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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 04-21-2016, 04:28 PM   #1
Hooptysedan
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Help! 323i is very sick...

Hi guys. A few weeks back my check engine light came on, displaying codes which I researched the cause of them being due to my oil separator being bad and or one of the hoses leaking. My car has had an oil leak for a very long time so I figured that was the part that was causing the leak.

Though my check engine light was on besides the car leaking more it seemed to run fine. Of course do to it profoundly leaking I bought a genuine oil separator and hose kit and I replaced the valve and hoses. Unfortunately things went from bad to worse after I replace these parts. Once I verified that all the hoses were tied and connected properly I reassembled the intake and fired the car up.

Long story short every time I started the car up it would stumble and shake followed by a thick blackish grey cloud of smoke out of the exhaust. After about five seconds the smoke will dissipate in the car would seem to run normally. The check engine light came on as I was driving, and when I drive the car up steep hills the engine starts to stumble back fire out of the exhaust and blow Blacksmoke.

when I drive the car up steep hills the engine starts to stumble back fire out of the exhaust and blow Blacksmoke. In order to stop the black smoke from coming out of the exhaust I can either Floor the gas pedal or let off the gas entirely and the smoke will stop or if the hill ends and I return to cruising.

One time the stumbling and backfiring got so severe that the engine went into limp mode and was only running on three cylinders and the Revlimid came down to 5000 RPM. And luckily when I when I coasted the car it came out of limp mode and power was restored. I've taken the car to a couple local shops one of them claiming that my O2 sensors were not plugged in correctly which seemed odd, and the other shop couldn't figure out the issue.

Before I dump $250 for a diagnosis at my local BMW dealership, I would like some opinions from some of the more experienced the 46 owners and hopefully from some who have experienced a similar problem like this before. I've double checked and triple checked all of my connections to the intake manifold including all of the hoses vacuum lines and boots and all seem to be connected properly and not leaking.

I have even gone as far as the take many of these parts back apart and put and put them back together and hoping that there may have been a leak that I couldn't see, but no change. Here are the codes im getting:
P1188 P1189 P0170 P0173 P1250 (x2)

Any input is appreciated, thank you.

Last edited by Solidjake; 04-22-2016 at 08:39 AM. Reason: spacing...
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Old 04-22-2016, 01:41 PM   #2
tristero
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I won't comment on the codes; but when you have taken it apart and put it back together, did you replace o rings and seals? Did the shop you took it to run a smoke test to verify your intake and vacc system is airtight? Those are important.

Anyway; it's trivial to swap your O2 sensors (compared to removing the intake), so you could try that, and see if the problem persists. This is only a possible problem if you remember disconnecting and reconnecting O2 sensors when you took it apart before to replace your CCV. (and I don't think you did, because O2 sensors are on the other side of the motor; however, I think the wiring comes across the back of the motor and connects into the harness by the fuel rail, so maybe you did swap the plugs).
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Old 04-22-2016, 04:21 PM   #3
Hooptysedan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristero View Post
I won't comment on the codes; but when you have taken it apart and put it back together, did you replace o rings and seals? Did the shop you took it to run a smoke test to verify your intake and vacc system is airtight? Those are important.

Anyway; it's trivial to swap your O2 sensors (compared to removing the intake), so you could try that, and see if the problem persists. This is only a possible problem if you remember disconnecting and reconnecting O2 sensors when you took it apart before to replace your CCV. (and I don't think you did, because O2 sensors are on the other side of the motor; however, I think the wiring comes across the back of the motor and connects into the harness by the fuel rail, so maybe you did swap the plugs).
The O-Rings along with the hoses to the CCV are brand new, but I didn't touch the TB gasket. The intake boots I replaced while I had access, and they are tight and secure. I didn't touch the O2 sensor plugs, though I did replace both upstream sensors in January and it was running fine.
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:23 AM   #4
Hooptysedan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tristero View Post
Did the shop you took it to run a smoke test to verify your intake and vacc system is airtight?
I asked the shop if they use smoke testing for vacuum leaks and they said no but they use a "spray" to find them. Assuming they spray a can of something around any vacuum connections...
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Old 04-23-2016, 10:57 AM   #5
JFM330i
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Did you check your spark plugs maybe you have a valve gasket cover leak?
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Old 04-23-2016, 04:27 PM   #6
swordsman11868
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Help! 323i is very sick...

Sounds like too many problems for you to tackle on your own.

Why not pay an independent BMW shop to diagnose your car? I'm sure it would be less than the dealer!

In other words find a better shop.
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Last edited by swordsman11868; 04-23-2016 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:48 AM   #7
markusmarkus
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Fuel pump and filter.
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Old 04-25-2016, 06:59 PM   #8
Hooptysedan
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Ok here's an update. I decided to take the car on a good 30+ mile round trip. I stopped for food, and once I got back to the car and started up it hesitated horribly and spewed out huge clouds of gray smoke. After fumigating a whole neighborhood, the levels of smoke reduced, but unusually it kept puffing smoke out the exhaust. I pulled over and popped the hood, and a hissing/buzzing sound was heard from the manifold. I shut the car back off and turned it back on again. The smoke stopped for the time being and it ran normally, and the hissing stopped. I have also determined that the backfire is actually from the intake, not the exhaust. I'm a bit more confident now that this issue seems to be like a vacuum leak, but still not completely sure. SES Light still remains on.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:16 PM   #9
swordsman11868
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Get a scanner and read the code. Then post it here.

Scanner = OBD Fusion and a BT/wifi dongle.
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Old 04-26-2016, 12:36 PM   #10
Hooptysedan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
Get a scanner and read the code. Then post it here.

Scanner = OBD Fusion and a BT/wifi dongle.
P0173
P1250 (x2)
P1189
P0170
P1188
P1183
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Old 04-30-2016, 08:00 PM   #11
Hooptysedan
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I took the car to another shop, and left it with them for a few days. They diagnosed the car as having a bad MAF sensor, so I replaced that, but the problem still hasn't gone away. Still spews smoke upon start up. Took it for a quick 30-40 mile drive and it still runs the same too, however no CEL. 1188 and 1189 were pending, but oddly enough they went away even though it still smokes... The whining/hissing sound from the intake manifold is getting louder.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:10 PM   #12
wacuna
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Vacuum leak for sure
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:38 AM   #13
Hooptysedan
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Problem was bad fuel pressure regulator and stuck closed ccv. Car has been sold.
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