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Old 08-20-2013, 11:05 PM   #1
justinco
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Exclamation Random stalls at idle

I have a 2005 330i ZHP sedan (auto, 91k miles) that has intermittent problems with stalling while at idle. It is seemingly completely random, however, it happens the most (almost always) after coming off a freeway after cruising at higher speeds. The first stop sign or stop light I stop at, it will stall (after coming off the freeway). Sometimes it will stall right after coming to a stop, sometimes it will sit there and idle like normal for 30-60 seconds and then stall. I can start it right back up and drive around on the off and side streets and I have no problems (rarely it will stall driving around town). The engine just turns off gently as if I turned the ignition off.

I have no other symptoms at all, no hard starts, no rough idle, no power delivery problems, etc. In fact, the car drives fantastic other than the random stalls. It idles right around 600rpm. What I have done already with no change in behavior:

Clean/Inspect: ICV, DISA, TB, MAF, electrical connections for those components (everything was in great shape, very clean)
Replaced: Upper and lower intake boots, air filter, battery

I've had the car checked at 2 shops, one being a BMW dealer. First shop was able to reproduce the stalls, BMW couldn't after 40 miles of test driving (of course). BMW did a smoke test, all good (this was before I did my work above). They also took apart steering column and testing ignition switch voltages and wiring, all good. Everything was fine on diagnostics at both shops, no codes, issues, nothing.

Looking for suggestions on next steps to troubleshoot. Someone on another forum mentioned a TSB for random stalls for ZHP e46's, but I could not come with anything in a search. I'm going to sleep on it for tonight.

Thanks!
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Last edited by justinco; 09-03-2013 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 08-21-2013, 09:31 AM   #2
justinco
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Up for the morning.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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So, today I replaced both primary o2 sensors with new Bosch direct replacement sensors. Also put a new fluorosilicone o-ring in my DISA.

Still having stalling issues at idle. Open to suggestions on what to try next.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:06 PM   #4
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how are the spark plugs and ignition coils? Potentially soft failing fuel pump?

Perhaps a new fuel filter may help.
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Old 08-24-2013, 09:08 PM   #5
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If you have an OBDII scan tool that can read and display real time data, check the fuel trims.

See this link on OBDOII tools - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=967204

Check out the first few links below in signature.
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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, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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

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Old 08-24-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
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Re: Random stalls at idle

Intake all stock?

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Old 08-25-2013, 12:06 PM   #7
justinco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianCanuck View Post
how are the spark plugs and ignition coils? Potentially soft failing fuel pump?

Perhaps a new fuel filter may help.
I haven't checked the plugs/coils yet. Fuel filter/pump was also on my list of culprits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
If you have an OBDII scan tool that can read and display real time data, check the fuel trims.

See this link on OBDOII tools - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=967204

Check out the first few links below in signature.
Thanks, I've been looking at your links too. I have a cheapo basic scanner, don't think it will show live data. That said, both the indy shop and BMW dealer did live diagnostics when they looked at it. The indy even was able to reproduce the problem while watching fuel trims, all looked good to them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by morningisbad View Post
Intake all stock?

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Yes, intake is all stock.
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Old 08-25-2013, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: Random stalls at idle

Keep in mind fuel trim values above +2.5% are questionable in my view, 0-1.5% more ideal, not everyone pays close enough attention to them. Also on decel the DME shuts fuel off, not sure if where you are having issues is when fuel is turned back on?

Start with basic maintenance and get yourself a good scan tool. It will pay for itself the first time you need it.
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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, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #9
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When it stalls you still have power steering and brakes?
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:55 PM   #10
justinco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Keep in mind fuel trim values above +2.5% are questionable in my view, 0-1.5% more ideal, not everyone pays close enough attention to them. Also on decel the DME shuts fuel off, not sure if where you are having issues is when fuel is turned back on?

Start with basic maintenance and get yourself a good scan tool. It will pay for itself the first time you need it.
The stalls happen when foot is off the gas, always. Usually right after coming a stop or at a very slow deceleration right before the stop.

I've done a lot of the basic maintenance already (see original post). At this point I am trying to determine what my next step or part replacement will be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdogthenut View Post
When it stalls you still have power steering and brakes?
EDIT: No power steering or brakes. It's as if I turned the ignition off.

EDIT: just plugged my scanner in, no codes. Also ordered scan software referenced in the other post.
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Old 08-25-2013, 07:05 PM   #11
ahull
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I had this too and cleaning the idle control valve helped. I cleaned the TB at the same time, but the ICV was pretty dirty at 80k. Edit: I see you've cleaned yours.....
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Old 08-25-2013, 08:32 PM   #12
BigBoyBosnia
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Random stalls at idle

I've experienced this happening twice in the 2 months that I've had my car.

Never after the free way however.

I always thought it was because I put in 98 octane petrol as it replaced the weaker 91 octane or whatever it was.

Keen to what others have to say


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Old 08-26-2013, 12:05 AM   #13
justinco
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Well, today I did some more work and just got back from a 22 mile test after resetting DME.

Replaced: Fuel filter, spark plugs

The test drive was overall positive. I had one stall, and it came after ~10 miles of driving on the freeway. I pulled off and into a parking lot, put it in park and sat there for 60 seconds. No issues. Then I put it into reverse and slowly backed out at an idle, and it stalled (never stalled in reverse before this). Started right back up as always, then I did not have a single stall the rest of the ~12 miles.

I made deliberate long stops at stop signs (where it was safe) and also multiple pull offs into parking lots and sat there for 60 seconds (car still in drive). So, no stalls while in a forward gear. I'm still not convinced the problem is gone completely. I am curious to see how the week goes driving back and forth to work, where it usually stalls a couple times each way.
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Old 08-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #14
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Random stalls at idle

Mine was doing something similar but not as random, was stalling consistently when coming to a stop. Ended up being bad MAF. Perhaps try cleaning yours first. Easy to replace but a little pricey. A new scanner should help as well.


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Old 08-26-2013, 10:43 AM   #15
justinco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMANN405 View Post
Mine was doing something similar but not as random, was stalling consistently when coming to a stop. Ended up being bad MAF. Perhaps try cleaning yours first. Easy to replace but a little pricey. A new scanner should help as well.

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My friend is sending me another MAF to test out. I have cleaned the MAF twice now (with CRC MAF cleaner).

Should have the new one to test in a day or two.
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Old 08-26-2013, 10:50 AM   #16
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Those plugs are not nasty looking.

Nothing you are doing should cause the motor to simply shut off. Some of the stuff might cause performance issues, but nothing on your list should cause the whole show to come to a halt for no apparent reason.

Me thinks you are looking at engine issues when the trouble is electrical, although I don't know where in the electrics your trouble might be.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:11 AM   #17
justinco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdstrickland View Post
Those plugs are not nasty looking.

Nothing you are doing should cause the motor to simply shut off. Some of the stuff might cause performance issues, but nothing on your list should cause the whole show to come to a halt for no apparent reason.

Me thinks you are looking at engine issues when the trouble is electrical, although I don't know where in the electrics your trouble might be.
The engine just shuts off though, nothing else electronic has a hiccup (far as I can tell). Although I'm not discounting that, I don't know where to start with electronics either. I've changed the battery, plugs...not sure what else to do yet on that front.

All of the maintenance and parts I'm throwing at the car needed to be done anyways per general maintenance. I am just trying to do the items that might have an effect on this problem first, just to rule them out.
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Old 08-26-2013, 11:29 AM   #18
jfoj
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Fuel filter/pressure regulator and pressure regulator hose are all things I would initially consider.

Also fuel pressure and volume test may be a good idea.

Sounds like the engine is flaming out?

Again, a scan tool that displays real time data would be helpful to monitor the fuel trim values.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=967204
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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, Temps, Fuel Level - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=239619

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

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 08-26-2013, 12:29 PM   #19
justinco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Fuel filter/pressure regulator and pressure regulator hose are all things I would initially consider.

Also fuel pressure and volume test may be a good idea.

Sounds like the engine is flaming out?

Again, a scan tool that displays real time data would be helpful to monitor the fuel trim values.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=967204
Yep, I replaced the fuel hoses and vacuum line that connect to the fuel filter as well (new clamps too). How can I do a pressure/volume test? I suspect I can put something on the schraeder valve that is on the fuel rail for pressures...not sure about volume.

Engine flaming out sounds accurate.

Your thread was a great help, I already ordered Scantool with OBDwiz, should be here in a couple days. Also got a a OBDII/USB adapter to use with my phone/Torque.

I'm thinking about replacing the fuel pump this weekend too, if anything just for general maintenance. So far everything I've replaced on the car appears to be original parts. I do have maintenance records of the spark plugs being replaced at 53k though.

Thanks for the continued help, I will update as new things happen. So far today, drive to work was flawless. It's only 10 mile trip though.
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Old 08-27-2013, 01:36 PM   #20
justinco
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Well, a couple days of driving back and forth to work. Car is still stalling in the most random of fashions.

Yesterday: No stalls driving to work. Drive home, partial stall while sitting in stop and go traffic. It started to stall but then caught itself and rev'd back up, never done that before. Then stalled after sitting at a red light down the road a mile or so.

Today: Stalled on the way to work after sitting at a light for >30 seconds. Drove home for lunch, stalled again after sitting at a light. Stalled as I was idle coasting into the garage.

The randomness of the stalls just boggles my mind. The only change I have noticed (since replacing fuel filter/spark plugs) is it seems to stall after sitting at idle for a little bit. It doesn't seem to stall anymore right when I come to a stop like it did before. Everywhere else it drives and idles perfectly fine.

Next steps:
- Fuel pump ordered, replace this weekend
- MAF from a friend should be here soon, so I can replace and test
- Setup Scantool/OBDwiz and log a stall situation
- Friday morning I'm going to BMW dealer to have DME software checked to find out if I need any updates

To be continued... sigh.
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