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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 01-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #21
chillinhardinanE46
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I read up on this test, however due to its nature, Im just gonna call up a mechanic. I want to have a bit more evidence when i roll up to BMW claiming its my CCV (if thats the problem). I'm gonna call a mechanic i found on the internet so he can diagnose it. That way I can be confident I wont end up with a bill when I go to BMW.

So I drove the car today. This morning I wiped the air intake tube hole that had oil in it (in my previous post). I drove it to work and it didnt look half bad when I got to work. I actually event looked at my engine temps as JFOJ reccomended. After the first 10 mins my temp was at 85. I turned on the heater at this point and the temp dropped to 79 but climb back up after a few mins. I only had the heater on for a bit. When I got to work I check and the temp was 90/91 when I turned it off(Total trip about 15-19 mins). Im guessing my t-stat is working fine.
I checked the air intake hose hole again when i got home and did not like what I saw.
A puddle about the same size as the night before.
Pic#1 Before Lunch
Pic#2 After work

My loss in power is very noticable. I feel slow.. lol
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:17 PM   #22
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Might want to check your coolant temps a bit closer, not sure about the SULEV, should be the same and the non SULEV?? but it is starting to look like the baseline temp should be 95C?

Might be worth checking stat part number between SULEV and non SULEV?
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Last edited by jfoj; 01-08-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:29 PM   #23
tech4tech
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Thermostat is the same for m54 and m56 sulev
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #24
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With low coolant temps like that, I'd be willing to bet that you have a bad thermostat that's stuck open. SULEVs run the same coolant temps as non-SULEVs. Normal temps should be high 80s to mid 90s from my experience.

I had my thermostat go out and my car wouldn't reach fully warm despite my 26 mile commute. The car is constantly in warm up mode so it runs a little rich trying to warm itself up. That causes bad gas mileage, excess carbon deposits, poor heating, etc.

SULEV uses the same cooling parts (water pump, thermostat, hoses, sensors, expansion tank, etc.) with the exception of the radiator. Our radiator has a special black colored coating to reduce ozone break down. I suspect that you could swap a standard radiator into it and it would be fine though - that it's the same piece, just coated.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:43 PM   #25
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Recently started a thermostat thread here - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...491&highlight=

I believe the mid 80C temps may only be once the thermostat heater has been enabled?

Again, I am starting to see and agree with the baseline temp being around 95C, anything less at idle or light load without AC, then thermostat may be suspect and watched very closely.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:52 PM   #26
briangl92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Recently started a thermostat thread here - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...491&highlight=

I believe the mid 80C temps may only be once the thermostat heater has been enabled?

Again, I am starting to see and agree with the baseline temp being around 95C, anything less at idle or light load without AC, then thermostat may be suspect and watched very closely.
The temperature shouldn't fluctuate that low. What happens is when the coolant temp goes below a certain temperature, it closes, circulating coolant around the engine but not through the radiator. When that coolant in the engine gets too hot, the tstat opens allowing coolant to flow to the radiator and back into the engine. So despite the heater being on, the temps should remain within operating range once the car is warmed up.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:01 PM   #27
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You have to be careful about these thermostats, they are electrically heated and the DME can force the thermostat to open earlier under some high load/high ambient temps and drop the engine temperature.

This is part of the reason the E46 and some other BMW's with these 6 cylinder engines have a temperature gauges that is buffered and will stay at the 12 o'clock position over a 50F range.

So this is one of the challenges and reasons that it is so hard to confirm a failing or soft failed thermostat causing an engine to run too cold.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:05 PM   #28
briangl92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
You have to be careful about these thermostats, they are electrically heated and the DME can force the thermostat to open earlier under some high load/high ambient temps and drop the engine temperature.

This is part of the reason the E46 and some other BMW's with these 6 cylinder engines have a temperature gauges that is buffered and will stay at the 12 o'clock position over a 50F range.

So this is one of the challenges and reasons that it is so hard to confirm a failing or soft failed thermostat causing an engine to run too cold.
Out of all the possibilities, the thermostat is the overwhelmingly common and most likely source...wouldn't you agree?
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:32 PM   #29
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Yes, the thermostat is likely soft failing, BUT what I caution people about is you cannot easily say that the E46 baseline temp should ALWAYS be above 90C. I believe the baseline at idle or under light load/lower RPM situation should be approximately 95C.

The engine temps can drop over 20 F due to the DME enabling the heater in the thermostat when under higher load and certain specific conditions.

See this link - http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...900#post161900

You can see in the graph where the engine load is increased the coolant temp is decreased.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:49 PM   #30
briangl92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfoj View Post
Yes, the thermostat is likely soft failing, BUT what I caution people about is you cannot easily say that the E46 baseline temp should ALWAYS be above 90C. I believe the baseline at idle or under light load/lower RPM situation should be approximately 95C.

The engine temps can drop over 20 F due to the DME enabling the heater in the thermostat when under higher load and certain specific conditions.

See this link - http://www.zhpmafia.com/forums/showt...900#post161900

You can see in the graph where the engine load is increased the coolant temp is decreased.
I don't see your point. I said there's an operating range. The coolant temps with normal coolant were consistently up in the 90Cs once the car warmed up.

EDIT: converting the temp difference, it's an 11C degree difference between the high and low temps with Water Wetter, still within the bounds of a working thermostat.

Last edited by briangl92; 01-08-2013 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:24 PM   #31
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You are still missing the point. The water wetter was in the cooling system before the graph was made and the person that provided the graph indicated that he felt the water wetter reduced his overall engine temperature by about 5-8F. This value was consistent throughout the graphing, think of it as a fixed offset to all of his temperatures as compared to a typical E46 without water wetter.

What is happening with the 20F drops in the graph is the electrically heated thermostat element is being commanded on by the DME and opening the thermostat earlier to reduce the normal operational temps from the 90C range to the upper 70 to low 80C range.

My point is you do not appear to understand how the electrically heated thermostat impacts the coolant temperature and anyone that is trying to baseline their values may misrepresent their normal values if they are unaware of how this thermostat functions.

My concern is for the casual owner that says lets go check my coolant temps, accesses the Hidden OBC to display the engine coolant temps. Figures hey, I will drive sporty as this will cause my engine temps to be at the highest levels. Comes back to a forum and makes a statement like my temps are 84C while driving hard, this is my normal temperature and as long as I run at 84C my thermostat is good. This would not be correct and accurate information. But this person may also have a correctly functioning thermostat as well?

This false data may confuse folks that do have soft failing thermostat, see that low to mid 80's C is acceptable by someones statement, take this as gospel and think their engine temps are normal. Exactly what chillinhardinanE46 seemed to indicated that his temps were 90-91C after almost 20 minutes of driving. I am thinking he may be on the edge and should go back and repeat some of his readings because dropping to 79C seems to be a bit concerning. But I do not have all the info like his ambient temps at the time and how long he had actually been driving when the temps dropped to 79C.

What we are seeing is NORMAL engine operation temps at idle tend to be in the low to mid 90C range. Not just hitting the 90-91C range at the high point, but I am still trying to gather more data and the electrically controlled thermostat makes obtaining a baseline tricky as to not mislead someone to condemn a good thermostat. I think we want to pinpoint and flag all the bad stats and make sure we do not flag a good stat as bad.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:31 PM   #32
chillinhardinanE46
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**update**

Dropped it off on thursday and since they were busy they said they wuld have to leave it overnight. Reluctantly I agreed.
I did not get a call back both yesterday or today. So I went in anyways since they said it wuld be ready. As Im pulling up I notice my car is siting out side they bay "next" in line to get look at. At this point im worried they didn't look at it. A mechanic came out to talk to me and mentioned that told me that they couldn't reproduce the vibrations I took it in for but that they had determined that my cat was in fact bad. I asked how they determined it and he said they used a temp gun as well as they made sure all O2 sensors were working correctly. He also said he didnt detect any lean codes so he wasnt too sure aboutthe rough idle, but they will look into it.

I was also able to talk to the mechaninc that was working on my car and show him the vibrations and the oil in the air intake hose. No one beleives me that the CCV is in the valve cover.. until they see no CCV under the intake. They will also be looking into this as well. Ill keep you guys posted.

So should I go in to BMW with this info or call someone at BMW NA? Im leaning toward calling someone at BMW NA but am open to hear your suggestions as I know some of you guys have already dealt with something similar.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:29 AM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillinhardinanE46 View Post
Dropped it off on thursday and since they were busy they said they wuld have to leave it overnight. Reluctantly I agreed.
I did not get a call back both yesterday or today. So I went in anyways since they said it wuld be ready. As Im pulling up I notice my car is siting out side they bay "next" in line to get look at. At this point im worried they didn't look at it. A mechanic came out to talk to me and mentioned that told me that they couldn't reproduce the vibrations I took it in for but that they had determined that my cat was in fact bad. I asked how they determined it and he said they used a temp gun as well as they made sure all O2 sensors were working correctly. He also said he didnt detect any lean codes so he wasnt too sure aboutthe rough idle, but they will look into it.

I was also able to talk to the mechaninc that was working on my car and show him the vibrations and the oil in the air intake hose. No one beleives me that the CCV is in the valve cover.. until they see no CCV under the intake. They will also be looking into this as well. Ill keep you guys posted.

So should I go in to BMW with this info or call someone at BMW NA? Im leaning toward calling someone at BMW NA but am open to hear your suggestions as I know some of you guys have already dealt with something similar.
It's simpler and quicker to bring the info to the dealership. I had an issue where they wouldn't warranty my car, claiming that it was out of warranty. I brought them in the documentation stating otherwise and they claimed they'd "research it." A couple days later I got a call that it was done with no communication in between.

At the end of it, the service advisor claimed that he hadn't had much experience with the M56 and it's warranty and that if he had another car come in, he'd give me a call Be persistent with them. They're either clueless as to what you brought them, assuming it only has minor spec changes compared to the M54 (meaning they treat it as a 'seen one, seen them all'), they just don't care, or a combination of the three. In my case, it was a combination so it was over two weeks of hassling.

The first attachment in my thread states that the CCV is part of the valve cover. It wouldn't hurt at all to bring that document in. Also of note is that it seems like dealerships often misdiagnose issues with these cars because of their lack of experience with the cars (two misdiagnosis in my case). Just something to keep in mind.

After everything was settled I filed a complaint with BMW NA for the dealerships stupidity (as well as various other issues that arose after I got my car back). I personally find it inexcusable on the past of dealerships that owners are being turned away, hassled and often charged for what is clearly covered under an existing warranty.
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Old 01-12-2013, 11:29 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briangl92 View Post
It's simpler and quicker to bring the info to the dealership. I had an issue where they wouldn't warranty my car, claiming that it was out of warranty. I brought them in the documentation stating otherwise and they claimed they'd "research it." A couple days later I got a call that it was done with no communication in between.

At the end of it, the service advisor claimed that he hadn't had much experience with the M56 and it's warranty and that if he had another car come in, he'd give me a call Be persistent with them. They're either clueless as to what you brought them, assuming it only has minor spec changes compared to the M54 (meaning they treat it as a 'seen one, seen them all'), they just don't care, or a combination of the three. In my case, it was a combination so it was over two weeks of hassling.

The first attachment in my thread states that the CCV is part of the valve cover. It wouldn't hurt at all to bring that document in. Also of note is that it seems like dealerships often misdiagnose issues with these cars because of their lack of experience with the cars (two misdiagnosis in my case). Just something to keep in mind.

After everything was settled I filed a complaint with BMW NA for the dealerships stupidity (as well as various other issues that arose after I got my car back). I personally find it inexcusable on the past of dealerships that owners are being turned away, hassled and often charged for what is clearly covered under an existing warranty.
Thanks for the encouragment.
I dont think I mentioned it but I dropped the car of at a local mechanic. Not BMW. The reason being I needed to pinpoint the problem before I took it to BMW. The first time I took it in to BMW they said my CATs were working just fine and that I had an un metered air leak after the MAF. This is the reason my car is being smoked today. I want to be able to prove to BMW that they were wrong. Should I go back to the same dealer that possibly misdiagnosed the car? I was wondering if they acknowledge that the CAT was bad, would they redund my previous diagnostic bill fees? Im sure this will be something I have to ask them and is probably on a per case basis huh? Oh well.... I guess it time to get rowdy.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:52 PM   #35
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Thanks for the encouragment.
I dont think I mentioned it but I dropped the car of at a local mechanic. Not BMW. The reason being I needed to pinpoint the problem before I took it to BMW. The first time I took it in to BMW they said my CATs were working just fine and that I had an un metered air leak after the MAF. This is the reason my car is being smoked today. I want to be able to prove to BMW that they were wrong. Should I go back to the same dealer that possibly misdiagnosed the car? I was wondering if they acknowledge that the CAT was bad, would they redund my previous diagnostic bill fees? Im sure this will be something I have to ask them and is probably on a per case basis huh? Oh well.... I guess it time to get rowdy.
Ah, gotcha. If you want to argue over the diagnostic fee, you wouldn't have much choice but to go back to the same dealership, but like you said, it's a case per case basis. No guaranties. If you really wanted to play hardball, you should demand that they pay for your diagnostic at your mechanic since they misdiagnosed it the first time.
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:08 AM   #36
chillinhardinanE46
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Question // Update

I got my car back and the mechanic said that I needed a new CAT and that my spark plugs were no good due to being over tightened. So he said put some new ones in an it shuld fix the vibrations at idle. When I removed my spark plugs they all had a yellow ring around the porcelain top part like in the picture of post #17. What is this?

I put the new spark plugs in and drove to work this morning. The vibrations were much less noticable but still there. I feel like in time it will just go back to the way it was. I did buy a torque wrench but when I set it to the 22 ft/lb, i felt like i was tightrning them to much. I didnt want to over tighten them. What i did was screw them in by hand with the extentsion, when tight i brough out a 3/8 rathet and tightened them about a little less than a quarter turn. It felt pretty tight but when I out the torque wrench on there was still more to go before the click but i didnt wanna push it so i left it. Any ideas? Car does feel like it has a bit more power now. almost back to normal but not quite.


Quote:
Originally Posted by chillinhardinanE46 View Post
Heres pics of my plugs i checked last week they. I only checked the 1st 3 and they all looked similar. I replaced em at 111k Ive checked for leaks cleaned ICV and MAF. I will be having mechanic smoke test my car for leaks soon.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:03 PM   #37
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So i figured out that the discolorationi on my spark plugs may be "corona staining" which seems to b e pretty normal. Would you guys agree that this what the staining is? If this is normal, then why did my vibration problem slightly improve with the new plugs? What could be causing this ""corona staining".

Any advice will be greatly appreciated. I really want to get this fixed


I also read somwhere that i\it culd be related to the driveline. Is this possible? I was doubtful as the due to the spark pplugs helping with the vibrations. Maybe there is something i am missing? also there is still this suction sound when i turn off the car.
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Old 01-18-2013, 06:51 PM   #38
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Did your mechanic say anything about the CCV?
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:30 PM   #39
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unfortunatly no. They said they didnt smoke it cuz they weret getting any lean codes or conditions. For this reason i am thinkin of taking it to a BMW specialized mechanic about 45 mins away. This guy has ISIS and ISID and a previous BMW tech
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Old 01-18-2013, 11:29 PM   #40
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since my CEL is on, i was recommended to take care of the catalytic converter before i start throwing more parts at it as it could also be a possible culprit to all these symptoms.

BTW anyone got questions id reccomend going on youtube and checkin out askthecarexperts channel.
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