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General E46 Forum
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:41 PM   #1
msgjuba
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Engine Problem

Hey,

I was hoping someone could help me diagnose a possible engine problem with my '03 330i that has about 170k.

About 10k ago my engine light started going on and off intermittently but I had no problems so I just ignored it. Then, the other day I started my car, and the whole car was vibrating from what seemed to be the engine bay. The engine light was on. I revved the engine a bit, and the faster the engine revved the faster the car seemed to vibrate. I started to drive down the block a bit to get a feel for what was going on. I could tell the engine wasn't putting out a lot of power, and there was a bit of a lag when stepping on the accelerator, especially in the low-RPM range. I eventually just turned off the car and back on again, everything was back to fine. The engine light has since turned off.

I'm thinking that maybe one of the cylinders wasn't firing, which would explain the power loss and the unbalanced engine. I don't want to bring it into the mechanic yet because I'm thinking they can't really get much from the computer unless the engine light is on, so they'll just guess at the problem, at a huge cost to myself.

Is there anything I can do by myself, that is cheap and not to complicated, that might fix the problem? I was thinking maybe just checking and replacing the spark plugs. I'm thinking this could also be a problem with one of the sensors. Are there any common sensor that are prone to failures that are easy to replace by oneself?

Thanks for any help,
John

Last edited by msgjuba; 11-19-2011 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
jasonbimmer
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when was the last time you replaced the sparkplugs?
what kind of maintenance you have done so far?
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Replacing the spark plugs wont do anything. If your plugs were bad your car wouldnt run bad then good all of a sudden.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:22 PM   #4
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Replacing the spark plugs wont do anything. If your plugs were bad your car wouldnt run bad then good all of a sudden.
ok, if you say so. go check any vacuum leaks and operation of the DIAS and VANOS.
also have the code read including any pending codes.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Can't tell anything from nothing, just check the codes when the lights comes back.
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:17 PM   #6
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ok, if you say so. go check any vacuum leaks and operation of the DIAS and VANOS.
also have the code read including any pending codes.
Not trying to bash your post but plugs either work or they don't
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Old 11-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #7
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Not trying to bash your post but plugs either work or they don't
oh rly? you think?
what about fouled plugs? what about oil soaked plugs? what about rusted plugs?
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:44 PM   #8
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oh rly? you think?
what about fouled plugs? what about oil soaked plugs? what about rusted plugs?
None of that is relevant when it is in fact a coil gone bad.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:49 PM   #9
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None of that is relevant when it is in fact a coil gone bad.
This too, do a search, you can test your coils packs to see if they're good. Spark plugs are way cheaper than coils tho
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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Spark plugs are way cheaper than coils tho
Well a burger is cheaper than a set of spark plugs, perhaps the op should get a burger instead ?
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:39 PM   #11
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+1 jasonbimmer could be plugs. Hard to say with out codes but you can also check the MAF(clean it with maf cleaner like $7) but overall, it sounds just like my car when my ccv hose cracked. Also look at the intake tubes behind your MAF the elbow is notorious for cracking and they're like $12. Each
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:56 PM   #12
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OP needs to go to autozone and get his codes read. Whether or not the check engine light is on, the computer should have the codes stored. At this point everyone is just throwing out possible causes to the vibration, mainly guess work. Go get the codes read and then report back and we can give you a better idea of what to look for/at.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:50 PM   #13
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About those questions, not looking for a detailed response, just trying to prepare myself for what this might cost in a worse case scenario.
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Old 11-19-2011, 08:56 PM   #14
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Last edited by msgjuba; 11-19-2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 09:33 PM   #15
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'juba, mine did the same thing, last weekend. Bad coil, $68 US at the dealer. Fixed in 20 minutes. Check the url below and see how you can diagnose. It was easy.

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Old 11-19-2011, 10:04 PM   #16
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ginpunk, thanks, that was really helpful. How bad were your vibrations? I could feel the whole car shaking from my driver's seat. It's hard to tell how much it's actually shaking from that video.

After reading more about ICV/DISA, that might explain a power loss, but that wouldn't explain the shaking as it would affect all cylinders. I don't totally understand how the CCV works but it only seems to be crankcase ventilation for blow-by exhaust, so I'm not sure why that would cause the car to shake either, or why it would cause a power loss. If I'm wrong, could someone please explain how ICV, DISA, or CCV could cause the engine to vibrate?

Last edited by msgjuba; 11-19-2011 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgjuba View Post
Hey,

I was hoping someone could help me diagnose a possible engine problem with my '03 330i that has about 170k.

About 10k ago my engine light started going on and off intermittently but I had no problems so I just ignored it. Then, the other day I started my car, and the whole car was vibrating from what seemed to be the engine bay. The engine light was on. I revved the engine a bit, and the faster the engine revved the faster the car seemed to vibrate. I started to drive down the block a bit to get a feel for what was going on. I could tell the engine wasn't putting out a lot of power, and there was a bit of a lag when stepping on the accelerator, especially in the low-RPM range. I eventually just turned off the car and back on again, everything was back to fine. The engine light has since turned off.

I'm thinking that maybe one of the cylinders wasn't firing, which would explain the power loss and the unbalanced engine. I don't want to bring it into the mechanic yet because I'm thinking they can't really get much from the computer unless the engine light is on, so they'll just guess at the problem, at a huge cost to myself.

Is there anything I can do by myself, that is cheap and not to complicated, that might fix the problem? I was thinking maybe just checking and replacing the spark plugs. I'm thinking this could also be a problem with one of the sensors. Are there any common sensor that are prone to failures that are easy to replace by oneself?

Thanks for any help,
John
You are flat out wrong!!!

You car stores every single code that ever came up as a fault. If your engine light even blinked once, the codes will be stored until they are deleted. Even if your engine light NEVER blinked once , you may still have some fault codes stored.

To think that anyone can diagnose a car's vibration over the internet without knowing a SINGLE thing about the car/problem/maintenance, without seeing any pictures, video , audio is absolutely absurd and you must be out of your mind just to think that.

Get your car read. Pull the codes and go from there, not a single person on this planet can diagnose a car without knowing whats going on with it. You can go to a "we fix all cars" shop and they will be using a generic china sh1t scan tool that'll bring up some codes that can mean many different things, depending on whos going to translate them from Chinese to English.

Or you can go to a qualified BMW technician and who;ll be using proper diagnostic tools to properly and accurately diagnose your car. This way you can ensure that the diagnosis is as accurate as it can be.


It gets me everytime that I see there are still people who think you can just fix a car over the web without knowing whats wrong with it.



Or you can guess all you want, you can keep blindly replacing/cleaning random parts in your car if you want to. Its your money and your car.
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Last edited by Blocked Out; 11-19-2011 at 11:04 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:13 PM   #18
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I am just amazed at people keeping driving their car with the engine light on without reading the codes, because they have "no" problems with the car until the inevitable end.

Before we provide any help I think a bit of driver education or common sense is needed.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:40 AM   #19
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Juba, the car shaking was horrible. Sort of like the coin-op bed I once slept on in El Paso. JK, although, my car started yelling at me and threw the SES. If it was a dead coil, there'd be a code most likely.
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Old 11-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #20
msgjuba
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Juba, the car shaking was horrible. Sort of like the coin-op bed I once slept on in El Paso. JK, although, my car started yelling at me and threw the SES. If it was a dead coil, there'd be a code most likely.
Yeah, that is sort of like mine was shaking, my guess right now is one of the coils. I'll find out for sure when I find someone who can read the codes (emphasis added to avoid internet hate).
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