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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 03-24-2011, 07:23 PM   #1
chmiel21
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Unhappy Loss low end power today, any suggestions on what to check first?

Hey all, i searched a bit and i feel like there are a vast amount of possibilities here. So i figured i would toss out some symptoms and hopefully someone can point me in the right direction.

Hey everyone, recently came across some power loss issues. All started today: when taking off and up to about 3k rpm in first gear i don't feel any power being put down. The car doesn't pull the way it was beforehand, same thing goes for 2nd gear.. Haven't had any engine work done in the past while and i've been driving for about 3 weeks since i took if out of winter storage. I did recently change the oil to Mobil1 0W-40 about 300km ago.

Also when downshifting 3rd to 2nd i notice the car doesn't slow as much, it basically just engages. I am not that mechanically savvy yet so i don't really have the knowledge to begin diagnosing my own problems so any pointers would be great

Figure I could check out the Spark plugs tomorrow (although i would be getting misfiring symptoms wouldn't I?) and maybe the MAF and check all electrical connections by the engine.

Thanks for any input you guys have

Oh also it's an 04 325i with about 127,000 km
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Last edited by chmiel21; 03-24-2011 at 07:26 PM. Reason: addition of car info
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:55 PM   #2
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Try the usual suspects first.

- Spark Plugs
- Air Filter
- Fuel Filter

You may also want to try running some fuel injector cleaner or some fuel treatment to burn off any gunk that may have accumulated on your injectors. If you are planning on doing the fuel filter run some Seafoam through your gas tank (search seafoam there are tons of thread on how to do this). You will want to replace the fuel filter shortly after because it will break up all the gunk in your gas tank and fuel lines. Good luck and post any result updates!

PS. Are you running running premium fuel as well? If you run low octane or cheap gas it will cause the computer to degrade your performance to compensate for the low octane.

PSS. It's probably not your MAF otherwise you would more then likely have a rough idle and or even throwing a "lean" code generally. You can buy CRC MAF cleaner from any auto store for about $6USD. Just shoot the electrical component in the MAF tub with a few short bust. Wait for the cleaner to dry (within a few mins) and then replace.
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Last edited by islanq; 03-24-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Vanos seals?

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ighlight=vanos
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:09 PM   #4
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You must also want to check your DISA if the above mentions fixes don't help. The DISA is essentially an air adjuster unit which provides more air to the intake manifold (usually under low load). If the unit flap is broken and or stuck shut from gunk your car should be getting insufficient air at low RPM/engine load.

Your DISA valve is a little black box with an electrical connector on it on the top of the intake manifold on the end closest to your firewall. Remove the connector and unscrew the 2 torx screws (T25 i believe). The butterfly valve should rotate 90 degrees easily with your fingers and then return to it's original position on it's own. You should hear a plunger/suction noise from the back part if the seal is still good.
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Last edited by islanq; 03-25-2011 at 01:17 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
chmiel21
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Awesome, thanks for the quick replies! I hope to get this resolved asap, will probably replace plugs saturday afternoon, and pick up and air filter tomorrow.. May as well do cabin filter at the same time. Fuel filter will be next up i guess. I will post up the results! I was hoping to be able to wait and do vanos when I get back home in the summer as most of my tools are there.. Maybe it'll get done sooner than later.

Thanks again :Thumbsup:
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:00 AM   #6
El Polo
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And if you need help in the Ottawa region, maybe I could give you a hand.
Have you got any codes? If your light is on I can read it for you.
I just checked on my car those few things you should check too, intake/filter, air-mass flow sensor, adjuster unit (DISA), idle control valve (ICV)...
Other elements I could think of... camshaft position sensor (you should get a code), VANOS seals, gunky oil lines (especially after hibernating for a long time)... or a simple computer-fart (as in brain-fart). I think there is a procedure around to reset your engine environmental adaptation parameters. But as someone said, only use premium gas.
IIRC, a loss of power might also indicate a timing chain getting loose, though I have never actually seen that on a BMW. Take this heads-up with caution, I am not sure about this. And there are tons of this that could result in a loss of power anyways.
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Old 03-25-2011, 12:56 AM   #7
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Loss of low end power could mean, DISA, dirty MAF/ICV, simple air leaks. If Vanos seals are bad your car would shake and hesitate when accelerating hard right before 2900rpm. The hesitation will start at 2800 and suddenly go away right after 3100rpm. If you dont have this issue its not Vanos seals.

Car not slowing down at downshifts screams a worn out clutch in my head.
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Old 03-25-2011, 01:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chmiel21 View Post
Awesome, thanks for the quick replies! I hope to get this resolved asap, will probably replace plugs saturday afternoon, and pick up and air filter tomorrow.. May as well do cabin filter at the same time. Fuel filter will be next up i guess. I will post up the results! I was hoping to be able to wait and do vanos when I get back home in the summer as most of my tools are there.. Maybe it'll get done sooner than later.

Thanks again :Thumbsup:
No problemo! If you have an air compressor you can always just clean your filters (especially cabin since it's not vital, unless u have some weird odor).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
Loss of low end power could mean, DISA, dirty MAF/ICV, simple air leaks. If Vanos seals are bad your car would shake and hesitate when accelerating hard right before 2900rpm. The hesitation will start at 2800 and suddenly go away right after 3100rpm. If you dont have this issue its not Vanos seals.

Car not slowing down at downshifts screams a worn out clutch in my head.
Amen, this man speaks the truth.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:50 AM   #9
chmiel21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
Loss of low end power could mean, DISA, dirty MAF/ICV, simple air leaks. If Vanos seals are bad your car would shake and hesitate when accelerating hard right before 2900rpm. The hesitation will start at 2800 and suddenly go away right after 3100rpm. If you dont have this issue its not Vanos seals.

Car not slowing down at downshifts screams a worn out clutch in my head.
Hmm, did not notice and hesitations around 3000, seemed pretty good across the whole range. I'll keep an eye out for that today.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Polo View Post
And if you need help in the Ottawa region, maybe I could give you a hand.
Have you got any codes? If your light is on I can read it for you.
I just checked on my car those few things you should check too, intake/filter, air-mass flow sensor, adjuster unit (DISA), idle control valve (ICV)...
Other elements I could think of... camshaft position sensor (you should get a code), VANOS seals, gunky oil lines (especially after hibernating for a long time)... or a simple computer-fart (as in brain-fart). I think there is a procedure around to reset your engine environmental adaptation parameters. But as someone said, only use premium gas.
IIRC, a loss of power might also indicate a timing chain getting loose, though I have never actually seen that on a BMW. Take this heads-up with caution, I am not sure about this. And there are tons of this that could result in a loss of power anyways.
Hey thanks for the offer! I'm afraid I am in Halifax until early may, so hopefully I can get this resolved before I head back to Ottawa for the summer. Anyways NO CODES right now, so i am steering away from camshaft position sensor. As for gas, i always do premium 91+ so no problem there.. I have some time this afternoon and will check some things out and post up thanks
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:46 PM   #10
chmiel21
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Update: Checked the MAF which was fine, Air filter looked OK and the DISA valve worked properly, a tiny tiny bit of play if i really fiddled with it. IMO it's ok as well (Seal was ok).

Next up i guess will be to check the plugs and run some injector cleaner.. I don't have access to my torque wrench until may so i am hoping i can borrow one from somebody.

On another note I just checked my coolant level and it is low. The dipstick with the two balls is a few inches lower than the top of the reservoir.. I'm assuming that it's a little lower because the system is still hot/warm. Just want to confirm that.
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chmiel21 View Post
Update: Checked the MAF which was fine, Air filter looked OK and the DISA valve worked properly, a tiny tiny bit of play if i really fiddled with it. IMO it's ok as well (Seal was ok).

Next up i guess will be to check the plugs and run some injector cleaner.. I don't have access to my torque wrench until may so i am hoping i can borrow one from somebody.

On another note I just checked my coolant level and it is low. The dipstick with the two balls is a few inches lower than the top of the reservoir.. I'm assuming that it's a little lower because the system is still hot/warm. Just want to confirm that.
I just picked up a 3/8" torque wrench from Harbor Freight today for $17.99 on sale! Now that's a deal. My 1/2" torque is just too big for little jobs but this was a great addition to my tool set for under $20!

Edit for toque wrench link. $21.99 on their site. I saw a nice 3/8th at Kragen too for $19.99.
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-8-eig...rench-807.html
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chmiel21 View Post
Update: Checked the MAF which was fine, Air filter looked OK and the DISA valve worked properly, a tiny tiny bit of play if i really fiddled with it. IMO it's ok as well (Seal was ok).

Next up i guess will be to check the plugs and run some injector cleaner.. I don't have access to my torque wrench until may so i am hoping i can borrow one from somebody.

On another note I just checked my coolant level and it is low. The dipstick with the two balls is a few inches lower than the top of the reservoir.. I'm assuming that it's a little lower because the system is still hot/warm. Just want to confirm that.
Why do you need a torque wrench ? for the spark plugs? DO NOT DARE using a torque wrench on the plugs, simply snug them by hand and give a 1/4 turn.
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Old 03-26-2011, 09:57 AM   #13
chmiel21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blocked Out View Post
Why do you need a torque wrench ? for the spark plugs? DO NOT DARE using a torque wrench on the plugs, simply snug them by hand and give a 1/4 turn.
I was under the impression you were supposed to torque em to 18 ft*lbs?
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:25 PM   #14
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its REALLLYYYY easy to snap a plug, trust me I've done it before, never on my Bimmer thank **** ... a real weekend job to get it out ... also, DISA is a big possibility, as many others have already suggested, atm my car is suffering; bad idle mainly when starting; next to no power under 3k revs and a lovely clicking noise from the engine bay. See if there are any noises that sound out of place or if your idle is now not right. If that's the case, definitely DISA, some of the other fellas here on E46F were able to help my diagnose mine and I now have a new one on the way
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Old 07-12-2011, 01:43 PM   #15
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I had the same problem recently (E46 325i 220+km manual), no code, low rpm (below 500) from start-up and stalling when clutch is depressed. I fixed it by replacing both front o2 sensors and cleaning the ICV with brake cleaner. Problem fixed.
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Old 07-12-2011, 10:48 PM   #16
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Cheapest repair, CRC MAF Cleaner. My 328Ci was lagging up to about 2.5RPMs, apparently previous owner neglected the MAF as it looked like it had never seen daylight. When your MAF gets too dirty the fuel air mixture is off, making the computer adjust for a problem that isn't actually there. After cleaning, my car's acceleration was smooth and sharp. Definitely a good place to start.
Most expensive repairs. Vanos Rebuild. Crank Position Sensors. Timing of engine. all expensive, in my opinion you would have other effects than just loss of power in these cases such as rough idle, stalling, hard starting. Fuel sending units. Under the rear seat in the car, poor fuel pressure causes many issues, definitely lack of power. I believe you would be experiencing other issues such as bad gas gauge reading and stalling, but keep in mind if nothing else works.
I agree with the above comments on O2 sensors, more than likely pre-cat. Spark plugs, clogged air filter and dirty ICV can also lead to loss of power. Techron is always a good idea when you change your oil
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