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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 02-24-2010, 11:08 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Spark plugs, MAF, CPS, as stated by others. Have you changed your air filter on schedule? Try swapping out the coils and see if the misfire moves at all.

The VANOS issue can't be helping, but it almost certainly isn't the root cause.
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  #27  
Old 02-24-2010, 11:42 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Vanos may not be the only reason--but the idea that this has only happened to you when cranking the car up on cold days gave me the idea that the Hammer is indeed the cure. If this was happening everytime you cranked the car--I would say, no it's not a Vanos issue. The reason I say it's Vanos, is that it's only happening on cold days--and it doesn't have to get that cold for this problem to occur.
Vacuum leaks can cause this problem also--and I bet there are some that may be excerbating the problem.
That would be an area to look into because a vac leak can cause a miss fire also--but a vac leak would be causing this to happen all the time---does the car have this problem at each and every start up--not from what I have seen from your posts--Yes I have been a staunch supporter of what the benifits are from making the change of these Vanos Seals--I have no gain in this in any way , except in trying to help others come to understand how much this will help each and everyone who owns these auto's--I am guilty as charged.
As stated above--try swaping out the coil from #1 cylinder with #4 and then wait and see what happens
the next time you start the washing machine. May even swap out the plugs from those two cylinders as well.
#1 cylinder is the first one up in front of the car--then just count back to #4. This would let you know if the problem is the coil pack--but I don't think it is , with the problem only occuring when the temp falls low.

Last edited by poolman; 02-24-2010 at 11:51 AM.
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  #28  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:16 PM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Prior to changing the Vanos seals on my car, I experienced twice or maybe 3 times that startup shake, and actually once I had the "check engine" light on. Every time I turned the engine off, waited a bit (under a minute), re-started and the car was smooth as silk, like nothing ever happened. I know I had the O2 sensors changed (I once had a code for those), the MAF was cleaned, never done the CPS's.
Since the Vanos seals were changed out, I never experienced that shudder anymore.
So, by saying that, I aknowledge that there can be a number of reasons the engine starts with shakes, but also just because the Vanos seals are a known weak link that fails on our cars (the OEM ones), I would consider what Poolman said, and actually this might be the hammer case. Because the Vanos seals are gone for sure. And even if they are not the main reason of the shudder (which they might in a proportion of more than 80%), they might be main contributing factor. They will have to be changed anyways, so there's no harm there. And if you would have searched in this and other forums you might have noticed that Poolman actually contributed quite a bit with his knowledge. Just lookup "vacuum leaks" for instance. Maybe then you would change your mind and say that the other thing is he is crying "vacuum leaks" at every opportunity.
I don't want to be a pr*k, but what's your contribution to this forum?
Doru, I'm glad you don't mean to be a prick because first off, I'm not going to get into a pissing contest about who contributes what to the forum. I've owned my car for 7 years, have experienced many failures and fixes, and contribute what knowledge I've gained when I can. I do, however, have a life beyond the mb and can't spend every waking hour here typing. If that doesn't sit well with you, or it doesn't meet your arbitrary contribution quota, then I guess I don't really care. That said:

I am primarily here to learn. And certainly not to offend. But as an intelligent person I can also observe (and comment) when complicated (or time consuming) repairs are recommended and, in my view, may not be warranted. (Or, in the case of Vanos, are probably helpful in the long run but may not be the cause of the immediate issue--which is what Fudman pointed out, and I agree. Start simple, then go complex.).

I respect Poolman's knowledge, and I believe I said as much in my post. It just APPEARS to ME that it's Vanos, all the time. At least since he's done the repair. My point was that rough start and rough running can have many causes, some of which can be fixed very simply, quickly, and cheaply. I had the EXACT same symptoms you describe in your post, and the fix was $50 and a CPS, not replacing the Vanos seals.

And therein endeth my contribution to the thread.
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  #29  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:21 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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The VANOS conclusion by Poolman, me and others is completely circumstantial. We all understnad that, but also know that we have all had the same result. This is definitely not satisfying to most on this post, but it is what it is.
One relevant thought is that to do the VANOS, all of us have had to remove all the coils and relocate the wiring harness. This removal and reinstall could in itself potentially eliminate an intermittent short, clean off insulating oil, or whatever.
And lastly, unless I read this post to quickly, I think others who have had this problem have seen a fuel cut-off code pointing to #4. Why not #1, 2, 5, or 6. That in itself seems to point to computer control versus physical (coils etc) and therefore the VANOS may be back in play. Anyway, I'm rambling...
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  #30  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:22 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh P. View Post
I had the EXACT same symptoms you describe in your post, and the fix was $50 and a CPS, not replacing the Vanos seals.

Glad the CPS solved the problem. And I'm in no contest either.
But: if you did not changed your Vanos seals, you should Maybe if I would have changed my CPS, I would not had the jitters either? I did not read codes, I just changed the seals and it fixed it. The car runs much more tighter now. This is a fact.

Cheers
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  #31  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:25 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Doru and Josh,
You are both insightful and good participants in this forum. I think it is important to leave people alone, not to compare and contrast quality of posts, and try to remember this is not a beauty contest or a game with winners. My two cents.
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  #32  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:26 PM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doru View Post
Glad the CPS solved the problem. And I'm in no contest either.
But: if you did not changed your Vanos seals, you should Maybe if I would have changed my CPS, I would not had the jitters either? I did not read codes, I just changed the seals and it fixed it. The car runs much more tighter now. This is a fact.

Cheers
Yeah yeah yeah, it's on my spring list. With about a million other things.

Foot of snow tomorrow. Sigh.

Peace bro and no hard or hurt feeling intended.
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OEM M5 bumper, 40% Huper Optik ceramic tint, Dice Silverline Pro iPod adapter, 540SP radial spokes, Zimmerman Z-Coat rotors w/ Hawk HPS pads
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  #33  
Old 02-24-2010, 12:46 PM
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Yes, peace.
The snow is melting - looking at my summer wheels stored in the garage.
And BTW, i have a gazillion things to do. See? I beat you.
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  #34  
Old 02-24-2010, 01:12 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Main thing to remember--we'er all here to help each other--it's hard to figure out whats going on with each and every case--but by DIY problems--we are all trying--not much else one can do
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  #35  
Old 02-24-2010, 04:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Spark plugs, MAF, CPS, ... coils ...The VANOS issue can't be helping, but it almost certainly isn't the root cause.
I appreciate EVERYONE's help! That's why I'm here! I love you guys!

However, I'm probably one of the slowest and least-informed people here (about how the BMW works) ... so please bear with me on this quest for truth.

My approach is that every part is presumed innocent until proven faulty. I generally test to PROVE that a component is faulty so that I may sentence that component to the trash bin with a clear conscience (bear in mind this methodical approach has drawbacks ... it took me a year, for example, to resolve the ABS trifecta issue, mainly because I finally had to simply accept the sad fact we'd never come up with a definitive test that "proved" the culprit). Point is, I feel it's more helpful if we can believably UNDERSTAND what we're up against, and then reliably outline a test sequence which fingers the culprit and prevents fuel-cut-off recidivism.

True to the original request, let's concentrate on defining the debugging sequence in this thread for anyone in a BMW who comes up with the OBD code P1349: Misfire Cylinder 4 With Fuel Cut-off (specific to BMW).

First, it behooves us to understand these things:
1. What are the symptoms?
2. What is the error telling us (and not telling us).
3. What is the debugging and repair sequence.

What are the symptoms:
- Rough idle upon cold-engine start <--- may be temperature & humidity related; may be related to car sitting for two or more days prior
- Rough running lasts only for the duration of the "ignition cycle" <--- This is the most amazing clue if we can take advantage of it for debugging!
- The prior and next starts are generally perfectly smooth <--- This is another most amazing clue if we can Colombo it properly!
- Service Engine Soon is lit with the resulting code of P1349
- Some say it happens after changing fuels (I certainly changed mine as I was testing smog results under different octane-rated fuels)

What is the OBD II code telling us (and not telling us):
- A single cylinder, #4, misfired
- Fuel was cut off

Note: I found only one reference that explains the difference between a "misfire" and a "misfire with concomitant fuel cutoff".
"...with cylinder cut-off" means the DME has ceased to fire the fuel injector, because the fuel is not being ignited.

My assumption is that the #4 misfire was so bad that the engine electronics noticed the stumbling and they (somehow, magically?) cut off the fuel to the cylinder. If this is the case, it might explain why the rough idle only lasts the duration of the trip. The assumption is that whatever caused the cutoff "reset" itself upon an ignition cycle.

If that's the case, then a possible miscreant might be whatever that circuit itself is that determines it's time to shut off the fuel to cylinder #4.

Even so, thinking about this avenue brings up more questions than it answers. For example, how would you cut off the fuel to just a single cylinder anyway? Don't all the injectors fire into the intake manifold simultaneously? Do they just cut off the electricity to the "closest" injector to cylinder #4?

Similarly, there is nothing wrong with replacing the air filter (Lord knows I have no idea when mine was last replaced, for example), however, I doubt a blocked air filter will affect ONLY cylinder #4, and even then, that it would affect that cylinder so badly that it would cut off the fuel supply to cylinder #4; and even after all that, that it would totally go away on the next start after waiting a minute.

Along that vein, I'm sure VANOS affects valve timing, but, if VANOS affects ALL valves equally, then it seems not likely (to me anyway) that VANOS would badly affect only the valves (do we have 2 or 4?) associated with just the one cylinder #4. I admit I don't know how VANOS works. Do you know if VANOS seals have the potential of affecting only one set of valves to a single cylinder?

It seems to me the guilty party is something unique to cylinder #4. So, I might first ask of every suggested culprit ... Which ones are unique to cylinder #4?
a) coil (definitely!)
b) plug and/or plug boots (definitely!)
c) air filter (not likely)
d) cam position sensor (??? I have no idea if cylinder #4 has its own sensor)
e) vanos (??? I have no idea so that's an open question)
f) maf (??? I don't even know what MAF stands for yet)
g) cps (??? I guess I need to learn a new vocabulary)
h) vacuum (hmmm... is vacuum specific to cylinder #4?)
i) oxygen sensors (2 precat, 2 postcat, hmmm... is an o2 sensor specific to cylinder #4?)
j) coolant leaking (maybe ... coolant could leak into just cylinder #4)
k) contaminated fuel (not likely to affect only cylinder #4)
l) engine electronics (this could potentially be related to only cylinder #4 but I don't know how yet)

What is the OBD II code NOT telling us:
- I see no indication that more than one cylinder is involved.
- I see no indication the fuel cut off first; it appears the misfire happened first (if I read the code correctly and discern between a simple "cylinder misfire" and a "cylinder misfire with concomitant fuel cutoff").
- It seems the misfire was so severe, that the fuel had to be cut off (but how?)

What is the debugging sequence:
Note: I don't really think we can come up with a believable debugging sequence until we can state we understand what the code is telling us and what controls the firing and fuel on cylinder #4. Bear in mind that the E46 has this random cold-start misfire problem in spades.

By reading scores of related misfire posts, and combining all the proposed "solutions" into a reasonable sequence, so far, the preliminary debugging sequence (which, I admit, is more of a guessing sequence than a debugging flowchart) is:

0. When you notice a BMW cold-start stumble ... especially after sitting for a couple of days in damp cold air ...
1. Shut the ignition off & wait 30 seconds to restart the engine
2. The stumble may go away but look for the SES light on the cluster
3. If you see an SES, check for a P1349 code and reset the MIL
4. If you have a P1349 code, swap ignition coils between #3 & #4
5. If the intermittent start stumble moves to cylinder #3, replace the coilpoolman coil recall information here)
6. If the start stumble returns on cylinder #4, swap or replace the plug
7. If the stumble returns on cylinder #4, swap or replace the plug boots
-----< after this point, I think we're moving away from the specific cylinder >-----
8. If it returns on cylinder #4, clean the MAF (hot film air-mass meter) with CRC & replace the air filter
9. If it returns, replace the "cam position sensor" (is there one specific to cylinder #4?)
10. If it returns, replace the Cam Position Sensor CPS (is this specific to cylinder #4?)
11. If it returns, replace the post-cat oxygen sensor (the pre-cat 02 sensor is not implicated)
12. If it returns, replace the VANOS seals (can variable valve timing affect only a single cylinder?)
-----< after this point, we're really shooting in the dark >-----
13. If it returns, replace the CCV (aka CVV oil separator valve)
14. If it returns, replace the fuel filter (one guy suggested replacing the fuel pump)
15. If it returns, add a bottle of Seafoam or Techron concentrate to the fuel
16. If it returns, clean the ICV (idle control valve) with carb cleaner
-----< people really suggested all these items in the respective threads
17. If it returns, replace the hose from the MAF to the engine
18. If it returns, replace any cracked "T-connection after the MAF sensor"
19. If it returns, replace the "valve cover gaskets (VCG) into the spark wells"
20. If it returns, clean or replace all the fuel injectors
21. If it returns, replace the "coolant temperature sensor"
22. If it returns, replace the alternator to raise the voltage (yes, this has been suggested)
-----< ok, these were listed as solutions but they aren't feasible >-----
23. If it returns, move to Georgia (from Michigan
24. If it returns, drive the car every day (don't let it sit for two days)
25. If it returns, check the "intake boot" for cracks and replace if necessary
26. If it returns, replace the "throttle position sensor" (TPS)
Note: Don't laugh; I've read dozens of threads and each of these has been posited as the "solution" to this intermittent problem!

In summary, the goal (of this thread) is together, for us to come up with a believable debugging sequence for all to benefit.

The first part is to understand what could affect only cylinder #4 and the fuel cutoff to cylinder #4. Intuitively, I suspect it's that circuit itself that is faulty (i.e., the circuit that shuts off the fuel to cylinder #4); but having said that, I have no idea what the circuit is that shuts off the fuel to cylinder #4. Do you?

Please help all by contributing answers to some of the questions in this thread (and bringing up new relevant questions to answer).

Note: Multiple BMW models seem affected by this intermittent cold-start stumbling that goes away with the next ignition start; so does Toyota, e.g., NHTS May 2003 Bulletins 00903 (Toyota Echo) & 00703 (2002 Toyota Camry) variable valve timing (VVTI) malfunction.

Unfortunate acronyms used in this post (most of which I had to look up):
- OBD (On Board Diagnostics)
- DME (Digitial Motor Electronics, i.e., the engine computer)
- VCG (Valve Cover Gasket)
- ICV (Idle Control Valve)
- CCV or CVV (Oil Separator Valve)
- VANOS (variable valve timing)
- MAF (mass air meter)
- CPS (Cam Position Sensor)
- CAT (catalytic converter)
- TPS (throttle position sensor)
- MIL (malfunction indicator light, i.e., the SES)
- SES (service engine soon, aka CEL check engine light)
- VVTI (Toyota variable valve timing)
- NHTS (National Highway & Traffic Safety Administration)

Last edited by bluebee; 02-25-2010 at 07:47 PM. Reason: I will update with new information for as long as it will let me
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  #36  
Old 02-24-2010, 04:37 PM
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gtxragtop gtxragtop is offline
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Misfires can also take place due to a too lean fuel air mixture that I suppose may be possible if you have a defective/dirty fuel injector.

Google is your friend..... search e39 P1349 lots of hits

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1272613

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1321483
Note ignore the last post on cylinder identification. #1 is in the front, then 2,3,4,5,6 with six in the rear

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/archive.../t-539283.html
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Last edited by gtxragtop; 02-24-2010 at 04:59 PM.
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  #37  
Old 02-24-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
Misfires can also take place due to a too lean fuel air mixture that I suppose may be possible if you have a defective/dirty fuel injector.
This is where I must defer to your knowledge over mine.

It is my "understanding" that the cylinders do not have direct fuel injection. Maybe I'm wrong, but, I always thought all six cylinders (plus the cold-start fuel injector when the engine is cold) all open and shut at the same time into the intake manifold.

Under that assumption, cylinder #4 merely sucks in the combined fuel from all six injectors (maybe 7 if the cold-start injector is activated).

These injectors, so my understanding goes, are spaced out evenly so that it "looks" like there is an injector for cylinder #4; but, my understanding is that there is not an injector specifically firing only when cylinder #4 is in its intake stroke.

Am I right or wrong about how the fuel injectors work on my E39?
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  #38  
Old 02-24-2010, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
However, I'm probably one of the slowest and least-informed people here (about how the BMW works).
You may be slow (there are many slower) but you have the troubleshooting mind of an engineer (& that's a compliment from one!) and the inquisitive mind of a scientist. Your debugging sequence is very well thought out. However, not being a scientist, I often stop well before I figure out the why behind a problem. Partly because it takes more effort, partly because it makes my head hurt and lastly, I don't necessarily care as long as the solution works. That said, this is getting above me and I can't contribute to the understanding of this problem but I will continue to follow this thread until this problem is solved! This is getting interesting!
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  #39  
Old 02-24-2010, 06:46 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Want to add about fuel cut off--I did away with my CCV valve a few months ago because of increased oil useage.
The way I did that was to add vacuum into the crankcase--it was a positive vacuum without a pvc valve to cut the vacuum down, I was pulling around 18 inches--after doing this--no more oil usage--but I was getting a code that indicated that the car was running rich--at the time when these codes were thrown--the car would have a code and the cylinder that was affected and fuel was shut off to that cylinder. The only way I could drive the car from that point was to do the following--cut the car off and restart. Sometimes that would not work--but what always worked was when I carried a code reader with me--I would cut off the car and read the code and then erase the code--then the fuel would be back to normal and the car would run smooth again.
Most times when fuel has been cut off to a cylinder, it's trying to protect that cylinder from a wash of fuel which can hurt a cylinder wall--there is where the roughness comes from in lots of cases--it protects the cylinder from being scarred by a no burn situation and to rectifiy the fuel cut off you have to erase what ever code has poped up. Once I added a pcv valve into my oil catch can that I now use instead of the CCV valve
I have no more problems with codes--and I don't use oil any more either. Vacuum can affect many things--it can hurt your engine and it can also help it--if unmetered air enters the engine--you gas mileage will suffer
if vacuum is introduced into the crankcase--it can seal piston rings and you can gain power--vacuum
controlled in the right way can do a lot of good things. I grew up a Hot Rod'er--no ideas other than what
I gleened from what I read and gathered from my Father at an early age and after he died--what I gleened from trial and error---in a sence--the same as we all do--I have owned one car that would out run the damn head lights and cars that wouldn't pull the hat off of your head--but they all work the same--even with the new electronics that we deal with--it's fuel --compression --and spark--all the rest gets in the way--get those three
working the way they are supposed to and the car runs at it's peak---thats what the Vanos seals do--it gets the timeing and spark--back to the spec's that the engine was designed for--sorry for my rant--but the Burbon
is quiet good this evening--sorry if I disturb some--but I'm crazy in my own little way--

Last edited by poolman; 02-24-2010 at 07:14 PM.
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  #40  
Old 02-24-2010, 07:20 PM
sktn77a sktn77a is offline
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I had a very similar problem recently, very bad misfire when cold (just once ) - the car was basically undriveable. I had also been getting puffs of grey smoke in the mornings when starting cold. CEL (SES) light on and the code was a misfire in two cylinders. It was a bad CCV. Replaced the CCV and all has been well since. Cost me $800 at the dealer, though!
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  #41  
Old 02-24-2010, 08:10 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtxragtop View Post
Google is your friend..... search e39 P1349 lots of hits
Most of those references I had already read and discounted or summarized back in post #16 above but post #3 of the Misfire Cylinder 4 With Fuel Cut-off thread at least explained what the difference was between a simple "misfire" and a misfire resulting in a "fuel cutoff".

"...with cylinder cut-off" means the DME has ceased to fire the fuel injector, because the fuel is not being ignited."

I've read about 25 separate threads and all of them guess at the problem. Since they are all guessing, I'm going to make my wild eyed guess too!

Personally, I intuitively suspect (w/o direct supporting data) that the real culprit is this "DME cut-off".

My "circumstantial evidence" of a "computer malfunction" is that the severe and unmistakable problem goes away during the next ignition reset cycle, even if that next cycle is 30 seconds away (and that it lasted for the entire duration of my trip which was about 15 minutes long). Perhaps less intriguing than the ignition-cycle evidence implicating the DME (digital motor electronics), is that the single-cylinder fuel cut-off appears to only occur when the car is stone cold, some say after two days of sitting idle. A third, even less incriminating hint is that often the specific cylinder #4 is implicated (at least in the single-cylinder situations such as mine and others). In addition, there has been some mention of "wet air" being a secondary factor and the DME is apparently known to be susceptible to water (at least according to this thread).

My (unsubstantiated) "hypothesis" is that the DME (digital motor electronics) is acting up and causing the fuel to shut off; hence the misfire.

By waiting 30 seconds and cycling the ignition, the reputedly "confused DME" is reset (my argument goes), and no longer causes the fuel shutoff. Engine runs smooth as silk thereafter. I repeat this is merely my unsubstantiated hunch - and whether or not it's true will depend on a lot more understanding than I have at the moment of HOW the DME figured out when to cut off fuel to cylinder #4.

Plus, I still haven't found anyone who can explain how you would cut off fuel to a specific cylinder if all the injectors open at the same time into the same intake manifold.

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Last edited by bluebee; 03-07-2010 at 07:37 AM.
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  #42  
Old 02-24-2010, 08:32 PM
Neversaynever Neversaynever is offline
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Holy $hit does poolman know his stuff. I can't image even conceiving of introducing an alternative to a CCV or any other part on my car. I simply do not understand the complete fundamentals of what half of this stuff does.
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  #43  
Old 02-24-2010, 09:30 PM
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lild lild is offline
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the injectors don't open at the same time becuase each cylinder fire at a different time. to prove it, if you start the car and take a flat head screw driver to and injector, it will pulse, or vibrate, when it does, it shoots fuel into the cyclinder. now for the fuel cut off, the comp. shuts off the specific injector to when something is wrong to keep engie damage from occuring. such as a spark not happening. so when the car missfires, and the cylinder doens't fire, the computer shuts off the injector, becuase fuel will build up, and if the cylinder all of sudden fires, well you get the picture. it you don't think of pooring gas into a burning fire pit. that's why your car ran like crap during the drive, the cylinder never fired, and so the computer shut if off. now why is it you can turn the car off when it does missfire, and restart it and no problems, who knows. something kept the cylinder from fireing, bad fuel, crap in the fuel, injector may not of fire, don't rack your mind on it. trying to figure why one cylinder missfire, unless it happens several time you'll never know.
what did you use to get your codes.
i ask, becuase i know actron gives generic codes, a misfire would of been p0304
any how if you never get the code again, just consider your car haveing the hickups. also if you take out the spark plugs and inspect the tip, it can give a clue to what happen, maybe, you'll need to compare all the plugs.
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  #44  
Old 02-24-2010, 11:26 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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i have the same exact problem in my E46 M54... except in cylinder 2
my code is 1345

i just delete the code in the morning when i start my car and it drives like brand new. i recently had my CCV system replaced
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  #45  
Old 02-25-2010, 03:46 AM
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but the Burbon
is quiet good this evening

I'll drink to that!
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  #46  
Old 02-25-2010, 03:54 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Originally Posted by lild View Post
the injectors don't open at the same time becuase each cylinder fire at a different time. to prove it, if you start the car and take a flat head screw driver to and injector, it will pulse, or vibrate, when it does, it shoots fuel into the cyclinder. now for the fuel cut off, the comp. shuts off the specific injector to when something is wrong to keep engie damage from occuring. such as a spark not happening. so when the car missfires, and the cylinder doens't fire, the computer shuts off the injector, becuase fuel will build up, and if the cylinder all of sudden fires, well you get the picture. it you don't think of pooring gas into a burning fire pit. that's why your car ran like crap during the drive, the cylinder never fired, and so the computer shut if off. now why is it you can turn the car off when it does missfire, and restart it and no problems, who knows. something kept the cylinder from fireing, bad fuel, crap in the fuel, injector may not of fire, don't rack your mind on it. trying to figure why one cylinder missfire, unless it happens several time you'll never know.
Combine this with what poolman says (fuel + compression + spark) suggests that the problem is electrical, since fuel is being cutoff and clearly compression is occurring. I would start with the sparkplug or the coil and go backwards from there. While this helps to isolate the source of the problem, it doesn't help to explain why. Which is probably why I am not an electrical engineer.
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  #47  
Old 02-25-2010, 06:18 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Combine this with what poolman says (fuel + compression + spark) suggests that the problem is electrical, since fuel is being cut off and clearly compression is occurring.
My intuition hints at electrical also.

My hypothesis is that the DME is involved, somehow, either directly as the culprit, or as an unwitting accomplice.

My rationale for the modus operandi was tentatively postulated in post #41 above.

I'm looking now, as we type, for WHERE that DME is located (I think it's under the cowl ... maybe a visual inspection will tell me something ... )
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  #48  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:00 AM
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Have you started your debugging sequence yet (swapped the coils or plugs)? This would not appear to cause any potential damage, is reversible, low/no cost and could help to isolate the problem. Just wonderin'... I am very intrigued as to what is causing this problem.
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  #49  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:42 AM
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What controls the spark---valve timing does--what controls valve timing--Vanos Seals---Vanos not working properly and the signal to the cam position sensors will not be on the money--
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  #50  
Old 02-25-2010, 07:44 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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I'll probably eat sh!t for this, but . . .

Perhaps take it to a dealer or a good Bay Area indy for at least a diagnosis--if not a repair? I mean, jeez, you've spent so many hours trying to figure this out (not to mention typing it all up). Perhaps time to throw up the hands? We'll all benefit from the knowledge gained but remote diagnosis only goes so far.

I applaud your perseverance and more power to you if you love this whole process but . . . seems like it's being over-thunk at this point. Just my opinion, of course. I do wish you luck, very frustrating. But it seems like you'll be even more frustrated if it's a simple fix.
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