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Old 07-20-2015, 09:21 PM   #1
maynardflies
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Question 2004 330Ci - Ask for more power on the highway, get LESS?

Hi all,

I have a 2004 330Ci auto vert, and I've been looking for the answer to my problem, but every thread I find isn't quite the same as my problem, so I thought I'd ask it here

When I'm driving down the highway at normal highway speeds around 2250 RPM, a lot of the time if I wish to accelerate quickly but without kickdown, I will press the pedal in a bit expecting the car to accelerate. Instead, the RPM will drop down to 2000 or less, and while the car is still accelerating, it feels like it's doing so rather sluggishly. If I press the pedal in further, the car feels like it drops a gear (which it probably does) and then takes off with a more decent (though still short feeling) amount of power

Admittedly, I have no real benchmark on what a 330Ci SHOULD feel like, but I get the sense that this isn't it. The car generally feels like it's somewhat lacking in power but the odd RPM drop upon attempting to accelerate seems really odd

I have no CEL and I just changed
Spark plugs
Fuel pump
Fuel Filter
Tensioners/Belts
Both fans

I have access to INPA but I dont have any of the other tools (DIS, GT1, etc). The 2250-2500 RPM range is typically where this problem occurs so I'm thinking it's not the VANOS or DISA, the idle is fine and it never stalls

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2015, 09:36 PM   #2
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This thread may be of interest to you - forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=966614
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:17 AM   #3
BaliDawg
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Post the car's production date and the DME's assembly number from INPA. You may be experiencing the 2800 RPM stutter, as described in the thread jfoj posted, or it may be something else. That stutter starts at around 2800 RPMs and stops right at 3000 RPMs. It will lurch or stutter 4-5 times, not just once.

Even though the SES light is not on, read the codes and post them here as well.

Has this problem been there since you got the car?
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:23 AM   #4
maynardflies
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I will post those when I get home.

One thing I'll say is this seems to happen at a lower rpm than that, and it's not really a stutter, more like a sustained drop in rpm which then slowly rises with the acceleration of the car, which is not as snappy as other times.

Sometimes I push the pedal and the car jumps to attention and accelerates relatively quickly. Other times, my RPM actually goes down, and accelerates slowly unless I push the pedal in more to make it drop a gear.

I believe I've had this problem since I got the car but I can't be 100% sure

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-21-2015 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maynardflies View Post
I will post those when I get home.

One thing I'll say is this seems to happen at a lower rpm than that, and it's not really a stutter, more like a sustained drop in rpm which then slowly rises with the acceleration of the car, which is not as snappy as other times.

Sometimes I push the pedal and the car jumps to attention and accelerates relatively quickly. Other times, my RPM actually goes down, and accelerates slowly unless I push the pedal in more to make it drop a gear.

I believe I've had this problem since I got the car but I can't be 100% sure
It doesn't really sound like the classic 2800 RPM stutter. But let's see your production date and current DME assembly number, if original an update is a good idea anyway.

How up-to-date are all the maintenance items?

Do you have a wireless ELM327 OBDII interface and app for collecting some runtime data?
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Last edited by BaliDawg; 07-21-2015 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maynardflies View Post
If I press the pedal in further, the car feels like it drops a gear (which it probably does) and then takes off with a more decent (though still short feeling) amount of power
This doesn't sound like a stutter to me...I have this same thing going on to me at times. After driving on the highway for a while the car can be sluggish and takes slightly longer than usual to downshift and take off. I've never been able to figure out what is causing it but it doesn't seem to occur from city driving. I've done a lot of maintenance and preventive maintenance and it still seems to be present.
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Old 07-21-2015, 09:09 AM   #7
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Have you drained the tranny, replaced the filter and refilled the tranny?
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:48 AM   #8
maynardflies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
It doesn't really sound like the classic 2800 RPM stutter. But let's see your production date and current DME assembly number, if original an update is a good idea anyway.

How up-to-date are all the maintenance items?

Do you have a wireless ELM327 OBDII interface and app for collecting some runtime data?
I generally do my own work, but I keep everything as up to date as I can, especially things pertaining to this issue. I do have the OBDII interface which I use with Torque, what data would you suggest I collect, and how would I interpret it?

I remember I did some collection before of Fuel Trim stats to diagnose my vacuum leak before (I forgot to list Intake boots up top, though those were done by a shop so I dont know if they did them all or just one), but in this case if you have a suggestion of what data to collect I'd love to give it a try on my drive home!
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:52 AM   #9
maynardflies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evanr614 View Post
This doesn't sound like a stutter to me...I have this same thing going on to me at times. After driving on the highway for a while the car can be sluggish and takes slightly longer than usual to downshift and take off. I've never been able to figure out what is causing it but it doesn't seem to occur from city driving. I've done a lot of maintenance and preventive maintenance and it still seems to be present.
That's another thing, theres sort of three modes for accelerating on the highway

1. Push the pedal in 0-~50% : here either the engine will raise RPM and accelerate quickly, as expected, or the RPM will drop ~500RPM and accelerate slowly, which is the issue I'm trying to figure out

2. Push the pedal in 50%-99%: The car downshifts and takes off, not as fast as I might expect but certainly faster than in situation #1 above. There is a noticeable 1s or so delay where it feels like the car is basically in neutral, but I always attributed that to the transmission lining up to downshift without grinding. However, maybe that is also indicative of some problem and is in fact NOT normal?

3. Push the pedal in 100% (hit the kickdown button): This is a little more unpredictable. Sometimes the car kicks down to whatever gear gets me into the 5-6k RPM range, sometimes it performs exactly like #2 above, sometimes it just speeds up a bit and THEN kicks down. It doesn't really have a consistent feel to the behaviour, it just sort of "maxes it out", whatever the car feels like "max" should be at the time.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:53 AM   #10
maynardflies
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Originally Posted by markusmarkus View Post
Have you drained the tranny, replaced the filter and refilled the tranny?
I haven't done this, I suppose because I didn't think (or maybe was unconsciously hoping) this was a tranny issue. Should I do this regardless?
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:07 PM   #11
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I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, and have experienced it on occasion in my 04 330i with 68k miles.
It is my belief that it is a direct result of direct drive (torque converter bypass) in high gear, and the perceived RPM drop is the engine under load while still in gear (not downshifting).
At lower speeds, in lower gears, the transmission is not in direct drive mode, and seems more responsive.
I could be WAY off... but 99% of the time I don't experience it. Also, have never really considered it an issue.
If I want more power from a lower gear, I use the Step and downshift.

I have a box full of Valvoline Dexron VI in the garage and have planned on starting a transmission fluid drain/fill interval shortly. (we have GM transmissions, btw)
From what I've experienced with a friend's car that has changed out the fluid, the Dexron VI makes the transmission more responsive.

To drain/fill at least twice before changing the filter is a solid approach, although not necessary.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:48 PM   #12
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Read all the OBDII codes.

Do a cold start idle for 5 minutes log of the MAF airflow, fuel trims, engine temp, precat O2 sensors.

Do a highway speed log, including your accelerarion issue, of the same parameters.

I expect jfoj will chime in soon and give some advice on this.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:47 PM   #13
maynardflies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simmsled View Post
I know EXACTLY what you are talking about, and have experienced it on occasion in my 04 330i with 68k miles.
It is my belief that it is a direct result of direct drive (torque converter bypass) in high gear, and the perceived RPM drop is the engine under load while still in gear (not downshifting).
At lower speeds, in lower gears, the transmission is not in direct drive mode, and seems more responsive.
I could be WAY off... but 99% of the time I don't experience it. Also, have never really considered it an issue.
If I want more power from a lower gear, I use the Step and downshift.

I have a box full of Valvoline Dexron VI in the garage and have planned on starting a transmission fluid drain/fill interval shortly. (we have GM transmissions, btw)
From what I've experienced with a friend's car that has changed out the fluid, the Dexron VI makes the transmission more responsive.

To drain/fill at least twice before changing the filter is a solid approach, although not necessary.
Interesting idea, but I can see the RPM needle drop, so it's not just a perceived drop, unless I'm misunderstanding what you mean. I was thinking something similar but in that case I would at least expect the RPM to stay constant or increase, rather then dropping when I ask for more power? Also, it happens quite often in similar circumstances, rather than just 1% of the time it's more like 70% of the time, in those circumstances.

Last edited by maynardflies; 07-21-2015 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:24 PM   #14
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Seems much more severe than me. Mine is probably normal it's just slow :'( lol good luck with finding out with what's going on
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:40 PM   #15
maynardflies
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So after finding out that "logging" on torque does not mean what I think it meant () I hunted around for a new app to do my tracking for me, and found DashCommand. I will capture a log tomorrow going to and from work as it's much more common during my commute. I tried to replicate it tonight but apart from a maybe-yes-maybe-no replication, it didn't really happen.

What I am noticing though is that my fuel trims seem to be abnormally high. The long terms are in the 10% ranges at times, and the short terms are fluctuating wildly from -20 to +25% sometimes. attached are some dumps I got from this evening, will try and get some more tomorrow. Let me know if these provide any insight at all. The CSV is from a drive home from the grocery store including a short highway trip where I tried to little avail to replicate my issue (of course.)

note- the pdf attachment is actually a csv. The forum for whatever reason won't allow uploading CSV files, so just rename the extension

Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:36 AM   #16
Antti
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Poor low end torque can effect automatic performance. I had 330cia convertible before. Box was definetly working much better after i replaced vanos seals and did all other things to get all low end torque from engine.
Vacuum leaks, vanos seals, disa.. ?

Last edited by Antti; 07-22-2015 at 04:46 AM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:36 AM   #17
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It's a good habit to check a part and verify it's bad before replacing it, unless you're doing preventative maintenance. Otherwise you're setting yourself up for dissappointment when replacing that part doesn't fix the problem.
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Old 07-22-2015, 07:47 AM   #18
jfoj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maynardflies View Post
So after finding out that "logging" on torque does not mean what I think it meant () I hunted around for a new app to do my tracking for me, and found DashCommand. I will capture a log tomorrow going to and from work as it's much more common during my commute. I tried to replicate it tonight but apart from a maybe-yes-maybe-no replication, it didn't really happen.

What I am noticing though is that my fuel trims seem to be abnormally high. The long terms are in the 10% ranges at times, and the short terms are fluctuating wildly from -20 to +25% sometimes. attached are some dumps I got from this evening, will try and get some more tomorrow. Let me know if these provide any insight at all. The CSV is from a drive home from the grocery store including a short highway trip where I tried to little avail to replicate my issue (of course.)

note- the pdf attachment is actually a csv. The forum for whatever reason won't allow uploading CSV files, so just rename the extension

Thanks!
Not impressed with DashCommand. DO NOT try to Log from within the App, total waste of time, this is true to ANY OBDII Apps.

Suggest Touch Scan or OBDFusion. Seamless DropBox integration for easy upload of Logs to DropBox. Then from in DropBox you choose "Share" copy and past the link you want to share in the thread so others can download and review the data.

I have not looked at this very closely yet, but shooting from the hip, would like to see the Throttle Angle, Calculated Load, RPM and Ignition Timing behavior when this is happening. First guess is the Ignition Timing may be retarded and this may cause a drop in power/RPM?

LTFT should never be at or above +10%, this is clearly a Lean problem. If while cruising this is due to a soft fuel pump and/or a problem MAF. But more info needs to be looked at before this can be determined.

As for STFT, these can and will jump all over the place, they will also go big time negative (-) on decel with fuel cut off, this is normal, Fuel System Status will help identify this, not sure if Dash Command offers Fuel System Status as a Logged parameter.

One comment on the Torque Guage screen shot, not sure what is going on with the MAF minimum value, it should never go below about 4 g/s on these cars as I recall.
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Solve your misfires, lean codes, rough idle - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=897616

Fuel pump failures - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=929501

Temp Info - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=964491

Hidden OBC Menu - Check Voltage, Temp, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

E46/E39 GM5 Door Lock Info - www.bmwgm5.com

Lower hose temp switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299

Last edited by jfoj; 07-22-2015 at 07:51 AM.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:48 AM   #19
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i have a similar thing going on with my 03 325 and always has. doesn't seem to occur on my mate's '05 325 though. could be a software issue? seems the stutter club is almost all 03/04 and the dme flash solved some of it. i honestly have no idea.
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Old 07-22-2015, 08:42 PM   #20
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Anyone have any ideas?
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