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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning

Driveline, Engine & DME Tuning
Talk about driveline improvements, NA tuning and DME tuning your E46 BMW here. This includes diffs, intakes, exhausts, chips, software and OBD tuning.

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Old 04-16-2012, 12:49 PM   #1
Spongey
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: MA
Posts: 3
My Ride: 02 330i
e46 330i starts in limp mode, VANOS or ICV problems?

First, the details:

Car: 330i, MY 2002. 135k miles, good condition. Purchased at 120k, previous history unknown.
Main issue: Started car today, got full Christmas lights on dash. Read codes with PLX Kiwi reader, got the following:
P0414
P0445
P1512
P1523
P1529
P1503

---- Fault History ----
Note: This car is my daily driver, about 40 miles a day (20 highway, 20 city).

This is the second time I have gotten this set of faults.

The 1st time was about 2 months ago. I had driven with friends to a park. It was a particularly nice day (80 degrees!), and we stayed there for ~ 2 hours. Upon starting the car, the faults came up. I drove the car home. The next day the car started without problems.
The 2nd time was today. I autocrossed yesterday and the car performed like a champ (I, on the other hand, performed less well). It's also quite a warm day (80 degrees).

---- Car Performance ----

The engine was totally out of whack. During warmup, the RPM's dropped low enough to almost stall the engine. Pressing down on the throttle pedal to get the engine to not stall caused wild rpm oscillations.
After warmup, the rpm's stabilized to a rough, ~600rpm. The throttle response was VERY sluggish. I figure that's because it reverted to a rich-mixture "safe" fuel mapping with no O2 sensor feedback.

---- Diagnosing ----

One confusion in trying to diagnose the system is what the codes actually mean.
There's one e46 fault code list that says the following:

Source: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=303141
P0414 A Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1))
P0445 A Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
P1529 B Camshaft Position - Actuator Circuit (Bank 1)
P1523 B Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)
P1507 B Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Retarded (Bank 1)
P1503 Crankshaft/Camshaft Timing Misalignment A rationality error has been detected for camshaft position out of phase with crankshaft.
P1512 A Camshaft Position - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 2)

This P-code list would indicate a failure of the VANOS system.


Then there are other forum posts on the nets that vary in the descriptions, among them:
P0414 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve A Circuit Shorted
P0445 Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Shorted.
P1529
P1523 Idle speed control auxiliary inputs, Manf. Ctrl. Vehicle Spee
P1507 Idle Speed Control Valve Open Solenoid Control Circuit Signal Low
P1503 Idle Speed Control Valve Closing Solenoid Control Circuit Signal Low
P1512 DISA Control Circuit Signal Low

This would indicate a failure in the air pump and/or throttle body.

---- Why I'm here ----

So my main question(s):
-What list of P-codes descriptions should I trust?
-Any suggestions as to what could've failed? I'd like to be somewhat prepared before I bring it into the shop.

An ancillary question:
-How far is it safe to drive in limp mode?
It reverts to a rich mixture setting that is safer for the engine, but I imagine the cats take quite a beating. I'm mainly curious if it's safe to limp it to the shop (closest to my house in Cambridge would probably be GPS, though I wanted to try out Turner or ImportAutowerks)
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Old 04-22-2012, 02:11 PM   #2
veli510
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: CA
Posts: 87
My Ride: 2001 BMW 330i
it seems like you know what your aware of. i suspect vanos camshaft sensors going out on you.
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