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General E46 Forum
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Old 03-06-2013, 06:55 AM   #21
pSyCoSiS
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An update...

I have found someone that can replace the whole VANOS unit, with a reconditioned one and new seals, etc, for around 300 GBP.

Does this seem reasonable and will it cure the issues I have mentioned?

I don't want to waste money if it turns out that's not the cause!
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:20 AM   #22
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I'd try to get it hooked up to a diagnostic tool that shows live data. Sorry not an an expert on what can do what, especially on BMW, so no specific recommendations. But, if you have an idle that varies you should see something else that is varying. If vanos problem, probably valve timing will vary. If fuel pump, then fuel pressure will vary. With no air leaks, new icv, and all the other new stuff you've thrown at this I'm not sure what to suggest next - did I see throttle body in this list?
If the idle varies when sitting still you should be able to hook up some tool that shows you what else is varying at the same frequency. If the places you have been taking it to can't, then try someplace else. I wouldn't let them throw more parts at it, at your expense, unless they will try parts and only charge you for labor and the parts that fixed the problem.

Is this an automatic transmission car? If so, does the idle vary in both park and drive? I guess first we need to know if idle varies when car is not being driven. Again, if it varies reliably, when stationary, a good BMW mechanic should be able to find a cure this. Dare I suggest going to the dealer?
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Old 03-06-2013, 08:44 AM   #23
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The car is a 5 Speed Manual.

The erratic idling occurs once car comes to a halt, i.e. at junctions, in traffic, etc.

After being driven for a while, if left to idle, then the revs dip up and down....

Last edited by pSyCoSiS; 03-06-2013 at 08:48 AM.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:24 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by pSyCoSiS View Post
The car is a 5 Speed Manual.

The erratic idling occurs once car comes to a halt, i.e. at junctions, in traffic, etc.

After being driven for a while, if left to idle, then the revs dip up and down....
Did you unplug the maf yet and see if the idle smoothed out?
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:17 PM   #25
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psycosis do you have any later updates on this....as I think are issues are similar. Also if you havent already looked into it I would check out jfoj 's forum write up on cold start and such issues. He's pretty knowledgeable and has some good insight on idle issues/ vanos/disa replacements.
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Old 03-25-2013, 05:38 PM   #26
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Check your intake boots mine is cracked and my mechanic never found it while testing for vacuum leaks. Found it myself through close inspection.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:06 AM   #27
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Does your idle rpm drop when you strongly press the brake pedal?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:50 AM   #28
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Hi there again,

My sincere apologies for the delay in responses...

OK

Here is an update.....

The VANOS unit has been replaced at a cost of 255. This included a whole new unit, comprising of new solenoids and new seals.

Guess what - THE ISSUE STILL REMAINS !!!

I feel like taking a baseball bat to the car now!

Tried a different MAF sensor - and the car cut out straight away. On a Solus diagnostic kit, the guy checked live data for the Air, and it was lower in comparison to a different car. This pointed to a MAF, but this has not made a difference.

I really don't know what else to do now.

It is going to a chap who said he will take out all the injectors and clean them, along with the throttle body, DISA valve, etc. He said he will not charge much if this does not cure the problem.

Will ask him to also check out the intake boots, but they all seem fine.

Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated. So annoying, as it's such a nice car, and now, has had all the major components replaced, so once this is sorted, it should be good for a long time after!
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:53 AM   #29
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Does your idle rpm drop when you strongly press the brake pedal?
It seems to idle up and down more when coming to a halt, not sure if it is necessarily related to the brake pedal?

What could it be if related to the brake pedal?
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Old 04-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #30
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The brake booster is connected to the vac system. You could have a leak in hose or maybe in the booster (rarely heard of). I'm betting just that hose.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:20 AM   #31
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fuel pump?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:25 AM   #32
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It's the thermostat, had the same problem, soon, if not now your temp guage will act weird, did you do your maintenance on the cooling system? You need to replace hoses, expansion tank, and thermostat at the least, it will pay off in the long run
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #33
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Fuel pump isn't the problem, fuel pump would cause your car to die when you have a quater tank of fuel left, intake book would cause it to be be rough all the time and go into limp mode and not even start,
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:43 AM   #34
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A soft failure of the fuel pump (low psi, but still pumping...) seems more likely than a thermostat to me, considering the symptoms he has listed.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:49 AM   #35
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Yes, it did to me aswell, but it ended up being the thermostat, I don't understand why it caused my car to idle rough, but it stopped after I replaced my cooling system
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:14 AM   #36
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I don't see how a thermostat could do that.

Even if you had a huge air pocket in your cooling system you'd only expect to see the temp gauge going up and the heater acting sporadic.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:31 AM   #37
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\

Tried a different MAF sensor - and the car cut out straight away. On a Solus diagnostic kit, the guy checked live data for the Air, and it was lower in comparison to a different car. This pointed to a MAF, but this has not made a difference.
Why would your car cut out on a new MAF? Was it OE and known to be working?
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #38
pSyCoSiS
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Why would your car cut out on a new MAF? Was it OE and known to be working?
Hi there,

Yes - it was an OE part, removed from an E46 BMW 325i 2001 model year.

Was known to be working, but, when connected to the car, the car revved erratically, then just cut out....
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:52 AM   #39
pSyCoSiS
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I don't see how a thermostat could do that.

Even if you had a huge air pocket in your cooling system you'd only expect to see the temp gauge going up and the heater acting sporadic.
Thanks for the replies....

I also cannot see how it would be the thermostat, as the car can idle erratically in most situations. i.e., sometimes, just after I have started the car and it was moved a few hundred metres down the road, it will idle rough.

Other times, it is fine.

Temperature guage always gets to the middle, and sits there all day long. Takes the correct / average amount of time to get there.

Heating works fine - the only thing noticably wrong is that the fan can sometimes 'stick' - I believe this is the 'hedgehog / resistor' unit? And a known common problem on these climate control systems.

Again - it's not bad enough to cause any issues, and the car gets nice and warm within the cabin....
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:08 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by pSyCoSiS View Post
Hi there,

Yes - it was an OE part, removed from an E46 BMW 325i 2001 model year.

Was known to be working, but, when connected to the car, the car revved erratically, then just cut out....
i think but I am not sure, that 2003 + models use a different MAF.

edit: i am sure. you used the wrong maf.

Last edited by scarede46er; 04-04-2013 at 09:41 AM.
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