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  #41  
Old 03-19-2021, 02:13 AM
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Excellent chronicles of your adventures. I had a misfire situation happen when texas froze over about a month ago. Drove like normal, then CEL and misfires like crazy. Limped to my girlfriend's house, turned it off and turned it on, CEL gone and idling like normal.


Not sure what happened and also I don't know shit about diagnosing engine behaviour like this, but if you reach a conclusion definitely post about it!
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  #42  
Old 03-19-2021, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miloh View Post
Excellent chronicles of your adventures. I had a misfire situation happen when texas froze over about a month ago. Drove like normal, then CEL and misfires like crazy. Limped to my girlfriend's house, turned it off and turned it on, CEL gone and idling like normal.


Not sure what happened and also I don't know shit about diagnosing engine behaviour like this, but if you reach a conclusion definitely post about it!
There's definitely some kind of conclusion but you'll just have to put up with me stringing you along until I catch up

I went through a lot of googling where people had similar issues and it seemed like very rarely they found a definitive answer. I'm also a little lucky in that I have a spare engine to swap parts back and forth from making things a little easier on the wallet.

Stay tuned, I'll be doing another round of posts today

BTW, most of my knowledge came from someone else. I picked up a few things myself here and there but pretty much everything else I was taught one way or the other starting from my parents teaching me words to reading instructions.

So far you've made 2 excellent decisions: driving a BMW and lingering around here. As I've been told many times before "Shut up and listen, maybe you'll learn something"
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  #43  
Old 03-19-2021, 11:56 AM
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Hey kids!!!

Who wants to see how many error codes come up when we do a scan from our latest adventures??

I DOOOOOO!!!!!!!!









BUT WAIT! There's more!!

Let's have a look at the whole list shall we?









The PDC (Parking Distance Control) I don't care about for now and the LCM also doesn't concern me because the lights are working. There's also a couple things in there I'm not familiar with like whatever IHKA is, so lets focus on the good stuff for now: DME

Prior to the city trip it was always cylinders 2 and 6 that were showing up. I'm guessing driving back 250km at highway speed might have something to do with the extra errors

I decided to pull all the coils and have a look at the spark plugs to see what's going on.














First off I noticed half the coils were the Bosch type and the other half was the Delphi.


Bosch





Delphi





Also the plugs were definitely worn but cylinder 6 had a newer plug that was a different brand from the rest which had recently been replaced. I'll never know for sure whether it was replaced to get the engine running better so the previous owner could dump it or not but here we are nonetheless.

The plugs looking the way they did and the mismatch of coils I decided to throw in some coils I had that were known to be working and a set of fresh NGK plugs.

Oh right.....almost forgot, this is also around the time I noticed the oil stains undernearth

So the vehicle that was supposed to have no check engine lights (I guess technically that's still true) no oil leaks and need no work etc, etc is, turning out to be a larger turd than Swampy...sounds about right that's generally how life goes for me so I don't know why I'm surprised.
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  #44  
Old 03-19-2021, 12:19 PM
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Ah yes, neglected "clean," "needs nothing," old BMWs. Alas I know thee well. I had this experience with my wagon. Before attempting to drive it I did (was throwing misfire codes on a couple cylinders and various other codes):

1. Water pump, hoses, thermostat, etc
2. coils and plugs
3. valve cover gasket and all associated seals
4. oil change

That got me started. It had other issues, but at least it ran and idled smoothly.

Enjoying following along, I love reading threads about saving these neglected Bimmers. Much better than seeing them go to a junkyard because they are "unreliable."
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  #45  
Old 03-19-2021, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
Ah yes, neglected "clean," "needs nothing," old BMWs. Alas I know thee well. I had this experience with my wagon. Before attempting to drive it I did (was throwing misfire codes on a couple cylinders and various other codes):

1. Water pump, hoses, thermostat, etc
2. coils and plugs
3. valve cover gasket and all associated seals
4. oil change

That got me started. It had other issues, but at least it ran and idled smoothly.

Enjoying following along, I love reading threads about saving these neglected Bimmers. Much better than seeing them go to a junkyard because they are "unreliable."
I'll never be able to understand why so many people neglect these cars to this point. Sure there's a few jobs on the E53s that are ridiculous (alternator oil gasket????) but I'm talking about the amount of beat down e46s and e90s I've seen.

A valve cover gasket job takes me less than an hour and I'm spending most of that time cleaning the gunk from it. Or you could leave it alone and bitch on the forums about the constant oil leaks and consumption

On the "unreliable" front I have some thoughts and it's all pertaining to the era of these vehicles. Aside from the oil leaks, which I have no defense for, I think a LOT of the vehicles from this era are not that reliable and much of it comes from the computers they started using.

Just like you can fix a 64 Chevy with some pliers and a screwdriver that was due to the analog nature of everything. Electronics don't age well never mind when you throw them in a vehicle.

Last edited by c-bass; 03-19-2021 at 01:37 PM.
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  #46  
Old 03-19-2021, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c-bass View Post
I'll never be able to understand why so many people neglect these cars to this point. Sure there's a few jobs on the E53s that are ridiculous (alternator oil gasket????) but I'm talking about the amount of beat down e46s and e90s I've seen.

A valve cover gasket job takes me less than an hour and I'm spending most of that time cleaning the gunk from it. Or you could leave it alone and bitch on the forums about the constant oil leaks and consumption

On the "unreliable" front I have some thoughts and it's all pertaining to the era of these vehicles. Aside from the oil leaks, which I have no defense for, I think a LOT of the vehicles from this era are not that reliable and much of it comes from the computers they started using.

Just like you can fix a 64 Chevy with some pliers and a screwdriver that was due to the analog nature of everything. Electronics don't age well never mind when you throw them in a vehicle.
Explanation is very simple: Most people see used BMW as an appliance. They get it for x amount of money and want to spend as little money as possible on maintenance. They are not planning long term ownership as they will get bored with the car and they will want something with lastest android, apple play or whatever.
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  #47  
Old 03-19-2021, 03:12 PM
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We got new plugs and new coils in there and cleared the codes. Let's see what happens now.

Fire it up and it seems to idle fine. This is good so let's go for a quick test drive.

I drove around town for about 10 minutes and all was well. Took it on a quick short high speed run and it seemed to run fine so I went back home and ran a quick bluetooth scan.

No misfires. Sweet looks like we're making some progress.

If there's anyone I know that could break something without even trying it is the Mrs. Let's see what happens when she goes to get some groceries


[Hours go by and no distress phone call]


I notice the X pulling back into the driveway. Nice to know it made it back.

"How was the car"

- It was ok

"Did it do anything weird?"

- Yeah as we were heading back we stopped at a red light and then it started shaking (read: misfiring)

"soooo not "ok""

- I guess not

"ok solid talk..."

I head back out to do a quick scan and sure enough an assortment of codes including CYL 2 and 6 misfire. UGH

Let's focus on something else for a moment. Remember that IHKA error? Well after doing some reading it turns out this little box on the side of the radiator is some kind of air quality sensor thingy.

I stole one from the e83 and plugged it in. We'll check on that next round of scanning for error codes.








So now what??

Well I spent the next few days reading many forum posts and whatever other info I could get my hands on, while the Mrs drove short distances running around town.

Her driving is a 15 km uninterrupted drive to town, short distances while she's there and 15km stretch back.

Some days the X would misfire and some days it wouldn't but eventually after a week or so it got to the point where consistently the misfires would pop up as the car would idle for X amount of time. Sometimes you could restart the engine and it would reset and be happy and other times not so much. However if you came to a set of lights, popped it in neutral and revved the engine to 1k rpm there would be no misfiring.

There's several things that all work in harmony with the fuel delivery/intake and if they don't then you get issues. Get enough issues and the computer shuts down the fuel injector so you're not dousing your catalytic with raw fuel .

Sounds Simple enough right? However trying to pinpoint WHICH one of these things is solely responsible doesn't seem to be so cut and dry.

Internet and error codes lead you to these possible suspects: MAF, Idle Air Control Valve (which we cleaned out doing the CCV overhaul), O2 sensors, Coils and plugs. Sprinkle the usual possible vacuum leaks throwing codes that may or may not apply and well not so easy to figure out who's responsible for what now is it?

[Whoever is yelling "smoke test!" in the background stop it! We don't have one of those]

When putting this thing in reverse I noticed the idle would get low, low (Ying Yang twins music starts to play) which I took as a sign that possibly the IAC I cleaned out was possibly not working properly.

From what I read just because the IAC rattles after you clean it doesn't guarantee it to be working. It still has an electrical connection that could fail.

Low idle in reverse? Misfires after idling?? Hmmm, could it be that the IAC is not working properly? Well since we have a known good one to swap out, let's find out shall we?

I cleaned out the replacement IAC and as I was getting into the swap I noticed the intake boot was torn! Sonofabitch!!





I specifically remember when I was doing the CCV overhaul that I took at the intake boot and not only was it pliable but someone actually put some lube on it making real easy to slide on and off. A quick check of a reference pic and sure enough a couple weeks ago the boot was in tact.

I had a brand new one that I just installed on Swampy (which by the way puuurrrrrrrs every time I start it up and throws no codes) so I stole it from there for the time being knowing full well the car gods won't be happy with my thievery.

So now between a the possibly bad IAC and the torn intake boot, for SURE that's what's causing the issues right??

WRONG!!

Same codes
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  #48  
Old 03-19-2021, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw540san View Post
Explanation is very simple: Most people see used BMW as an appliance. They get it for x amount of money and want to spend as little money as possible on maintenance. They are not planning long term ownership as they will get bored with the car and they will want something with lastest android, apple play or whatever.
I guess maintenance is going to be something of a bygone era. "We" just want a new one a few years down the road.
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  #49  
Old 03-19-2021, 03:48 PM
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Seems like nothing I do improves the situation or makes it worse for that matter.

While I was trying to find a solution one of the posts I read was someone having similar issues and their problem was related to a faulty CPS (Cam Position Sensor) During one of my many scans I do remember seeing a CPS fault but I went a different direction with my diagnostics. Later on I didn't recall seeing the CPS fault, but maybe it was intermittent?

A little further reading got me thinking that if the CPS was giving faulty readings then certainly that could cause misfires. Seems like the car works ok until it warms up and sometimes electronics act up until they warm up or vice versa. Solid maybe?

Worth a try right? I do have a CPS I can swap in and that would take 10 min.

Well wouldn't you know it...swapping the CPS out did jack shit!

Since we had the parts cannon out I swapped out the MAF also having no effect.

This was really starting to piss me off. It's one thing for me to drive a questionable vehicle and the Mrs was being a REALLY good sport abut it all, but this was unacceptable.

Starting to feel like this might be a failure...we need to uplift morale here and quickly! (also there's lots of words and not so much pictures which is bad for business)

Let's focus on what should hopefully be an easy win. "Upgrading" this archaic navigation system.

The factory nav has this warning that you have to select ACCEPT before proceeding which is super annoying. Browsing through these fine forums brought me to a firmware upgrade and I figured what's the worst that can happen right?

So I fired up the ol' cd burner and threw it into the DVD player.








Software upgraded just fine but other than the stupid ACCEPT thing timing out after a few seconds I don't see any newness to the look or feel of the nav. It still works and we've got ourselves a victory for the team. Like it even matters

So now where to you ask?

I read quite a few posts where people having similar codes changed their O2 sensors and didn't resolve the issues. The O2 sensors are a pain in the ass to get to compared to the other things I've tried and I didn't have any spare ones so I was hesitant to go that route. Also a lot of the things I was reading mentioned that when you have codes with a LEAN condition it would point to a vacuum leak present so before I go buy some O2 sensors let's make sure we're not chasing a leak.

Speaking of leaks we went from no oil leaks, to a little bit, and now we're at a little bit more. I happened to look on Amazon and found a valve cover gasket on sale for $8. Yup $8!! Gimme!!

Let's get a valve cover gasket in there and rule out that being a source of vacuum leaks. All the valve covers I've replaced have been long overdue so for $8 you can't go wrong.

I placed my order and a few days later it arrived but unfortunately the winter weather wasn't cooperating with my wrenching plans so we wait...
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  #50  
Old 03-19-2021, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw540san View Post
Explanation is very simple: Most people see used BMW as an appliance. They get it for x amount of money and want to spend as little money as possible on maintenance. They are not planning long term ownership as they will get bored with the car and they will want something with lastest android, apple play or whatever.

Or the people that buy a used BMW and don't even know you are supposed to maintain it...
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