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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:08 AM   #1
Antiviruz42
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Car stalling. Dealership no help.

Alright gentleman. Ive been up and down google and these forums trying to get a diagnosis of some issues Ive been having. Let me start by telling you I rarely buy a car not new and dont hang on to cars long enough to even get to my first tyre change so I appologize. I am however not dumb and have some automotive knowledge. My last vehicle was a evo that I built and raced.
ANYWAY, Im rolling in an 03 with about 55k miles on it now. Ive put maybe 6k miles on it since purchase. For the last idk 8 months my car will go through spurts reguardless of temp,weather,time of day where it will stall when I come to a stop or engage the clutch. I can drive fine but once i slow at a stop light and neutral it the car will drop to 1k rpms then just stumble and stall. Sometimes it will go to 500 and catch itself. Most times I have to jab the gas to catch it and the rpms will jump up and come to rest at a nice idle. Needless to say this is annoying while trying to brake at a light or whatever having to roll my foot and tap the gas to keep the rpms up. What is frustrating me BEYOND belief is it does not happen with any pattern. Sometimes its every stop on my way to work. Others maybe just one. Others like tonight the car drives flawless! Amazing idle, no stumbling, nothing! I took this problem to the dealership awhile back. It took them 2 weeks to tell me well we cant seem to replicate the problem, its not doing it for us. They checked fuel pressures and that was fine. Im assuming they checked the maf but im not sure. They gave me the car back and said that BMW tech said it was probably a VANOS issue. I took it upon myself to pull and clean the entire intake system from filter to throttle body butterflys. Including the ICV which i pulled and cleaned to a new shine. Hoping this would fix it. The only thing this fixed was my throttle response was improved. Im out of ideas guys. I really dont wanna take it back to stealership and pay there hours of diagnosing fees. The car is under a full warrenty I bought with the car. Im trying not to buy expensive parts just to diagnose and find out thats not it. You guys have any ideas? Should I take it to the dealership and tell them just replace the Vanos? I do have a check engine light with a code for something VANOS related but what blew my mind is that the dealership told me the code and said we have no idea what that means and nether does BMW tech who they called. WOW. Soooooo il just live with it? Ive been having some other related/non-related issues with the car which is making it hard for me to tell if its tied together or not. Any brain storming would be great guys. im getting fed up.



*Driver side headlight flickers and sometimes dies. Bulbs have been replaced 1000 miles ago have switched side problem does not follow. (about to check the grounds in the tail light) Ballast maybe?

*Driver side front wheel is sitting at -2.2 chamber compared to -1.5 on the passenger side. Ive tryed to slide the strut over but its maxed and the alignment shop says they cant get it any closer either. Its making for a really unstable ride. How can I even these up a little bit without taking the other wheel into the -2's.


Thanks for any help guys. Like I said Im new to used cars and hate not knowing what is the appropriate time for things to crap out.

When the car is good its great. Much like tonight. fun to drive, great idle and power response, no idle or stalling problems, no light flicker, hell the car even beeped at me when I locked and unlocked it as opposed to most times when it doesnt beep and the passenger side doesnt unlock or sounds to tired to unlock.

Could all this be one big power/voltage/fuse issue!!?
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
dwtaylorpdx
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It kind of sounds like there is a air leak issue, especially the hose that connects
the AFM toteh throttle body, german rubber tends to crack.

It happened to me twice on my E36 and once on my E46 I'd guess the age of teh offending parts at 5 years each time..

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:17 AM   #3
Antiviruz42
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Can I smoke test that?
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Old 11-14-2013, 10:28 AM   #4
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TL;DR

There is a long thread on idle stumbling on this forum and M3F. Unfortunately no-one has conclusively solved it by throwing tons of parts at it. The only fix seems to be a tune.

OP, please be more concise if you want help.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Don't have the dealer replace your VANOS.
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Old 11-15-2013, 09:59 AM   #6
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german rubber tends to crack.
Hope they don't make too many contraceptive products..
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:33 PM   #7
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Update: The car has not had a single incident in 2 days. Its soo annoying thats it so spuratic.
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Old 11-15-2013, 04:39 PM   #8
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I had the same problem with my old M3. I had a warranty as well and dealership replaced everything they could think of. Intake, exhaust cam sensors, throttle position sensor and nothing worked. It was extremely annoying to say the least. I would automatically put car it neutral and push brake pedal while slightly pushing the gas at the light. Taught me how to heel/toe on a positive note. Car got totaled before I figured it out. Current M3 had low mileage car (25k) when purchased and it has not happened yet (51K). Last car I purchased at 59k and developed the problem at like 65K. Drove it for a year like that and gave up after like 5-6 trips to the dealer. I know exactly how you feel and every code it threw they replaced the part with no change. I will say though it would drive fine for a day or two after the dealer. The tune idea might make sense since they probably reset the ECU. If that isn't an excuse to buy a tune I don't know what it is. Buy some headers and exhaust though so you can take advantage. Do not replace stock intake!! Most cold air intakes lose HP. Sorry I can't help, but at least wanted you know you are not alone.
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Old 11-15-2013, 05:02 PM   #9
MachRc
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by any chance are you running a lightened or aftermarket flywheel>?
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Old 11-15-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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If the dealer can't find the problem. I would go to a different BMW dealer for a second opinion or a BMW performance shop that may have fixed this problem on someone else's M. Seems like this is not a problem only you're having. Me personally I would do process of illumination check fuel, ignition, MAF. If nothing there I would re-tune the car. See if anything changes. Have you had the valves adjustment done on your car?
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Car stalling. Dealership no help.

When was the last time the valve adjustment had been done?


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Old 11-15-2013, 08:19 PM   #12
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I've heard every 15-30K miles not a 100% sure when it's suppose to be done.

Last edited by Kyemaul; 11-15-2013 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:34 PM   #13
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Car stalling. Dealership no help.

Should of been done a couple times and if they have never been done id say there's a good chance that would be the problem


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Old 11-15-2013, 10:42 PM   #14
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Re: Car stalling. Dealership no help.

Everyone replying, unless you have a conclusive fix please don't waste the OP's time and money.

There is a HUGE thread on M3Forums about the "idle drop" issue with 100s of replies from people who threw parts and money at this issue unsuccessfully. The most successful solutions have been with software. Either reset adaptations, which works for awhile before the ecu adapts... Or get a tune.

For the amount some have spent chasing this issue they could have gotten a tune.

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Old 11-16-2013, 09:07 PM   #15
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by any chance are you running a lightened or aftermarket flywheel>?
The car is stock from what I know. It was owned by an older gentleman who also had a Viper and a Rolls. Aside from some aftermarket angel eyes and catless headers which i had the seller take off and put on the stocks its untouched. THOUGH i guess could that be an issue? If he tuned the car with catless headers and then i went back to stock with no retune. No change to intake system all thr way through the cylinders. I think Im gonna try and find a shop that will do a full service and just change everything that falls within this milage since i have no idea of its service record. It is possible to tune these stock correct?
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Old 11-17-2013, 07:15 AM   #16
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Car stalling. Dealership no help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
Everyone replying, unless you have a conclusive fix please don't waste the OP's time and money.

There is a HUGE thread on M3Forums about the "idle drop" issue with 100s of replies from people who threw parts and money at this issue unsuccessfully. The most successful solutions have been with software. Either reset adaptations, which works for awhile before the ecu adapts... Or get a tune.

For the amount some have spent chasing this issue they could have gotten a tune.

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+1,000,000 for the re-tune '!


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Old 11-17-2013, 01:43 PM   #17
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+1,000,000 for the re-tune '!
I know we have to pay to play with this car, yet I cannot justify $700 for a tune to fix it and the gains from a tune are minimal without mods... and even then.
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Old 11-17-2013, 06:20 PM   #18
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Car stalling. Dealership no help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by taylor192 View Post
I know we have to pay to play with this car, yet I cannot justify $700 for a tune to fix it and the gains from a tune are minimal without mods... and even then.
I could understand that but ,The gains are extra. Your retuning the car so that the idle drop won't happen anymore. So you'll fix the problem and pick up some hp in the meanwhile. Lol


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Old 11-18-2013, 10:42 AM   #19
Antiviruz42
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I know we have to pay to play with this car, yet I cannot justify $700 for a tune to fix it and the gains from a tune are minimal without mods... and even then.
Are you serious!? Lol. I never really looked around for a place to do it. Is this an average price?
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:23 AM   #20
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So I think Ive come to the conclusion that im going to go to Strictly BMW in Bellevue.(Since I live in Seattle) I'm really not sure of its service record and Im gonna have them check in out full as a new car inspection plus I'll probably have the do a Inspection II on it. I should have them inspect in and then DIY on the II since I changed the tranny oil and ail filter and engine oil less then 3k miles ago. Hopefully they can diagnose my issue within that process. I might also add a VANOS service on it to. I hate not knowing what has been done and what hasent. The stumbling started again yesterday at the same time the flickering came back on my DS headlight.
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