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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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  #1  
Old 06-30-2011, 06:18 PM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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High mileage 525i has random misfires in cylinders 2 and 3. Please help!!!

I have a 2001 525i with roughly 345k miles. I just bought it (super cheap) and need to get it through emissions. The codes it is throwing now are p0300, p1345, and p1347. I have recently put in a new catalytic converter for bank 1 and replaced both O2 sensors on this cat. MAF and coil packs/wires have recently been done as well. I tried the oil cap test while the car is running to see if it made a crazy noise when the oil cap is removed, but it sounded mostly the same with the cap on or off. There is minor suction when putting the cap back on but I believe this is supposed to happen. No yellow gunk on the oil cap either. Could it still be a vaccum or ccv problem even though the codes are always for cylinders in bank 1? Do to the cam sensors monitor all 6 cylinders? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2011, 06:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveroo77 View Post
There is minor suction when putting the cap back on but I believe this is supposed to happen.
Yes. Minor suction is normal.

Did you see the debugging suggestions from the VERY best of E39 Links here:
- How to diagnose a BMW E39 engine misfire (1)
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  #3  
Old 06-30-2011, 06:57 PM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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wow, seems like an endless list of things that could be wrong with it. I will start working my way down the diagnostics list in the morning. Thanks for the link!
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:18 PM
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blz456 blz456 is offline
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My experience with random misfires led me to find that I had a vacuum hose disconnected on the back of the intake manifold and a broken CCV hose (two separate occasions). Check all hoses and intake boots, clean MAF, throttle body, and ICV to just see if that improves anything. Any vacuum leak can cause random misfires. Also check the condition of the spark plugs and wires.

Also wow! 345k miles! That's awesome! Original engine and tranny?
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2011, 07:30 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blz456 View Post
Any vacuum leak can cause random misfires
If it's vacuum hoses, these more extensive links from a quick /vacuum in the bestlinks might help:

- How to diagnose a BMW E39 engine misfire (1) & how to battle E39 vacuum leaks (1) (2) (3) & how to solve specific vacuum leak diagnostic trouble codes such as P0171, P0174, P0313 (1) & P0170, P0173 (1) & where to find all the vacuum hoses in the E39 (1)

Please bear in mind these are tribal knowledge threads - so - your role is to add value to the diagnostic procedures by adding to these reference threads what you found out to be the solution (so that the next person stands on your shoulders at the start).
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  #6  
Old 06-30-2011, 08:49 PM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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coil

I just replaced 2 coil packs for this symptom
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  #7  
Old 07-01-2011, 12:59 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
I just replaced 2 coil packs for this symptom
Coil packs are something like $85 each, so I'd only replace the coil if/when the coil tests bad.
- BMW Ignition Coil Problems and Replacement(2001- to 9/2006)
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  #8  
Old 07-01-2011, 04:18 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blz456 View Post
Also wow! 345k miles! That's awesome! Original engine and tranny?
Yes, drivetrain is original, and it runs very well even though I'm getting these codes. I'm going to start with vaccum leaks since I know the coils and plugs have recently been replaced (I saw the service records before buying). The previous owner did a great job of doing preventative maintenance as far as I could tell and from what the mechanic told me. Another symptom I forgot to mention is that it puffs a little bit of smoke on cold start up and burns about a quart of oil per oil change cycle (no evidence of any leaking whatsoever). I'm afraid my problem will be cracked rings on the pistons Hoping vaccum leak is my problem.
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  #9  
Old 07-01-2011, 04:46 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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I will definately post my solution once I reach it, I had no idea where to begin before finding the information on this forum. Thanks again for the links.
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  #10  
Old 07-01-2011, 05:26 AM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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Check?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
I just replaced 2 coil packs for this symptom
Did you test the coils or just looked for them to show up in the codes?
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  #11  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:41 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
Did you test the coils or just looked for them to show up in the codes?
I swapped the coil packs between cylinders 2 and 4 (i have yet to get a misfire code cylinder 4) and the same codes came up. Still reading cyl 2 misfire with cutoff, cyl 3 misfire with cutoff, and p0300 random misfire. I am going to remove the spark plugs and inspect them now.
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  #12  
Old 07-01-2011, 08:48 AM
bwaysteve bwaysteve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveroo77 View Post
I swapped the coil packs between cylinders 2 and 4 (i have yet to get a misfire code cylinder 4) and the same codes came up. Still reading cyl 2 misfire with cutoff, cyl 3 misfire with cutoff, and p0300 random misfire. I am going to remove the spark plugs and inspect them now.
I will be curious to know what you found.I am now also having random misfires.The local Autozone's scanner just read random misfires but no particular codes.Good luck,let us know.
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  #13  
Old 07-01-2011, 02:39 PM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwaysteve View Post
I will be curious to know what you found.I am now also having random misfires.The local Autozone's scanner just read random misfires but no particular codes.Good luck,let us know.
I took out the spark plugs and they looked like this:


the one on the right came out of cyl #2which was throwing the misfire with fuel cut off code, the left out of cyl #4 which was not causing any codes. They both looked bad enogh to replace so I went and got 6 new ones. I replaced all of them and swapped the coil packs between cylinders 1-3 and cylinders 4-6. I then checked all coil packs by unplugging each one individually while running to see if any were not working. All of them were working. I have done a couple of drive cycles and plugged up the autoscanner, it now says all monitors are ready and good except for the secondary air system. I believe I need my car to be cold for another start or two before the secondary air system check is complete.

So far so good with the misfire, we'll see if it will stay this way long enough to get me through emissions.
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  #14  
Old 07-01-2011, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveroo77 View Post
we'll see if it will stay this way long enough to get me through emissions.
Please post your emissions test results to this tribal knowledge thread:
- What you can expect for E39 smog emissions test results (1)
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2011, 02:13 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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interesting.. standing by for updates
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2011, 06:23 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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Completed a drived cycle this morning and went straight to the emissions testing center, they are closed today because of the holiday weekend. Service engine light still hasn't come back on, by my scanner has picked up pending codes for misfire with cutoff for cylinders 2 and 3. It did this yesterday and the pending codes went away. I don't think the spark plugs have cured the problem, but I think I can get it through emissions by clearing codes and being careful with my drive cycles (not getting the engine over 3k not my driving style). With my high mileage, I'm sure I have multiple issues in the air/ fuel area to remedy. Injectors seem like a possibility since the codes are always cylinders 2 and 3 and I know spark is not the issue (switched around coil packs and still get misfires in the same cylinders). Even if I get through emissions without replacing anything else I will keep troubleshooting this problem until the misfires cease to occur, it will bug me if I know it's not right.
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  #17  
Old 07-07-2011, 09:42 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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got it through emissions with new sparkplugs and seafoam. I'm pretty sure my disa valve is bad after watching it closely while the engine is started and revved up over 4k rpm. The plunger does not move at all. My car still throws intermittent cyl 3 and cyl 4 misfire with cutoff codes, but this seems to only happen at a long idle after the car is warm. I am going to look at it this evening when my friend who is an indy bmw tech comes by with the right tools.
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  #18  
Old 07-07-2011, 02:06 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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is the car misfiring also or are the codes just on?
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  #19  
Old 07-07-2011, 02:16 PM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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it will still misfire intermitently while idling. Doesn't do it often though. I noticed it yesterday while waiting in the line at the emissions cent when the cel came on and it start running rough. I then hooked up my scanner, saw the code for misfire with fuel cut off for cyl 2 and erased the code. As soon as I erased the code it began to run normal again. I'm pretty sure my disa is stuck open, causing it to run lean at idle.
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  #20  
Old 07-09-2011, 07:30 AM
daveroo77 daveroo77 is offline
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We took out the disa valve and inspected it, seems to be working great. it did not have any play and had tension on it to move it to the closed position, then would pop back to open position quickly when let go. I still do not see the "plunger" part of the valve (the part visible in the engine bay that people do the white dot test on) moving on start up or at high rpms. I saw a where someone had changed their vanos seals and showed their disa working perfectly afterwards, so I'm going to do a smoke test next and try to find any vaccum leaks. Just to clarify, my car is running great and not turning on it's cel right now, but i am getting the pending misfire codes it seems when my car is sitting for at idle for a few minutes at a time. Idles great and doesn't do anything to indicate there's a problem unless the computer cuts fuel to one or more cylinders due to misfire codes.
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