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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 11-21-2012, 12:48 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Misfire E46 318i N42 2003

Intermittently the car's been misfiring on cylinder 4, over the past few years. Now it is permanent.

A compression test has been done: OK. The following parts have been swapped to check if it's any of them: spark plugs, coils, injector rail, PCV valve & hoses, intake, fuel filter, DME, fuel pump, air mass meter. Also unscrewed oxygen sensors from exhaust to see if it would make any difference.

The cylinder head was reconditioned about 3 months ago, due to a blown head gasket. Before the head was done, car intermittently had a misfire on hard accelaration (+-6000RPM), and at high revs. Now the following happens:

On cold start-up, car runs fine. As soon as warm-up phase is complete (+-2 minutes), the idling drops to normal idle level and cylinder 4 gets cut out. The following faults are stored on the GT1:

DME - 2744 Misfire detection, cylinder 4 - Misfire with cylinder cutout - Fault currently present.
DME - 274E Misfire detection, sumcheck error - Signal or value above threshold - Fault currently present
DME - 2755 Ignition circuit, cylinder 4 - Ignition current increases too fast - Fault currently not present

Has anyone experienced something like this? What was your solution?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:16 AM
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jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
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How old are your top O2s?
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  #3  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:26 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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The car's got the single catalytic converter. It's still the original O2 sensors. That will be our next swap, but if it doesn't work, we are stuck. Have you had issues with that before?
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2012, 02:34 AM
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jbonly21 jbonly21 is offline
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I had the same problem with my e39, it was the O2, also check the valve cover gasket.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2012, 03:41 AM
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Swapped the top sensor and it ran right for longer than usual, but then it picked up the misfire again, with the same faults. Swapped the other O2 sensor as well, but the misfire was back as usual. Why did you suggest the tappet cover gasket?
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:15 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Once the engine warms up, and you switch it off and start it again, it immediately has the misfire. When you unplug the air mass meter, the car runs perfectly at default settings.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:16 AM
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But we've had 3 different airmass meters in and it missed with all 3.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:21 AM
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I see that you replaced the coils, but still, try moving the coil from cylinder 4 to a different cylinder and then scan it again to see if the fault followed the coil.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2012, 04:24 AM
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Already done that.
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2012, 01:10 PM
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Make sure you have a good solid ground to that #4 coil.
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2012, 10:42 PM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Thank you, really appreciate all your input. Don't think we're gonna get to this car today, but tomorrow and Saturday for sure. We have also reached the point of where it seems to be a wiring problem. I'll keep you's updated.
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  #12  
Old 06-20-2013, 08:52 AM
Band3ras Band3ras is offline
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hi everyone.. how did you solve this one?
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  #13  
Old 06-20-2013, 10:47 PM
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Good morning, the long and short of the story is this: cylinder number 4's intake hydraulic lifter wasn't pumping up correctly, thus not allowing a full air charge to go into the cylinder. This obviously then made cylinder 4 run richer than the other cylinders, due to the lack of air coming through. Oxygen sensors then interpreted it as a fault and cut the cylinder. Due to the customer's budget, we only replaced the one lifter, and the problem was solved. It took a very looooong timne to figure this out, as it was a hidden mechanical fault and not electronic after all. Hope this helps you?
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  #14  
Old 06-24-2013, 02:27 AM
Band3ras Band3ras is offline
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thanks for the reply!! it does help a little, would you have the part number for the hydraulic lifter, please?

this is what has been replaced in my Valvetronic unit:


01 Eccentric shaft - 1 - 11377578543
13 Needle bearing - 4 - 11377615379



10 Intermediate lever "1" - 8 - 11377516895
10 Intermediate lever "2" - 8 - 11377514012
10 Intermediate lever "3" - 8 - 11377514013
10 Intermediate lever "4" - 8 - 11377514014
10 Intermediate lever "5" - 8 - 11377514015
11 RETAINER SPRING - 4 - 11377513873
12 ISA screw M6X16 - 4 - 11377513874

... and the problem is not solved..

then after turning on, checked the computer for errors, misfire error was gone, but the Air Flow sensor error came up.
Tested with a new Air Flow sensor, didnt do anything.

when we disconnect the eccentric shaft cable the problem is almost 98% gone, but it still does a very subtle misfire.

suspecting it could be the vacuum pump or the crankcase ventilation valve...

Last edited by Band3ras; 06-24-2013 at 02:29 AM.
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  #15  
Old 06-24-2013, 04:27 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Hello again,

On this link: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...76&hg=11&fg=25 the hydraulic lifter is number 7. The part number is the same for the 8x intake lifters as well as the 8x exhaust lifters.

What was the original fault or problem on the car? And did the diagnostic machine give descriptions of the faults stored?
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  #16  
Old 06-24-2013, 05:36 AM
Band3ras Band3ras is offline
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Misfire E46 318i N42 2003

The original problem is engine misfiring. If I rev up very slowly it doesn't misfire, it goes smooth through the revs, if I step on the gas normally or very fast it misfires, either on idle or driving in any gear.

The original fault codes were:
274E Misfire Detection All Cyls
2742 Misfire Detection Cyl 1
2752 Throttle Position Controller- Jamming

Now we don't know what to do anymore...


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  #17  
Old 06-24-2013, 05:54 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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OK, don't know what you've tried already, but have you swapped the spark plugs, coils and injectors around to see if the misfire follws the parts from cylinder 1 to another cylinder?
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  #18  
Old 06-24-2013, 06:18 AM
Band3ras Band3ras is offline
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these parts have been replaced by new ones:

ignitioncoils
spark plug pipes
spark plugs are ok, no need to change them
chain-tensioner
all gaskets and o-rings
both camshaft pulse generators

swapped spark plugs/coils (not sure about injectors, have to check with the mechanic) but the misfire stayed in cylinder 1.

then these parts were replaced:
both solenoids
eccentric shaft
needle bearings
all Intermediate levers
all retainer springs
all ISA screws
chain slide rail

after that the computer diag didnt find any misfire errors - misfire error was gone, but the Air Flow sensor error came up.
he tested with a new Air Flow sensor, didnt solve the problem, so he placed the old one back.

when the eccentric shaft sensor cable is unplugged, it eliminates the misfire by 98% but very rarely it still does a very subtly misfire, when the engine is running on idle.

my mechanic just asked me to ask you if, in case its because of the hydraulic lifter, then shouldn't we hear a constant 'tick-tick' noise?

Last edited by Band3ras; 06-24-2013 at 06:21 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-24-2013, 08:25 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Great, thanks for all the info, it helps to get a clearer picture of what's happening on your side.

We want to send you a photo of something you should check, in case it's sucking air into the engine. It's a PDF file, but I can't figure out how to attach it here.
Do you have an email address I can send it to?
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  #20  
Old 06-24-2013, 08:31 AM
Band3ras Band3ras is offline
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Misfire E46 318i N42 2003

Hi! Yes, I have just sent you a private message with my email address.

Thank you very much!


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  #21  
Old 10-30-2013, 03:46 PM
S4Phil S4Phil is offline
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Hi Garage808.

Came across ths thread while doing some googl'ing & first up thanks for the info and coming back to the thread to report the fix!

I'm very much in the same boat myself. I did a full timing chain & gasket rebuild on my 316ti Compact (bought as a non-runner) I've been gradually sorting through the problems it had engine-wise but I hit a brick wall with this idle misfire. Exactly like yours its on cyl.4 and it's cutting the cylinder completely. On the warm up phase it's perfect, with the valvetronic sensor unplugged it's fine.

I've actually bought a spare broken engine to swap all the usual suspect parts over from and no difference.

Can I ask you how you managed to find the non-working hydraulic lifter? Did you remove the camshafts with the carrier assy and checked them that way or is there a way to check them with the engine fully assembled (rocker cover off of course!)

Appreciate any help you can give, I've been looking forward to using the car for months but can't as it won't pass UK emissions tests with such an awful idle!
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  #22  
Old 10-31-2013, 08:26 AM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Good morning, the lifter should be noisy, even a slight ticking-sound. Basically what happened, is the volume of air going to cylinder 4 was not enough for the amount of fuel injected to cylinder 4. The O2 sensor picked up this "over-fuelling" and cut cylinder 4.

Have you swapped cylinders 2 & 4 ignition systems (spark plugs, coils, injectors?) to be sure the fault remains on cylinder 4 and doesn't move around with the parts? If it starts without the misfire, it would suggest that the idling is affected by the live data fed to the DME. Have you had the car on a diagnostic machine, like a GT1?

Could you perhaps give me the last 7 digits of the VIN number, we would just like to check a few things before giving more advice.

Thanks so much
Blessings
Adele
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  #23  
Old 10-31-2013, 10:52 AM
S4Phil S4Phil is offline
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Hi Adele,

Thanks so much for the quick reply.

Lifters on this engine are not particularly noisy to be honest.

The full ignition & fuel delivery system has been swapped &/or renewed to rule it out. New vanos units both inlet @ exhaust etc.

Like your original problem, the issue only appears once the car is down at its normal idle speed once warmed up after a few minutes. Restarting when warm it instantly goes back to the cyl.4 misfire.

We use Autologic diagnostic software and I've tested various components, as well as resetting valvetronic min/max limits, minimum valve lift from 0.3 to 0.8mm, reset adaptations etc. No difference with any of this.

Also swapped out a spare DME & Valvetronic control unit with no difference.

FU56441 is the last 7.

Thanks
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  #24  
Old 10-31-2013, 10:55 PM
Garage 808 Garage 808 is offline
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Thanks for the information.

Colin says that what's basically happening (based on the info received), is that the air-fuel mixture is incorrect. On cold start, the vehicle uses substitute values to start and warm the engine (+- 2 minutes).

After the warm-up phase, the engine starts running on live data. Components that could be faulty are: airmass meter, oxygen sensors (according to the VIN number, you have 5), injectors, or mechanical components, like valves, lifters, cams and compression.

You either have too much air or too much fuel going into a cylinder (not neccessarily cylinder 4). Your airmass reading should be between 9 and 11 kilograms per hour. 9 being very lean and 11 being richer. If the volume of air is higher than 11, suspect airmass meter is giving faulty reading to the DME. If reading is between 9 and 11, check if there is any unmetered air, getting into the system after the air mass meter. For example, leaking intake manifold gaskets.

A good way to test for air leaks: whilst vehicle is idling, use a good silicone spray (Wurth) with a long nozzle. Spray complete intake system and air box. If air is getting in somewhere where it shouldn't, the idling will go up and the air mass-readings and oxygen sensor-readings will change.

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...49&hg=13&fg=15

Common place where air gets in, is the resonator box (marked number 5 on the link above). The alternator rubs a hole in it, if it wasn't fitted correctly.

Please let us know if this helps.
Blessings
Adele
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