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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 10-11-2008, 03:33 PM   #1
peanut_man
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So I woke up early today... Throttle Body / Idle Control Valve Cleaning DIY

So, I had a meeting today at 8am (yeah, Saturday, yay I love my job... NOT). Anyway, since I'm up and the gf is sound a sleep and the meeting got done early I decided to attempt to clean the idle control valve and while at it also the throttle body.

I've been trying to resolve the hunting idle issue for some time. I've tried using Seafoam before w/ limited success. In previous cars I have had great success to reduce sticky throttle and smooth out idle. It seems this is the only sure way to clean out the gunk that's built up in the ICV.

As usual, the planned time of 1 hr got bloated to 4 hr because I never done this before and there are a bunch of 'undocumented' procedure that must be done before I can get to the ICV and the TB.

Ok, so here goes the overview:

1) Remove the airbox
2) Remove the MAF
3) Remove the 1st section of the airduct
4) Remove the cabin filter + housing
5) Remove the plastic panel around the left strut tower (Need for clearance!)
6) Remove the intake resonance valve
7) Remove the ICV
8) Clean ICV + TB
9) Assemble in reverse

Well, that's the way i found easiest, after fumbling and making so many mistakes. But hey, I'm going thru the pain so you guys doesn't have to, rt? First remove the air box







Getting the 1st section of the air duct out is a bit complicated. I later realized that I really should have removed all the other stuff that are in the way first: cabin filter housing, intake resonance valve and plastic baffle around the strut column.





Here's the intake resonance valve:



Here's the plastic baffle out:



It was pretty hard to get the metal straps out from the Y air duct as they were facing toward the rear. Using flexible connector and various adapters I was able to get it loose enough. Pull out the duct.



You can see here the intake manifold resonance valve (top black hole), idle control valve intake (smaller hole on the right) and the throttle body (lower opening). Remove this bracket nut and move it out of the way first:



Unplug, unbolt, and wiggle out the ICV together w/ the brackets.



Here's the view with the ICV removed.



Look at the gunky stuff build up inside:





I use throttle body cleaner + Seafoam Deep Creep. The throttle body cleaner remove most of the gunk pretty well. The Deep Creep remove some but it also lubricates, so I use that last.



Clean it as best I could:





I prop the throttle open w/ a socket extension section wrapped in electrical tape so not to damage anything. Again I use throttle body cleaner + Deep Creep to clean and lubricate the TB. I use plastic bags and some rag stuffed under the TB to absorb any run-offs.



Wipe every thing clean before reassemble, in reverse order. The only thing I make sure of is that the Y air duct, I made sure that the screw for the straps are pointed up so next time it'll be easier to get to if needed.



Well, went for a test drive, not bad, the idle is definitely way smoother. Throttle response seems to be better as well, but maybe just my head. At stop light the engine runs so smooth, just as it should be. I haven't noticed any rpm hunting yet, but I haven't drive the car extensively yet.

Hope this helps you guys out.
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:25 PM   #2
jenewein
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Nice diy!
I did this about a week ago and having this DIY would've made it a lot easier!
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Old 10-11-2008, 06:44 PM   #3
330CiC2001
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Gotta try it..swett DIY.!
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Old 10-12-2008, 06:03 AM   #4
weisiong123
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Very very good pictures. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't remove the ICV and intake boot connected to the Throttle body cause of the damn hose clamps position below. Whats the best way to access that hose clamp?
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by weisiong123 View Post
Very very good pictures. Thanks for sharing. I couldn't remove the ICV and intake boot connected to the Throttle body cause of the damn hose clamps position below. Whats the best way to access that hose clamp?
Yes, that's exactly what took me awhile to figured out. But basically to gain enough clearance, you'll need to remove the cabin filter housing + the black plastic baffle around the left shock tower (see pics above). Then I use small socket and 4" extension to remove the metal hose clamps. It's not easy, there's very little wiggle room. Real pain.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:46 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by peanut_man View Post
Yes, that's exactly what took me awhile to figured out. But basically to gain enough clearance, you'll need to remove the cabin filter housing + the black plastic baffle around the left shock tower (see pics above). Then I use small socket and 4" extension to remove the metal hose clamps. It's not easy, there's very little wiggle room. Real pain.
I did remove those, but I am really afraid of dropping tools in the car..I always drop screws and stuff and it pisses me off.

Or should I just rip the damn intake boot out? since I have a new piece waiting to be installed. lol
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:54 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by weisiong123 View Post
I did remove those, but I am really afraid of dropping tools in the car..I always drop screws and stuff and it pisses me off.

Or should I just rip the damn intake boot out? since I have a new piece waiting to be installed. lol
The strap will still be on the TB / ICV if you try to rip it out. So, probably not going to help you there. As for dropping screws, the strap screws won't come out so that's not your problem. Most other screws can be replaced anyway. I have drop numerous nuts bolts, etc. Usually I either find them made their way down to the floor or I can fish it out w/ one of those megnetic retrieval wand. If all else failed, I just run over to the BMW dealer to get a new part. As for dropping tools, here's my suggestion, electrical tape:



Of course, it depends on your comfort level. If you really aren't comfortable working on your car, maybe it's really not your cup of tea. Let a friend or a mechanic handle it for you. Just make sure you keep your friends happy w/ some cold ones...


Last edited by peanut_man; 10-12-2008 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 01:08 PM   #8
Miko_10
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I'm always amazed whenever fanatics have the patience to take pics for DIYs, OP Great DIY and thanks for posting. I almost went ahead with removing the intake resonance valve and ICV when i was going through my rough idle issues but thankfully never had to go that far with cleaning, I just did a complete seafoam/deep creep treatment and that was good enough for me. I can relate to the intake boot being a PITA, it definitely takes some patience getting that intake boot out, there isn't much room around that area and I had to loosen that clamp blind since the bolt on mine was on the underside for the intake boot.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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Great writeup and DIY! I also saw this in another post and found the actual reference in my manual. According to the Bentley service manual (see 130-18) there's a procedure to reconfigure the EDK after it has been removed or replaced:
- Turn ingintion ON (do not start)
- Turn ingnition off for 10 secs
- Start engine
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:34 PM   #10
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Your engine bay is diiiirty.....





But nice write up
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Old 11-09-2008, 12:32 AM   #11
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DID mine and i got SES now.
gonna get it read out tomorrow
.. :'(
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Old 11-09-2008, 03:24 AM   #12
Jason@Euro-Division
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DID mine and i got SES now.
gonna get it read out tomorrow
.. :'(
Maybe you did not tighten the intake boot enough, just like what happened to me.
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Old 11-09-2008, 05:17 AM   #13
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wat will be the code?
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Old 11-09-2008, 10:07 PM   #14
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Thanks soo much man. Did this today and car feels soooooo much smoother while idling! I love you for this!
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:12 PM   #15
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Very nice write up, it is possible to remove the icv without first removing the DISA?
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:47 PM   #16
peanut_man
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Originally Posted by TKC View Post
Your engine bay is diiiirty.....





But nice write up
Alright, you got me... what's the best way to clean the engine bay?
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:52 PM   #17
peanut_man
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Very nice write up, it is possible to remove the icv without first removing the DISA?
Hmmm... don't think you could. Besides, it's literally 2 screws and one connector. Just do it.

Last edited by peanut_man; 11-15-2008 at 11:55 PM.
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Old 07-13-2009, 10:17 AM   #18
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Why dont I see the pictures anymore??? Mods, please help..

Thanks for the write up !!
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Old 07-13-2009, 05:09 PM   #19
xaiolin
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I just cleaned my icv this past weekend. How often should we do this?
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:02 PM   #20
heavyfoot
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Wow.. this is a great DIY. I have the same problem with my 323i, and would love to be able to try this. But I'm not comfortable doing it by myself, and don't think I have all the tools necessary either. Does anyone have suggestions for mechanics in the Dallas, TX area who would do this clean, and not rip me off?
Thanks!
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