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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 04-03-2012, 06:51 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Oregon
Posts: 92
My Ride: '91 318is/ '03 325xi
Weird idle HELP!

So my 325xi with about 126K is acting up, and I need some direction towards what could be causing it. A few months ago when I would start the car in the "cold" or after it had sat for over a couple days, I would get a misfire (according to codes) on a couple of the cylinders. In turn the car would idle very weird, almost like it wanted to choke out. and one time when I attempted moving the car it felt as if it had very little power about 60% (which would make sense if I was only runnning on 4, or 5 cyl.) but after I would start the car again the problem would normally go away. Shortly after I changed my spark plugs, this seemed to fix the problem for a few months until now.

Yesterday morning I started up the car and the weird idle came back, I turned the car off and attempted to start the car again, which before it temporarily fixed the "issue" and idle fine. however now the idle is about 5 times worse than before, and the car chokes out and dies. Almost as if it weren't getting enough gas, sometimes the car will not idle past 2000 rpm.

I know describing the idle sound will be impossible, but I will try. Its like a chugging sound, almost mimicking a gnarly muscle car with an oversized cam that sounds like it wants to choke out. When your next to the muffler you can kinda here the chugging "beady" pattern. When you are in gear it will almost surely die, you have to baby it to get it to move a foot.

Thanks, for your help in advanced I hope its not a huge issue with it being that it ran fine the day before (a couple days before it pulled a 5 hour drive no problem).

Once I figure out what this is, I'm wanting to do a bit of preventative and maintenance along with the fix, since I want this car to last awhile. here's a list of stuff I'm considering doing, and that is done. car has about 126K miles. What else should I do at this mileage while TAX money is around?

valve cover gasket
water pump
semi-recent oil change
spark plugs OEM

-replace both radiator hoses (leaking coolant from lower hose)
-Timing chain, tensioners?
-replacing Oreily's $50 intake with OEM intake, It sounds kinda cool, but I wonder if there is really any gain to it, plus it looks kinda tacky in my stock bay.
-spark plu wires?

Thanks for helping out, and putting up with this long post.
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