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Old 01-19-2008, 11:28 AM   #1
Coupe E36
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Help ! rough idle leads to CEL

Ok guys.. have a problem, and i'm hoping its a simple DIY and no Dealer issue ..

So here is the situation. I own a 2001 330Ci.. Friday after work i came home parked outside in front of the house. Sunday I woke up to move the car because it was blocking the cars in teh driveway. Monday morning 530am I wake up to go to work, turn the car on (its about 35-37F outside) and it turns on, but as it goes into idle it starts to shake and idles really rough with a pretty bad tremble, (from my opinion from other experience) .. i give it some gas just to see if it would get better, maybe its just a cold start ?? as i do so CEL light came on. So i turned it off.. run inside and grab keys to other car, so before i left in the other car i turned on again to see if it still did the same, and to no surprise it was still doing the same symptoms.. now this all happened Yesterday Monday morning. I finally got around to Renting the OBD2 tool from autozone, popped it in and here are the codes it read :: p1349 and 91342 now, i did my search and found out those codes came back as misfire at cylinder 1 and 4 .. ??

So i erased the codes and go to turn on again, and see if problems still persist. and to my surprise everything is normal ?? the car idles lil high for the first few seconds around 1k rpm. .but then settles into the 700rpm range. i let it sit for a few minutes and still nothing and CEL light never got triggered.. So i decided to take it for a spin, went to firestone to get a oil change (since i was due for one) and made it back home with no problems ?? Now i dont want to leave it as everything is OK and i shouldnt worry about it anymore.. Instead while the car is still running fine, i wanted to see if there is anything i can change out, or fix in order to prevent problems like this in the future ??

WHat could i possibly change out or replace ?? first thing that comes to mind is Spark Plugs ? I am thinking under the cold circumstances and since i never really drove the car more than a minute for the 3 days its been just parked out in the rain, maybe the spark plugs tip were frozen (if thats even possible) or just wasnt giving adequate sparks ?? I mean my car has been in way colder temps for longer periods of time and ya the first start would be a little rough, but after a few mintues it would settle in, but that one morning it just wasnt getting any better, and i'm the type of enthusiast that feels bad when my car comes down with problems..

I am pretty much puzzled, i'm sure it could be numbers of things but anything to help me isolate the culprit ?? one side of me want to say it could be the fuel wasnt registering correctly due to the weather ?? anyhow, many thanks in advance..

p.s - its been awhile but glad to be back on forums
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:29 AM   #2
Coupe E36
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ok finally, had some time last couple of days to do some more testing.. i replaced the fuel filter and spark plugs as a maintainence percaution.. Well the rough idle is there still, and its still throwing codes of misfire .. i have changed out the ignition coil 1 and 4 with 2 and 6 and its still showing the same misfire on the same cylinders, so now i am stuck.. i want to say now its somewhere along the lines of the injectors now being the culprit ?? the car is at my mechanic as he is trouble shooting as well.. any help/suggestions are greatly appreciated. thanks.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:51 AM   #3
PhEnX
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did u replace the coils and boots?
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:05 AM   #4
emg2919
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yeah, ive got the same problems, same exact car. 01 330ci (coupe, not sure if yours is). Rough idle, misfire codes, bank1 and bank2 running too lean. this is what i have done so far in this order:

replaced:

1.) cleaned MAF with CRC
2.) spark plugs
3.) seafoam
4.) adjuster unit (flap was broken, wasnt moving, so this was replaced for good reason)
5.) cleaned ICV with carb cleaner
6.) checked for vacuum leakes with carb cleaner (none noticeable)

Not sure what do try next. I'm leaning towards replacing all coils/boots (to be safe and have 100k on the car). Will probably switch out the plugs again too, back to OEM ngk (I've got +4s in there now), mainly because I did seafoam right after i swiched the plugs, and heard that probably wasnt a good idea, not good for the new plugs. (i heard this after i did it, obviously)

After plugs/coils/boots, I'm going to do the o2 pre and post cat sensors. Then probably fuel pump/filter.

Any ideas or recommendations? I am kind of even leaning towards taking it to the dealership just to see if they can diagnose the problem right out without having to change everything. I just hate doing that though, I've got mechanical experience and the know how.

Let me know if you find out anything or if you have any recommendations.

thanks
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Old 01-20-2008, 04:08 PM   #5
brabus
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I also have the same thing going on ('01 330) w/ the misfires and the bank 1/2 lean. At this point I have replaced the hose from the MAF to the engine (original was cracked), new spark plugs, new fuel filter, new air filter and cleaned the MAF w/ MAF cleaner. I still am getting the codes and the car runs ok enough in warmer weather or at least after it has warmed up for a while, but idles very roughly in cold weather and even stalls on cold weather starts. My ideas are down to coils and O2 sensors. Let me know if you guys come up with anything.
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:09 PM   #6
prznskillz
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I am having same exact problems in my 01 330ci with 70k miles...I get codes po171 and o0174 i think with the fuel too lean...bank 1 and 2...I have changed fuel filter/ air filter/ spark plugs... cleaned adjuster unit and the ICV...the car drives perfect and smoother than ever...the Idle is low at around 550 RPM, but other than that its fine...sometimes my ABS/Handbrake/DSC lights stay on while I drive...I do not know what to do...
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Old 01-20-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
emg2919
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brabus, looks like were both in the same boat. im away from home right now but im gonna change the coils when i get home. then the o2 sensors. let me know if you change anything and what it does for you.

thanks-
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
Rajaie
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I have seen others post with this issue and have thought this could be the vanos seals. The other similar problem I've seen is a start then immediate stall on cold starts.
The vanos does have an important influence on idle. Many owners have noted a stronger idle after the seals install. One E39 M54 owner has noted to me that his car would sometimes have a rough idle on cold weather cold starts and that after installing the seals the problem has disappeared and the car starts extremely will now on cold starts.

There are many possible culprits to this symptom, but I've noticed this is a consistent and possibly unique problem with the E46. This is why I'm thinking it could be the vanos seals.

Here are possible culprits:
Dirty ICV (idle control valve).
Vacuum leak, often the CVV and associated hoses.
Dirty MAF sensor.
Leaking valve cover gaskets into the spark wells.
Bad coils.
Fuel related: pump, dirty filter, dirty injectors.

Pre-cat O2 sensors wonít cause this. They are out of the loop at startup.

There has been one E39 v8 owner who had a problem starting his car in cold weather. It was resolved by replacing the coolant temperature sensor.

Somehow I suspect this symptom is unique and is not due to the usual suspects. This is also why Iím wondering if it could be the vanos seals. It would be useful if someone with this issue would install the vanos seals and see if it resolves the problem. The vanos seals on all these cars are failing and replacing them will provide excellent performance improvements.

I would be happy to work closely with an owner with this issue to help them get the seals installed.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:34 PM   #9
titaniumsilver330
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Check the fuel injectors. If not that , then it might be uneven cylinder compressions. I had rough idles due to cracked T-connection after the MAF sensor. Check that too.
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Old 02-01-2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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wow, it seems as if my problem isnt isolated, it sucks to say that but thats what it is. so i guess no one has a solution to this problem yet or even an idea of how much the dealership would charge to fix it. i want to take it there but the service engine light isnt on anymore after i erased the code. so i wonder if i should take it there neway.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:03 PM   #11
NiceRideENT
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I got this car to enjoy it, so far I'm not.
I'm having the same problem. And P0171 and P0174 with misfire code also.
I've hear some people change the thermostat and fix the issue, some fix vanos seal and fix the issue, some fix coil and fix the issue.

so far i've done.

New Plugs
New Coils
Clean MAF Sensor
New Intake Book it was crack

I got two new Post cat sensor to put in tomorrow and probaby will do fuel filter also.

I don't know what else to do..
MAF Sensor is expensive, thats the last route I want to take.

But if any of you guys fix your issue please share the info.
This code just don't go away..

I have a 01 330Ci with 95K
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:05 PM   #12
wasp9166
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did you try cam sensors?
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:51 PM   #13
MWM330i
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Alternator

Have your voltage checked. I got the misfire codes when my alternator $hit the bed.
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Old 02-01-2008, 06:52 PM   #14
NiceRideENT
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No I haven't check cam sensor, but would that trow a code if its bad?
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
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it shudnt be the cam sensor cuz i had the intake and exhaust cam position sensor replaced less than a month ago.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:32 AM   #16
zentry
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I have a similar problem but on a 2000 323CI. Instead of a bad start mine seems to happen when I start from a complete stop.

I feel the car struggle (like it studdering) when I try to give it gas and am releasing the clutch, however if I ease up on the gas it will either stall or reluctantly start to catch and drive smooth. ON the other hand if I give it more gas and force it to catch the it gets into the vibration state. I can drive but it's like I've lost power and the whole car vibrates like crazy.

It returns to normal if I turn it off and restart. But then ofcourse the check engine light is on.

I feel it's more common now, possibly due to it being winter time.

Even when the car runs normal, I do feel it's slightly rougher If I'm flooring it and accellerating when the rpms go from between 2500 to 3500, I feel a very slight version of what the rough vibration feels like (I don't think I used to feel that in the past..it used to be smooth right throught the rpms from 1000 to 6000).

Lastly, can some of you do a check and compare the results:

If when stationary and in neutral. If I slowly give the car gas, it's very smooth and what I'm used to with the BMW. But if I suddenly bang on the gas pedal (and the rpms raise real quick) I feel the whole car jerk before it climbs in rpms. The jerk feels similar to the vibrations when it runs bad.

Is this normal n am I looking too much into this?

Please let me know..
Thanks,
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Old 03-01-2008, 12:14 AM   #17
ROYIII
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i have experienced all these cold start issues, random misfires, start then immediate stall, fluctuating idle, lean bank 1, 2. mine cleared up when i moved to georgia (from Michigan) and i also make sure to drive my car every day. i still have an erratic idle which is annoying, but with as much as i'm working right now i don't see myself doing the vanos seals anytime soon.

we need CoupeE36 to follow up on this post and see if his mech. diagnosed this and fixed it.
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Old 04-01-2008, 11:56 AM   #18
emg2919
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yeah, i'd be curious to find out as well. I'm about to change my CCV/oil separator as that's basically the last thing I know I need to do. Any other ideas, coupeE36?
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Old 11-17-2008, 09:32 AM   #19
smesser
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I have a 2001 330Ci and I started having these problems this morning.

As soon as I turned the car on is was idling very rough and the Service engine light came on.
Ten minutes later the light went off and the car ran normally.

Anyone ever figure this one out?
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Old 11-17-2008, 12:38 PM   #20
M54POWER
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same car same problem (and) for me. I replace the Vanos seals but the problem insist. The cure (for me) is to turn off the engine and then back on.
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