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Old 02-08-2015, 10:12 PM   #1
evanr614
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cold idle dips/stalls, minor shifting hiccups...vanos?

Experiencing cold idle dips/stalls and minor shifting hiccups that have been present pretty much every since I bought my car a year or so ago. Quite a bit of work has been put into the car ever since I took it over. It is pretty darn clean and has 114k miles now. Brief overview of repairs done, under the hood anyways. The effects are some what minor but it is also bothersome. When accelerating typically in high rpm it shifts smoothly. However, at low RPM it just sorta jumps into gear. It's been hard to express in words haha. I also know that my rear differential mount is pretty beat, not sure if this could be it. I have a set of Beisan systems vanos seal replacements for the M52 but wasn't up for the job on my own.

-DME module
-Coolant expansion tank / expansion tank thermostat
-Power steering pressure hose / reservoir
-Oil filter housing gasket / vanos hose
-Finally replaced original fuel filter (slightly helped issue, maybe)
-I am due for an oil change
-Water pump / thermostat
-Valve cover gasket
-Cleaned idle valve / throttle body
-Smoke test - no vacuum leaks

I believe that's it! Anyone else ever had this issue or similar and found a resolution?
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:16 PM   #2
e46dinan
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Check your MAF.
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:18 PM   #3
evanr614
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Originally Posted by e46dinan View Post
Check your MAF.
Reminds me, in the past it was replaced with a used one but this was before the DME replacement. I was going into limp mode every time I drove the car. So it is possible that its bad as that was a while ago. What's the best way to check it..?
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Old 02-08-2015, 10:19 PM   #4
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The mechanic put my original one back on and refunded me at that time**
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:01 PM   #5
evanr614
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Would like to add that my car is automatic. So when decelerating (letting off the gas completely) from 45 mph or some of the down shifts will be slightly rough.
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Old 02-09-2015, 02:27 PM   #6
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same car, had a slightly different issue. when cold starting and the ambient temp was below 50F, rpm's would dip and the car would "almost" stall, then catch itself. then about 15 secs later it would stumble and catch itself again. This would continue until the coolant temp rose above 150ish. I thought this was a vacuum or spark issue and set out changing every hose, boot, connector, coil and plug I could to no avail. It turned out that my problem was the actual programming of the DME itself. I recently flashed the car to EU2 (deleted my SAP because in my quest to replace worn lines/hoses I found many SAP parts in need of replacement and rather than replace it all I decided to go for the simplicity approach and delete as many unnecessary components as possible since there are no emissions regulations in So. Carolina) and my idle is rock solid steady now. I understand that EU2 is NOT an option for many who live in states with emissions regulations, however, there are updated BMW software versions for our DME's that might fix your issue. Not sure what version your new DME was programmed with, but it's worth looking into.

Also, if you have done spark plugs and ignition coils, I would check them too. And it could be that your fuel pump is starting to fail. It's worth replacing anyway if it's original.
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:34 PM   #7
Handsomecore
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I have the same issue as you EVAnr614. It shifts hard in lower rpms occasionally but in higher gears it's smooth . My differential mounts are bad too. Had vanos rebuild , new maf , new DISA , no vacuum leaks , ccv changed . Still does it . I'll just live with it for now . I also got the cars computer updated that made a big difference in the way the gears shift now . It still does the bucking /hiccup thing from time to time . Only in low rpm thou. But I suggest u do the update if you haven't . Now I can go all the way to 5000rpms before it changes into second gear . Don't know if that's good or bad ?
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Old 02-09-2015, 03:41 PM   #8
Handsomecore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brea View Post
same car, had a slightly different issue. when cold starting and the ambient temp was below 50F, rpm's would dip and the car would "almost" stall, then catch itself. then about 15 secs later it would stumble and catch itself again. This would continue until the coolant temp rose above 150ish. I thought this was a vacuum or spark issue and set out changing every hose, boot, connector, coil and plug I could to no avail. It turned out that my problem was the actual programming of the DME itself. I recently flashed the car to EU2 (deleted my SAP because in my quest to replace worn lines/hoses I found many SAP parts in need of replacement and rather than replace it all I decided to go for the simplicity approach and delete as many unnecessary components as possible since there are no emissions regulations in So. Carolina) and my idle is rock solid steady now. I understand that EU2 is NOT an option for many who live in states with emissions regulations, however, there are updated BMW software versions for our DME's that might fix your issue. Not sure what version your new DME was programmed with, but it's worth looking into.

Also, if you have done spark plugs and ignition coils, I would check them too. And it could be that your fuel pump is starting to fail. It's worth replacing anyway if it's original.

I have this same cold start problem too . But unfortunately I live in NYC and we have emission inspection so I can't deleted my SAP. But your right soon as the needle moves out the blue zone (cold) I restart the car misfire gone & check engine light gone . The guy who sold me the car did tell me to change the air pump just haven't gotten around to it . I wonder if that will fix the problem ?
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Old 02-09-2015, 04:30 PM   #9
evanr614
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Originally Posted by Handsomecore View Post
I have the same issue as you EVAnr614. It shifts hard in lower rpms occasionally but in higher gears it's smooth . My differential mounts are bad too. Had vanos rebuild , new maf , new DISA , no vacuum leaks , ccv changed . Still does it . I'll just live with it for now . I also got the cars computer updated that made a big difference in the way the gears shift now . It still does the bucking /hiccup thing from time to time . Only in low rpm thou. But I suggest u do the update if you haven't . Now I can go all the way to 5000rpms before it changes into second gear . Don't know if that's good or bad ?
I'm fairly certain my DME is updated to proper standards. Mine also is consistent, I wish it was a time to time occurrence! You should be able to control how high you want the RPM's to go before shifting how far you press the pedal for the most part...
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Old 02-09-2015, 05:28 PM   #10
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OP, it kind of sounds like you have two isolated issues. The cold start/idle dips sound like one issue and the transmission shifting issues sound like something else altogether.

#1) Have you changed your fuel pump, spark plugs, coils, etc? Are you positive you don't have any vacuum leaks in the secondary air system? Not doubting you, but make sure you smoke test the motor when it is ICE cold. Like, has been sitting for 8-10 hours minimum.

#2) Have you changed the trans fluid and filter? If you have not, I definitely would. Get yourself a filter/gasket kit and 6-8 qts of fluid (can't recall the exact amount, but I believe capacity including the torque converter is almost 10 qts), drop the pan and change the fluid.

This is my $.02. Start there. Once all that has been addressed you can start worrying about VANOS seals
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:21 PM   #11
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Vanos Problem

Don't listen to any of the idiots thus far.

Vanos system in your car is indeed the problem. I've had the same exact problem for months and after all of my research, I had to replace the vanos system O-rings and bearings. This job is not so easy to do if you don't have any sort of experience. My suggestion is to buy a whole new vanos system. Reason why I say this is because I've replaced just the o-rings and bearing of the vanos and the problem went away. However, couple of months later, it came back again because the hosing of the vanos worn out over time. My car has 216,000 miles on it still running strong, with the new vanos system. I got it for $400 on turnermotorsport.com This will save you time and money because the o-ring and bearings were $100. I've learned my lesson the hard way. I'm letting you know to get the new vanos system. The new vanos system installation is much much easier. heres a link to get to the vanos system. Even though its an asian guy who speaks German, he really shows you how to take it apart._nr_
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:33 PM   #12
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Do not listen to any of the idiots above.

Your facing with a problem that has worn out O-rings and bearings in your Vanos system. I've actually replaced them myself on my car and it is not an easy job. However, even after replacing the o-rings and the bearings the problem came back after a couple of months. My car has 216,000 miles on it and still running strong but the problem for me was that my vanos system housing was too worn out over time. I replaced a whole new vanos system for $400 on turnermotorsport.com and it went away completely. I suggest you buying the new vanos system for $400 since it will save you lots of time to reinstall and whole lot easier to install.

Link for the part - http://www.turnermotorsport.com/show...9-x5-x3-z4-e60

Link for youtube vid that helps you step by step to take the vanos part off -
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:02 PM   #13
the521one
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better link. http://blog.bavauto.com/13829/bmw-di...56-6-cylinder/
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:20 PM   #14
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Here are the symptoms for worn out vanos seals:
Cars experience:
Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption.
Repairing the vanos seals provides:
Overall increase in torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Resolution of bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Smooth even distribution of power and RPM transition. Resolution of engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Quiet stable idle. Smooth easy takeoffs. Improved performance when AC on. Reduced fuel consumption, by ~10%.

Cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall.

Source:http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:31 PM   #15
evanr614
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben99 View Post
Here are the symptoms for worn out vanos seals:
Cars experience:
Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption.
Repairing the vanos seals provides:
Overall increase in torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Resolution of bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Smooth even distribution of power and RPM transition. Resolution of engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Quiet stable idle. Smooth easy takeoffs. Improved performance when AC on. Reduced fuel consumption, by ~10%.

Cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall.

Source:http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
Appreciate the feedback, however I have already looked into this but my car has an M52, before the technical update.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:37 PM   #16
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Sorry, saw 328 in your info. You swapped an m52 in your car?
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:39 PM   #17
evanr614
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Sorry, saw 328 in your info. You swapped an m52 in your car?
Nope my car was produced in October of 99 before they did the technical update!
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:41 PM   #18
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This issue of the VANOS seals being the solution to everything is getting a little old IMHO. I am sure the OP's engine could benefit to some extent from replacement VANOS seal, but LONG before the VANOS seals should be considered there are PLENTY of other areas that have not likely been checked/addressed/maintained. Same thing happens with people blaming the MAF or O2 sensors and they are rarely the specific cause of problems but could contribute to drivability issues.

Read the first 2 links below in my signature.

See this link - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1057387

Read my "BMW 20 Questions Comments" in this thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1059972

I seem to read every few weeks someone attempting VANOS seals and breaking the VANOS bolts and valve cover bolts due to incorrect torque specs, using a torque wrench wrong or not paying attempting to the reverse thread screws. And this is usually long before the CCV and hoses are replaced or other basic E46 "101" issues are addressed.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:47 PM   #19
evanr614
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Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
This issue of the VANOS seals being the solution to everything is getting a little old IMHO. I am sure the OP's engine could benefit to some extent from replacement VANOS seal, but LONG before the VANOS seals should be considered there are PLENTY of other areas that have not likely been checked/addressed/maintained. Same thing happens with people blaming the MAF or O2 sensors and they are rarely the specific cause of problems but could contribute to drivability issues.

Read the first 2 links below in my signature.

See this link - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1057387

Read my "BMW 20 Questions Comments" in this thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1059972

I seem to read every few weeks someone attempting VANOS seals and breaking the VANOS bolts and valve cover bolts due to incorrect torque specs, using a torque wrench wrong or not paying attempting to the reverse thread screws. And this is usually long before the CCV and hoses are replaced or other basic E46 "101" issues are addressed.
Loooads of info. I will certainly take a look. Thanks for the extensive write up!
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:51 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by evanr614 View Post
Nope my car was produced in October of 99 before they did the technical update!
Well, I am fairly certain all e46's came with m52tu or m54, both with dual vanos (hence the tu). My car was made december 98 and I have dual vanos. I think you may be confusing the two engines I mentioned above with the one from the e36 which is single vanos.
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