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Old 11-23-2015, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 11
nmalenovic is on a distinguished road
Question idle drop

Hello folks,

I got a 2007 X3 stick with sport package and 106K miles on it that's having an idle drop (aka idle choking, aka hunting idle) issue with feet off pedals - it happens every few seconds, drops about 100 rpms (like it's going to shut down) and recovers immediately whilst the engine shakes the entire car. At one point it threw a CEL P0304 Cylinder 4 misfire.

Since I replaced the spark plugs and ignition coils at about 70K, I just swapped ignition coil #4 with #1, changed the spark plug on #4, inspected the upper intake booth (no cracks) and throttle body valve (minimal dirt).

It no longer throws CEL, but the idle drop is still there, albeit much less frequent and much dampened with almost no engine shaking noticeable unless you are OCD like me (because now I know what I am looking for).

My next steps are to do the following one by one to see which one helps:

1. throttle body adaptation values reset (ignition #2, press on gas pedal, ignition #1, let go of pedal, wait 2 minutes)
2. complete adaptation values reset (disconnect battery, touch + and - to discharge residuals, wait 20 minutes, reconnect, ignition #2 for 30 seconds)
3. replace the ignition coil I rotated to #1
4. replace remaining spark plugs
5. clean throttle body valve with a crc throttle body and air intake cleaner

I suspect the idle drop won't go away - it will just be less frequent and less noticeable. So the question for the group is: without CEL and such a mild manifestation of symptoms, what is an OCD bimmer owner to do?

Last edited by nmalenovic; 11-23-2015 at 07:12 PM. Reason: changed the treatment plan, added choking/hunting keywords
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