Car died on me while exiting highway. Help needed. [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Car died on me while exiting highway. Help needed.

12-24-2005, 05:36 AM
I'd really appreciate if someone could shed some light on this one.

A short version of what happened: I take my car to my trusty indy shop to get 3 things fixed in the morning, and I pick it up in the afternoon only to find out not only are the 3 problems still there, but there's now a 4th problem that had never happened before -- the car is now idling at 200-300rpm like it's going to die any minute. They can't find anything wrong and claim to have not touched the car throughout the day. They take a look and drive it around, 20min later the car is idling at 500rpm stably. They tell me to bring it back next week and off I go. Car drives fine on the highway but as I'm exiting the highway, it dies while moving and would not start again. The exit ramp was uphill, so I couldn't push. A passing-by cop saw me and called for a tow truck before I asked. The shop closed right after I left, so I couldn't take the car back to them.

Some details:

My car had never had an idle-related problem prior to yesterday, which was when I took the car to the shop. I did not take the car in for an idle-related problem either. The shop claim they have not touched the car throughout the day because they were too busy. One of the techs did plug a diagnostics tool into a port in the engine bay and pressed some buttons on the tool, before I left the shop in the morning. I swear when he started the car with the tool attached, I heard the idle was rough and weak, but I though it was normal when performing whatever he was doing. The guys at the shop insisted that it was a bad idle control valve, but personally I find it hard to believe that the ICV could go from normal to not driveble in a few hours without anyone touching it. The car drove fine on the highway, but as soon as I shifted into neutral from 3rd and released throttle, the engine stalled. All electronics work fine, there's 3/4 of gas in the tank, water temp is normal and no warnings on dash. The engine would fire up, but dies immediately unless I keep revving it constantly, and the rpm drops very quickly.

Does anyone have any idea what might be wrong and what might have caused the problem? Thanks in advance.

12-24-2005, 05:53 AM
My guess, ne of the O2 sensors is going bad. Does the shop have a computer that reads diagnostic codes? If not, go somewhere else.

12-24-2005, 06:47 AM
Sounds fishy to me. I agree with the others about diagnosis, and any good BMW mechanic I have met can diagnose a faulty O2 sensor or ICV in minutes.

12-24-2005, 07:57 PM
I'm not sure if they have a computer-based diagnosis tool. I mean if they do, they would have checked the car with it. Instead, they were just using the handset tool and looking for whatever they were looking in the engine bay. When they told me I probably had a bad ICV, they just assumed it, none of them bothered to check the actual part.

I'm pretty pissed at this point. I called them in advance to setup an appointment, told them exactly what I wanted them to do. They told me to come. Then I left the car with them for a whole day, but they have done absolutely nothing and somehow I got a new problem that had never happened before. They then insisted that the car was okay to be driven around for a few days, but it ended up stalling on the exit of a major freeway on my way home. I could have gotten into a major accident, on the day before Christmas Eve.

Weird thing is, I've always had good experience with the shop. They are very reputable and do a lot of restoration/rebuild jobs. The owner is a long time CCA member and is very supportive in our local chapter. I hope they don't drop the ball this time.

How do you guys think I should handle it with the shop? I will ask them to pay for the wrecker that towed my car from where it stalled to my apt, as well as the truck that will get the car to their shop. Am I being reasonable?

12-25-2005, 06:25 AM
ICVs can go bad anytime. Yours might have gone bad that day (coincidentally). I don't see any blame related to the shop. If you don't trust em, find another shop.

12-25-2005, 10:52 AM
ICVs can go bad anytime. Yours might have gone bad that day (coincidentally). I don't see any blame related to the shop. If you don't trust em, find another shop.

Thanks for your reply.

I did not know that an ICV can go bad without any signs and indications. If it indeed is the ICV that's causing the problem, I will pay to get it fixed.

What I find unacceptable is the fact that the shop almost forced me to go home knowing I had a bad ICV or a similar idle-related problem regardless of how it happened and who caused it. And this is after they failed to performe what I requested them to do. They had a couple of loaner cars around, they could have put me in one of those.

I will see how they will respond and keep this thread updated. Once again, thanks for taking the time to reply. Your help is much appreciated.

01-05-2011, 03:15 PM
I have a 1995 BMW M3 that seems to exhibit similar symptoms. Runs like a top for a few days then "bam" complete loss of power/stalls unexpectedly. Leave for 5-10 minutes, fires back up and idles perfectly @ 500-550 RPM and can drive for a while and the problem comes back? Finally, after replacing Ignition Coils, Spark Plugs, New Air Filter (on K&N Cold Air Induction), Crankshaft Position Sensor, and not seeing this error state change, took to local BIMMER Mech., who says it has thrown the following code (desc): Control Unit Supply Voltage B+????

So, I'm curious -
A) If your problem was/is resolved and was it the ICV or O2 sensor or
B) Does anyone else here have an idea what my issue could be

As a side note, the car runs like a top (placed a glass of H2O on the head and it just sits!!) and it runs like a scalded dog....that is until it stops running! :-)
Thank you in advance.