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Old 11-30-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
E46er75
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E46 + Cold Weather = Problems

So, I have read around a dozen or so threads regarding problems that seems to appear when the weather gets cold. Most if thew issues seem to point to cold weather and bushings being the culprit.

I myself have had an on going issue that comes on when the weather gets colder. Once the weather gets above 50 degrees the problem goes away. I'm currently experiencing a ridiculous vibration in gear when waiting for a light, drive thru and/or sitting in traffic. I will be replacing the engine mounts in the weeks to come and hoping this will be the remedy. I have replaced and done all maintenance that is needed. But yet every winter I have this problem. This year is the worst, I feel like i'm driving around in mid 80's winter beater...

What is it that this generation 3 series doesn't like about winter? Is it a poor bushing quality?

Last edited by E46er75; 11-30-2012 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:45 PM   #2
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Not sure this pertains to your issue, but suggest you read the first link below in my 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

Lower hose fan switch O-ring - BMW #13621743299
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:08 AM   #3
E46er75
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I have read that the link and actually its the doesnt really tackle the issue I'm having. All the information in this link although VERY heplful doesn't pertain to my issue. I'm having no misfiring and/or codes and my idle is not rough. I found the engine mounts to be compressed and really worn out. I certian this is my issue and have read symptoms similiar to what I'm experiencing. If this does not fix the issue i will investigate further. Thanks
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:56 AM   #4
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You did not mention which car was having the problem, but I am going to guess at the xi??

I recall someone had a similar issue on an xi and it turned out to be a bad axle that was somehow binding when cold and only at a stop with the driveline preloaded as I recall? Search the forum as I recall it was actually here? Also fall back to Google and search E46fanatics, xi, vibration or some mix as sometimes a Google search is better than a forum search?

Also keep in mind bade exhaust hanger can also cause similar issues.
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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 12-01-2012, 01:00 AM   #5
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Found it - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=896719

Hope this is helpful if the problem car is the xi?
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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 12-01-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
zwei e46
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Originally Posted by E46er75 View Post
So, I have read around a dozen or so threads regarding problems that seems to appear when the weather gets cold. Most if thew issues seem to point to cold weather and bushings being the culprit.

I myself have had an on going issue that comes on when the weather gets colder. Once the weather gets above 50 degrees the problem goes away. I'm currently experiencing a ridiculous vibration in gear when waiting for a light, drive thru and/or sitting in traffic. I will be replacing the engine mounts in the weeks to come and hoping this will be the remedy. I have replaced and done all maintenance that is needed. But yet every winter I have this problem. This year is the worst, I feel like i'm driving around in mid 80's winter beater...

What is it that this generation 3 series doesn't like about winter? Is it a poor bushing quality?
Sounds just like our xi with 90k, except ours vibrates under 40 degrees. Very annoying.

I've got new motor mounts that I'm installing in the next few days and I'll be sure to post results. If this doesn't correct the problem I'll move onto the transmission/TC mount which I ordered as well.
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Old 12-01-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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This doesn't really sound like an engine mount or bushing problem. Although you say you don't have any misfires or rough idle, it sounds like that is exactly what you have. Even with bad mounts the engine, when running smoothly, shouldn't vibrate much (unless they are really really shot). You don't necessarily have to have the check engine light on to have these problems. Sounds like your idle may be dropping too low. Check normal tune up parts, vacuum leaks, etc.
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Old 03-06-2013, 02:20 AM   #8
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REALLY sick of my idling issues......

I have replaced everything possible CCV, DISA, check all hoses and this thing still idles like POS. When idling in "D" with the "auto" climate control on the idle drops to 500 rpm when the compressor kicks on. This has been going on ever since the cold weather came. I have tackled everything the member "jfoj" has recommended with no cure.

I'm starting to look at other options (another car) This sucks
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:52 AM   #9
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It sounds like you have an idle issue, even though you dismissed jfoj's suggestions to read his post.
Do you know what the difference is between the idle when it is cold, vs when it is hot? When it is hot, you turn on the AC. This causes the engine controls to increase the idle, to make up for the additional load. The 100 or so RPM difference is all it takes to go from an engine that is shaking at idle to a smooth idling engine. This is way more pronounced in an automatic transmission car. I know, because I have owned both.
Try this - the next time you are stopped, and the engine is idling rough, turn on the AC, as cold as it will go, and see if it does not improve the shaking issue.
Now, you certainly may have bad engine mounts. But I would be willing to bet that you also have some fixable idle issues. Many people clean their ICV, but I believe that it is better to just replace it. You can get an OE Bosch unit on Amazon for $118. There is no way to tell if your ICV is operating at its full efficiency just because it has been cleaned. And as far as I know, no one has established how much wear on an ICV will produce idle issues. It seems like everyone just cleans it, it runs better, so they assume all is well. As far as I am concerned, you do not know how much it is affecting things until you install a new unit. It is obvious that Bosch considered this to be a consumable part, because it is a completely sealed unit.
One thing people do not seem to consider when dealing with poor idle is the parasitic drag that all the accessories produce. You can change the belts and idler pullies, which may help, but you also need to consider the AC compressor and clutch, the power steering pump, the water pump, and the alternator. While many people have addressed the water pump and the idler pullies, a large majority may still have the original AC, power steering pump, and alternator. Think about how much additional load these items add to the engine if each of them have worn out to the point that they require just 10% more force to turn. That combined resistance is almost certainly enough to require more force to turn. Now, the DME is a closed loop system, which evaluates the idle speed, and compensates for this additional force requirement. But who knows how much compensation it can apply? How broad are the parameters for this compensation? For all we know, the car may be at the limit of how much it could compensate. Or, it could simply not be very good at compensating. After all, it is only as good as the sensors it relies on, and the software code that instructs it to compensate. The truth is, every day that these cars are on the road, the further we move into unknown and unplanned territory. Manufacturers simply do not design cars to constantly adapt to aging components, and there has to be a wall out there somewhere.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:35 PM   #10
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First off I have already replaced the ICV.

Second, I have tried every trick under the sun in an effort to narrow down my issue. I might not be the worlds greatest bmw tech, but I also never claimed to be. I take all suggestions and apply the ones the seem to be most logical. I'm not new to car repairs, but I am new to these issues. Unlike all my current and previous cars owned this seems to be an on going money pit of an issue.

Finally, before I start replacing the compressor and other components I would rather just wait until the weather warms up and then idling returns to normal and just sell it. Think what you will but chasing around an issue like this which only acts up in cold weather is beyond frustrating. Especially, when I own an XI which was made for COLD weather. I tend believe the engineering of the XI was still in development on E46 and they might have corrected these issues as the years progressed and R&D improved.

It is what it is..

Last edited by E46er75; 03-06-2013 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 03:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by E46er75 View Post
First off I have already replaced the ICV.

Second, I have tried every trick under the sun in an effort to narrow down my issue. I might not be the worlds greatest bmw tech, but I also never claimed to be. I take all suggestions and apply the ones the seem to be most logical. I'm not new to car repairs, but I am new to these issues. Unlike all my current and previous cars owned this seems to be an on going money pit of an issue.

Finally, before I start replacing the compressor and other components I would rather just wait until the weather warms up and then idling returns to normal and just sell it. Think what you will but chasing around an issue like this which only acts up in cold weather is beyond frustrating. Especially, when I own an XI which was made for COLD weather. I tend believe the engineering of the XI was still in development on E46 and they might have corrected these issues as the years progressed and R&D improved.

It is what it is..
First of all, your original post was a bit strange. Almost any car that relies heavily on rubber bushings is going to suffer some issues with the bushings in cold weather. The same thing applies to tires. That is why there are winter and summer compounds. Do you want to have to change your bushings for winter too? Because, if there was a compound that would perform equally well in summer and winter, I am sure the tire manufacturers would be all over it, as well as auto manufacturers. The people having problems have bushings that are worn out, and the cold simply amplifies the issue. Also, engine mounts are not bushings, if you want to be technical about it.
I never questioned your abilities, so I am not sure why you got defensive about that. I also never suggested that you replace the compressor, alternator, and power steering pump to fix your idle issue. That part was speculation about idle issues in general when it comes to these cars. But, you would do well to listen closely to each of those components with a stethoscope, to see if any of them has an obvious bearing issue.*
You did not mention if you had ever tried the experiment I proposed - turning on the AC when the car is idling so rough in cold weather, to see if it improves the idle. Hell, you could even just rest your foot on the gas pedal, and tweak the idle up a bit, to see if it stops. If it does, and I suspect it will, then you have an undiagnosed idle issue. Are you absolutely sure that you have checked every single thing in jfoj's list? If so, then I have a couple of other suggestions.*
What is the condition of your fuel pump and fuel filter? I had the same issue you have. It was there since I bought the car. But, since I bought it in the summer, I did not notice it until the weather turned cold, and the AC was shut off. Three years later, I had some issues that lead me to replace the fuel filter, which I discovered was original. My idle issues changed radically when I changed the filter. The idle became more stable, and the car no longer shook at stop lights. Three weeks later, the fuel pump died. Replacing it only made things better. I noticed that I had developed a habit of placing my foot on the brake, and tweaking the gas pedal a bit to keep the idle smooth at stop lights. I no longer need to do that. My idle was still not what I would call ideal, but it was improved to the point that the car no longer shook. My next suggestion would be to take your injectors out, and send them to a place called Which Hunters performance http://witchhunter.com
They will clean them properly, and replace all of the parts that are replaceable. This is the same thing that is done to injectors that are sold as "rebuilt", only they do a much more thourough job. If you want to be more precise, buy a set of used injectors, and send all 12 injectors to them, and they will give you a set that are flow matched to a minimum of 1% or better. This will improve matters greatly. One note - places that offer "on car" cleaning can not produce the results this place can. Also, almost any local fuel injector service facility you have locally will not have the equipment, experience, and customer service that this place offers. There are a few other places online that may have similar equipment, but this place is one of the best. You are getting a rebuilt injector for $22.50, and it will be better than the $50 rebuilds sold by the parts vendors.

Finally, I do not doubt that your engine mounts are blown. Mine were too. But I can tell you that replacing them will not give you the results you are looking for, because I am willing to bet that you have other idle issues. I am not sure why you are so sure that this is not the case, but you may want to at least explore the possibility further, rather than insisting it does not exist.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:40 PM   #12
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I think you're reading too far into my post.

I'm not defensive. I have addressed most of my issues in other threads as well as this one. I have looked into this issues for sometime now.

Engine mounts where just a thought seeing how i have addressed all other possible issues.

Last edited by E46er75; 03-06-2013 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 05:57 PM   #13
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I think you're too far into my post.
I think that is the understatement of the year, geez....
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:43 AM   #14
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I think you're reading too far into my post.

I'm not defensive. I have addressed most of my issues in other threads as well as this one. I have looked into this issues for sometime now.

Engine mounts where just a thought seeing how i have addressed all other possible issues.
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I think that is the understatement of the year, geez....
If you don't want advice from someone who had the same issue, and fixed it, then fine. Your posts made it sound like you were frustrated with the issue. I tried to give detailed steps of what to do, and why to do it.

Maybe I will just resort to saying "change this part" and be done with it, like so many others do.
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:06 AM   #15
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I'm not saying I don't appreciate the advice.. Once again I have tackled all the issues and also have tried all the procedures to help diagnosis.

I think you just need to move to the next thread. Thanks for time and help. But this isn't working out.

I feel like I'm arguing with my wife....
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Old 03-07-2013, 02:53 AM   #16
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I'm not saying I don't appreciate the advice.. Once again I have tackled all the issues and also have tried all the procedures to help diagnosis.

I think you just need to move to the next thread. Thanks for time and help. But this isn't working out.

I feel like I'm arguing with my wife....
Ok, now you just need to get over yourself. I wrote two posts. Yes, they were long and detailed. I do that because you are not the only one who will read the thread, and I prefer to include as much info as possible, rather than post a six word answer.
But I am hardly stalking your thread. And I have not showed my a$$, and insisted you were an idiot for not replacing every single part, the way Mango can tend to do.
I was polite, and offered solutions that you generally don't find on here. If you don't want to read it all, then don't.
But if you write a post directed at me, then don't be suprised if I show up to reply to it. That is generally the flow of things. I considered the matter closed after my last post, but you had to tweak it once more.
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Old 03-07-2013, 06:14 AM   #17
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I think that is the understatement of the year, geez....
This is Fanatics; the place where anything can happen!

MJ was wandering the web in the middle of the night and decided to 'thoroughly' help the OP. I say "bravo, MJ--that's what Fanatics is about!"

OP, MJ knows a lot. He's human and doesn't know everything, but if I may, I'd suggest you read his posts to you a few times, and even if you don't fix your problem from his suggestions, you'll at least have eliminated some possible reasons for your issue.
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