixed." You know what I have found in my research? "I have replaced the DISA, but the car exhibits the same behavior."
I read up on the DISA issue that caused the 4000 RPM "dip" for the ZHP. Essentially, when the butterfly opened, it was noisy and triggered the knock sensor, which momentarily retarded the timing. That's not the same as the issue at ~2800 RPMs--it's two totally separate things.
Furthermore, jfoj...I am very appreciative of your help. You're extremely knowledgeable, and I plan to continue the OBD monitoring discussion in the other thread. What I'd like to see from this thread is a response from as many people listed in the OP as possible, along with anyone else currently experiencing this issue. And if anyone actually fixed it, what eventually did, or didn't resolve this extremely specific issue.
Just tossing this out there:
'04 330Ci, so it's not an early model.
I did get DISA codes for a while after the dealer replaced the wiring harness(which was only necessary because they wanted to get some money from warranty work. FSR went bad and killed the battery. I have no idea how they thought it was a wiring harness issue). I noticed that there was a disconnected plug wire near the intake, I reconnected it and never saw the issue again.
Glad to see there are others with this issue. I'll have to remember to do some more testing. see if it happens when cold or warm or both. I'll also have to try it in a high gear, see if it's a quick thing that happens or something that happens over a rpm range. Maybe even disconnect the DISA and see if it changes anything.
A few questions that may be relevant?
What transmission do you and all the other owners have, I assume this problem only manifests itself with manual transmission cars?
Also explain what gear you are typically in and what speed the car is typically traveling?
I will relate a situation that I fought with on a very different BMW without a DISA for some time. I spent an awful lot of money and time on the issue to find out there was a big problem with the timing maps for the car. I believe these may have been tweaked timing maps, but not 100% sure if they were bone stock. Note my car has a 6 speed manual transmission.
What I found was between 1500-3000 RPM there was a chuggle, misfire to stutter as you mention. There were NEVER any misfire codes and as soon as the engine spun past 3k RPM problem was GONE.
So if you were driving spirited where you spun the motor up in 1st gear and kept on getting into it, the engine was ALWAYS above 3k RPM and you would never experience the problem.
But it you were tooling around town and eased into the throttle and maybe had a light incline you would experience this chuggle. Down shift 1 gear, engine is above 3k RPM, problem gone, however, if you continued to lay into the throttle the chuggle/bucking would get worse as you approached 2800-3000 RPM. Car would actually loose power.
I was able to find a specific road with a minor incline where I could literally force the problem to occur and occur bad if I was lugging the engine a bit in say 5-6th gear around 2200 RPM.
I finally figured out the issue using a cheap, generic $30 OBD program and I was able to record the ignition timing. The ignition timing was retarding to as low a -5 degrees Before Top Dead Center. This is actually about as low as the timing would go and is really a fail safe value that was used.
The chuggle/misfiring/shuddering I was feeling was not a misfire at all, it was the DME jumping between timing maps reducing power and then when the timing jumps at times as much as 20+ degrees, these were actually power pulses I was feeling when the timing is advancing back from a heavily retarded state.
It was not the DME registering knock sensors and retarding the timing as the knock sensors will only take about 5-6 degrees of timing away, not as I was seeing at times as much as 25-30 degrees of ignition timing being removed. If you take 25-30 degrees of timing advance away in a single instance, you will the engines ability to produce power and it is VERY noticeable.
Very long story short, my issue was resolved with a different DME tune, but it was not a BMW DME tune as I cannot run a stock BMW tune in the car I had issues with.
I speculate to some extent that what I was suffering from was a bad BMW timing map that may have been slightly altered by a tuner at one point that made the issue much worse and more noticeable??
My current tune also cleaned up a lot of other issue like coast down fuel cut off and 2nd gear throttle sensitivity.
My suggestion is to map out your engine RPM, Throttle Position, Ignition Timing and Coolant temp, go for a drive and see if you can catch your problem with the software. If your ignition timing is jumping around a lot, you then need to figure out if you have a bad timing map or a leaning problem causing the knock sensors to retard the timing. But timing retarding should not be really noticeable under most circumstances.
This may not be your issue, but is an easy issue to check and rule either in or out as a culprit.
Hey Painbreak, I should mention that the car I was referring to was a 2003 330i ZHP. The M3 never had any similar issues
Driving around town, you'd almost never notice it. On the highway, using cruise control, you never notice it, because it kicks down before it stutters. I suspect most automatic drivers would not even notice it.
It's a really small issue, but it's annoying. Now that I know it's there, like a loose tooth, I can't help but poke at it. I can make it happen every time I drive, or if I change my driving habits slightly, nobody would ever know it's an issue.
I have data logged of all of this, actually. My engine temperature is pretty stable, at around 200F, as I've monitored it pretty religiously via Torque after recently replacing the thermostat, lower radiator hose, and temp sensor.
The part you mention about finding a road with long incline...that's how I can make this happen, religiously. Anywhere from about 2500 to right before 3000, at about 80% throttle, in 5th gear, 70-75mph, trying to accelerate it will shudder/stutter/hesitate in a repetitive pattern. If I give it less throttle, I decelerate. If I give it more throttle, it kicks down. If it goes over 3000 RPMs, everything's hunky dory.
I've read through your other posts regarding the timing issue you resolved, and found it very interesting. I'm going to edit this post with some data from when it was stuttering, and we'll see what the timing advance looks like. I don't have the coolant temp logged in this one, but I am 99.999% confident it's fine, since I watch it like a hawk in Torque, and after the new thermostat went in, it's been operating properly.
The stutter is highlighted in red.
I am a bit confused about about a few things based upon your graphs.
Maybe you can add more detail for me about what is going on.
Assume your horizontal axis scale is in minutes?
Anyway around 20 on the horizontal axis your throttle position crashed to 0 and stayed there. Did you back off the throttle and coast down a long grade? Or is something else going on with the throttle position data as the engine RPM never seemed to drop below about 2300 RPM??
Between 16-21 on the horizontal axis for Ignition Timing you had some dips.
Can you regraph the Ignition Timing for this time frame with a total scale of about 10 degrees? I want to see how much and how rapidly your timing is dipping. This timing dip may be justified, but it may also be what you are feeling with the power instability.
Can you rescale Bank 2 Fuel Trim to be +/- 20 even if it pops off scale briefly, I want to compare the slope to Bank 1 on the same scale.
I may also need to see your long term fuel trims as well.
Note sure the Fuel Trims look correct?
Need to get a better look at the O2 sensors and make sure things are plugged into the proper bank and there is not a lazy sensor.
I find it best to graph O2 sensor Voltages from a cold start so you can see the baseline O2 sensor Voltage and the warm up cycle into the switching cycle.
See what you can do with O2 sensor graphs. The O2 sensors can usually be ruled in or out as a problem pretty easily with graphing from a cold start. Unfortunately MAF testing is much more difficult and subjective.
Once we know the O2 sensors are behaving as expected, then we can move onto other areas.
Here's what this graph shows... I'm driving down the highway, a little more than 60MPH. I push on the throttle to increase speed to 75MPH without kicking it into passing gear. As we get to about the 12 second mark, the stuttering begins, and lasts about 7 seconds before I start to gain on traffic and let off the throttle and decelerate.
On rescaling the timing advance, I don't think that's going to get us anything. It's at 21 degrees to start, and fluctuates a little between 19.5 and 21 degrees during the increased throttle application. It increases to 29.5 for a while, while there's 0 throttle applied. As there's no huge downward fluctuation, it kind of steers me away from the knock sensor being involved at all.
The fuel trims look like the most suspect item here, so figuring out why they're fluctuating wildly would likely help.
The post-cat O2 sensors seem to operate normally. They fluctuate between .1 and .7 and move around quite a bit. Upon startup they show .45, and in a short time, they warm up, dip down in voltage, and slowly climb back up, until they're really nice and warm, and then the voltages seem to correspond with the short term fuel trims I monitor.
However, with Torque Pro, I still do not get any data from my my precat O2 sensors. It's not stuck at a voltage, it's like they aren't a module that exists in the OBD2 data. It doesn't light up green, as something that's ever sent data. It's just...nothing. It doesn't necessarily mean anything, it could be a bug with Torque or my ELM327 device. Or, it could be the source of all of my woes. Who knows?
Out of curiosity, is English your native tongue?
Thanks for the clarification of the data.
Timing changes are negligible, possibly knock sensor(s) triggering slight retard on timing?
Fuel trims are a bit wacky. Would like to see what the pre Cat O2 sensors are doing.
O2 baseline Voltage is 0.45 Volts when cold/inactive, this is as expected.
Not sure why you are not picking up pre Cat O2 sensors? Do you have another car you can try ELM327/Torque Pro on? Assume you also have the Torque Pro add-ons as well?
If your pre-cat O2 are original, suggest replacing just because, as they are considered consumable anyway. Usual replacement mileage is suggested at 100k, but I replace at 75k as most drivers in urban areas have engine idling for long periods in traffic. Bosch are usually about $50 on Amazon, I have good luck with all the Bosch I have purchased from Amazon.
Sorry if my English is questionable, it is my native tongue. Maybe it is Virginia coming through?
I just multitask quite a bit as I do a lot of network and remote support and I have a lot of distractions with kids and other things, so many times I am in and out both physically and mentally!
I try to contribute where I can.
Definitely subscribed to this thread!
It does not occur when the engine is cold. It does not occur if I'm light into the throttle. It does not occur at WOT.
I suspected the DISA, unplugged it, no change.
Question: Can you log timing data with PA Soft, if not, what software is recommended? Also, what's involved in remapping the DME?
I have another ELM327 device on the way, that is shorter so it can stay in without my foot hitting it when getting into the car. :)
The old one is this one:
Soliport ELM 327 Bluetooth OBDII OBD2 Diagnostic Scanner
The new, shorter one that I ordered is this one:
V1.5 Super Mini ELM327 Bluetooth OBD2 OBD-II CAN-BUS Diagnostic Scanner Tool
Hopefully the new one will see my precat O2 sensors, but that's not why I ordered it.
Was experiencing exactly as detailed above, if going up uphill in high gears there was a very pronounced lugging/hesitation of the engine. It was very annoying and after researching here I had the DME reflashed at the dealer. I thought it worked but realized it was still there after hitting one stretch of road I regularly travel that always triggers it. It wasn't as bad as before, but gradually got worse.
I took it back to the dealer and it was diagnosed with a bad pre-cat O2 sensor. Replaced that and problem solved, engine felt noticeably stronger in that RPM range. Now? I wouldn't say the issue is back, but there's a definite hint of sluggishness at 2,800 - doesn't do the pronounced lugging but just seems to hang there slightly instead of pulling through the range evenly.
There have been some software updates, but I have not tried out the newer software, not sure if there were any big improvements. Graphing is OK, not great, but likely will allow you to see thing.s. I think there was a way to record and then playback as I recall.
You could wrap up a bunch of money on other more advanced software, but it is really not needed.
As for my DME flash, $$$$$ is what it took, it was not $125 at the dealer.
What happens usually is between 3-4k RMP depending on the load on the engine, many times the DME goes into a fixed fuel and timing map as during rapid RPM increase the DME cannot make fast enough adjustments. So the DME fuel mixture is usually on the richer side to protect the engine.
So likely you are suffering from leaning conditions up to about 3k RPM?
Also lets not forget about VANOS/cam timing and camshaft position sensors that go soft, this is a totally different set of issues on top of fuel and ignition.
The DME really only has control of fuel injector timing and duration, ignition timing and VANOS. Most of these adjustments are based upon Maps or sets of instructions, not really on the fly adjustments.
Also keep in mind what goes in to supporting the 3 controllable items on these engines, proper fuel pressure & volume and sensor input.
Garbage in = Garbage Out.
Also under heavy load secondary ignition becomes very stressed and weaknesses can be a source of problems as well.
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