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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-20-2011, 11:33 PM   #1
Shevanel
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Exclamation 2004 325xi problems (smoking, rough idle shake)

Hey guys
Im new to the forum and i love it. Helped out a ton on other things!
First off just want to say i've read through alot of threads but i wanted to post my own with some specifics about my car. Basically i bought my 2004 325xi 2 summers ago. Since, I have had several problems with it (i think i bought a lemon except its not yellow or lemony fresh )-: although it does leave a sour taste in my mouth)

Problems i am currently having are:
A shake - mostly felt when the car is under load. It can get pretty violent at higher RPMs while climbing steep hills. Based on other forums ive read i think it might be my CV boots. Tomorrow i will put it on a frame lift and look for leaks. The shake seems to be in the rear end. My wife blew the driver side tire and we replaced it with the same one but with about 20% more tread. The shake didnt start until about a month ago and the tire has been on for at least 5 months.
Smoking - My car looks like a chain smoker at times and other times looks fine. sometimes at start up big billows of smoke, sometimes thick, others cant even see exhaust. I have recently did a DIY on a valve cover gasket. I did this atleast 2 months before the smoking, or i noticed the smoking. Also the smoke can look blue at times but i cant be sure. if it is blue its not overwhelmingly blue to suggest im chugging the oil back.
Rough idle - This too is a newer development. I started to notice it when the temperature dropped out here. (about -6c). But like my other problems it comes and goes, although, you feel it more often than not. Almost feels like it will stall. it is rougher when its in gear though.

I really appreciate the help in advance!
I reposted all this in a new forum incase its all connected.
Side notes: recently installed a new started, battery, did an oil change and a valve cover gasket)
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
nickchuck
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Central Jerz
Posts: 140
My Ride: 325xi (Topaz)
Check your control arm bushings for the shake.

Make sure you properly sealed your VCG diy.

Check the DISA valve for the rough idle, could also be a software issue.

Good Luck sir, any one else have some guesses?
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Old 01-21-2011, 03:55 AM   #3
xi_ter
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Posts: 2,221
My Ride: 2003 325xi
If you live in British Columbia consider switching to Chevron with its Techron cleaning additive.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:44 AM   #4
SamDoe1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 3,479
My Ride: Clubs baby seals
Shake: Probably the CV joints. If you've been going this long with that shake, they're probably toast. Plan for new axles.

Smoke: One of the CCV lines is probably clogged and forcing oil into the cylinder. This should be fixed ASAP before something bad happens. Also, check the valve cover gasket to make sure you did it right.

Rough Idle: Do you have an auto? If so, this is a documented problem without a documented solution. If you have a manual, try and clean the ICV and check the intake boots for tear/cracks. Also, make sure the DISA valve is in good working order. Do the same for the auto anyway.

You don't have a lemon, all of these are common issues and are easily fixed (except for the rough idle). What maintenance have you done on the car lately and how many miles does it have? These cars are very easy and relatively cheap to maintain but very expensive to fix. Which would you rather have? There's likely a lot more you need to do to it to keep it in good running condition.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:49 AM   #5
Shevanel
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Abbotsford
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 325xi
Thanks for the help i will be checking these out tonight. I let the vibration go because i was told from 3 shops it was a wheel bearing so we looked at it and it is quiet with no play. Then was at a bit of a lose until ifound this site. My car has 190k and is automatic. Im an generally pretty good at keeping ontop of my maintenance until recent. I really appreciate help. Lets hope its just the CV joints :S is the a thread on here about checking ccv lines?
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:06 AM   #6
SamDoe1
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Minnesnowta
Posts: 3,479
My Ride: Clubs baby seals
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=643639

That'll pretty much cover everything I listed except for the axles. Please note that you cannot change just the CV joint and you have to change the whole axle. It's not that hard but it is very time consuming so labor costs will be very high if you take it to someone.

Last edited by SamDoe1; 01-21-2011 at 11:09 AM.
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Old 01-21-2011, 12:02 PM   #7
Kubica
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Boston
Posts: 4,353
My Ride: 2003 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shevanel View Post
Thanks for the help i will be checking these out tonight. I let the vibration go because i was told from 3 shops it was a wheel bearing so we looked at it and it is quiet with no play. Then was at a bit of a lose until ifound this site. My car has 190k and is automatic. Im an generally pretty good at keeping ontop of my maintenance until recent. I really appreciate help. Lets hope its just the CV joints :S is the a thread on here about checking ccv lines?
I agree with the CCV and DISA diagnosis.

Is it your right front wheel bearing that the shop said is the problem? If so, when mine went out, it didn't make noise when turned by hand. Only at speed.

If three shops said it was the wheel bearing- why the hell didn't you replace the wheel bearing?
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