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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 02-17-2010, 08:08 AM
arielb1 arielb1 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 BMW 325i
Car violently shakes on startup, but settles..eventually

I tried searching. All the results of a car shaking are during a driving scenario, but not on startup.

On a rare occassion, my car shakes violently when I start the car. This morning in Los Angeles, where the weather is typically warm, I started my car. Immediately the car shook like it was 7.0 earthquake. It shook like this for a good minute. It felt like someone was outside trying to lift the car. It was very violent. Lots of smoke coming from the exhaust. It was gray smoke and it had a foul smell not like a skunk though. I just let it run and eventually the problem goes away.

This happened before. I startted the car in the am. to move it 10 feet. Later that evening about 7 hours later, I started it again. This time it shook heavy with the same gray smoke coming out of the tail pipe. The only common denominator is car engine is cold.

My car has 77K miles. It is a 2002 BMW 325i. It runs perfectly otherwise. Idle is great, runs great with no other symptoms. This is my daily driver and is driven on freeways frequently.

Thoughts anyone?

Many thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:13 AM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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I would have the car scanned for codes. My guesses are the CVV, MAF and spark plugs.
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:32 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Pull the plugs after the car has sat all night. I`m betting you`ll find some oily deposits on them, probably indicating the need for a CVV replacement.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2010, 05:20 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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I agree with the above opinions, sounds like you are gonna get the BMW ccv reaming.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2010, 05:49 PM
bimmerboy2051 bimmerboy2051 is offline
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Just by reading your thread title I instantly thought CVV...
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  #6  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:39 PM
luvmybimmer10 luvmybimmer10 is offline
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Oh goodness! This just happened to my car for the first time last week, but it hasn't happened since. Ariel B, what happened or what did you find out? And what is a CVV? Is it costly and expensive to do? Is there a DIY to it?
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  #7  
Old 02-17-2010, 08:41 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Originally Posted by luvmybimmer10 View Post
Oh goodness! This just happened to my car for the first time last week, but it hasn't happened since. Ariel B, what happened or what did you find out? And what is a CVV? Is it costly and expensive to do? Is there a DIY to it?
It's in the WIKI, please search it. DIY, heh, look for the DIY on the main e46 page
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  #8  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:27 AM
arielb1 arielb1 is offline
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Many thanks to all of you. I am so grateful for your time and expertise.

This morning the car started as normal with nothing out of the ordinary. It is garaged parked. Same great weather, not cold or too humid. The car idle was perfect and it warmed up nicely. No excessive smoke out of the tail pipe unlike when I get the problem of violently shakes which is rare, but scares me badly.

About two months ago, I did the CVV replacement. There were some great writeups out there in the wiki. Changing the CVV aka oil separator valve wasn't too difficult of a task, but I do have years of mechanical experience. For those who haven't done it yet, view the wiki page and search for cvv. I followed the Lbert write up. I just read the first post and went to work. If you want the parts list I ordered, PM me. I purchased my parts from RMEuropean.com for about $170. Parts arrived next day with normal shipping fees. Since the cvv change, the car is running fine..same as always. Nothing different really, except the first few time I took the car out for a drive, the idle was a bit high.

Again, I was surprised the violent shakes still occurred after doing the CVV work. I don't know what else it could be. Again car runs perfect as I can tell otherwise.

From what I learned from this post, here is what I will do.
Hook up my code reader tonight to see if there is an error. My check engine light is NOT on. In fact, I have never seen it lit.


Do I still need to pull the plugs to see if there is oil on em?
MAF possiblity as SolidJake mentioned?
Oh, I use Mobil super unleaded gas religiously. Not sure if this matters

thoughts, ideas? Many many thanks...
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  #9  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:46 AM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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This should have been an eliminating process starting with the smallest neglected maintenance parts to the greatest. Your starting point should have not been the CVV. If these had not been changed lately, you should have started with air filter, sparks plugs, valve cover gasket, fuel filter, then CVV. Also it's good to check the intake boot for cracks.

The items I listed are normal maintenance items.
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  #10  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:52 AM
arielb1 arielb1 is offline
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[QUOTE=AlboBMW;4949310]If these had not been changed lately, you should have started with air filter, sparks plugs, valve cover gasket, fuel filter, then CVV. Also it's good to check the intake boot for cracks. QUOTE]

Thank you Albo. The air filter, spark plugs, fuel filter are all fairly new. Valve cover is original. I will do a thorough inspection of intake boots and change out the valve cover gasket. It surprises me the valve cover can be a culprit since it only occurs on startup. This is easy enough to change out...many thanks

other thoughts? Love to hear em.
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  #11  
Old 02-18-2010, 08:56 AM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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I would have started with the valve cover since it is a fairly inexpensive and easy repair. Like Bob said, you might have some oil on your plugs due to VCG leaking. I had that problem too. I don't know how new, fairly new is, but the fuel filter can be clogged up way before it's "due"

good luck
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2010, 02:09 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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you should definitely replace the Valve Cover Gasket because it is in need of replacement. But I doubt that will fix your problem.
Definitely do check your spark plugs and see if they need replacement/if they have oil on them.
I replaced my spark plugs at 100k, then at 112k i replaced my VCG and my CCV.... the plugs had LOTS of oil on them and they need to replaced ASAP due to corrosion or something. My car has not-so-happy cold morning starts as well, but only if its really cold like 20 and below. I blame it on my sparks because I know they are ruined and I have had my VCG replaced, my CCV system replaced, my intake boots replaced, and my MAF is completely fine... my air filters have been replaced too... but not my fuel filter.

My cold morning starts are not AS bas as yours though... just some slight hiccups that lasts 10 secs. I woud check your intake boots as well... but check them thorouhgly because its hard to notice the cracks.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2010, 03:03 PM
OverMyE46 OverMyE46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 E46 318i (AU SPEC)
Cylinder Coil Packs? ... think they call them?
... the problem you are describing .... is sorta like what I had ... felt like an eruption/earthquake in the car

In saying that ... these boys above ... sound like the know what they are on about
... I'm just a weekend warrior

Hope it helps!
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  #14  
Old 02-24-2010, 08:50 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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This E39 intermittent cold-start shuddering thread discusses the same problem in detail.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2010, 07:21 AM
omodos omodos is offline
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well i had the exhaust emissions level have deteriorated on dashboard sign, and it is still on, similar symptoms, well just the one, rough at startup then fine after, no power loss or drop in mpg.s or smoke, so i dumped stp total fuel system cleaner in the gas and filled her up, problem gone, but dont know why the exhaust emissions level amber symbol won;t go off?
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  #16  
Old 06-23-2010, 03:47 PM
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catso catso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omodos View Post
well i had the exhaust emissions level have deteriorated on dashboard sign, and it is still on, similar symptoms, well just the one, rough at startup then fine after, no power loss or drop in mpg.s or smoke, so i dumped stp total fuel system cleaner in the gas and filled her up, problem gone, but dont know why the exhaust emissions level amber symbol won;t go off?
Emissions related lights usually indicate a code in the memory. I doubt you solved the real problem. Have the code read and figure out what caused it, erase it, and try to solve your problem.
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