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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 11-22-2009, 09:27 PM   #1
Dan99
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Is it Safe to Drive With a Camshaft Sensor Error?

My car just pulled a p0344, which is a intake camshaft sensor error, so I was wondering if it's going to be safe driving it for awhile before I get it fixed next week?

Thanks,

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:32 PM   #2
hvirani
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You may experience sluggish acceleration and random stalls.

But to answer your question, I honestly don't know.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #3
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I drove mine around for like 2 days with it bad and the car definitely did not drive very well. It would stall out randomly and did have sluggish performance but it did not seem to do any harm. So yes its probably drivable but not for a while. Get the sensor ordered and put on ASAP.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:44 PM   #4
justin0o
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Originally Posted by hvirani View Post
You may experience sluggish acceleration and random stalls.

But to answer your question, I honestly don't know.
i drove around for a day and i was fine, and you will be slow as hell. Its probably not safe for you as a person, incase you need to make any quick manuevers or speed up suddenly.
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Old 11-22-2009, 09:51 PM   #5
Dan99
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k, thanks guys. I guess I'll be carpooling for this week.

i swear e46 are like blonds, they're so high maintenance and they need a lot of attention.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:13 PM   #6
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I drove around with mine bad for a month. It was a pain in the butt. It didn't do any further damage but, I don't recommend letting it go that long.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #7
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it can ruin the catalytic converters. I personally did it in an E38, but it was under warranty at the time so the $3200 bill for the new cats went to BMW. I wouldn't recommend it.
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Cheat Sheet:

GT1/ISIS/MoDiC = Factory authorized diagnostic system used by BMW dealerships across the world.

NCS Expert = BMW Factory R&D programming tool available on the internet (not intended for the public and not available to the dealership network)

OEM = Genuine BMW part only available from a franchised BMW dealership.

DME = Engine Management Computer
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:23 PM   #8
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I did ride around on mine for a few days. It's really easy to install too. Just order from tischer and have it there soon lol
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:36 PM   #9
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thanks guys, I don't know what I'd do without you guys.
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:38 PM   #10
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it can ruin the catalytic converters. I personally did it in an E38, but it was under warranty at the time so the $3200 bill for the new cats went to BMW. I wouldn't recommend it.
Who needs those anyway
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Old 11-22-2009, 10:53 PM   #11
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I drove around with mine for a while like that. Probably around a month. The only real noticeable thing was the random stalling. It started off random then it got progressively worse. Eventually I got off my ass and bought the thing. I don't have cats either, so it's not a concern to me
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:04 PM   #12
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Answer: No. My car died while taking a corner.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:14 PM   #13
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Answer: No. My car died while taking a corner.
Rofl. Probably cause u were riding with it going bad for a long time.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:18 PM   #14
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Change it ASAP. My car died on me while I was accelerating up a hill...
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:29 PM   #15
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Lol I noticed you both have auto's and it died on u and us manual guys just had lagged performance. observation.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:35 PM   #16
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Cause we can dip the clutch in when the engine starts to bog real bad and potentially save it.
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:56 PM   #17
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Yes its safe. Your car will be sluggish and might stall. Symptoms are different for each car.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:11 AM   #18
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Definitely not safe. The only time you get an SES code is if something is wrong with the emissions system or there is a vital faulty sensor or misfiring is detected. A camshaft position sensor is a vital component.

Camshaft position sensors are frequently used to determine camshaft advance or retard on variable timing engines, as well as they are also frequently used for ignition. Both of these readings are valuable and can cause pinging if incorrect.

Misfiring, pinging, knocking, pre-detonation, etc... is very bad for your engine. If you don't already know what pinging is, it is when the gasoline in your cylinders ignites prematurely. When this happens, the piston will not be at top dead center yet, forcing the piston backwards against the the connecting rod and crankshaft. Extreme stress on all of these parts, and wear on all of bearing that connects them. Also the intake valve will not be completely closed depending on how prematurely this pinging occurs, and you will have exhaust gas shooting through a partly open intake valve, which can cause even more damage.
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Old 11-23-2009, 12:36 AM   #19
Dan99
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Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
Definitely not safe. The only time you get an SES code is if something is wrong with the emissions system or there is a vital faulty sensor or misfiring is detected. A camshaft position sensor is a vital component.

Camshaft position sensors are frequently used to determine camshaft advance or retard on variable timing engines, as well as they are also frequently used for ignition. Both of these readings are valuable and can cause pinging if incorrect.

Misfiring, pinging, knocking, pre-detonation, etc... is very bad for your engine. If you don't already know what pinging is, it is when the gasoline in your cylinders ignites prematurely. When this happens, the piston will not be at top dead center yet, forcing the piston backwards against the the connecting rod and crankshaft. Extreme stress on all of these parts, and wear on all of bearing that connects them. Also the intake valve will not be completely closed depending on how prematurely this pinging occurs, and you will have exhaust gas shooting through a partly open intake valve, which can cause even more damage.


Thanks for the great info! I am sure glad I read that.
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Old 11-23-2009, 08:29 PM   #20
CokMinusTheS54
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I've been driving mine with that code since I bought the car, over two years ago.... Symptoms occurred randomly, then finally happened really bad last night when my dad was riding in the car with me, so he made me send it into the shop to verify what was wrong. They quoted me $225 to fix it but after a bit of looking I decided I'll DIM.

Anyways, is it safe to go with a non OEM part? Here are some I found, just tell me which I should buy.

http://www.bimmerspecialist.com/usa/...FRDxDAodgTh0nQ
http://www.joetlc.com/position-sensor-p-18676.html

Thanks!

~Christian
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