New guy with some questions - mostly intake/MAF/ SES related - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > General E46 Forum

General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-15-2008, 04:13 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 136
My Ride: 323i
New guy with some questions - mostly intake/MAF/ SES related

Hi all. I've been using the forums as a non-posting member for a while now as a resource, so thanks to everyone who has taken the time to put up a crapload of amazing E46 information.

I've got a 2000 323i, mostly stock except for a new Sachs suspension from BavAuto, a new Reverse gear (stupid frigging not-covered-by-a-recall reverse issue that I didn't know about until after i bought it...) and $8k in body work after some drunk-ass decided to ruin my left side. I know it's only a 323, but it beats my old saturn hands down and I enjoy it, and it's certainly cheaper to maintain than an M (since I put almost 40k/miles/year on it!)

I have a few issues with it, that I'm hoping someone can assist me with getting to the bottom of.

First off is the eternal SES light. I bought a Peake tool, and it's giving me the amazingly unhelpful "cyl adapt limit" codes for both banks. So, I:
-replaced ALL FOUR o2 sensors.
-switched back from 89 octane gas to 93. (hey, who knows)
-took apart intake, threw out K&N filter
-cleaned airbox, intake, installed OEM paper filter
-cleaned MAF with MAF-Cleaner spray
-used carb cleaner spray all over to check for idle-jumps, found none.
-removed and cleaned the idle-adjustor flap thing (saw it in some post, figured it couldn't hurt)

It sounds like the only remaining thing is to replace my MAF sensor, yes?

Second Issue, less of a big deal:
At or around 2,400-2,700 RPM (highway cruise speed) with the gas pedal in a specific position, I get this VERY VERY HIGH PITCH whistle noise. It almost sounds like a turbo squeal combined with someone using their knuckles in their mouth to whistle. It is so high pitched that people over 40 have a very difficult time hearing it, but being younger, it drives me ****ing NUTS.

Since I've already checked for leaks in the intake, and cleaned everything in the intake system, what the hell else could be whistling? Throttle body plate perhaps? I tried cleaning inside the throttle body, but I didn't feel like taking that damn engine cover off to get at the rest of it (it was cold outside here in MA).
Any advice on this issue would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
Boston area, MA
slickware is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE membership to remove this ad.
Old 12-17-2008, 04:21 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 136
My Ride: 323i
Really... no help here?
I have one more question;
When I first start the car (cold), the oil light comes on for 60, sometimes 90-180 seconds. It never stays on longer then that, and maybe 15% of the time it will go off within 10 seconds or so.
Does the car really take a full minute to obtain proper oil pressure, is this normal? Or should I be looking for something to fix?
slickware is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2008, 04:29 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Location: calii
Posts: 9,679
My Ride: Loves Corners
well you only have to remove the intake rubber tubing to get to the throttle body. If you want to test out another MAF sensor go to a local junk yard and ask or pay to test a MAF sensor of another 323 and see what happens and take from there.
n2Bimmer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2008, 04:37 PM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Riverview, FL
Posts: 1,394
My Ride: 02 330i
When you say, "-took apart intake, threw out K&N filter", how far down the intake did you go? Did you get all the way down to the lower rubber intake boot, the one with the main hose going into the intake manifold and the secondary hose going into the Idle Control Valve? That's the one that usually cracks and leaks.

The spray-the-carb-cleaner trick didn't work for me on my (sold) '01 325i, and it had a thumb-sized hole in the small hose of the lower intake boot. Replacing that boot stopped the whistle and cleared the codes.

I think your next step should be a smoke test: Either pay a shop to do it, or build a simple one out of an air compressor, a diesel glow plug, and some smoke machine liquid (and assorted cans and tubing). jbeurotech has posted some simple instructions on doing this.

Also, if the oil light turns on YELLOW for a brief period after starting the car, and you are 100% CERTAIN THAT YOUR OIL LEVEL IS CORRECT, then you probably should replace the oil level sensor which is located near the drain plug in the sump pan. If the light turns on RED, then it's an oil PRESSURE problem and you should start panicking.

Last edited by nathancarter; 12-17-2008 at 04:41 PM.
nathancarter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-17-2008, 05:34 PM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 136
My Ride: 323i
Thanks! To answer the questions -
Here's a photo of what I'm talking about (not my car, I just grabbed a similar pic from google-image-search). Starting from the bottom of the pic, I opened the airbox, took out the filter and replaced it. Then I moved up to the MAF, cleaned it. Then I took the next (elbow) out, and behind it (labeled "this is where i stopped") was where I removed the idle adjustor for cleaning. I *think* that the throttlebody plate is *behind* that, right? (where the "?" is pointing to, in the photo).

As for the oil question - I've had several oil changes (including one from the stealership), and I've checked the dipstick many many times, so it's within a non-visible realm of correct-ness. I mean, will a few microns of fill-difference cause the oil light to come on (yellow) for a minute ONLY while starting the car? Seems odd.
I didn't even realize I had an oil level sensor. (natrually, what DOESN'T have a frigging sensor in this car). I'll look into replacing that at some point, but right now it's only an annoyance.

And for shyts and giggles; here's an awesome photo of the frigging damage that took a month to get repaired:
slickware is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 08:30 AM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: MA
Posts: 136
My Ride: 323i
meh... still nothin' ?
I knew I should have titled this post something like "BOOBS BOOBS BOOBS! haha
slickware is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2008, 09:24 AM   #7
Is NOT A Mechanic
ken@bimmertools's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 3,560
My Ride: F30
I'm not sure the code you're getting is a clear indicator for any of the repairs you've attempted, although they're all decent maintenance projects. That said, I'm not sure what direction that should point you.

The code may seem unhelpful, but it's a pretty direct statement that an experienced tech will have a better answer for. Posting here will sometimes yield a very accurate response from a tech with instructions, sometimes not. I'm not a mechanic, so I can't offer that type of help.

For $30, though, you can sign up for a one day membership at As you have the actual factory code via the Peake tool, you can search that database using your VIN for any information BMW has released to its service providers with regard to a known issue. This is often accompanied by repair instructions and/or further diagnostic suggestions. Given the money you've spent replacing sensors and the value of your time doing the other work, this seems like a worthwhile investment.

Good luck!


Bimmertools is under new ownership! Please welcome
Click Here to say hi.
ken@bimmertools is offline   Reply With Quote

maf, mass airflow, ses, whistle

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:01 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.