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General E46 Forum
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #1
clydesdale
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2004 330i stalling when I put it in neutral, could this be from bad thermostat?

I can be going down the road at 3k rpm, push the clutch in and cost to a light and sometimes the rpm will fall right through the floor and bounce a little at 500 or 400 rpm and then stall. If I am slowly driving in a parking lot and then push the clutch it does not happen. It only happens when the rpms fall from a higher level.
Now, the stat is bad and I have the replacement, just haven't gotten to it yet. So, even today on a 55 degree day, when I drive down the road and get clean air, the gauge will drop to 1/4. On VERY cold days it would just get out of the blue zone.
When the car stalls, all I get is the red battery light and the oil pressure light. Just as if you regularly stall the car. There is no CEL. My understanding is that the stat plays with the fueling. Could this be my issue. It just started today and I have driven the car with the bad stat for the last month. I plan to finally put it in next weekend. Any ideas?
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:17 PM   #2
ImolaSix
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When was the last time you cleaned your ICV?
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:22 PM   #3
clydesdale
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I have never. The car has 76k on it and I bought it at 58k. Please advise.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
ImolaSix
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Change your thermostat and clean your ICV. Report back if the problem is still occuring. Also, do you have any codes?
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:48 PM   #5
clydesdale
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I have autoenginuity, but did not check for codes because the does not trip when this happens. Thanks.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
katu
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Originally Posted by ImolaSix View Post
Change your thermostat and clean your ICV. Report back if the problem is still occuring. Also, do you have any codes?
+1

76,000 miles on my car, cleaned my ICV and the stalling issues went away.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:53 AM   #7
clydesdale
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What is the recommended procedure and where is it located? I am very familiar with it on my e30 and I believe brake cleaner is what is recommended on those. Thanks.
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Old 04-14-2013, 09:57 AM   #8
clydesdale
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I replaced the thermostat. The stalling issue is still around, as expected. The rpms just fall to the floor if I dump the car into neutral. The car idles perfect. It is just when coming off of a higher rpm. So, the next step is the icv, I guess. Can someone let me know the correct procedure to clean it? Thanks.
On edit: I found a couple of write ups and vidoes to clean the icv. But, there is confusion as whether I should us MAF cleaner or brake cleaner. What is the proper cleaner? Thanks.

Last edited by clydesdale; 04-14-2013 at 10:46 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:54 AM   #9
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clydesdale View Post
I replaced the thermostat. The stalling issue is still around, as expected. The rpms just fall to the floor if I dump the car into neutral. The car idles perfect. It is just when coming off of a higher rpm. So, the next step is the icv, I guess. Can someone let me know the correct procedure to clean it? Thanks.
On edit: I found a couple of write ups and vidoes to clean the icv. But, there is confusion as whether I should us MAF cleaner or brake cleaner. What is the proper cleaner? Thanks.
It definitely wasn't caused by the thermostat, though it sounds like you needed to replace that anyway. Think about it: the car should be able to idle at any temperature.

The ICV is a bit of a bitch to get to, but it's doable in a couple hours. It is located next to the throttle body. I cleaned the TB and ICV at the same time. Basically you remove the entire intake (boots and all) and the DISA for clearance. Remove a few bolts for some brackets holding the TB and ICV. Pull the ICV out (it's mounted in a rubber fitting). Undo 4 bolts for TB. Then you use Throttle Body cleaner on them. This procedure is a good opportunity to fully inspect your intake system (boots and vacuum hoses) for leaks. That could contribute to your poorly running car.

BTW, for extra space to work in, I removed the cabin air filter tray, and then pulled out that divider that separates the master cylinder from the rest of the engine bay.
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Last edited by WDE46; 04-14-2013 at 10:55 AM.
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Old 04-14-2013, 11:51 AM   #10
Importjunkie
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I had this same issue when I first got the car. Search on this forum for "beisan vanos seals". When I changed out the old vanos seals for these it fixed all my random stalling issues.
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Old 04-15-2013, 02:26 AM   #11
iRide113
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Vanos seals or possibly TPS?
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Old 04-15-2013, 09:10 AM   #12
clydesdale
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I have not gotten a check engine light and was told to start with the icv first by a few sources. I bought the car used and the vanos was replaced under warranty. I know that does not mean it is not causing problems now. But, will that or the tps throw a code? Are these codes ever silent, to where I won't get a CEL, but the code will be there? What other symtoms come with bad vanos seals? I thought the car can start sounding like a diesel.

Last edited by clydesdale; 04-15-2013 at 09:46 AM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:56 PM   #13
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I think i know your problem. If you recently or currently experiencing a valve cover gasket leak, you need to check your plugs. Your issue sounds worst than the problem I had. Mine was because 2-3 plugs fouled up from oil getting into it. if you've changed your plugs prior to changing gasket, check the plugs again.

For me, during cold starts, it'd seem fine. no issues. as soon as I warm up, that's when I have the bouncing idle. my car would guarantee stall if I was going faster than usual getting ready to make a turn. Halfway through the turn the car stalls and I have an auto tranny but like you, I noticed that as I was braking, being that I was going fast, the RPMs of course dropped from a higher height, plummeting straight through and causing me to stall. It'd start right back up like nothing ever happen and continues chugging right along. In an auto tranny, I noticed that if braking, especially from a higher rpm, the tranny would throw the car into neutral, causing that familiar free falling rpm needle manuals experience when pushing in their clutch. that always made my car either stall or my idle bounce around.

I chased this for 8 months. I failed to check all my plugs during valve cover gasket change. I only checked like 2 of them and since they looked decent to me, I didn't bother checking the rest.
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Old 04-15-2013, 03:36 PM   #14
clydesdale
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I'll check, but the car has no leaks that I am aware of. Also, it idles perfectly. It is really just occassionaly when you run the rpms up and then put the clutch in as you are rolling into a parking lot or such.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:48 PM   #15
clydesdale
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The problem ended up being a crack in the upper elbow of the piping to the throttle body.
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