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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 01-27-2015, 09:19 AM   #1
Strykr24
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Intermittent misfire/rough idle... Scratching my head.

Ok, so before I'm flamed for not checking other threads... I have, and it helped some and confused me more. (example: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=477013)

When my issues all started, I had misfires on 5/6 cylinders (1,2,3,5,6) and decided to change plugs and coils, which helped. Also cleaned the injectors, ICV, TB, and valve train. The majority of the misfires are gone. Now I'm getting the following codes on an OBD2 scanner:

P0173 - Fuel trim bank 2
P0300 - Generic Misfire
P0300 - Generic Misfire
P1188 - Fuel control bank 1 sensor 1
P1189 - Fuel control bank 2 sensor 1
P1250 - Fuel level too low (restricted filter maybe??)
P1250 - Fuel level too low
P0170 - Fuel trim bank 1
P0301 - Cylinder 1 misfire
P0303 - Cylinder 3 misfire

BMW scanner shows:

E4 [228] - Ox-s. Control Deviation, bank 2, too large
E3 [227] - Ox-s. Control Deviation, bank 1, too large
CA [202] - Ox-sensor control, bank 1, control limit
CB [203] - Ox-sensor control, bank 2, control limit

Having read that the misfires are reported by the O2 sensors, and the BMW Scanner codes, that makes me think it's the sensors (which are due to be replaced anyway, since the PO apparently didn't do it).

I just want to get it running right, especially since I use the car for work (and fun)... Just need a little help since things are somewhat vague.

Help is appreciated.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:21 AM   #2
markusmarkus
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Is the fuel pump original?
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Old 01-27-2015, 11:37 AM   #3
Strykr24
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
Is the fuel pump original?
PO said it was replaced last winter, but I have no receipts so I can't be sure. Planned on testing fuel pressure this weekend.

Trying to figure out if I need to go the fuel route (pump and filter), or emissions route (o2 sensors and evap/vacuum leaks).

One reason why I shy away from the fuel pump/fuel system is because I can run highway speeds fine (normally), it's when idling I have issues. There are times where it's clearly misfiring going down the highway, and smells of unburnt fuel (almost like lighter fluid/injector cleaner)

Last edited by Strykr24; 01-27-2015 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 01-27-2015, 10:34 PM   #4
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did you check your air filter? you might want to replace the pre-cat o2 sensors, those are pretty easy to install.. then check for vacuum leaks.
u might want to check if ur plugs are gapped right and use oem plugs.

i remember i put the wrong plugs in and my idle was terrible.
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Old 01-28-2015, 06:17 AM   #5
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Air filter is brand new, just installed last oil chamge and juat blown out this change. Plugs are brand new OEM spec NGK.
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Old 01-29-2015, 10:30 AM   #6
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Fuel filter and o2 sensors ordered (delivered tomorrow... gotta love oembimmer and amazon). Any ideas what else it could be if this doesnt fix it? Pump?
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:26 PM   #7
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Replacing the O2 sensors cleared all 4 of their faults, which is great.

Misfire is still there (exhaust also smells like lighter fluid or something other than rich exhaust).

SES light came on today driving to work, but unfortunately I don't have Torque so I didn't get to scan it yet to see what it was (I'm guessing the same misfire codes, but we'll see). Hopefully doing FCAB, diff mount, and fuel filter this weekend.

Any other ideas? The pump is the only other thing I can think of.
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Old 02-03-2015, 04:59 PM   #8
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O2 sensor faults came back, along with 2 misfire codes (1 & 3). Leaning more towards the pump.
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Old 02-03-2015, 05:00 PM   #9
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Also, i keep getting a code for "activation solenoid, suction jet pump"... what is it? SAP?
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Old 02-04-2015, 09:41 AM   #10
markusmarkus
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These cars have 2 fuel pumps. The electrically powered pump is in the passenger side tank. There's a jet pump in the driver side tank. I've never seen an owner having a problem with it, but it's possible.
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Old 02-04-2015, 10:59 AM   #11
Strykr24
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
These cars have 2 fuel pumps. The electrically powered pump is in the passenger side tank. There's a jet pump in the driver side tank. I've never seen an owner having a problem with it, but it's possible.
That's what I was thinking, but couldn't find anyone that had the issue. I also can't find any parts online. May pull it and clean it with some carb/choke cleaner when I do the other side. The code never shows up with an OBDII scanner, just with BMW scanner as a shadow code.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:25 PM   #12
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Got the pump and filter replaced yesterday (pump was original and still had the tamper goo on the lock ring). It was running fine other than having a slight lope at idle right after start (tap the throttle and it goes away). Ran fine this morning with the same issue... Just drove to get lunch and now it's struggling/surging at idle, and actually stalled in the parking lot (no code thrown).

Really getting confused.

New parts thus far are:
plugs and coils
O2 sensors (pre-cat)
fuel filter
fuel pump

Thinking it could be my FPR or a vacuum leak maybe, but without having a code to go on I'm shooting in the dark now.
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:05 AM   #13
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Really need help with this. About to take it to the dealership to have them track it down for me.

No active codes to go on. Start the car and it idles high, then settles into the same lope. Tap the throttle (used to fix it) and sometimes it will get worse. Been trying to find a vacuum leak and haven't found anything yet. It's dropping down to 250-300 rpms and coming back, which makes me think it's a fueling issue. It's also starting to do it while driving.

Could the secondary fuel pump be causing this kind of issue?
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:05 PM   #14
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I had a similar issue, during start up. Tapping the gas normally made it go away. I learned it was a leaking fuel injector. It would leak in the intake chamber after the engine was turned off and caused start up idle issues, until all the gas was consumed.

Here is how I troubleshot the issue.

I pulled the fuel rail with the injectors connected, put cardboard under the injectors, then turned the key, so the fuel pump fires up, but not so far that the starter engages. Left in that state, walked away, and came back 5 minutes later. Quickly saw a wet spot on the cardboard, and one of the injectors was leaking. Turned the key to off. Put back together. Ordered a new injector and installed it. This fixed the start up issue.

I hope this helps. An inexpensive and quick troubleshooting. Could do it in about an hour or so.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:15 PM   #15
Strykr24
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Originally Posted by EXNoodle View Post
I had a similar issue, during start up. Tapping the gas normally made it go away. I learned it was a leaking fuel injector. It would leak in the intake chamber after the engine was turned off and caused start up idle issues, until all the gas was consumed.

Here is how I troubleshot the issue.

I pulled the fuel rail with the injectors connected, put cardboard under the injectors, then turned the key, so the fuel pump fires up, but not so far that the starter engages. Left in that state, walked away, and came back 5 minutes later. Quickly saw a wet spot on the cardboard, and one of the injectors was leaking. Turned the key to off. Put back together. Ordered a new injector and installed it. This fixed the start up issue.

I hope this helps. An inexpensive and quick troubleshooting. Could do it in about an hour or so.
I'll have to check that. Im trying to make sure there are no residual vacuum leaks too. Thanks.
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Old 02-24-2015, 05:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Strykr24 View Post
Also, i keep getting a code for "activation solenoid, suction jet pump"... what is it? SAP?
Okay, that right there might be a clue that there's a problem in the vacuum system. Follow the hose going from your brake booster back to where it connects at the side of the intake manifold--what it connects to is the suction jet pump. Not saying it's bad (it's just a vacuum valve), but it's a clue.

In one of your posts you asked if you should go down the Emissions/Vacuum leaks route, and I absolutely would every time. Have you replaced the valve cover gasket yet? Are any of the CCV tubes cracked? Is the return line in the oil dipstick tube clogged? How about all the little 1/8" vacuum hoses that like to get brittle and crack when you bump them? Couple of those behind the intake manifold near the firewall.

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Old 02-24-2015, 11:18 AM   #17
Strykr24
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Originally Posted by 50sKid View Post
Okay, that right there might be a clue that there's a problem in the vacuum system. Follow the hose going from your brake booster back to where it connects at the side of the intake manifold--what it connects to is the suction jet pump. Not saying it's bad (it's just a vacuum valve), but it's a clue.

In one of your posts you asked if you should go down the Emissions/Vacuum leaks route, and I absolutely would every time. Have you replaced the valve cover gasket yet? Are any of the CCV tubes cracked? Is the return line in the oil dipstick tube clogged? How about all the little 1/8" vacuum hoses that like to get brittle and crack when you bump them? Couple of those behind the intake manifold near the firewall.
Thanks!

I have looked at some of the lines and they all looked good, but I got some ether to check for leaks I can't see (don't have the money for a smoke machine). I plan on checking the vacuum lines this weekend from the tank to the front (thought I heard a hissing by the passenger door last night). I have not done the VC gasket yet, but it is on the list (PO's didn't take too good of care of her and I didn't know everything to look for before buying the car). I'll also double check the oil dipstick.

Positive note, replacing coils, plugs, fuel filter, pump and pre-cat o2s has cleared the CEL.
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Old 02-24-2015, 04:25 PM   #18
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Eeeeek...by ether I assume you mean starting fluid? Ether has a very low auto-ignition temp. Out of anything in the world you could pick to spray near a hot engine, that's gotta be the most dangerous! Do you have any brakleen (non-chlorinated)? I'd use that instead. Although this still isn't a sure fire way to find a vacuum leak (you can't spray inside the spark plug well with the coil in there, for instance.)

But if you're gonna use the ether, please do that outdoors! ;-)

You said you replaced the fuel pump and your codes finally went away, so that's good and I understand why you're still thinking the fuel system, but in my experience a loping idle and near stalling at times is almost always a vacuum leak.

Valve cover gasket is like $30 on eBay, btw.

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Old 02-24-2015, 04:43 PM   #19
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Btw, since you have it, I think Bmw scanner 1.4 shows fuel pressure in the live data. So you might not need to borrow a fuel pressure gauge from your auto parts store just for that.

Also, things that show up as shadow codes can be ignored now. That just means the problem used to be there. The computer modules store their last problems so ppl can't erase history for the next tech who comes along, hehe.

Btw I just reread this original thread and I notice now you said suction jet pump, and the thing I told you about is actually the sucking jet pump (eye roll). Yeah I kept thinking to myself, there's no solenoid on that thing... The suction jet pump with a solenoid is part of the fuel pump itself. It siphons gas from the other lobe when the one the fuel pump is in gets too low. Is this a current code or a shadow code, though? If it's shadow then you fixed it when you did the fuel pump.

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Old 02-25-2015, 10:36 AM   #20
Strykr24
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Originally Posted by 50sKid View Post
Eeeeek...by ether I assume you mean starting fluid? Ether has a very low auto-ignition temp. Out of anything in the world you could pick to spray near a hot engine, that's gotta be the most dangerous! Do you have any brakleen (non-chlorinated)? I'd use that instead. Although this still isn't a sure fire way to find a vacuum leak (you can't spray inside the spark plug well with the coil in there, for instance.)

But if you're gonna use the ether, please do that outdoors! ;-)

You said you replaced the fuel pump and your codes finally went away, so that's good and I understand why you're still thinking the fuel system, but in my experience a loping idle and near stalling at times is almost always a vacuum leak.

Valve cover gasket is like $30 on eBay, btw.
Yeah I meant starting fluid. Used to use ether for force starting medium duty trucks at the shop I worked for (the diesel techs did, I just watched and laughed). Didn't think about using brakleen. Gonna try to check the typical lines for a leak. When it starts loping, it smells like it's over fueling (strong butane/lighter fluid smell). After taping the throttle, it gives a small pop (backfire I'm guessing) and settles into a normal idle around 750rpm. That's the other reason why I was thinking fuel (either leaky injector, restricted flow, or faulty FPR).




Quote:
Originally Posted by 50sKid View Post
Btw, since you have it, I think Bmw scanner 1.4 shows fuel pressure in the live data. So you might not need to borrow a fuel pressure gauge from your auto parts store just for that.

Also, things that show up as shadow codes can be ignored now. That just means the problem used to be there. The computer modules store their last problems so ppl can't erase history for the next tech who comes along, hehe.

Btw I just reread this original thread and I notice now you said suction jet pump, and the thing I told you about is actually the sucking jet pump (eye roll). Yeah I kept thinking to myself, there's no solenoid on that thing... The suction jet pump with a solenoid is part of the fuel pump itself. It siphons gas from the other lobe when the one the fuel pump is in gets too low. Is this a current code or a shadow code, though? If it's shadow then you fixed it when you did the fuel pump.
I'll have to rescan and see. Live data from DME? I'm guessing mine's too old (9/21/99 prod date) because I've never gotten live data to show up. I haven't rescanned it since I cleared the codes after installing the pump and filter.
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