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-   -   Shudder or misfire after running through some puddles. Thoughts? (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/90289-shudder-misfire-after-running-through-some-puddles-thoughts.html)

gnucar 11-29-2012 03:46 PM

Shudder or misfire after running through some puddles. Thoughts?
X5 4.8is 2006 model

Starts fine. Idles fine. When gently accelerating it intermittently 'shudders', which I attribute to a misfire. I feel this in the gas pedal, but the RPM gauge is as solid as a rock. It 'sometimes' has a very high propensity for doing this while holding the speed around 30 Mph or gently accelerating from that speed, enough that it makes me cringe worried about damage to the engine. When sometimes running smoother, it will have good power (even when pushed, it does just fine) and runs well....but when coming to a stop, it will shudder just before coming to a full stop (but after the last shift down.). It ALWAYS idles perfectly.

If it is in park and I slowly rev it up to 2.5k RPM, slowly bring it back to idle, or do anything in between, it runs perfectly. It's almost like it does it more under load, regardless of RPM. ...though parking in a parking garage (twice) it runs perfectly, even after shuddering all the way to it.

No error codes. No pending error codes, it's like it thinks it's a normal day.


It's run perfectly since buying it a year ago. Yesterday I ran through about 4 inches of water (max) at 30 Mph or so, thinking it was much less deep. At 15-25 Mph, I hit more water about 1-2 inches deep or so. Apparently this was the first time I have hit puddles of that depth in this vehicle, as the amount of water thrown up surprised me....far higher than the X5 and massive amounts. Minutes after that, I noticed this happening for the rest of the 20 minutes home, rarely getting above 30 Mph during the drive.

Today I drove it 150 miles because I had to...it seemed better than last night (which was extreme), but behaved how I described above. At highway speed it seems fine but I may just not be noticing because of the higher RPM. On city streets you really notice it. Just before getting home, on a long stretch of 30 Mph, it seemed about as bad as yesterday. ...just after that, I go up a parking garage and it runs great.

Sorry for being long winded, but I wanted to be complete. Any ideas would be GREATLY appreciated...I've got an appt with the dealer for next week and am bracing for the $$.

Lastly, if I am on the brake when it shudders I do not feel it in the brake pedal. On a long shot I turned off DSC in case it went nuts but no luck, no change.


Wayne's World 11-30-2012 01:31 AM

This happened to me in an e92 328xi where I didn't have a problem when on the highway or when cold at lower speeds. No code either. It wasnt until the car was fully warm after my 13 mi commute, got onto a 30mph strip for about 3 miles and slowed to turn up a hill into my development. As I maintained pressure on the pedal it would do it but if I gave it more gas it would stop and speed would increase.

Turned out to be a few things. Had a big valve cover gasket leak where oil was pooling up in the spark plug holes. Took care of that but still had the prob. Replaced the coils in those two cylinders and the problem went away. Didn't replace the plugs as I knew they were replaced by the PO about a year before.

2002 Sterling Gray Metallic M5
2006 Schwarz Black Metallic X5 3.0

nom3rcy 11-30-2012 01:36 AM

Let it dry out and see if it persists. I'm guessing you got some water where it shouldn't be.

gnucar 11-30-2012 01:58 AM

nom3rcy - That was my first thought, but the next day was the same and after driving 150 freeway miles I would have figured it would 'bake out'...then today was the same as well. ...still could be, but it not baking out makes me less hopefull.

Wayne's World - Thanks for your feedback. Do you recall if the RPM's would jump or if it stayed steady as this happened? ...mine's steady.

Small Update

Due to the RPM's staying solid I began to suspect the trans shifting out and in gear quickly, so I switched to manual mode, but there was no change.

It always idles perfectly in drive (at a full stop) or in park. It also revs perfectly in park, as well as in drive when at a full stop and holding the brake and revving just a little (but not moving).

I have also watched the RPM's very closely and have caught it doing it when changing gears and the RPM's are dropping quickly (as normal)...and it drops perfectly smoothly so I am getting some hope that it may not be the engine unless the RPM gauge is just showing an 'average' rather than a live reading.

This all has made me start wondering if it could be something with the traction control as it feels and sounds a lot like the hill descent does, and only happens when it is moving. The sudden 'loss of power' and shudder made me suspect misfiring before but a quick tap to the brake on one wheel could feel similar.

...but then that makes me wonder what could do that without registering an error?


X-cellent 11-30-2012 10:47 AM

If you're in South Florida there's a great Indie in Davie by I-95 ... Motronix (ask for Dave) 954-921-7442 they are off of I-95 off Anglers Ave by Griffin road....

May be better than runnig to the dealer and being handed a huge bill...

HPIA4v2 11-30-2012 11:45 AM

long shot, check the air intake filter, maybe it soaked wet.

Wayne's World 11-30-2012 12:06 PM


Originally Posted by gnucar (Post 909295)
Wayne's World - Thanks for your feedback. Do you recall if the RPM's would jump or if it stayed steady as this happened? ...mine's steady.

It stayed steady.

2002 Sterling Gray Metallic M5
2006 Schwarz Black Metallic X5 3.0

gnucar 11-30-2012 03:23 PM

X-cellent - Thanks for the recommendation. Unfortunately, I am around Pensacola (panhandle)...if anyone knows of a good shop in the Mobile, AL to Ft. Walton Beach, FL area I would appreciate the recommendation. I found Tech Master in Ft. Walton Beach, which is a member of BIMRS but I'm hesitant to try them with something that could be big without more knowledge.

HPIA4v2 - Thanks, checked that one yesterday and it was as dry as a bone.

Wayne's World - Thanks, I was afraid of that. I am wondering if the Bavarian Technic reader could see any errors that the ODB2 isn't seeing...it would be worth it to buy it just for this, if it would.

JCL 11-30-2012 04:38 PM

Given that idle while stationary is fine, but it is not fine when moving, I would be looking to the transmission more than the engine electronics. There is a harness to the electronic transmission control (which communicates with the engine) and it is far more likely to get water into it than something on top of the engine like a sparkplug.

gnucar 12-10-2012 06:01 PM

Ok, got it back from the dealer today. Had oil and tires done while it was in because it was time. They said that it is a worn gear in the transfer case and is ok to drive but will get progressively worse until failure. ...and quoted a price of $3,600 to replace it. :wow:

So, the only questions remaining... Does this sound realistic? Could losing traction in a few big puddles have caused extra stress that pushed a fragile gear over the edge...because otherwise this is a heck of a coincidence. And, how ridiculous is the price? I know it's high, it's a dealer, but is it laugh out the door high or 'just pay it' high?


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