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Old 11-15-2012, 09:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Central NJ
Posts: 4
My Ride: 2001 325Ci MT Sport
325 Serious Idle problem, unique issue please help

For starters I'm new to this forum. Typically a VW guy I have been ruthlessly attempting to repair my brothers 325ci. I've been researching the issue for weeks and have tried many things with no success. I will do my best to explain what's going on and what I have already done.

It is a progressive problem that began before last winter. I noticed from the passenger seat back than that when the car was at full running temperature and it was cold outside, the car was in nuetral or the clutch was engaged the idle would dip than surge back up. It was subtle back than and did not affect drivability. I recently replaced the alternator which failed, and in that time the temperature dropped outside. This winter it has not ran right since getting cold. Whatever was going bad has failed.

The idle now starts pulsing from about 400-1000 rpms very abruptly and will stall if you don't blip it. It'll smooth out after that but this happens at almost every clutch engagement in cold weather. I first thought maybe the alternator was bad so I replaced it again, checked the voltages at charging and battery, didn't have anything to do with it. The cold is the main factor. This only happens when the car begins to warm up, on an ice cold start the car idles fine. So no VANOS problems I believe.

Today my brother took it to school it was about 50 outside he said he couldn't get it to do it once. Than when he left at night, it was in the 30's he said it was doing it awfully. He is now scared of the car, if you clutch in while rolling it may stall.

So far I have taken the intake boots off and checked for leaks, cleaned the TB and ICV, checked the DSA. Checked the plugs, cleaned the MAF, replaced the belts. The thermostat was bad for wayy too long so I replaced that, as well as the FSU. That all funtions properly now.
THERE ARE NO CODES since i replaced the thermostat. It had a couple pending rich codes PO172, PO175 which never set the SES off probly because the car is flooding it with fuel to keep it from stalling.

It seems this is a very unique issue. I cannot find someone else with the cold being the main symptom at full running temperature. And that it is a progressive issue. The car is also leaking oil somewhere onto the trans around the fill hole. Im assuming its leaking from somewhere on top of the trans but I can't see that being a contributing factor.

The vehicle has only 109k miles. Any questions please ask, Im at my witts end.

Last edited by BrokeBimmer; 11-15-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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