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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 12-09-2010, 02:17 PM   #1
ThatGuy_JZ
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Secondary Air System - No vacuum to valve - Fixed.

Thought I'd post a solution here to my latest Secondary Air system problems. Maybe this will help someone out to troubleshoot if they are having a similar issue. Two years ago I was throwing insufficient flow codes. This turned out to be a bad relay, $8 later and a new relay problem solved.

Recently however, the light came back. Same 2 codes, Insufficient flow on banks 1 and 2. After some troubleshooting I found the pump was working properly. I replaced the relay again thinking that was the culprit but that didn't work. I checked the valve and noticed that it was not opening. I could not feel exhaust gas coming from it during a cold start. This wasn't good as I don't want to burn out my pump blowing air against a closed valve. I checked the vacuum line going to the valve which was not getting any vacuum. No suction against my finger, it was dead. This is why the valve wasn't opening. I traced it back to the vacuum switch under the intake manifold. No leaks. I figured the switch had now gone bad.



#5 in the diagram - PN# 11747810831

Also vacuum lines 4,7, & 9.

I bought a replacement switch and went to changing out the lines. To access remove the cabin air filter housing (T25? torx), and the cover below it on the firewall (Two T25? torx also), and the plastic partition on the drivers side around the Master cylinder and DME (screw rivets). This will give enough room to work. I had a friend with smaller hands help out, we took turns holding a mirror and flash light to see what we were doing. First we unhook all the lines. They were brittle and all broke off. Once they were out of the way we were able to remove the switch. It is clipped on. You have to push the clip towards the front of the car and then slide the switch towards the drivers side (LHD car). You can see the clip behind line #7. It's oriented the opposite way they illustrated it in the photo above, the clip will be pointing to the passenger side, opposite the plug. Upon removing the vacuum lines, we noticed the bend in line #7 had mostly closed its self off, likely the whole cause of my problem. Also note the orientation of the non-return valve (#6), each side is color coded black & white. Make sure you re-install it the same way when re-connecting the new vacuum lines. The whole process took about an hour, in on and off freezing rain and awkward working positions. Afterwords I went by an auto parts store and cleared the code. So far about a week and several cold starts later, no codes. I checked the hose going to the valve and it has some give in it indicating the air is flowing into the exhaust now and not backing up in the hose causing alot of pressure. I believed this solved my problem. Hope this helps any of you dealing with these annoying emissions codes.
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
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Thanks for posting this.
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:28 AM   #3
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Several very cold starts later, no check engine light. I believe I did something right.
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Old 02-26-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:32 PM   #5
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over 2 months and no codes
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Old 03-26-2011, 03:15 PM   #6
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Question regarding these CEL's...


When CEL's with the problem solved above, (great job btw), will these codes have any side affects if not treated promptly? Will gas mileage or other components be damaged, or is this just an issue when cold starting? I can only imagine other components of the secondary air system such as the pump or valve may see damage if not treated, but anything else? Thanks!
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Old 03-27-2011, 01:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatGuy_JZ View Post
Thought I'd post a solution here to my latest Secondary Air system problems. Maybe this will help someone out to troubleshoot if they are having a similar issue. Two years ago I was throwing insufficient flow codes. This turned out to be a bad relay, $8 later and a new relay problem solved.

Recently however, the light came back. Same 2 codes, Insufficient flow on banks 1 and 2. After some troubleshooting I found the pump was working properly. I replaced the relay again thinking that was the culprit but that didn't work. I checked the valve and noticed that it was not opening. I could not feel exhaust gas coming from it during a cold start. This wasn't good as I don't want to burn out my pump blowing air against a closed valve. I checked the vacuum line going to the valve which was not getting any vacuum. No suction against my finger, it was dead. This is why the valve wasn't opening. I traced it back to the vacuum switch under the intake manifold. No leaks. I figured the switch had now gone bad.



#5 in the diagram - PN# 11747810831

Also vacuum lines 4,7, & 9.

I bought a replacement switch and went to changing out the lines. To access remove the cabin air filter housing (T25? torx), and the cover below it on the firewall (Two T25? torx also), and the plastic partition on the drivers side around the Master cylinder and DME (screw rivets). This will give enough room to work. I had a friend with smaller hands help out, we took turns holding a mirror and flash light to see what we were doing. First we unhook all the lines. They were brittle and all broke off. Once they were out of the way we were able to remove the switch. It is clipped on. You have to push the clip towards the front of the car and then slide the switch towards the drivers side (LHD car). You can see the clip behind line #7. It's oriented the opposite way they illustrated it in the photo above, the clip will be pointing to the passenger side, opposite the plug. Upon removing the vacuum lines, we noticed the bend in line #7 had mostly closed its self off, likely the whole cause of my problem. Also note the orientation of the non-return valve (#6), each side is color coded black & white. Make sure you re-install it the same way when re-connecting the new vacuum lines. The whole process took about an hour, in on and off freezing rain and awkward working positions. Afterwords I went by an auto parts store and cleared the code. So far about a week and several cold starts later, no codes. I checked the hose going to the valve and it has some give in it indicating the air is flowing into the exhaust now and not backing up in the hose causing alot of pressure. I believed this solved my problem. Hope this helps any of you dealing with these annoying emissions codes.
What code were you throwing? Also, my house "4" goes to the side of my CCV inlet on my 99' 323i.

PS. Link to relay purchased?
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:01 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bostonsc4 View Post
Question regarding these CEL's...


When CEL's with the problem solved above, (great job btw), will these codes have any side affects if not treated promptly? Will gas mileage or other components be damaged, or is this just an issue when cold starting? I can only imagine other components of the secondary air system such as the pump or valve may see damage if not treated, but anything else? Thanks!
I don't think it'll hurt anything else. But in my case I most likely would have burnt out my air pump had I neglected it any longer.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by islanq View Post
What code were you throwing? Also, my house "4" goes to the side of my CCV inlet on my 99' 323i.

PS. Link to relay purchased?
Banks 1 and 2, insufficient flow

I checked realoem.com under a 99 323 and the diagram is the same as the one posted above. not too sure why urs is different.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:38 PM   #10
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Were your codes P0171 and P0174? These are my current codes hopefully this will solve my problem.
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Old 04-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #11
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Do you remember the symptoms of the bad relay you first replaced?? i am having same CEL issues as well, i dont think its the relay switch on mine since my pump turns on and off (15-30sec) but is louder than usual.. SO my guess the valve isnt opening either. I will have to wait until the wknd to try the diagnosis process you mention. thanks!
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:56 PM   #12
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Anyone know what #5 in that diagram is called?
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Old 11-19-2011, 01:51 PM   #13
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Just replaced the valve on my E46 ie #5 in the diagram - PN# 11747810831 ... To remove the old valve I took a stubby flat head screw drive and pushed the valve's clip towards the front of the car. It helps to have light on the valve and you can see the valve clip sticks out just enough to push it towards the front of the car while sliding the valve towards the drivers side of the car.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:31 PM   #14
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p1477

I was throwing a P1477, followed the steps listed here and everything checked out except step 6. I wasn't getting any vacuum from the intake manifold.

checked out the back of the manifold and the hose wasn't even attached.



I looked on realoem but couldn't find a part # for the hose, luckily the hose was still good (I think I might of knocked it off when I replaced all of the CCV parts)

anyways, I figured I would replace the other hoses while I had the covers off and the cabin filter housing out. replaced #4, 7, & 9; they were all brittle. I had trouble getting hand room to re-attach the hoses without taking the vacuum control switch out and removing the plastic piece that makes a section where the DME is.

here are a few pics so you know what you are looking at behind there. I used my finger to push the clip that holds the vacuum control switch in.



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Old 02-14-2012, 02:34 PM   #15
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I am experiencing similar issues with my 2004 325xiT. The local Indy has tried to fix it but the light just keps coming back on. Here's what I do know:
1. The pump is working, it kicks in for approx 30 secs on a cold start.
2. I am getting vacuum on the small vacuum line going to the valve.

And here's my questions:
A. Could the valve (item 1) be bad? How do I check this?
B. The first post quoted a bad relay...how do I check if that's the problem?

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 02-16-2012, 05:43 PM   #16
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Everyone - For diagnostic info on Secondary air systems check page 6 of this:

http://www.bavauto.com/newsletter/20...newsletter.pdf

Leathers - No real way to test an intermittent relay failure outside of being good with electronics and knowing how to test them. But, it's a $15 dollar part, not hard to change, so it's worth a shot. I think when mine was failing it wasn't kicking the pump on soon enough. This delay was causing the code to appear. Or from time to time it wouldn't kick the pump on and I failed to notice it wasn't running. To test the valve, on a cold start remove the large hose going from the airpump to the valve. Feel for exhaust gas coming from the valve. See link above for more info. Good luck

The original thread that got me going on secondary air system:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...t=salmon+relay

Post #31 on Page 2 is where I decided on the relay

One year later and another winter down, still no codes. Now I'm trying to get a Euro 3 tune just to write out the air pump all together. It's more of a headache then it's worth.
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Old 02-20-2012, 05:36 PM   #17
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I was getting a P0491 and P0492, insufficient flow as well. As soon as I touched my vacuum hose it disintegrated so I replaced it and cleared the codes. It's been two cold starts now and no check engine light.
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:28 PM   #18
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working on this right now....vacuum diagram anyone?

my SAP is hooked up to the back of the intake and not that valve.
I dont think it was ever hooked up the right way since ive owned the car....

been working out a list of trouble codes since i bought it....all thats left is this SAP system and the ABS Internal failure....Which im also trying to figure out which software will recode a used ABS module....Ive heard

NONE
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this thread will help fix my SAP fault codes im sure of it.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
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working on this right now....vacuum diagram anyone?
Just searched my Bentley and Google for the last 30 minutes... Can't find anything outside of various realoem pics. A collection of some of them here for 330, should be same for 325:

http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E4...browse/engine/

Keep in mind this doesn't appear to include the vacuum lines running from the "F" connector on the upper intake pipe by the air filter

According to the Active Auto PDF on supercharger installation the vacuum connections at the rear of the 328 intake manifold are different.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:33 PM   #20
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@#$%!
I forgot which way #6 went, I was so excited about pulling #5 out without breaking it that I missed the orientation. Can someone remember or peek under the hood?
Thanks in advance.
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