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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-06-2014, 06:16 PM   #1
gumanov
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Unhappy Troubleshooting LEAN running condition

Hi guys,

I've been troubleshooting my 2004 330Ci for running lean for approximately 6 months now. Would like some input, since I'm out of ideas at this point.
I have access to BMW ISTA/D as well as INPA diagnostics.

Fault codes are as follows:
P0171 System too lean, bank 1
INPA: 2882 mixture preparation bank 1

P0174 System too lean, bank 2
INPA: 2883 mixture preparation bank 2

http://i.imgur.com/G0G4ohg.png

Here's what I've done so far:
Inspect all intake parts for tears, leakage, etc. No defects found.
Cleaned Idle control valve (ICV).
Replaced ICV grommet.
Replaced throttle body gasket.
Replaced DISA valve o-ring.
Replaced CCV valve, and all associated hoses.
Replaced intake F-connector vacuum hose.
Replaced both PRE-CAT Oxygen sensors.
Replaced fuel filter.
Replaced fuel pump.
Verified proper fuel pressure readings.
Replaced valve cover gasket.


Also, I've read about the Secondary air pump having a vacuum line that is often damaged. My model does not have a vacuum line running to the EGR or SAP area.

Today I was looking into the MAF as possibly being faulty.
I unplugged it while the engine is idling, and I do not hear any response in the engine idle. The idle RPM stays at a constant 690-710 RPM according to INPA readings, with MAF plugged in or unplugged. There no RPM changes while unplugging the MAF.
This leads me to think something may be wrong with the MAF; Although there are no fault codes associated with the MAF, and the air mass reading is approximately 3g/sec when idling, which is approximately 11kg/hr.

Any thoughts/suggestions?
Thanks

--
Some diagnostics readings below:
Fuel trim adaptation readings from BMW ISTA/D
http://i.imgur.com/cD6GvcW.png

Fuel trim adaptation readings from INPA:
http://i.imgur.com/IDQMpDG.png
http://i.imgur.com/1I2jptQ.png

(Which one is LTFT and STFT? If Additive = STFT and Multiplicative = LTFT.. then what is "Lambda Integrator"?)

Also found the "rough running" values interesting for cylinders 2 and 5 in INPA:
http://i.imgur.com/w1qcI7C.png
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:57 PM   #2
MysticBlue
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Sounds like you still have air getting in after the MAF. I know you said you inspected the intake parts for tears and to replace many of the things you did you would have to take off the intake boots, but did you really inspect the boots? I had the same problem and the lower boot was torn at the elbow. Since it is an accordion style form, it is impossible to see unless you pull it apart to look at it.
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Old 05-11-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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This may be of some use:

Generally Lambda Integrator ~ STFT
Lambda Adaptive calc. from idle thru lower rpm data
Lambda Multiplicative calc. from higher rpm data
Calculating w/ both the Adaptive & Multiplic. ~ LTFT

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...ml#post2347211


Troubleshooting vacuum integrity by verification via smoke technics for visual or shadetree for auditory verification before shotgunning with parts may be more economical..

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...0&postcount=17
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?p=4519113

Last edited by JoMoCo; 05-11-2014 at 02:13 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 05-24-2014, 07:31 PM   #4
gumanov
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Thank for the info guys; Sorry I haven't been able to update - I've been too busy to work on the e46 lately.
I do have some time next week, and will continue to look into the possible vacuum leak.

I did notice the CCV valve makes the common puffing sound when I shut off the engine - but I have replaced the entire CCV system including the hoses and valve not very long ago.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:09 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by gumanov View Post
Thank for the info guys; Sorry I haven't been able to update - I've been too busy to work on the e46 lately.
I do have some time next week, and will continue to look into the possible vacuum leak.

I did notice the CCV valve makes the common puffing sound when I shut off the engine - but I have replaced the entire CCV system including the hoses and valve not very long ago.

Warranty on that? If it has one May as we'll use it for shits n gigs




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Old 05-25-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
gumanov
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Originally Posted by DNTHATE View Post
Warranty on that? If it has one May as we'll use it for shits n gigs

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Submitted a warranty request today; Will replace the CCV again and re-inspect the intake area and ccv hoses.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Intake boots are likely the problem.


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Old 05-25-2014, 10:39 AM   #8
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Sounds like a soft MAF failure. Been there before.
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Old 05-25-2014, 10:43 AM   #9
gumanov
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Troubleshooting LEAN running condition

Any way to troubleshoot a MAF?
Maybe with INPA readings or a multimeter?

The fact that unplugging it doesn't effect idle bugs me..
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Last edited by gumanov; 05-25-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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Old 05-25-2014, 03:05 PM   #10
DNTHATE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumanov View Post
Any way to troubleshoot a MAF?
Maybe with INPA readings or a multimeter?

The fact that unplugging it doesn't effect idle bugs me..

I missed that part when reading your post, that would concern me too. When my MAF came unplugged the damn car wouldn't go below 3,000RPM and if I got on the has heavy it would chug and feel like the engine was about to die. Took me hours to figure out the MAF came unplugged because it was still on there but not making a connection.


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Old 05-25-2014, 08:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
Sounds like a soft MAF failure. Been there before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumanov View Post
Any way to troubleshoot a MAF?
Maybe with INPA readings or a multimeter?

The fact that unplugging it doesn't effect idle bugs me..
I'd like to know as well. I have the same problem, running lean for a bit now. Just replaced a lot of things and still running lean. I need to do a MAF check (well cleaned MAF, too) if I can do that with my software.

Did the soft MAF failure cause stuttering upon normal takeoff until a certain RPM? I'm trying to decide if mine is MAF or VANOS related. Thinking VANOS but still would like to know if my MAF is ok.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gumanov View Post
Any way to troubleshoot a MAF?
Maybe with INPA readings or a multimeter?

The fact that unplugging it doesn't effect idle bugs me..
Quote:
Originally Posted by BartenderPlease View Post
I'd like to know as well. I have the same problem, running lean for a bit now. Just replaced a lot of things and still running lean. I need to do a MAF check (well cleaned MAF, too) if I can do that with my software.

Did the soft MAF failure cause stuttering upon normal takeoff until a certain RPM? I'm trying to decide if mine is MAF or VANOS related. Thinking VANOS but still would like to know if my MAF is ok.
No to last question. More likely a ignition coil or vanos problem.

Soft MAF failures are very hard to troubleshoot. There is an excel worksheet you can find by googling, and it spits out the expected numbers vs. what you read from INPA under load. Still, it was inconclusive in my case.

I even tried switching my MAF with a friends, and INPA readings didn't change at idle, consistent with the ses light I was getting only at highway speeds.

The true correct way to test for a soft MAF failure is to swap with a friend's good MAF and drive around for a couple of weeks under varying conditions. If no SES, you need a new MAF.
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Old 05-25-2014, 11:55 PM   #13
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Man my lights back on misfire in cylinder 5 and too lean in bank 2....


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Old 06-02-2014, 08:58 PM   #14
gumanov
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Re-inspected my intake parts; no holes in any of the boots, from MAF to throttle body.

Going to re-do the CCV system once more as soon as I get the warranty replacement parts. I'm still thinking it's MAF related though.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:33 PM   #15
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I know this might sound stupid but check the + booster cable nut under the hood after it's been running for a while, If its hot wait for it to cool, clean and tighten it. Also in the rear battery box check both posts pos and neg contacts make sure they are nice and tight. You can also figure this out if you want to run a voltage test on your speedo, don't shock your nuts.

Follow this guide to get to option 9. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=easter
If the sensors are not getting the proper voltages they may read humm... weak.

I use to get this all the time, I replaced the fuel filter and it went away, then It came back again. Turns out after tightening the contacts the voltage increased to 14.4 from 12.1, after that meaning 30,000 miles later, no issue. Hope this helps.
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Old 06-04-2014, 09:09 AM   #16
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What about the plugs/vacuum lines behind the intake manifold pointing towards the firewall/driver?

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...79&hg=11&fg=40

Parts 15 & 17. Check if your car has plugs or open nipples if the plug has gone rotten and fallen off! Or vacuum lines condition leaving those vacuum nipples behind the intake manifold..

On my car one of the vacuum nipples had a hose going to a vacuum container under the intake and to the rear silencer flap valve. The vacuum hose was %"#%"#"%"!!

And check all the rubber gaskets/hoses, they are all most likely rotten if not been replaced.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:39 AM   #17
gumanov
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Troubleshooting LEAN running condition

Quote:
Originally Posted by passedubmw View Post
I know this might sound stupid but check the + booster cable nut under the hood after it's been running for a while, If its hot wait for it to cool, clean and tighten it. Also in the rear battery box check both posts pos and neg contacts make sure they are nice and tight. You can also figure this out if you want to run a voltage test on your speedo, don't shock your nuts.

Follow this guide to get to option 9. http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ghlight=easter
If the sensors are not getting the proper voltages they may read humm... weak.

I use to get this all the time, I replaced the fuel filter and it went away, then It came back again. Turns out after tightening the contacts the voltage increased to 14.4 from 12.1, after that meaning 30,000 miles later, no issue. Hope this helps.
Coincidently I recently had electrical issues with the E46, starting a few days ago. Although I do not believe they are related to my engine lean condition.
Battery light came on, so I drove it home. I did verify all connections were tight before I did any work/troubleshooting, checked the positive and negative on the battery, the chassis to battery negative connection, as well as the positive post in the engine bay. Checked the voltage via the instrument cluster test mode, it was fluctuating between 10V - 19V with the engine running. So I replaced the voltage regulator on the alternator, and the voltage went to normal, ~14.3V.

I'm still having strange issues though, like my headlights flickering, radar detector display dimming, and worst of all, my aux electric fan would not always kick in when idling!
I assumed maybe the battery was damaged by the 19V from the alternator (the sides were swollen/bulging outward) so I went out and replaced the battery as well this morning. Still having the strange electrical issues though, my radar detector intermittently dims, the headlights flicker intermittently, and the aux puller fan will sometimes not kick on and the engine temp starts climbing. I push the fan with my finger and it starts spinning.. Seems like it doesn't get full voltage to kick start.

Also did a battery drainage test, car off and in sleep mode (20 mins wait time after trunk+doors closed), put my multimeter in series with the negative battery terminal: 0.5Amps o.O BMW says it should be below 0.040Amps. Will investigate further; I'm going out today to get an aux fan from a German auto junk yard - for testing purposes.
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Last edited by gumanov; 06-04-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:40 AM   #18
gumanov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jolaine View Post
What about the plugs/vacuum lines behind the intake manifold pointing towards the firewall/driver?



http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...79&hg=11&fg=40



Parts 15 & 17. Check if your car has plugs or open nipples if the plug has gone rotten and fallen off! Or vacuum lines condition leaving those vacuum nipples behind the intake manifold..



On my car one of the vacuum nipples had a hose going to a vacuum container under the intake and to the rear silencer flap valve. The vacuum hose was %"#%"#"%"!!



And check all the rubber gaskets/hoses, they are all most likely rotten if not been replaced.

Are these vacuum connections accessible with the intake manifold installed, or will I have to remove it?

I plan on removing the manifold to re-do the CCV system soon, so I'll inspect the intake and any connections/plugs.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:24 AM   #19
gumanov
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Found the source of the radiator fan not always kicking on - it's definitely a bad fan or controller, tested it with INPA. It must have also gotten damaged when my alternator was putting out 19+ Volts.
Back to troubleshooting the Lean mixture issue..Hoping to have the replacement CCV valve by next week - I'll remove the intake manifold and replace the gasket while I'm in there.
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Old 06-17-2014, 06:39 PM   #20
gumanov
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Update:
Bought a replacement MAF; Cleared adaptations and DME faults, & ran on the new MAF for about a week - No fix :/

Replaced the intake manifold gasket, re-inspected all intake boots and vacuum lines - no issues noted.
Replaced oil dip stick tube o-rings (the one at the pan was damaged) - cleared adaptations again, and am now doing a test run for a week.
Doesn't look good so far, fuel trims are increasing..

Seems to idle more rough now after the intake manifold gasket replacement >_<

Any suggestions on further troubleshooting?
Thanks
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