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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 11-23-2011, 03:15 PM   #1
wedge39
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2003 325xi Misfires on cylinders 1 and 6

Started my 2003 325xi up the other day and got a lot of rumbling and loss of power. Drove less than a mile the Service Engine light came on, I lost almost all power, and then it stalled out. I was able to get it going, and limp to a nearby service station. They scanned it and pulled code 1353 for misfire on cylinder 6 (I think).

I had it towed to local indie, and he swapped coils and injectors, but reported that the misfires stayed with cylinders 1 and 6, usually from a cold start. He then did a smoke test and found two boots leaking, so he replaced them.

After that, he said he started it up and it was still misfiring. He said the fuel injection system continually adjusts the air fuel ratio trying to maintain a specific target. This happens gradually and the computer retains in its memory the amount of adjustment required. He corrected an air leak that had a large affect on the air fuel ratio. Because of this I would recommend driving the car for a couple days to see if the misfire corrects itself.

Does that make sense or am I just going to be stranded again in a few days?

I've read a lot of threads with similar symptoms but those seem to be throwing a lot of codes, and he said he checked all of that, and saw no issue.
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
Gus330vrum
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CHECK FUEL PUMP! my car was doing the same.... this weekend the pump went out! RANDOMLY!

MISS FIRE ON COLD START HAS TO DO WITH THE FUEL PUMP.... thats if u already got NEW IGNITION COILS, SPARK PLUGS like i did.....

i was getting same thang..... a lot Multiple miss fires..... =]]

check fuel pressure?
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:34 PM   #3
tomoyer
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Are you sure that you are not leaking oil into the spark plugs? The 2 valve cover gaskets that each seal 3 plugs tend to get very hard and brittle after time and then oil leaks into the spark plug wells, causing the coil to mis-fire. If too much oil, or if the leak goes on too long, it can short the coil and/or weaken it, causing a mis-fire. That said, when was the last time you had the complete valve cover gasket set replaced? When those 2 gaskets go bad, the outer gasket doesn't always leak onto the exhaust manifold gaskets, the front or rear of the engine, etc.

You can quickly tell if these 2 gaskets are leaking just by pulling all the spark plugs (after pulling the coils), if there is oil on the rubber boots of the coils and/or on the spark plug(s), the gasket(s) are leaking and you need to replace the valve cover gasket set and at least any coil boot that has oil on it. Make sure that you get all the oil out of the spark plug well before putting all back together.

Generally, if it was the fuel pump, you would get mis-fires reported on all cylinders at some point, all the injectors need the same amount of gas, air and spark, it wouldn't just throw mis-fire codes for # 1 and/or #6. However, it wouldn't hurt to check the fuel pressure.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
fastjasonbmw
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OP never said anything bout spark plugs or mileage.

Check plugs for cracks, check coil boots for cracks, and check ignition coil wire harness for shorts/damage. Good luck!

Edit:
I've never had one stall on me with only 2 cyliders misfiring, check adaptations (fuel trim) & maf.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:49 AM   #5
tomoyer
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Though not normal for one to stall or not start with a mis-fire of 1 or 2 plugs, it can happen. Actually it happened to me shortly after picking up my 2003 325xi. Moved the car out of my driveway and parked it and it was running just fine, went to put it back in the driveway and it wouldn't start (started 2 days later). Checked codes and had a mis-fire on #6, and I also say that there was a very slight external leak from the valve cover onto the exhaust manifold/CAT. Pulled all the coils and then the plugs, the boot for #6 was covered in oil, as was the plug. Replaced the plugs (it was due for new ones as part of my going over the car as being 2nd owner) and also ordered a complete new set of coils and a valve cover gasket set. Cleaned all the oil out of #6's spark plug well, installed the new gasket set using a small bit of RTV sealant to hold gaskets in place during installation and then installed the new plugs, new coils. No mis-fires or fault codes since.

Unless you have something eating at the wiring harness, or the harness isn't placed correctly in all its holders, there should be no problem with it, though when removing harness from each coil, make sure that it locks onto the top of the coil plug.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:02 PM   #6
wedge39
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All plugs and valve cover gaskets replaced within 10k mi. There was no oil on the plugs.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:44 PM   #7
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Have you checked the plugs lately? It is still quite possible that you are leaking oil into the spark plugs wells even though you have replaced the valve cover gasket set within 10,000 miles.

The other thing to check out is the injectors, a bad injector will give you a mis-fire and can be read only as a mis-fire code. Not changing the fuel filter at the suggested intervals can lead to dirt getting into one or more of the injectors as well as making the fuel pump work harder than it should. The injectors can be tested at a good shop. And I would suggest using a can of Jetron Injector Cleaner (or other brand of injector cleaner) at every oil change.

Another thing, even though new spark plugs were installed 10,000 miles ago, please don't think that one or more of them couldn't have gone bad already. Many times when I worked as a tech in a dealership, when we replaced spark plugs, we had bad ones within a set of brand new plugs and this can still occur today! Just harder to pick up on since electronic/computer controlled/coil on plug ignitions systems have replace distributors with points and the early electronic distributors.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:45 PM   #8
Kubica
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Sounds like a bad ignition coil if the mechanic forgot to clear the misfire on cylinder 6 code and swapped it to cylinder 1.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:55 PM   #9
tomoyer
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After re-reading his original post, "tech swapped coils and injectors, but mis-fires stayed with #1 and #6. We are assuming that he had cleared the codes after doing the work, maybe he didn't. However, that still doesn't mean that there is no oil leaking into those spark plug wells and starting to short out the plugs and coils, nor does it mean that those plugs aren't bad/going bad or that those coils aren't weak, or that the injectors are spraying correctly. Time to go back in there, pull out all the codes and start from square one and follow through.
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:27 PM   #10
pcdsl
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I have a similar problem. Fixed it with new spark plugs, but problem came back. Now I just give it a bit of gas during cold start and it doesn't misfire... gonna try injector cleaning and perhaps new gaskets on the fuel rail thing? or maybe I need a new fuel pump soon.
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Old 11-25-2011, 08:45 PM   #11
tomoyer
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Try cleaning all the injectors first.
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