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Old 05-04-2013, 02:55 AM   #1
taylorscarter
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At Witts end with rough idle

Hey yall,

I'm having a really hard time figuring out why I have a rough idle. I usually don't post, I like to search and search before I post because I don't want to rehash anything. Just no results.

It's started randomly about three or four months ago. I was looking through the car's service records and it seems that the problem has been going on for several years. The last service was several coils replaced.

Excuse my stupidness (I'm not great on engine stuff)...I think you will know the general terms I'm trying to say. My dad recently replaced the down heat? oxygen sensors on the manifold. Him and I also replaced the intake boot?.. also replaced three coils about 1.5 months ago.

Here's a vid of what happens sometimes. It's gotten better, not this rough, but it will still stall when cold and sometimes misfires.


After OX sensors were replaced, PA soft says:


Before the OX sensors were replaced, there were misfires in banks 1 and 3 according to PA soft.
Sometimes it will start to miss while I'm on the freeway, sometimes it will happen when I'm in the drive through. One thing always seems the same though... Turning the engine off and restarting almost always makes it run smoother. The engine was running perfect when I first got the car, so I know what normal and bad feel like. It hasn't gotten back to normal since the problem started. Even when I restart it, the needle will still bounce a little, and we all know it should be smooth as velvet and not do that. What are any good suggestions?

Oil light is coming on because of the oil level sensor needs replacing. There's nothing wrong with the oil pressure.

Any help you can give would be great.

Edit: also replaced all spark plugs.
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:31 AM   #2
dznuts007
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Oh man that sounds pretty bad...could have sworn it sounded like a Harley revving or something. Be prepared to start gathering some tools and alot of reading on this forum. You'll find alot of helpful DIY's to help fix your car. As for me, I'm not going to start guessing at what is the cause because I'm not an expert. But there are a bunch of members here who will probably start chiming in to start you off in the right direction. Just make sure you put on your big-boy pants and are willing to do alot of stuff yourself, otherwise you're going to have to pay $$$$$$$ to have someone else fix it for you. Trust me, you can do it. If I can, then you can

Metric sockets are the way to go. Some sizes that I commonly use are 10mm, 12mm, 13mm, and 15mm, but make sure you get a decent set. Doesn't look like they have Harbor Freight tools in AL, so I guess you'll have to get it from some other dependable source that's not too pricey.

Torque wrench to help you put things back with the correct torque specs is another recommendation.

Get a jack and don't go cheap on this especially since it'll come in handy MANY times over while you're working on your car. Get a decent to nice one AND get some jack stands or risk getting smushed, decapitated, amputated, etc.

Cheap set of torx bits will help out too. There are some DIY's that require you to use torx bits.

www.bmaautoparts.com and www.autohausaz.com are two sites I've recently been using alot and the prices are great (compared to the dealer) You can mess around with non-BMW or non-OEM brands, but most will recommend BMW OEM. I myself have dicked around with some non-OEM and I've had some luck but some parts I've found to be faulty, even after getting a replacement.

From here on try to be more "in tune" with your vehicle and keep in mind to change your fluids when needed and maintain your car. I will admit I haven't done a great job of that over the years but the past few years I've started to do so myself. My car's about 273,000 miles and I plan on adding alot more

Good luck and hope things turn out for the better. Again, just gotta put on your big-boy pants.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:21 AM   #3
BMANN405
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At Witts end with rough idle

Very well said. With that amount of mileage u def want to check all emissions hoses for breaks or dry rot. I just had to change a couple on mine and only have 61,000 miles. If it hasn't been done I would also go to drvanos.com and get a new dual vanos installed. Now only 250 with 150 core. There are detailed instructions on this site on how to replace it. There's another site that u can look up on this forum that sells the new seals for 60 and u can rebuild the vanos.
Another thing to have tested is the fuel pump located under back the back seat it is very easy to change and yours could b on its way out. Changed mine out and only took about 30 minutes. Think Bavarian may have it for around 170, half what the dealer will charge. When is last time fuel filter was changed? Just a few places where u could start. Keep searching this forum. I've learned so much from it. Also search / look into DISA valve and CCV, MAF and ICV


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Old 05-04-2013, 05:31 AM   #4
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That sounds pretty bad to me.

You mention coils -- have you actually replaced the spark plugs? Also it seems like your dad changed the wrong O2s. Their codes are still present and they're for the upstream sensors. But it might not be the O2s at all, they could be detecting a legitimate air/fuel error.

Also try unplugging the MAF -- if the car holds an idle, then there probably is an air leak somewhere.

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Old 05-04-2013, 05:34 AM   #5
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You had misfires and I'm guessing some 02 codes before and thus you did the 02 sensors...what were the codes before? All the same?

If so, probably not 02 sensors unless you put the wrong ones in the wrong place...that's happened before.

Often, the first issues we come across affecting rough running are air leaks...lower intake boot is usually first. You said 'intake boot,' so I assume you did the lower one, but maybe not. If you didn't do it then, clean icv like I cleaned it...really well...replace tb gasket while you're there...if you see a vac hose, replace it if it's easy to get to.

There are other vac hoses that often leak...some under cabin air filter housing behind intake manifold.

You can diy a smoke test a couple of different ways, and I'd suggest that. Either spray something around the engine...carb cleaner or even a mist of water. If it's getting into the engine through a leaking hose/boot, you'll hear the engine rev up or down...then get into that area better.

Some have also just plugged a hose into the intake somewhere, plugged off aft of the maf, and blew cigar smoke in...not quite the same as a real smoke machine...but you might get lucky.

Check disa area too, though usually a bad o-ring on it won't cause a stall.

I had a stall from my sap valve getting clogged, but it didn't start and die...it just didn't start until I revved hard. Then I found my sap hose had failed and a ball of gunk in sap valve, which I removed.

It sounds, though, that you could have an air leak...or bad/dirty maf. Clean MAF with maf cleaner...treat it gently...and replace the things that should have been done a long time ago...fuel filter maybe?

Also, not knowing what all you and your dad know, there are a number of little things that are not infrequently forgotten when doing diys...could be any of them...

Missed ground wire when doing coils...missing the tab on the TB and getting boot on, but it's still leaking...that sort of thing.

Have you checked fuel pressure?
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:28 AM   #6
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Read the first 3 links below in my signature.

It appears you may likely have a lean problem, but without being able to read the fuel trims it is a bit hard to tell for sure.

I believe PA Soft can read real time data on some cars?? It will not on my 2006 330 E46 Vert.

Also read this link - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=967204
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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

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Old 05-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #7
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You're almost certainly running lean. Don't **** around with throwing parts at it unless you want to spend a lot of money, blowing cigar(!?!?!) smoke at it, carb cleaner, whatever. Build a proper smoke machine or find a pro who's got one. The car runs better after you restart it because it's designed to run rich for a little bit after the engine's been started (afterstart enrichment - look it up). You *may* need coils, oxygen sensors, etc... but you almost certainly need to replace whatever worn out rubber bits are letting unmetered air in. Filling the intake tract with pressurized smoke will tell you exactly what's worn out.
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Old 05-04-2013, 06:54 AM   #8
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I'm having the same problem, now at 91k but been rough idle since 80K, I've changed everything that the codes suggest but still getting rough idle, drives smooth above 5Mph. It's an auto but will stall if it comes to a stop. I've changed both O2 sensors, MAF sensor, fuel filter, Cam shaft sensor, Air Filter and now just had Transmission filter and fluid drained but still the same. Also, I can't see any air leaks from the hoses. Another guy mentioned he changed more than these items and he's still got rough idle but was told the crankcase breatherhose for the CVV was a little blocked with a buildup of oil, said he changed it and car works like new. Does anybody think that this could be our problem? My photos below on my car shows some build up of Mayo, does this relate to the CVV or Crankcase and should I be worried?
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:27 AM   #9
Yewzer B Lewzer
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At Witts end with rough idle

Capture LTFT and STFT real time data and post that.
Also do the unplugged MAF test and report back.


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Old 05-04-2013, 11:22 AM   #10
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Dear Yewzer, you're a genius!!!!! It worked!!!! After a year of stress and money I have a answer! The engine's cold on a warm day, started the car with the Maf UNplugged and idle was smooth at 1050rpm. Then I turned the car off for the 2nd test....
Plugged the Maf back in and restarted the car and stalled instantly, bearing in mind it's an auto!
However...when the Maf was unplugged and engine running well, the transmission warning light came on, but this light didn't appear when the Maf was connected.
What does this all mean?? 1. That if I get a Maf that works, then the transmission warning light won't come on?
2. Why did the trans light come on with it UNplugged?
3. Will I cause Any damage driving with it unplugged?
Thanks so so much
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:40 AM   #11
taylorscarter
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At Witts end with rough idle

Thanks so much for your input everybody. jfoj, I looked at your write up on rough idle and you said some of it doesn't apply to 323 engines, but I did read through it thoroughly.

My dad has been working on cars for 20+ years, so I'm hoping he checked all rubber parts. Interestingly though, he told me last time I was at the house if replacing O2's didn't help, he was going to pay to get it put on a smoke machine, so I guess that's what our next step is.

As mentioned in my first post, the spark plugs were all replaced.

Also want to make clear, that video was the worst the car ever was, after that, it's never ran that rough. It's very much drivable and only has consistent problems at cold start. Other misfiring happens intermittently. Ill take a video today if I can.

Ill keep y'all posted.


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Old 05-04-2013, 12:46 PM   #12
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Oh heres that rough idle thread. Unfortunately, i highly doubt your car would idle like that just because of rubber. Its most likely something internal. Do you still have check engine codes after you replaced everything that the PA soft said you should?
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:48 PM   #13
taylorscarter
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At Witts end with rough idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
Oh heres that rough idle thread. Unfortunately, i highly doubt your car would idle like that just because of rubber. Its most likely something internal. Do you still have check engine codes after you replaced everything that the PA soft said you should?
Read the whole thread. That should answer your question.


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Old 05-04-2013, 12:53 PM   #14
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Read the whole thread. That should answer your question.


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doesnt say anything that the check engine light was gone..
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Old 05-04-2013, 12:57 PM   #15
taylorscarter
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At Witts end with rough idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by E46tknv View Post
doesnt say anything that the check engine light was gone..
Watch the video? Haha


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Old 05-04-2013, 02:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorscarter View Post
Thanks so much for your input everybody. jfoj, I looked at your write up on rough idle and you said some of it doesn't apply to 323 engines, but I did read through it thoroughly.

My dad has been working on cars for 20+ years, so I'm hoping he checked all rubber parts. Interestingly though, he told me last time I was at the house if replacing O2's didn't help, he was going to pay to get it put on a smoke machine, so I guess that's what our next step is.

As mentioned in my first post, the spark plugs were all replaced.

Also want to make clear, that video was the worst the car ever was, after that, it's never ran that rough. It's very much drivable and only has consistent problems at cold start. Other misfiring happens intermittently. Ill take a video today if I can.

Ill keep y'all posted.
The only thing that does not really apply to the 323/328 engine is DISA O-ring, one these engines it is a serviceable part you can get a the dealer.

Other than that, most everything else is the same on these engines.

Your car is 13 years old, if the rubber and plastic has not been replaced, replace it now.

CCV MUST be replaced if original.

Intake boots need replacement.

How old is the fuel filter and has the fuel pressure regulator hose been checked?

Valve cover could be cracked, valve cover gasket could be bad.

Freeze frame data from a generic scan too along with fuel trim values would be very helpful.

The reason the engine runs better on most restarts is not due to some enrichment, it is likely due to the engine was running with a misfire with fuel cut off. Once the engine is restarted, the fuel cut off is turned off unless enough misfires are detected again.
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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 05-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #17
taylorscarter
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At Witts end with rough idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
The only thing that does not really apply to the 323/328 engine is DISA O-ring, one these engines it is a serviceable part you can get a the dealer.

Other than that, most everything else is the same on these engines.

Your car is 13 years old, if the rubber and plastic has not been replaced, replace it now.

CCV MUST be replaced if original.

Intake boots need replacement.

How old is the fuel filter and has the fuel pressure regulator hose been checked?

Valve cover could be cracked, valve cover gasket could be bad.

Freeze frame data from a generic scan too along with fuel trim values would be very helpful.

The reason the engine runs better on most restarts is not due to some enrichment, it is likely due to the engine was running with a misfire with fuel cut off. Once the engine is restarted, the fuel cut off is turned off unless enough misfires are detected again.
So what so you think is a good first step from here? Put it on a smoke machine to see what hoses/rubber/plastic needs to be replaced?


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Old 05-04-2013, 04:22 PM   #18
Yewzer B Lewzer
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At Witts end with rough idle

Quote:
Originally Posted by smacera View Post
Dear Yewzer, you're a genius!!!!! It worked!!!! After a year of stress and money I have a answer! The engine's cold on a warm day, started the car with the Maf UNplugged and idle was smooth at 1050rpm. Then I turned the car off for the 2nd test....
Plugged the Maf back in and restarted the car and stalled instantly, bearing in mind it's an auto!
However...when the Maf was unplugged and engine running well, the transmission warning light came on, but this light didn't appear when the Maf was connected.
What does this all mean?? 1. That if I get a Maf that works, then the transmission warning light won't come on?
2. Why did the trans light come on with it UNplugged?
3. Will I cause Any damage driving with it unplugged?
Thanks so so much
Slow down don't get too exited. I was actually responding to the OP but happy to help you too. How long did you let the car run with the MAF unplugged?

Hopefully this thread hijack doesn't cause confusion...


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Old 05-04-2013, 04:34 PM   #19
smacera
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Hi Yewzer, I left the car running with the MAF unplugged for about 5 minutes, it was beautiful and smooth
However...when the Maf was unplugged and engine running well, the transmission warning light came on instantly, but this light didn't appear when the Maf was connected.*What does this all mean?? 1. That if I get a Maf that works, then the transmission warning light won't come on?2. Why did the trans light come on with it UNplugged?3. Will I cause Any damage driving with it unplugged?*
Thanks so so much
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Old 05-04-2013, 04:45 PM   #20
zhenkaaaM3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taylorscarter View Post
Watch the video? Haha


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the video shows that its on -_-

you mentioned you replaced a bunch of junk. did you bother clearing the codes to see which codes pop back up?
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