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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 09-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #1
silvercar
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EML, DSC, circle-arrow, brake lights on, limp mode.

Seth, you out there? I'm brand new to E46 fan, just got an 02 325i, trying to track this driveability nightmare. More later, gotta go.
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Old 09-20-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
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I have the same problem that I posted here http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=944819. I have not received any answers yet so hopefully someone will respond to your post. It is so frustrating because it happens randomly.
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Old 09-21-2012, 07:42 AM   #3
silvercar
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I'm a bit frustrated trying to track this because there are no glaring symptoms. I've never seen a car run so well and be so f'ed up. Having never owned a Bmw before, or any car with a drive by wire system I don't know what they are supposed to feel like. The only thing I think I can pick up is a very slight jerkiness when trying to hold steady throttle pressure at low speeds, but this could be normal for 02 325 and I never get a failure at low speeds. It almost always fails in top gear (auto) 55 or so to 70 mph light throttle, just cruising, car cold or hot. Setting cruise control will always cause a failure. I just got the car and from what I can tell it is largely untouched, minimal service work, minimal repair work ever done, 130,000 mi. This weekend I'm going to service the trans because I don't suspect it's ever been done. When I first got the car I fixed some vaccum leaks (cracked up old hoses) and I replaced all the pcv stuff and cleared the dipstick tube where it drains back into the crankcase. I can't detect any vaccum leaks at idle now, air intake hoses are good. I'm hoping Seth will see this and berate me for missing something obvious, seems like he has a lot of experience with these cars. Any of this sound familiar to you?
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Old 09-21-2012, 09:44 AM   #4
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Same here. Car was running just fine after having some work done a little over a month ago. Next thing I know I am driving home doing a reasonable 50-55mph and my dash lights up. At first it took longer for the lights to come back after a reset (turn engine off/on), but now it is much more frequent. After reading other posts about speed sensors and changing brakes I wonder.... I had a 17" spare on my drivers front side that seemed to fit pretty tight and not much breathing room for the rotors and brakes (I have a 19" staggered setup with 235/35/19s on the front). I just replaced the fronts yesterday hoping it would solve the problem, but lights still came on.
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Old 09-21-2012, 05:52 PM   #5
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I'll come back to the thread when I learn something new. I'm going to try some things this weekend if I get time.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:06 AM   #6
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See my post here.
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Old 09-23-2012, 08:18 AM   #7
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I had a similar issue with my bimmer it turned out to be a throttle body issue in which my throttle body was literally sealed shut. I would suggest you start with clearing your idle control valve and throttle body if you haven't done these things yet. Please continue to post your progress so the board can attempt to help you guys!
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Old 09-23-2012, 09:40 AM   #8
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So far 2 days w/o p1500 code and the lights. Will post if anything changes.
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Old 09-25-2012, 09:47 AM   #9
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zchild, did you have p1500 code as well? Did you replace the IAC motor? Throttle body is new on my car and I cleaned the IAC and it moves freely. IAC did have some scratching on the vane, don't know if this is critical or not. Serviced transmission over the weekend with secret squirrel high dollar fluid from stealership, no change, still failing regularly. Needed to be done anyway, had never been serviced.

Last edited by silvercar; 09-25-2012 at 09:56 AM. Reason: more info
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Old 09-25-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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OK. So I figured I "jinxed" it when I posted that the problems "went away". They lights came back last night and I knew it was coming because the DSC light started flashing. The frequency, after a reset, is not as much as before, but I will keep an eye out.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:59 AM   #11
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I never get a flashing dsc light with the others or alone, it always comes on solid and with the others. Check engine light occasionally comes on, not every time and it goes away after resets. If you are getting a dsc light alone you may not have engine monitoring issues. Regaurdless, as for my research I cleaned the MAF with the special spray, no change. I have access to a scan tool that will read live data. I want to try and have another look at whats going on when it fails this weekend if I get time.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:47 AM   #12
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I actually dont get the DSC light by itself. Its just sometimes it flashes as though I am driving on bad roads and two minutes later all three lights are on and solid! Keep me posted if you are able to do a live scan this weekend.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:26 AM   #13
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you got it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #14
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I've been buried at work and with house maintenance issues which had priority over the bummer lately. Haven't put the scanner on it yet, but I have determined that my failures are almost always at 60 mph or higher. I'm starting to think driveline and speed sensor stuff instead of DBW (EML). Going home from work tonight I'm going to set cruise above 65 but hold it in 4'th gear, see if I get a failure. Could rule some things out maybe.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #15
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lilbimmer...sounds like your engine wiring harness or the connector plug to the ICV is bad, fried, torn, or damaged. Check to see if there is any noticeable damage to either one.
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Old 10-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #16
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Silver330, I know the engine wire harness can be trouble on these things, I have done some inspection of it, some cleaning of connectors. None of them are burned. Will do more as I get time to dig around in there. Haven't seen anything suspect yet. I think the 1500 code may be crap, I have a perfect idle, the icv plug looked ok. It only throws that code periodically, the aformentioned failure normally occurs w/o check engine light. Also, as previously stated, failures happen on light throttle, icv should not be working then as far as I know. Almost like the computer is guessing at something that COULD be wrong.
A bit more info...if I put this thing right in the danger zone for a failure speed-wise but hold it in 4'th gear, it won't fail. 5'th or top gear is fine UNTIL you reach about 60-65 mph or above. At that point a failure is almost gauranteed. Thanks to all you guys for input! I'll post as soon as I learn anything else.
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Old 10-17-2012, 06:53 AM   #17
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My scanner is kind of a pos, it's ok for reading SOME generic codes and clearing them, but not sufficient for complete information. A buddy of mine has access to a good one and scanned the car for me in a barter deal for some old aluminum rims. There were 2 codes of note that I couldn't see with my scanner: one for abs module comunication (not sure if this one is legit, see if it returns), and one for MAF which is more intresting. At the time we scanned it the MAF was working, but I need to educate myself on what values to look for. My MAF connector looks suspect to me, if I get time today I'm going to try and take that connector apart and tighten up the female connections, see what happens. More later.
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Old 10-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #18
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On 10/15 My buddy scanned the car and erased everything. On 10/19 I filed the maf connections and made sure of tightness. Car failed almost immediately on way home from work. On 10/20 I scanned again with my friend Karl driving using top of the line scanner with BMW specific software trying to look at live data during a failure. Of course, car did not fail. Between clearing it on the 15'th and checking on the 20'th, I had 2 failures. The only code that came back was iac motor (generic p1500 and BMW code 211). I have since learned that the computer actually runs regular tests of the iac motor USING the maf signal to verify that the motor is off or closed. While doing the live scan, I could not see anything that looked irregular with the maf signal. It seemed to fluctuate with a fairly predictable sweep along with pedal pressure. I'm going to clean the rest of the connections in question next and check for tightness to see if I can change anything. I'm frustrated by a lack of symptoms, I wish the thing would either not start, or idle like sh.. , or miss, ANYTHING!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:15 AM   #19
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any more updates , my car is doing the same thing, i cleaned the icv, throttle body, and its giving me those three lights...anything new ?
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Old 10-30-2012, 06:49 PM   #20
silvercar
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Nothing yet, I got hurricaned on, didn't have time to fool with it. Gonna try and get a set of needle files and go after all the connectors. Might be 2 weeks before I get a chance, got a down tree in my yard. I will post as soon as I learn something.
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