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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 06-01-2015, 05:08 AM   #1
Padraic
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the infernal limp mode

Hi new to the forum

finished with the e39 523i now have a e46 318i

Limp mode
no ryhme or reason
comes on at any time and gear changing very hard
if i stop the car for 1 minute and turn it off. limp mode is gone
i can drive for 50 yards or 50 miles or 500 miles then its on again
general mechanic said no DTC in the system just a can torque inteface but nothing else see a transmission specialist
auto transmission place said no DTCs in the system just a can torque
go to an auto electrician
no nothing there

I can drive it hard or baby it
no engine DTCs
I changed the MAF just in case and no change
5 days later on again
stop the car for a coffee get back in and limp mode gone.
drive it on teh freeway
smooth, sitting on 100KPH,flat road, no problem,then on again

has anyone else had this intermittent problem
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:12 AM   #2
forzam
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When it's in limp mode, does the idle fluctuate and are a bunch of dash lights on (eml, dsc, brake)?
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:49 AM   #3
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We need to know a LOT more about what is going on.

Limp Mode is a too generic of a comment for what is going on.

We need to know what year, prefer build month and year as well as confirm if this is a 4 cylinder engine.

You may just have a basic Misfire with Fuel Cut Off.

What maintenance/component inspection have you done so far?

Depending on the year of your car, it may not fully support OBDII for indicator lights and DTC's/Trouble Codes.

You may need a BMW specific tool to read codes more in depth. Often even a "Pro" OBDII tool can pick up BMW specific codes of a generic tool is unable to read any DTC's.

You mention the words "can torque", was this some form of error code someone was able to pick up?

This may be a RAM error in the DME which can be very intermittent and can usually will set some form of code that a more advanced OBDII should be able to pick up.
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Old 06-01-2015, 04:48 PM   #4
Padraic
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Hi guys thanks for the quick response

We need to know what year, prefer build month november and year 2003as well as confirm if this is a 4 cylinder engine. 2 litre 4 cylinder engine

You may just have a basic Misfire with Fuel Cut Off.
i used a new OBDii scanner on it last night and it gave error codes misfire and fuel cut of in 1 and 2 cylinder but this has not shown up on any scan over the past few months. Can a misfire cause a transmission to go into limp mode.

What maintenance/component inspection have you done so far?
changed the MAF, had the transmission serviced new Fluid and filter had teh engine serviced new oil and filter, new air filter

Depending on the year of your car, it may not fully support OBDII for indicator lights and DTC's/Trouble Codes.

You may need a BMW specific tool to read codes more in depth. Often even a "Pro" OBDII tool can pick up BMW specific codes of a generic tool is unable to read any DTC's.

You mention the words "can torque", was this some form of error code someone was able to pick up?

DTC 92 1/1
CAN torque interface

i have tried to upload a screen shot

This may be a RAM error in the DME which can be very intermittent and can usually will set some form of code that a more advanced OBDII should be able to pick up.

also no other warning lights on and no fluctuation in idle.
i have had 2 instances where it shuddered and i thought it would stall but was ok and no limp mode by this
when limp mode comes on i pull over to the side of th eroad wait 1 minute and start it up again and off i go
it can stay off for 1 minute a day or a few weeks
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:11 AM   #5
Padraic
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update
off to another auto electrician and he advised faulty ignition pack
4 new ignition coils and 4 new spark plugs
no real noticable difference in performance
2 days later transmission light is on again

back to auto electrician and he said it could be the disa but he doesnt know what that is or where is is.

i know where is is on the e39 523i on the intake manifold
does anyone know where is it on a 2 litre e46 4 cylinder
i am assuming the intake manifold but cant see it unless it is underneath the assembly

http://2009.bmwfans.info/parts/catal...nifold_system/

Last edited by Padraic; 06-04-2015 at 03:14 AM. Reason: update with image
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Old 06-04-2015, 04:55 PM   #6
Dave1027
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I don't know why you are dealing with an auto electric guy (who does not seem to know what he's talking about and already wrongly advised you). You said yourself the gears are changing hard. Seems the problem is with the transmission to me.
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:10 PM   #7
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when you are into limp mode. Does the engine run normal? You said hard gear changin? What are your other symptoms when you are into limp mode? Can't reach higher speed? rpms not climbing all the way up? details details.

I've had an intermitent limp mode problem on my 320i, it was drawing air from a cracked intake boots, causing it to fall into limp mode once in a while. It would turn off when I restarted the car. Maybe it's worth a look. Check for leaks.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:16 PM   #8
Padraic
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Hi Dave 1027

I take it to the auto electricians, because the mechanic suggest an automotive transmission place and the auto transmission specialist said no DTCs or errors in the transmission its an electrical fault it must go to an auto electrician.

Hi Merve, I will see all the boots and see if I find anything thanks for the help
engine runs fine but no power. auto changing is clunky cant accelerate.
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Old 06-06-2015, 10:55 AM   #9
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How old is the alternator? I have had this same thing happen and hooked my voltage meter up,,and found that I was getting correct voltage from the alt. Not satisfied, I went to an indy that I check in with and had him hook up to his meter,,while he checked everything out and I would rev the engine, we found that, indeed the voltage was okay, but the alt was slow in getting where it needed to be to keep up with demands on the cars grid. I replaced the alt and low and behold ,,car was sweet again. This just happened a week ago. The alt was rebuilt about 100k miles ago and had 300k miles on it. I also had a problem with first start up in the AM of one cylinder wanting to misfire,,that has gone away also. Might want to check and see if your alt is working as it should, just because your getting proper voltage at idle, doesn't mean it's getting proper voltage when under accleration or when other power demanding units are engaged.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:16 AM   #10
Padraic
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i will get the alternator checked at an auto electricians
as an update
i purchased a new MAF
and as soon as i put it in car shuddered and transmission light was on
i could not drive 100 feet without it coming on
put the old one back in and i could drive say 10 miles then limp mode came on
left it for 2 days now it doesnt come on again
i have ordered a new MAF in case the new one was faulty.

see how that goes
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Old 07-29-2015, 06:11 PM   #11
Padraic
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update new MAF and no change
it is now a regular occurrance
start from cold, drive 20 minutes, and on it comes
then stays on
overnight its clear no longer on, drive 20 minutes and on again.

had a guy test it with a CAN test box and he suggested fuses. seemed ok for 1 day

what is logical about 20 minutes
is it a timer, heat
its not distance because i let it idel for 20 minutes in the driveway then took it for a drive and it was on straight away.
in the first 20 minutes i can drive hard or baby it and no difference
but after 20 minutes ... on its comes again
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:10 AM   #12
Padraic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolman View Post
How old is the alternator? I also had a problem with first start up in the AM of one cylinder wanting to misfire,,that has gone away also. Might want to check and see if your alt is working as it should, just because your getting proper voltage at idle, doesn't mean it's getting proper voltage when under accleration or when other power demanding units are engaged.
HI Poolman
thanks for that tip
I replaced the alternator and the car went past the 20 minutes mark and i thought it was ok but at about 35 minutes it came on again. i too had the problem on start where it seemed like one cylinder was not firing .

took it back to an auto electrician and again no problems, no engine fault codes and just error in transmission n92 CAN torque interface stop the car start it after 20 seconds and th eerror is gone
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:20 PM   #13
Padraic
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also took the car to BMW
$285 to use the scanner to check for DTCs
plus any work is $235 per hour
before i could advise the BMW service manager
he said looks like replace the transmission.
Approx $4500 plus

no thanks
back to reading more
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:36 PM   #14
Padraic
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also took the car to BMW
$285 to use the scanner to check for DTCs
plus any work is $235 per hour
before i could advise the BMW service manager
he said looks like replace the transmission.
Approx $4500 plus

no thanks
back to reading more
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Old 10-03-2015, 10:10 PM   #15
Padraic
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limp mode problem solved

finally after all the work the limp mode no longer is a problem

i have replaced
spark plugs
ignition coils
alternator
had transmission serviced
mew MAF

and the problem was the eccentric cam sensor

no more problems

thanks to all for all your advice
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