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Old 02-25-2013, 12:47 AM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 3
My Ride: 330i
Thanks for the help!

I just joined this group because the members are knowledgeable and friendly. I want to thank those who post DIY tips for a number of problems. It helped me to find the exact problem in my 2002 330i and how to fix it - DISA leak, ICV stuck, vacuum leaks, rebuilt the injectors, replace the fuel filter, oil separator replace, bad #2 coil, oil level sender failure and most recently a failed Final Stage Resistor on the climate control. All of these failed in a one month period. But it was not a problem because you know your cars. I figure you guys saved me about $2000 in labor my telling me how to diagnose it and fix it. And you were 100% right. My car has never run better!

Now I'm inspired to rebuild the VANOS and replace the front crank seal, and change the transmission and rear end oil, and replace the bushing and shocks, and upgrade the brakes, and so on......... This is why I chose WrenchIt for my posting name but you can call me Rod.

I love this car! And I bet you do too?
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes
Posts: 160
My Ride: 1999 e46 323i
I changed out my engine that I could not have done without this site. BTW, how did you diagnose the DISA leak? I have a small vacuum leak somewhere that I can't pinpoint. There is a minor wheezing/whistling sound that can only be heard from inside the cabin on low RPMs. Eventually the check engine light comes on during quick highway driving, telling me to the computer can't compensate anymore for too lean a fuel mixture or too lean, cat out of tolerance, etc.... All due to air coming in from somewhere I am sure.

I thinking it's likely there is a crack in the valve cover. I replaced the valve cover gasket, twice, and it does that and I checked as best I could all other possible culprits, but everything seems fine. I spayed some brake cleaner around the DISA valve while the engine was running, but nothing happened. Idles and runs smooth, but there is a minor leak, I'm sure.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:40 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 3
My Ride: 330i
What I would suggest is to check for a broken or disconnected vacuum line behind the dash? There is a black plastic accumulator about the size of a beer can just in front of the starter below the intake. The hose on the port on the back of the accumulator runs up the fire wall and through a 90 degree L into the cabin in front of the driver, to run some actuators. I'll guess it is the heater vent flaps? If you hear the hiss inside but not under the hood, The leak might be inside the cab?

The whole engine interior is under a vacuum. Everything that connects to the intake manifold could be a potential air leak which would lean out the mix and throw a code. The gaskets might be leaking as you suggest? Or.....

A partial list of other leak points: DISA O-ring, Idle control valve and hoses, both intake boots - especially the lower at the ICV branch cracked, the suck jet valve from the brake booster hose (mine was broken in half), The booster hose could be cracked (mine was), The booster itself could have an internal leak, The most common leak is one of the 4 tubes that come off the oil separator. The lower return hose that connects to the dip stick tube is the most common. Have you noticed oil on the block under the intake manifold? There are four 1/8" vac lines on the back side of the intake near the firewall. One of those go down to the canister mentioned before. Also check the two hoses that come off the upper intake boot. The larger one on top goes to the Suck Jet valve. The lower is a 1/8" hose that goes to a hard tube that runs down to the fuel filter to run the internal regulator. If that hose is damaged, the fuel pressure might be low which would also lean out your engine. Or the fuel filter might be plugged up? It's a cheap fix for both issues by replacing the filter cartridge. And others recommend it every 50K miles. Mine was due. Since you get the code when running fast - during times of high fuel demand - maybe it is not a leak at all? A mostly plugged filter or fuel pump running lower than needed pressure might be not keeping up with air flow? This would lean out at high engine RPM.

I confirmed the DISA O-ring leak when I pulled it to get at the ICV. The DISA came out easy, sort of fell out. The orange colored ring was flat in the groove and hardened. The new ring stands out from the groove top and is round. And the DISA inserts firmly and is more difficult to remove. Anyway it is a cheap fix. eBay is a great source. Watch out for that pin on the end of the DISA flapper. Make sure it comes out and doesn't fall into the intake. I found the leak first with brake cleaner sprayed around the DISA. The idle changed each time I sprayed the outside of that O-ring.

Much of what I said above, you probably already know having replaced your engine. It was written for others who are looking for answers like we have.

Last thing is the age of your car? These rubber hoses start to degrade from heat and get brittle and crack. Most reports of leaks start between 80k and 100K miles. Since the performance is greatly affected by small leaks, the aging rubber hoses are a significant issue that BMW should have addressed. My problems all hit at once at 145K miles. It took $350 of parts and about 16 hours of time for me to rebuild the whole seal/gaskets. I figure it would have cost about $2500 at the shop. Now the car is smooth and powerful. I can't wait to rebuild the VANOS seals. That should give the car some excellent low end power. People say the seals give up at 75K miles. My car was 130K when I bought it so I've never felt the low end where it could be. Still the car is awesome as is.

Last edited by WrenchIt; 03-12-2013 at 11:41 PM.
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