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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!

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Old 04-10-2011, 06:41 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 3
My Ride: BMW 325i
Help:BMW 325i Intermittent Stall, Hard Starting

Hi all i need some help, I'm sure i'm in the right place to solve my E46 problem!

I have a BMW 325i auto (2000), the car starts ok 'first time' in the morning and drives as normal, when i stop and leave the car for (5mins onwards) then try to start the car for the second time it needs key turning a min 6 times before starting again and when it does start the rev counter (fluctuates then 'drops' down rapid to the point that sometimes the the car stalls, if it does not as soon as you touch the acelerator the engine dies? After a few re-trys it eventually starts but runs sluggish as if pulling back on the power and can stall if the acelerator is pressed using 'normal' pressure at the pedal, it also stalls especially at low revs (turning corners etc, which is terrifying when driving onto a busy main road), its an intermitent fault that is hard to diagnose but as a rule this is a constant cycle happening every day. I have checked the MAF and that seems ok no splits in rubber elbow etc. Cleaned all contacts inc ECU, oil change & new plugs and replaced the crank sensor. I'm stumped but having looked on the net it seems to be a common fault mentioned that no one has a solution to? I love this car (not literally ;-) because its mint and a lovely drive but this fault is becoming dangerous especially on fast main roads so it may have to go if i cant find a solution.

If you have experienced the same, recognise the fault or have an opinion i'd like to hear from you, many thanks in advance for your time.

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Old 04-10-2011, 06:49 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 964
My Ride: 1999 BMW 318i E46 4D
You should love your car literally!!! I make love to mine at least once a week!!!

Dunno if that's healthy or not but anywayz ...

A code reader is going to be great in this case, as in any future cases. Have you unplugged your MAF to see if that gets you anywhere?? Get yourself a tin or two of Throttlebody/Carby Cleaner, pull your Cabin Filter housing off, start your lovely car and spray that tin around the place, to see if you can find any bad Vacuum hoses, if the idle changes during spraying then you've got yourself a leak. Doesn't hurt to change you fuel and air filters while your there.

Are there any strange noises coming from the engine? Any warning lights?

Also, you're gonna have a hard time selling it with that problem, you're better of fixing it than giving up.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:02 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: South Australia
Posts: 3,306
My Ride: E46 325Ci
I had the exact same symptoms for a couple of months, replaced both the intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors and problem solved.
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Old 04-10-2011, 03:34 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 3
My Ride: BMW 325i
Many Thanks Drizzles for the advice, will have to get codes read like you said, driven round with the MAF disconected for a few days to rule that out, will definately check for vacum leaks and forgot to mention air and fuel filter have been changed with no effect on the problem, theres no strange noises at all when it runs either from the first start (when it goes ok) or the second time when the problem raises it's ugly head? I will follow your advice and that of Darkoz who's advice ("replace both the intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors".) is also appreciated, hopefully following the superb advice from both posts will enable me to quickly return to 'making love' to my lovely car, Drizzles don't worry it's perfectly normal! ;-) many thanks guys.
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Old 04-14-2011, 01:24 PM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: UK
Posts: 3
My Ride: BMW 325i
Problem Solved - BMW E46 faulty Cam/intake sensors

Just a follow up post to anyone out there with similar problems to this thread (mine), the advice given by both Darkoz & Drizzles was excellent, i followed both and eventually solved this problem by (DIY) replacing both the intake and exhaust camshaft position sensors...saved 'buckets' of cash so many thanks for the help guys much appreciated!

This site is topnotch for E46 advice and info
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:33 PM   #6
Joe O
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 17
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
Not sure if this is the exact same problem, but I replaced my aftermarket, Chinese-made intake camshaft position sensor with a German-made sensor by Febi Bilstein. The car now starts immediately every time, and the sluggish performance is gone. I bought the Febi Bilstein intake camshaft sensor on eBay from seller zoomeparts for $65, and the youtube video "BMW P0344 P0340 Intake Camshaft Position Sensor..." by AskTheCarExperts shows you step by step how to change it. I have found 2 other guys that had this same problem with Chinese aftermarket sensors. Mechanics all thought that it wouldn't matter, but something is different! Drove me nuts! 2001 330Ci.
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2000, bmw 325i, misfire, stalling, start problem

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