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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-04-2005, 07:24 PM
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avalys avalys is offline
Nothing specific
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 984
Mein Auto: 03 325Ci 5spd SP
Unpleasant vibration at startup + Service Engine Soon

A few minutes ago, I went outside to the parking lot to start my car. Upon doing so, I immediately noticed that something was wrong with it.

Instead of the familiar unobtrusive purr from the inline six that I'm used to, there is an unpleasant, deep, low-frequency vibration and rumbling noise that sounds and feels more like an old American V8. It might be pleasant in another car, but definitely not in mine...

The engine also feels noticeably more sluggish - I tried revving it a little, and even with a not-unsubstantial stab at the gas pedal the RPMs barely rose to 2000. Stopping the engine and restarting it (I tried several times) had no effect. I opened the hood, intending to see if I could see/hear anything amiss, and noticed that the noise was almost undetectable when listening to the engine directly - it was most pronounced at the rear of the car, by the exhaust pipes.

I let the car idle for a minute or two, hoping it would go away, but then the "Service Engine Soon" light came on. I also began hearing a strange scratching/squeaking noise coming from what seemed like just in front of the instrument panel, so I killed the engine. I'm not really sure if that's at all related, though - my climate control system often makes similar noises while the car is still cold.

Any idea what the problem could be? Does it sound like an ignition coil? My car is a 2003 325Ci with a stick and about 41,000 miles.

Last edited by avalys; 02-04-2005 at 07:28 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2005, 07:26 PM
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Curious Joel Curious Joel is offline
I miss my V8
Location: Epsom, NH
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Mein Auto: '03 330xi 5sp
Sounds like the exact same thing that happened to me this morning... I had the car flatbedded to the dealer, and it was the coils.. I had the coils go in my X5 while driving once.
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  #3  
Old 02-04-2005, 07:41 PM
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EdCT EdCT is offline
zeddy
Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,358
Mein Auto: '06 330cic ZHP / '07 M35x
Quote:
Originally Posted by avalys

Any idea what the problem could be? Does it sound like an ignition coil? My car is a 2003 325Ci with a stick and about 41,000 miles.
Sounds like the ignition coils.

Do a search for Bremi Ignition Coils, I believe there's even a tsb on this.

My dealer told me they've replaced all six Bremi coils on many newer BMW 6's.

Ed
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2005, 07:37 AM
T330ciZHP T330ciZHP is offline
'04 jetblack330ci zhp 6MT
Location: San Diego,CA US
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: '04 330ci ZHP 6MT
It happened to my car once. I started, engine service warning came on, felt like it's running on 4 cylinders. I killed the engine, restarted, and it went away. I thought it was the software problem. My car only has 3500 miles on it. Something I got to keep an eye on.

Guys, I'm new in the forum, how do I post the pic? Thanks
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2005, 08:28 AM
X5HogTown X5HogTown is offline
01 X5 Sport & 01 M Coupe
Location: Toronto
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 21
Mein Auto: 01 X5 Sport & 01 M Coupe
-

Have you had a lot of freezing weather recently?

I had the same problem with my X5 3.0 (2nd time now). The crank case ventilation valve freezes during a cold spell. You start the engine and it feels like it is running on 3 cylinders. The engine light also appears. After 30 minutes of chugging, it defrosts and the engine runs properly.

BMW just fixed mine for free (warranty already expired) so there must be some sort of recall. They also replaced the oil because it was contaminated with water. They said the engine will be damaged if you don't get this fixed promptly.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2005, 08:34 AM
T330ciZHP T330ciZHP is offline
'04 jetblack330ci zhp 6MT
Location: San Diego,CA US
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: '04 330ci ZHP 6MT
Hm.... My area never gets near freezing point. Nice and warm in San Diego.
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:12 AM
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avalys avalys is offline
Nothing specific
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 984
Mein Auto: 03 325Ci 5spd SP
It's been below freezing here in Cambridge for the past few days, but this morning the temperature was up to 40. My car has been through nasty below-freezing weather before though, so I don't think that's what caused the problem.

This morning I started it again, with the same results. I called the dealership (luckily their service department is open on Saturday), and Roadside Assistance sent out a tow truck. Hopefully they'll have it fixed by Monday.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2005, 11:20 AM
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EdCT EdCT is offline
zeddy
Location: Connecticut
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 7,358
Mein Auto: '06 330cic ZHP / '07 M35x
My "service engine soon" light came on, the car stalled and ran low on power (but not rough).

It turned out to be a bad intake cam sensor with a high failure rate (as recorded by the car's onboard computer).

The dealership lightened my wallet by 314 dollars.

I've got an inspection 2 coming up and the dealer wants 800 bucks! I'll be shopping for a good independent.

Ed
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  #9  
Old 02-05-2005, 03:36 PM
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avalys avalys is offline
Nothing specific
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 984
Mein Auto: 03 325Ci 5spd SP
So, five hours after I dropped the car off, I got a call from my SA at Herb Chambers saying it had been fixed. They replaced all six ignition coils, and fixed several other little issues that had been bothering me as well.

I was a little apprehensive about giving the car to Herb Chambers, since I'd heard horror stories about them, but I didn't have much of a choice since the second-nearest dealership is about thirty miles away.

However, I couldn't be happier with the job they did - even though I'm rather young and didn't buy the car from them, they treated me with respect and courtesy, and got the job done faster than they promised. My SA even waited for me to arrive to pick the car up for an hour past their normal closing time. They also respected my request to not wash the car, something that most dealerships seem to have trouble with.

All's right with my world again.
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2005, 06:21 PM
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drmwvr drmwvr is offline
Stick Drive
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,145
Mein Auto: 330i, 911E, UZJ100
Same thing happened to me a few months back...it is your ignition coils. After my car was flat-bedded to the dealership, I had it back the same afternoon. They replaced all six coils. Car (at least it seems to me) runs better now than ever before.

Good luck!
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  #11  
Old 02-10-2005, 11:14 PM
newm5 newm5 is offline
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Location: bay area
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 39
Mein Auto: 328i
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmwvr
Same thing happened to me a few months back...it is your ignition coils. After my car was flat-bedded to the dealership, I had it back the same afternoon. They replaced all six coils. Car (at least it seems to me) runs better now than ever before.

Good luck!
did you pay for any of these or was your car still under warranty? i am having similar symptoms in my 2000 328i.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2005, 06:38 AM
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cantona7 cantona7 is offline
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Location: San Francisco
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 793
Mein Auto: 2003 Imola M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by avalys
So, five hours after I dropped the car off, I got a call from my SA at Herb Chambers saying it had been fixed. They replaced all six ignition coils, and fixed several other little issues that had been bothering me as well.

I was a little apprehensive about giving the car to Herb Chambers, since I'd heard horror stories about them, but I didn't have much of a choice since the second-nearest dealership is about thirty miles away.

However, I couldn't be happier with the job they did - even though I'm rather young and didn't buy the car from them, they treated me with respect and courtesy, and got the job done faster than they promised. My SA even waited for me to arrive to pick the car up for an hour past their normal closing time. They also respected my request to not wash the car, something that most dealerships seem to have trouble with.

All's right with my world again.
Glad to hear that everything turned out well for you. HC seems to have made improvements in both their service and sales personnel. There are still one or two dinosaurs there who will treat you like crap, but it's good to see that an effort is being made to turn the ship around. By the way, what was the name of your SA? I bought my car there, but only brought it in for service once.
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  #13  
Old 02-15-2005, 10:06 AM
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drmwvr drmwvr is offline
Stick Drive
Location: Houston, Texas
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,145
Mein Auto: 330i, 911E, UZJ100
Quote:
Originally Posted by newm5
did you pay for any of these or was your car still under warranty? i am having similar symptoms in my 2000 328i.
It was warranty work; my car is a 2003 model.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2005, 05:05 PM
robj213 robj213 is offline
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Location: Ft Worth, TX
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 745
Mein Auto: 2003 325i SP, Xenon
Well I just got the exact same problem when I started my car today. Too bad it's the weekend and I won't be able to call the dealer to get an appointment until at least Monday, do you guys think it's bad for me to drive the car w/ bad coils over the weekend? I am talking about just short trips to the grocery store and etc... ?

Thanks.
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  #15  
Old 04-01-2005, 08:25 PM
cfeldma cfeldma is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 2003 225i w/ SP/PP/CWP
Just happened to my '03 325i this morning. Never happened before, and after about 30 seconds, it stopped on its own. Very unpleasant. Given that it went away, do you think I should still have it checked out?
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  #16  
Old 04-02-2005, 10:07 AM
FalconGuy FalconGuy is offline
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Location: NJ
 
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Mein Auto: 2003 325Ci
This wouldnt drive so nuts if BMW didnt install known defective coils on cars for a few years after they issued this TSB.


Take a good look if your the DIY type, my dealer told me they replaced all 6 and of course they billed BMW for 6 but after inspection only one was replaced.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf coils.pdf (114.9 KB, 230 views)
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