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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 02-27-2013, 05:13 PM   #21
tomjohnson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
See above.

Your car is running lean. You either have a leak in your intake manifold, intake runner, bad MAF, have low fuel pressure, or insufficient fuel flow.

How old is your fuel pump and filter?
Sam, you're a real resource, thank you for all your help!
As far as the age of the fuel pump and or filter, I have no clue. I have only had the car a short time and I have no prior history or service records.

What would you recommend me to do first? The thing is, I am really low on funds right now and I would hate to throw part after part at this with the hopes of fixing it. I also understand that sometimes that's what it takes to get it fixed but is there a way to troubleshoot it so as not to have to replace a bunch of parts?

What are the random misfires on those cylinders? Maybe bad coils? How might I troubleshoot this?

Last edited by tomjohnson; 02-27-2013 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:44 AM   #22
jonnie325xi
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I had similer problems, I changed the spark plugs and coils Found 6 coils on ebay oem quality very happy with them.
I had changed the fuel filter 10,000 ago so I ruled that out.
I also changed the 2 O2 sensors up stream of the cats, cleaned the MAF sensor with the appropraite cleaner, New air filter, and a new fuel pump, (see diy here 20 minute job very easy) all codes gone runs awesome.
You can find alot of these on e-bay, I know alot say the stuff is junk but read the descriptions and warrenties and you can save some money, I ordered the O2 sensors from Advance Auto they are Bosch and saves 20% by ordering on line, had them in 2 days. You will need the O2 sensor socket to change them. I have had 4 BMW's in the past 8 years and never had problems with parts I have gotten on line, 2 I still have and the other 2 I sold to friends and are still running great.
Good luck
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:14 AM   #23
SamDoe1
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Originally Posted by tomjohnson View Post
Sam, you're a real resource, thank you for all your help!As far as the age of the fuel pump and or filter, I have no clue. I have only had the car a short time and I have no prior history or service records.

What would you recommend me to do first? The thing is, I am really low on funds right now and I would hate to throw part after part at this with the hopes of fixing it. I also understand that sometimes that's what it takes to get it fixed but is there a way to troubleshoot it so as not to have to replace a bunch of parts?

What are the random misfires on those cylinders? Maybe bad coils? How might I troubleshoot this?
Tell the Louisville guido that...

Anyway, start with the free/cheap stuff. Check the intake runner for leaks or tears. You can do this visually, just remove the air box and intake boot and see if there are any holes. Check the vacuum lines around that area for the same issues. If you find any holes then replace that part, that will likely solve the problem. Cleaning the idle control valve is cheap/free and might help somewhat. Make sure that when you removed and reinstalled your DISA, you torqued it down enough that it's not leaking air around the o-ring. You can also check the o-ring around the intake air temp sensor as well.

Cleaning the MAF is also cheap/free depending on if you already have the cleaner. Another option is to unplug the MAF and see if the car starts to run better. If it does, you might have a bad MAF. Don't drive around like this, but it's a good test.

If you have no idea when the fuel filter was changed, it's probably a good idea to just do that anyway even if it doesn't address this issue.

Like I said before, try and source an OEM air box/filter and install that. Most of the aftermarket ones are garbage and can cause issues. If you buy a used one, this would run you ~$50 total.

The fact that your car has random and multiple misfires with lean codes, I would lean (no pun intended) away from coils and plugs being an issue. However, it's not to say that it couldn't be an issue. Remove one of the plugs from the misfiring cylinder and check it out. Is it fouled and oily? If so, then maybe new plugs are in order as well as a new CCV system.

Good luck and post up if you run into any road blocks.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:02 PM   #24
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Thanks to all who have been following this thread and have offered help. I'm posting 4 images. You'll notice that the secondary air pump is broken away from its bracket and one of the hoses is slightly kinked. I'm not sure if this would have anything to do with any of the error codes I'm getting but I understand that this pump has its own code and is not in my grocery list.

Also, there is an image of my air filter, which is clearly aftermarket. I didn't install this as it came with the vehicle when I bought it. I removed the MAF and inspected it and it looks super clean; not even any dust inside. As per Sam's advice, I've inspected all of the hoses around the intake hoses as well as the intake hoses themselves and don't see anything cracked or broken. I will also try cleaning the idle control valve as well as doing other things that aren't that expensive. In the mean time, if anyone sees anything glaringly wrong in any of these images, please feel free to let me know.




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Old 03-01-2013, 05:15 PM   #25
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Did you remove the intake and check it out? The breaks and tears are usually pretty far down there. Also, the MAF won't look dirty at all, but gunk build up on the wire give false readings.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:16 PM   #26
tomjohnson
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Did you remove the intake and check it out? The breaks and tears are usually pretty far down there. Also, the MAF won't look dirty at all, but gunk build up on the wire give false readings.
Hi Sam, No, I didn't remove the intake hoses. What I did was a visual inspection and the large intake hose appears to be in really great shape. I will remove it though and inspect it further.

Is there a DIY for the removal of the intake hoses? I assume this is what you refer to when you say "intake", right?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:00 PM   #27
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codes are like dominoes lined up one after the other: as one is knocked down then the rest behind it also fall.
My point being be careful where u start at. You have to find the starting point (first code that triggered the rest)
I have had the same issue of misfire, wasnt maf, pcv, ccv or oil seperator....... has I have replaced all.
I recommend taking it in having it checked as all these recommendations can easily cost you a grand.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:56 PM   #28
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Woe, slow down guys! As johnnatalie posts above, we have collectively spent $1000 of the OP's cash giving him "good" ideas.

This would be an Internet diagnostic clinic (read: crystal ball). We need to work with fact isolation not best guess speculation.

Before throwing parts at her, start with what's known.The car is missing and spraying codes. The poster has not been clear with his skills, tools and troubleshooting experience. That's all we know.

I agree many of the suggested parts likely play into this and potentially need replacement anyway. A combination of problems can be challenging and frustrating to even an experienced mechanic. A professional diagnosis may be the best suggestion but we don't really know anything yet.

Pull a couple plugs and report the condition. But first, do you know how to read plugs? Are you familiar with aluminum heads and proper plug torquing? Do you have an OBDII code reader with reset? We have to start somewhere or we'll simply waist time speaking from our own abilities which doesn't help. I'm repeating Samdoe1's suggestions as he has good logic flowing but I disagree with the intake being a concern for the immediate problem. Get a plug read and report back.

We can visit the air pump later if no codes are present. You're solving for a misfire and/or fuel mixture. As another poster stated, your fuel trim maybe way off which is scary if it's detonating (pinging). Inspect all the intake rubber boots (hoses) from the MAF back. They hide under there feel and use a mirror. A clean MAF is good but doesn't mean it's not contaminated. That hair wire can have micro particles you can't see throwing off it's output. Don't assume anything at this point.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:16 AM   #29
tomjohnson
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
A combination of problems can be challenging and frustrating to even an experienced mechanic.
Yes, this is very frustrating. I'm contemplating selling it as I've only had the car a very short period of time and already have put over $1,000.00 into it and it still needs more money thrown at it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Pull a couple plugs and report the condition. But first, do you know how to read plugs?
Do you mean spark plugs? Read spark plugs?


Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Are you familiar with aluminum heads and proper plug torquing?
No

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Do you have an OBDII code reader with reset?
No

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
We have to start somewhere or we'll simply waist time speaking from our own abilities which doesn't help.
I agree with you. If you or someone can direct me, step by step, I'm happy to do what is asked of me. If you can tell me what to check first and what to look for, I can do that but honestly, I just don't know where to begin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
I disagree with the intake being a concern for the immediate problem. Get a plug read and report back.
What is a plug reader? Is this a OBDII code reader you are talking about? If it is, what brand do you recommend I get?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
your fuel trim maybe way off which is scary if it's detonating (pinging).
What exactly does this mean? I'm sorry but it sounds like Greek to me. Would this be a bad thing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Inspect all the intake rubber boots (hoses) from the MAF back. They hide under there feel and use a mirror. A clean MAF is good but doesn't mean it's not contaminated. That hair wire can have micro particles you can't see throwing off it's output. Don't assume anything at this point.
OK, I'll get back out there and inspect the hoses again and let you know what I find.

I am very familiar with working on vehicles. I'm not a mechanic by trade but I feel very comfortable working on my car. What is very frustrating to me is that even with these codes, the problem could really be anything under the sun. I am very, very limited on tools and cash right now so I'm sort of stuck between a rock and a hard place.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:07 AM   #30
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Excellent effort and honest reply. Now we have a baseline. I picked some of the terms purposely to see where we're at. To proceed, there's no guarantees. Your car may have a simple problem or indeed could be trouble a brewin'. Before you toss in the towel, Sam had you on the cheap and cheerful track. We'll get back to the OBDII reader and detonation later. Let's start with the easy stuff.

1st step: This is to see if the plugs are telling us more or if they're simply worn out.

After you complete the intake inspection, search "E46 Spark Plugs" on YouTube. Watch a couple vids on the procedure. Decide if it's something you feel comfortable trying. You are removing a couple plugs and inspecting (reading) the condition maybe after a cold start-up when she's kicking around? A plug "read" means examining them looking for indicators. You're judging the surface color, deposits, tip and electrode conditions. A lean condition is white in color. Rich has black fluffy deposits. Oil is wet where fuel fouled (also wet) smells gassy. This may help you what to report back. Google: "Spark plug reading". Lots of color guides and articles to help you.

Plug removal >>



Plug reading >>
http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/tech_su...qs/faqread.asp
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:33 AM   #31
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Yeah...throwing parts at a problem isn't something I would ever recommend but your situation seems to be fairly common with a fairly common set of parts that will have failed.

The cheap/free track I gave you should help you narrow down the issue pretty quick and WK is better than I am at explaining things.
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:54 AM   #32
tomjohnson
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Yeah...throwing parts at a problem isn't something I would ever recommend but your situation seems to be fairly common with a fairly common set of parts that will have failed.

The cheap/free track I gave you should help you narrow down the issue pretty quick and WK is better than I am at explaining things.
Hey Sammy, thanks for following this thread and all your help!
Here is what I am going to do today. I called the dealer and verified that they have the intake boots in stock and they do. I ordered both top and bottom boots. They'll cost me about $50.00 for both but I think it's probably worth it to change them.

After I replace these, I'll post back and report the findings. Do I need to have the computer reset or will the CEL go off on its own?
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:56 AM   #33
tomjohnson
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Originally Posted by White_Knuckles View Post
Excellent effort and honest reply. Now we have a baseline. I picked some of the terms purposely to see where we're at. To proceed, there's no guarantees. Your car may have a simple problem or indeed could be trouble a brewin'. Before you toss in the towel, Sam had you on the cheap and cheerful track. We'll get back to the OBDII reader and detonation later. Let's start with the easy stuff.
White Knuckles, thanks for the response. I'm going to replace the intake boots today and if the CEL doesn't go away, I'm going to do the plugs. I'm hoping that the boots will take care of this issue!

Thank you for posting the YT DIY on the plugs! It's very helpful!!

Last edited by tomjohnson; 03-02-2013 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 03-02-2013, 01:28 PM   #34
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I'm new to e46's myself, but usually until there are enough cycles with the new parts the CELs won't go away immediately. A cheap code reader is invaluable for that. Good luck with the repairs.
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #35
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If you purchased the boots that's fine as indeed they may fail soon anyway. Basically you're looking for an obvious rip discovered by poking, flexing and twisting. If you find a tear, that's good! Should the spark plugs appear white, it points to the same thing - lean. Sam ran your codes and as all cylinders were involved, we're thinking intake side. Your check engine light may not instantly go away so don't react after installing the boots. It may take a few cycles of operating the car to clear the conditions. We use the OBDII reader to speed that up. You reset and clear all codes. You then can see after servicing something, for example the boots, what code(s) come back and in what order.

We don't need the cool tools yet. We can pull a battery cable and attempt a hard reset if needed. Should your codes have greatly differed, meaning unrelated, Sam and I wouldn't offer false hope. Disappointment is to be avoided. Stay in there.

EDIT: I was distracted leaving the reply open. jmo69 had this above with the engine lamp. (reads like I'm repeating him)
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Old 03-02-2013, 02:26 PM   #36
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White Knuckles, thanks for the response. I'm going to replace the intake boots today and if the CEL doesn't go away, I'm going to do the plugs. I'm hoping that the boots will take care of this issue!

Thank you for posting the YT DIY on the plugs! It's very helpful!!
You can get the codes reset for free by your local auto parts store. They will let you borrow their reader for a few mins so you can reset it all.
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Old 03-02-2013, 04:25 PM   #37
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You guys are great, thanks so much for sticking with me on this issue. OK, I've just returned from the dealer and have the boots in my possession. $55.00 for both of them. While I was talking to the parts guy, I picked his brain on some of the codes I've got. He went away and brought back a mechanic who told me while I have all the stuff off that I should also replace the one PCV hose that connects the PCV unit to the dipstick tube. So, I also bought that as well and will replace it when I replace the boots.

I also stopped off at AutoZone and bought a OBDII tool. While I was in the AutoZone parking lot, I read the codes and they are the same 11 that I mentioned earlier. What I did was I cleared the memory and drove it home which was about 10 miles. The dang SES light never came back on.

What gives? Should I replace the boots anyhow? Could there still be an issue that needs to be fixed?
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:00 PM   #38
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As long as you have the boots and hose, put them on just for peace of mind.
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Old 03-02-2013, 05:32 PM   #39
tomjohnson
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As long as you have the boots and hose, put them on just for peace of mind.
OK, I'm going out then to install them and see what happens. Thanks jmo69.
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:16 PM   #40
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Talking

Hey everyone, I've got some joy! Here is what I did.

I removed both intake hoses, DISA valve, the silver idle thingy and the MAF. I cleaned all these parts really well and then installed the new intake hoses. The top hose looked to be in perfect condition. It wasn't cracked or damaged at all. The bottom hose looked to be absolutely perfect as well. Since I had everything basically out, I could do a much closer inspection of the lower hose and at one point thought it was pointless to change it out because of how good it appeared to be. Then I noticed that the smaller hose that connects to the (manifold??) was broken. Bingo!! There was the issue (At least I was hoping). Now I started to get a little excited and couldn't wait to get the new hoses on the car and test it. I finished the installation and started the car, connected my ODBII unit and read the codes and saw 0171 and 0174. I cleared the memory, started the car a few more times and read the codes again and came back with a big fat, "0 codes".

A big thank you to everyone that helped me! Thanks a bunch guys!
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