Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 02-16-2010, 07:18 AM
silver69camaro silver69camaro is offline
Registered User
Location: WA
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 23
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Misfire on cold start? Check in here...

Since about last year, our 2003 330i was having a problem with cold-start misfires. It would vary as to what cylinder was misfiring, but would normally happen on #5. Typically it would misfire enough to throw a CEL, resulting in fuel-cutoff to that cylinder - a re-start would usually cure the problem. It would happen once a week or so, usually when it's colder (less than 40 degrees or so).

Well, moving to more recent times, it would happen more and more often, regardless of temperature. Car has about 80K now. Things that I checked, in no particular order:
1. Coils (swapped and replaced, confirmed good spark during misfire condition)
2. Injectors (swapped and replaced, confirmed working properly during misfire condition)
3. Coil electrical harness (dissasesmble and inspect for breaks & shorts)
4. Smoke-check for intake leaks
5. Replaced intake boots (small crack)
6. Replaced DISA valve (broken)
7. Cleaned ICV
8. Plugs (replaced, all looked good)
9. CVV checked OK

There is probably more, but I can't think of it right now. I thought more and more the condition was oil related due to the temperature and re-start cure. I knew the lifters in these motors could be troublesome, and several experienced BMW techs confirmed that.

Well, when the lifters go bad in these motors, the lifter collapses and doesn't lift the valve all the way; meaning the cylinder isn't getting a complete air/fuel charge. The lifters scour the lifter bore in the cam ledge, creating escape passageways for the oil to travel instead of pumping up the lifter. Why a hardened iron lifter and riding in an aluminum bore is beyond me - but I know many manufacturers do this.

Moving to last week, I finally disassemble the top end of the engine. Sure enough, about 4 lifters had significant scouring, and 12 others were lightly damaged. The intake cam ledge was needing replacement, but the exhaust looked acceptable. That leaves me with one good cam ledge and 8 good lifters. I purchased a good used ledge ($200 vs. $460 new) and replaced the 16 bad lifters. Using the proper tools, the job took about 10 hours, which is on par with dealer quotes ($3500 parts & labor).

Parts total:
Lifters - $272
Cam ledge - $200
VC Gasket - $20?
Cam-lock tool - $60
Cam timing tool kit - $225

Total of about $800. From a difficulty scale 1 to 10, I'd give this a 6 only because of the time involved. If you know how engines work and can follow the TIS instructions, you can do this job.

Good news is, engine runs great in the morning. Not a hint of misfire and absolutely no lifter tick. If you have a troublesome cold misfire that you can't seem to figure out, the lifters are a good possibility.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 09-22-2010, 01:41 PM
JF330xi JF330xi is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Long Island, NY
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 02 330xi
Would this problem cause higher than normal oil consumption? I'm pretty sure i have the same problem as you describe. My car is fine when warm but when I start it after it has been sitting for say two days it will have a rough idle and will throw a CEL. When this happens I just clear the code after the car is warmed up and it never comes back on until the next time i start it cold. Is it bad to drive my car in this condition or should I start saving $$$ now to eventually take care of this?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-22-2010, 01:52 PM
JF330xi JF330xi is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Long Island, NY
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 98
Mein Auto: 02 330xi
Oh and the only code that I get is "misfire on cylinder 4", nothing else.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-07-2011, 07:44 AM
ptrustfull1 ptrustfull1 is offline
Registered User
Location: Holand
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 320 Ci
silver69camaro, i was wondering if you also had a higher engine oil consumption. my car has run about 120kmiles. i have the same problem that you mentioned with an excessive use of engine oil. i have to add about 1 liter or more every 500 miles
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-07-2011, 09:34 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,355
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
OP, what oik change intervals do you use? And what brand of oil? How many miles on your car? How long have you owned it?
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-07-2011, 02:28 PM
ptrustfull ptrustfull is offline
Registered User
Location: Netherlands
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2002, 320 Ci
i own this car now for abouth six months. when i purchased i serviced it with valvoline max life synthetic blend10W40. since is had the car i drove 4500 miles (now about 120kmiles) and i added more than a 1,5 gallon of oil. i also changed the plugs and about all the vacuum hoses and oil seperator. next to the oil use the car gives multiple misfires on cold starts. other than oil use and misfires it runs very good. today i checked it with an scanner and the smooth running value of cyl 2,4 and 6 are in the range from 0.8 to 1.6 while 1,3 and 5 are under 0.0 to 0.2. tomorrow i will clock the injectors. hope this help to give me some advice
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-08-2011, 02:46 AM
ptrustfull ptrustfull is offline
Registered User
Location: Netherlands
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2002, 320 Ci
i also read other threads and i have a few more questions. i have to admit that i was driving like miss daisy was sitting in the back. that can explain the high oil use. all my plugs are dry at the core, there is no sign of oil exsessive oil on them. i will try the suggestion with the ATF-dyno oil-synthetic oil and spirited driving. Is it possible this also might cure for my misfires?
what is dyno oil?

Last edited by ptrustfull; 04-08-2011 at 02:47 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-08-2011, 04:05 PM
Rowdy330i Rowdy330i is offline
Registered User
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Dino (dinosaur) oil is nickname for non-synthetic.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-13-2011, 04:22 PM
HR540 HR540 is offline
Registered User
Location: Fair Oaks Ca
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 540i 6spd
I am having the same problem with my kids car, i pulled the codes and it was 1,3,5 misfire, but the problem has been no.3 the previous owner had 2 new coils installed, i was thinking maybe the MAF has a problem becuase that code came up as well, could it be something else besides the lifters?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-13-2011, 07:52 PM
alfabmw1 alfabmw1 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 199
Mein Auto: 2001 325 xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by HR540 View Post
could it be something else besides the lifters?
boy I hope so, I am having a similar problem! its great that that is a possible fix, but one that I would prefer not to tackle......
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-14-2011, 01:41 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,116
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by HR540 View Post
could it be something else besides the lifters?
Interestingly, I read scores of E39 misfire threads to cull out the list of common culprits and the diagnostic procedures, and NONE of them discussed the hydraulic lifters as a culprit (the E39 and E46 share engines).

So, I'm going to have to point to this thread for others to debug in case that's their problem.

Nonetheless, one answer to the question of "could it be something else", is that diagnostic tree that I wrote (which is still nascent and needs some work - but it probably at least useful to you).

Here it is (please improve so we all benefit):

- How to diagnose a BMW E39 engine misfire (1) & a cold-engine intermittent misfire (1)

For example:
Quote:
BMW E39 engine misfiring is ALWAYS due to one of the following:
  • gas
  • air
  • spark
  • compression
  • timing
Tribal summary on BMW E39 specific misfire culpability: (after reading hundreds of E39 misfire threads and manually collating the results)
  1. bad fuel [air:fuel ratio]
  2. clogged fuel filter [air:fuel ratio]
  3. bad fuel pump [air:fuel ratio]
  4. clogged engine air filter [air:fuel ratio]
  5. vacuum leaks in hoses [air:fuel ratio]
  6. bad coil packs [spark] (1)
  7. bad coil boots [spark]
  8. bad or ill fitting spark plug valve cover seals [spark]
  9. worn or fouled spark plugs [spark]
  10. bad mass air flow (MAF) sensor or meter [air:fuel ratio]
  11. bad DISA valve flap [air:fuel ratio] (1) (2)
  12. bad DISA valve o-ring [air:fuel ratio] (1) (2) (3)
  13. worn fuel injector seals (o-rings) (1) (2)
  14. bad fuel injectors [air:fuel ratio]
  15. bad 02 oxygen sensors [air:fuel ratio]
  16. cracked rings [compression]
  17. bad camshaft position sensor CMP, aka CPS [spark? timing?]
  18. bad crankshaft position sensor CKP, aka CPS [spark? timing?]
  19. bad ground wires [spark]
  20. bad fuse or relay [gas, spark, timing]
  21. bad electrical wiring [gas, spark, timing]
  22. bad engine computer DME, aka ECU [spark]
  23. intake manifold gasket leak [compression, air:fuel ratio]
  24. bad crankcase oil separator valve CCV, aka PCV [air:fuel ratio]
  25. bad idle control valve ICV [air:fuel ratio]
  26. bad throttle position sensor TPS [air:fuel ratio]
  27. bad VANOS seals [compression, air:fuel ratio]
  28. valve cover gasket (VCG) leak [air:fuel ratio]
  29. head gasket leak, or a cracked block [compression, air:fuel ratio]
BMW E39 tribal knowledge misfire-troubleshooting algorithm:
  • If your engine is misfiring, immediately turn off the ignition
  • Wait 30 seconds before restarting the engine (this reputedly resets emissions-related fuel cutoffs)
  • Note the presence or absence of a yellow solid or blinking SES light
  • Scan for diagnostic trouble codes, aka DTCs (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
    • Write down any "stored" DTCs & do a search for hints (1) (2)
    • Write down "pending" DTCs & do a search for hints
    • Clear all stored & pending DTCs to see if they return in time
  • Reset engine electronics by disconnecting the battery & crossing the cables (with a wrench) for 10 minutes (1)
  • Fill your fuel tank with gasoline from a different gasoline station
If you have a specific-cylinder misfire code:
  • Swap ignition coils between adjacent cylinders (1)
    • If the misfire moves, replace the bad coil) ...
    • Also check your coil harness ground to the valve covers (1)
    • Note: The E39 coils are bolt-down until 8/02 and flip-switch from 9/02 (1)
  • Swap spark plugs between adjacent cylinders.
    • If the misfire moves, replace the spark plugs
  • Swap the spark plug boots between adjacent cylinders
    • If the misfire moves, replace the spark plug boots
  • Swap the fuel injectors between adjacent cylinders
    • If the misfire moves, clean or replace the fuel injectors
    • Replace the fuel-injector seals (aka o-rings) (1)
  • Check compression differences between cylinders (1)
    • If the misfire cylinder is lower than the rest, squirt heavy duty oil in the cylinder to check the rings
At this point, we're no longer dealing with specific cylinder misfires.

Multi-cylinder system & specific component tests:
  • Test the engine air filter
    • Temporarily remove the engine air filter
    • If the stumbling disappears, replace the engine air filter
  • Test the Mass Air Flow meter (MAF) (1)
    • MAF faults often set fuel trim faults (1)
    • Temporarily disconnect the MAF & drive the vehicle (1)
      • If the misfire changes, clean the MAF (1)
      • Replace the MAF if necessary
  • Check the hose from the MAF to the engine for leaks
  • Check for a cracked "T-connection after the MAF sensor"
    • If bad, replace the T connection
  • Test the idle control valve (ICV)
    • An overly rich fuel:air ratio can cause the ICV to stick (1)
    • A sticking ICV can lay a coat of soot on the O2 sensors (1)
  • Test the fuel pump
    • Connect a pressure meter to the fuel delivery rail (1)
    • Jump 30 & 87 & feel hoses for fuel delivery (1) (2)
      • If bad, replace the fuel pump
  • Check for vacuum leaks
    • Run the "intake manifold vacuum leak test" (1)
    • Visually inspect all vacuum hoses
      • If any are bad, replace
      • Cracked CCV hose vacuum leaks often affect cylinders 1, 2, & 3 (1)
  • Test or clean the CCV (aka CVV oil separator valve) and its hoses (1)
    • If bad, replace the CCV
    • CCV faults often set fuel trim faults (1)
  • Test the CMP (confusingly aka CPS) camshaft position sensor (1) (2)
    • The CMP will set a fault when it is bad (1)
    • If bad, replace the CMP
  • Test the CKP (confusingly aka CPS) crankshaft position sensor ... (1)
    • If bad, replace the CKP
    • The CKP will set a fault when it is bad (1)
    • The CKP often prevents starting (1)
  • Test the TPS "throttle position sensor" ...
    • If bad, replace the TPS
  • Test oxygen sensors (1)
    • Best way is to scan them for values (1)
    • Pre-cat o2 sensors fail much more than post cat (1)
  • Test the I6 VANOS seals (by disconnecting the harness connector)
    • It's not a bad idea to replace the I6 VANOS seals anyway
  • Test fuel delivery pressure
    • If low, test and/or replace the fuel filter
    • A clogged fuel filter often set fuel trim faults (1)
  • Check the DISA valve for midrange operation
    • Remove DISA valve and check plastic flap for operation (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
    • Replace the DISA valve o ring (1) (2) (3)
    • Replace the DISA valve if necessary (1) (2) (3)
  • Check the "valve cover gaskets (VCG)
    • Spray carburetor cleaner on while engine is running (1)
    • If idle improves, replace VCG
  • Check the "intake boot" for cracks
    • If bad, replace
  • Just before you get down on your knees for pious pleas to the Lord Jesus, go ahead, add a bottle of Seafoam or Techron concentrate to the fuel & see if that improves the misfire.
  • If you get this far, and you still haven't located or resolved your misfire, you actually now have a bona-fide 'new' problem that has not yet been seen in the Bimmerfest E39 forums!
    • If you got this far, then you have something nobody else has reported recently.
Here is a misfire-diagnosis video showing the coil swap trick:
-
One question is WHERE do I put the diagnostics for the lifters in this misfire diagnostic tree?

Last edited by bluebee; 04-14-2011 at 01:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-14-2011, 02:28 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,116
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Just for the record, I added this new cause for misfire, as best I could, to the BMW misfire diagnostic tree of tribal knowledge.

Results here (1).
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-14-2011, 04:15 AM
Rowdy330i Rowdy330i is offline
Registered User
Location: Texas
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 24
Mein Auto: 2003 330i
Mine had a bad CVV when it did that, also check the DISA.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-14-2011, 04:51 AM
alfabmw1 alfabmw1 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Massachusetts
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 199
Mein Auto: 2001 325 xi
thanks for posting all the info bluebee, that list will give me a great place to start!
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-14-2011, 05:26 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22,116
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy330i View Post
Mine had a bad CVV
FWIW, it bothered me I knew nothing about the CVV (aka PCV, CCV) so I just did an EXTENSIVE research project and wrote up how to test it and identify & resolve problems here (with LOTS of pictures):

- How to test the crankcase ventilation (CCV, CVV, PCV) pressure regulating valve system (1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rowdy330i View Post
also check the DISA.
I had researched that in the past and wrote this summary set of links:

- DISA VALVE FLAP BREAKS: the DIfferenzierte SAuganlage ("Differential Air Intake") valve flap breaks (1), sometimes with parts sucked into the intake manifold (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) or the disa valve o-ring fails (1) (2) & how it can cause all sorts of cold-engine idle problems (1) & where to get just the DISA valve o-ring (1) & how the DISA valve operates (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) & an example of how a broken DISA valve can ruin your engine (1) & how to test DISA operation (1) (2) (3) (4) or temporarily repair your DISA valve with glue (1).
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms