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Old 02-03-2014, 10:11 PM   #1
Shesgota323
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: California
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My Ride: 99 BMW 323i
Exclamation 99 323i misfiring after VANOS seal repair

Heres what I am working on; 1999 323i automatic 135,000 miles

It all started with 13 codes all of which were eliminated with a new intake elbow.
Well long enough for me to smog it anyways.
Even with no CEL light when accelerating, or merging onto freeway the car would sometimes go into limp mode. I would pull over turn off the ignition and wait about 30 seconds the light went off. This happened about once a month maybe.
The car just didnt seem right to me, in terms of driving when in the lower rpm range it was lagging and didnt get the gas milage I expected.
So here's what I have done
  1. Changed air filter
  2. changed plugs
  3. oil
  4. water pump
  5. fuel filter
  6. o2 sensor (pre-cat only)
  7. belts
  8. pulleys
  9. been through 2 alternators in the last yearWhich is a whole other thread, my car is a 99 and it needed a 2000 alternator I guess?, manufacture date was in January so it is indeed a 99)
  10. and finally VANOS seals
So after the vanos seals car was running well for about a week (still laggy but I guess thats a 323 thing) then started misfiring and giving me P1188,P1189, and the misfiring on cylanders 3,4,6 with an P1189 pending.
I want to drive my car again!!! Any thoughts?
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:47 PM   #2
hitmanre
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disa check boots if they fell off or something
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:04 PM   #3
Shesgota323
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Did disa too, forgot to mention that, it is fine still plenty of tension on the flap. The boots are on, there is an unburnt gas smell, think it could be a coil or coils?
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Old 02-03-2014, 11:23 PM   #4
Rajaie
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Here is a list of common performance problems. You didn't mention replacing the crankcase vent valve and hoses. There are couple tests to perform below.

The idle control valve air intake boot branch gets cracks in the outer elbow accordion valleys. This can be inspected with a flashlight and mirror.

The idle control valve gets gummed up and sticks. Take it out and clean it with brake cleaner and towels.

The DISA valve is problematic on 01+ cars.
The DISA is a black box 4" high 6" wide on the side of the intake manifold adjacent to the MAF. Remove it. The flap should rotate with resistance and spring back when released. It shouldn't have any play. It breaks at its base axis. If it's broken, the flap end axis pin can be removed and the flap will fall off.
The 01+ DISA has a base gasket built into the DISA. It shrinks over time and creates a small vacuum leak. Place an 8" piece of electrical tape on a table top. Cut the tape half width with a razor knife. Place one layer of half width electrical tape over the base gasket. This will thicken the gasket and create a tight seal with the intake manifold.

The crankcase vent valve and 4 associate hoses fail and cause a vacuum leak. The valve gets stuck open and the hoses crack. These last 70-120k miles and usually fail 80-90k miles. Here are a couple diagnoses.
At warm idle, place a small plastic freezer storage bag on its side over the oil fill hole. If the bag sits on top or gets slightly sucked in, ~1", the valve is good. If the bag gets significantly sucked in the hole the valve is stuck open and bad.
With the engine off and cold, carefully remove the hose at the valve cover front corner. Blow hard into the hose. You should hear oil bubbling in the oil pan. If you don't hear the bubbling the top or bottom hose is likely cracked. The bottom hose often breaks just below the valve connection. There can also be cracks in the other two hoses.

The MAF sensor can be dirty and not perform well or can be failing. Aftermarket oiled air filters foul the MAF.
Take out the MAF and clean it with CRC MAF spray cleaner. Spray the MAF lightly. There are delicate wires that can be damaged. Let the MAF fully dry before reconnecting.
Cold air intake setups can drive the MAF beyond its intended operating limits and cause it to fail.
The MAF can be tested by disconnecting its electrical cable connector. If the performance problem resolves it might be the MAF. But this test can be deceiving and should be used with great care. When the MAF is disconnected the DME will err on enriching the air/fuel mix. This can easily cover up another performance problem like a vacuum leak. If the problem is unchanged after disconnecting the MAF the problem is not the MAF.
Aftermarket MAF sensors don't work.

The fuel filter gets clogged and inhibits the flow of fuel. Replace it every 60-100k miles.

Sparkplugs should be replaced every 60k miles.

Replace air filter every 15k miles.

Pre-cat O2 sensors have a lifespan of 100k miles. They have a significant effect on fuel consumption. They also affect performance. When they start degrading they cause a rich air/fuel mix. This will degrade performance some but will not cause any rough running symptoms. The main symptom is degraded fuel consumption.
The pre-cat O2 sensors are not used on cold weather cold start. The O2 sensors don't function when cold and are thus not utilized by the DME.
Aftermarket O2 sensors don't work.

Camshaft position sensors can fail and cause problems. They will usually produce a code, but they might initially malfunction without producing a code. A failing exhaust CPS will cause light performance problems. A failing intake CPS can cause significant performance problems.
Aftermarket CPS sensors don't work. OEM CPS sensors are only available through BMW. OEM CPS sensors have a BMW logo or series of numbers and this can be used to check if a CPS sensor is OEM.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
Shesgota323
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Thanks for all that info, I am hoping it isn't the CCV hoses but I do have oil down there and have been dreading that repair. Is it very difficult?
What about the oil filter housing gasket could that be the issue, maybe that explains the oil too?
I will check like you said and keep the thread updated.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #6
Rajaie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shesgota323 View Post
Thanks for all that info, I am hoping it isn't the CCV hoses but I do have oil down there and have been dreading that repair. Is it very difficult?
What about the oil filter housing gasket could that be the issue, maybe that explains the oil too?
I will check like you said and keep the thread updated.
I'm sure there is a CCV writeup somewhere. It's doable.
A leaking oil filter housing gasket will not cause your symptoms. If you replace this be sure to use an OEM gasket. This has been changed to Viton and thus will function very well.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:34 PM   #7
JoeRoundel
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I would say make sure whoever did the valve cover gasket when going back together didn't roll it and create an air leak.

Also, if you know that your CCV is leaking, that is an air leak right there... its gotta get fixed.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:17 PM   #8
Shesgota323
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My Ride: 99 BMW 323i
I put it together. I am not sure the source of the oil, it is a slow leak, it's not like it is pouring out. I guess there are no shortcuts with this car, I will have to explore all options. I will have to buy another valve cover gasket if I take it off right? Or can the same one be used again?


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Old 02-04-2014, 10:18 PM   #9
SeattleLSB
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Mine misfired for a bit after startup. Clear the codes and see if it returns.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:43 AM   #10
brae46den
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It's possible that oil leaked down into your spark plug wells and fried a few of them. Happened to me. Make sure the gaskets around the spark plug wells are snug.

Just my 2


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