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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 11-09-2010, 10:06 PM   #21
charlesrock
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thanks man! i appreciate it.. i have a mechanic doing the work on the ICV and checkin for vac leaks.. is there a device i can buy to scan my car frequently for codes?
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:48 PM   #22
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i noticed this too... i cleaned my ICV and it seemed to help!
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Old 11-09-2010, 10:55 PM   #23
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Dont see anything wrong...
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:02 AM   #24
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thanks man! i appreciate it.. i have a mechanic doing the work on the ICV and checkin for vac leaks.. is there a device i can buy to scan my car frequently for codes?
Check this: http://www.autoenginuity.com/

It seems cool because there is version for pocket pc and you can basically follow engine parameters while you drive.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:52 AM   #25
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thanks man! i appreciate it.. i have a mechanic doing the work on the ICV and checkin for vac leaks.. is there a device i can buy to scan my car frequently for codes?
Bimmertools is a sponsor and sells the Peake Tool...don't know the price but around $100 iirc.

Autogenuity looks to be around $1400

Autologics is around $10-20K
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Old 11-11-2010, 02:30 AM   #26
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Thanks, Huker, but the forum would be nothing without all the guys on the forum I learned everything from. Aside from Bentley...this, and formerly bmwdigest for my e36, is where I learned everything from. I got good at searching...thanks to seeing what happens to noobs when they don't...and since I care about the subject...my car...studied long and hard...and then just remember and regurgitate (I know...putting it politely from what some think!).

Anyway...I'm just a current messenger and there are many of us...never enough...but many...and most know far more than me about lots. But, I'll take credit for typing quickly and writing as thoroughly as I can...much to the dismay of many!

Anyway...will take that as your appreciation for fanatics....the forum, the people, and the search feature! LOL

Doug
You're an inspiration, Dmax Btw, where did you get Bentley manual for E46 from? I guess you have paper format. I searched in hope to download it in pdf, but nothing.

I'll have to get one way or the other. The more you know about something, the more you love it and appreciate. And then you want to know even more.
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Old 02-28-2011, 09:52 PM   #27
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Doug, aka DMAX, I have had this surging idle issue since I bought my car brand new in 2000. The stealership kept updating the software and never fixed the problem. It used to be just a winter annoyance but now at 11 years old, it's a full blown safety hazard. I have the car stalling on off-ramps as i am going 60 mph requiring a daredevil full shut down and restart while in motion. I am in the process of following all your recommendations on what to clean. If your advice solves a problem that no BMW certified mechanic has been able to figure out in 11 years, you deserve your spot in the E46 Fanatics hall of fame.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:09 AM   #28
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More like car history hall of fame. No brand is immune to this problem. I only didn't hear about it on diesels. You really have this for 11 years? Since the car was new?
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:58 AM   #29
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Doug, aka DMAX, I have had this surging idle issue since I bought my car brand new in 2000. The stealership kept updating the software and never fixed the problem. It used to be just a winter annoyance but now at 11 years old, it's a full blown safety hazard. I have the car stalling on off-ramps as i am going 60 mph requiring a daredevil full shut down and restart while in motion. I am in the process of following all your recommendations on what to clean. If your advice solves a problem that no BMW certified mechanic has been able to figure out in 11 years, you deserve your spot in the E46 Fanatics hall of fame.
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More like car history hall of fame. No brand is immune to this problem. I only didn't hear about it on diesels. You really have this for 11 years? Since the car was new?
There's a Fanatics and/or car history Hall of Fame? Wow? I definitely want in, especially if I get to meet and shake the hands of some of my heros...like Mario Andretti (one more time), Michael Schumacher, Alonso, Pir (who provides blondes and e46s to visiting fanatics!), Delmarco, SolidJake, BimmersGarage, Nova (you settling in, Mike?)...okay...shouldn't have started this list...and you guys in CA...all of you...you're the best and I hope the ashes of my posts lie right next to yours!

Sorry, Madluv...lost track a bit.

I'm pretty busy the next couple of days...but, if you PM me, I'd be happy to PM you my cell, so if you get stuck, I can talk you through...maybe!

Just pretend you've got OCD and have to do everything perfectly...clean like there's no tomorrow...but don't smoke while doing so...cleaning stuff is explosive. Also, particularly note that you shouldn't assemble and start stuff up right away to see how you did...an intake mani exploded from that!

You have all the right sprays? Maf cleaner is unique. Also, you replacing rubber things behind disa (which might just take rtv, but think our models are the same with an 0-ring), icv, and disa?

Don't get frustrated removing lower boot either...use a 6mm socket (think that's it) on the clamp, swing it to top, and then continue...replace so you can get access next time...if there is one.

Doug
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:44 AM   #30
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Thanks again Dmax. I am pretty OCD when it comes to everything. Also, I work in the lubricant industry so I have an enviable collection of lubes, penetrants, cleaners and degreasers (not to mention appearance products).

Yes, 11 years of dealing with this issue. I have a huge written account which i submitted to BMW North America at the highest customer service level possible. I also engaged a man named Dan Doot, head of maintenance for BMW NA, whom I had met at Spartanburg during a 6-series drive event. I've had service managers drive home with my car plugged into a diagnostic machine, had the VANOS replaced, DME updated like 20 times and still the problem persists. It used to be just a cold weather issue but now it's all the time and getting worse. I find that if an oxygen sensor fails, it gets worse.

I need to either fix this issue or dump the car. So I, with Doug's expert advice, am going to put in an all out effort to do what no mechanic has ever been able to do.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:53 AM   #31
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Where in NY are you? I'd love to see your car running nicely some day!

If you search for my original post on what I did...somewhere in the 'idle surge' 'stalling' thread I think, I did what many did...though many didn't get the same results as me...which is not to say they did anything wrong...just maybe their issue was different than mine.

Sounds like your symptoms are what I had shortly after I got my car. Also, as I did my vanos separately, and solved my issue, I've always discounted the 'vanos-related' solutions to this...but it may also be an issue.

Anyway...GL...sounds like you have a good handle on things and are rearing to go! Don't forget to clean mating surfaces before reinstalling things...and just to mention also...I removed my TB also and sprayed the hell out of it...but went to town on icv with at least a can and a half of cleaner...spraying, twisting, turning, shaking, draining icv from every angle I could find...and I could find a lot. Spray until you hear a hard click from icv...it sounds like a metal ball in there, but might just be a butterfly valve of substantial weight...but you'll 'hear' what I mean. Also, many passes on cleaning maf, tb, and disa all...as I had other stuff to do at the time...think I did some other repair at the time...don't remember if it was engine cooling/heating hoses or CCV, but something else took time so I could clean repeatedly. I did not want to do that again so maybe went overboard...maybe not.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:25 AM   #32
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A month ago, I thought i had discovered the issue as being the MAF. So I ordered a new AFTERMARKET MAF on ECS. I promptly installed it and, prior to the new MAF being installed, my Check Engine Light (CEL) was not on. When i installed the NEW unit, the CEL came on and the problem worsened. I reinstalled the old MAF and the CEL remains on and the problem is worse. WTF? I took everyone's advice and drove with the MAF unplugged. The issue went away. So what does all this mean? The big question I have is: Has anyone had experience using the AFTERMARKET MAF from ECS or any other aftermarket MAFs? Do they just not work as well or is this signifying another issue (perhaps with the DME)?
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:46 AM   #33
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A month ago, I thought i had discovered the issue as being the MAF. So I ordered a new AFTERMARKET MAF on ECS. I promptly installed it and, prior to the new MAF being installed, my Check Engine Light (CEL) was not on. When i installed the NEW unit, the CEL came on and the problem worsened. I reinstalled the old MAF and the CEL remains on and the problem is worse. WTF? I took everyone's advice and drove with the MAF unplugged. The issue went away. So what does all this mean? The big question I have is: Has anyone had experience using the AFTERMARKET MAF from ECS or any other aftermarket MAFs? Do they just not work as well or is this signifying another issue (perhaps with the DME)?
Interesting. Maybe your MAF connector is simply loose. On the other hand, MAF is one of most important (perhaps THE most important) sensors in car for smooth ride and I probably wouldn't bother with aftermarket part, I think it pays off to have OEM.
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:57 AM   #34
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Thanks again Dmax. I am pretty OCD when it comes to everything. Also, I work in the lubricant industry so I have an enviable collection of lubes, penetrants, cleaners and degreasers (not to mention appearance products).

Yes, 11 years of dealing with this issue. I have a huge written account which i submitted to BMW North America at the highest customer service level possible. I also engaged a man named Dan Doot, head of maintenance for BMW NA, whom I had met at Spartanburg during a 6-series drive event. I've had service managers drive home with my car plugged into a diagnostic machine, had the VANOS replaced, DME updated like 20 times and still the problem persists. It used to be just a cold weather issue but now it's all the time and getting worse. I find that if an oxygen sensor fails, it gets worse.

I need to either fix this issue or dump the car. So I, with Doug's expert advice, am going to put in an all out effort to do what no mechanic has ever been able to do.
Jesus. I don't understand why dealership can't simply try to change one sensor after the other until they find the faulty one, even try to change the ECU. Some faulty sensor is most probable cause imo, if it's not that, than vacuum leak or clogged lines, or even electrical conduits. Bottom line is this, I think: something is causing incorrect readings in some of the sensors - or incorrect data coming to ecu- or readings so way off, that ECU can't compensate for it from data in any of its lookup tables. It simply doesn't "know" what to do with data it gets, programmers didn't predict such configuration of parameters.
And they can update the ecu zillion times, all for nothing, if they don't know what exactly is wrong. If they did, they wouldn't need to update the ecu, they would solve the problem. ECU was programmed to work with everything being correct and sound, with big margin for deviations from wear and tear, I guess. If it needs update (bull), than something is seriously wrong with the engine, not the ecu.

Morbid analogy: updating ECU is solution for this kind of problem as much as chemotherapy is cure for cancer.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:27 AM   #35
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The dealer was more than happy to replace my vanos and 3 or 4 other unrelated items at my expense. So it was not to their advantage to fix the issue. This is the reason that e46Fanatics has become my new BMW Garage. Dealerships can't be trusted. I also had an issue under warranty where my clutch would not work and I couldnt get the car in gear. They sent a flat bed, replaced the slave cylinder and it did nothing. Then they sent the flatbed a second time and charged me for a clutch at 50,000 miles. Again it still didn't work so on the third flatbed, they finally discovered it was the master cylinder. which is why I am fed up with dealerships. They did it to themselves. Now I have a great local guy who has a garage in the back of his house who used to be a NASCAR team mechanic and racer. His rates are dirt cheap and he does decent work. If anyone is in the Bay Shore, NY area, I'd be happy to provide his contact info.
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Old 03-03-2011, 06:38 AM   #36
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^ Damn, classic story about stealership experience. How ignorant can they be
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Old 03-04-2011, 06:15 AM   #37
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Update: the CEL went off! Not sure why. I installed the old MAF and it took a couple days for the CEL to go off. The stalling has subsided but it still wants to stall. This weekend, I will get under the hood.
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:41 AM   #38
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Clean ICV
CLean throttle body flaps
Check intake hoses for rips
Bad Vanos seals may also cause idle problems.
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