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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 03-05-2014, 08:36 AM
andrewt andrewt is offline
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Location: Boston, MA
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
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Mein Auto: 2010 X3 and a 2007 328xi
Misfiring Cylinder 1 - Safe To Drive?

I was doing some errands yesterday in our 2010 X3, when out of nowhere, the 'Service Engine Soon' light came on, and the car had a noticeable drop in power, then started sputtering a bit. Felt like it was going to stall at any moment (it didn't).

I just got the code read at AutoZone, and it's "Cylinder 1 is Misfiring".

It's under warranty, but the dealer can't get us in until next week. We've got a 10-day old baby, and having a busted vehicle in this situation, is a bit unnerving. So I'm weighing the option of just getting it fixed today or tomorrow at an independent mechanic and paying out of pocket.

Before I do that though, I was wondering if given this diagnosis, is the car safe to drive? Meaning, am I doing any additional damage to the engine, if I drive it normally for another several days. And also, is it a risk to stall or die on me mid-drive?

Or am I just able to keep on driving this week, with no problems other than a bit of a sputter and that reduced power?
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2014, 08:45 AM
sanderpewz sanderpewz is offline
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Location: Norway
 
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Mein Auto: '07 X3
It would depend on what the reason for misfiring is. If the problem has something to do with coil packs, plugs, or anything ignition related, you could be fine driving it for a little while, although the car would lose a significant amount of power. If it's a crankcase oil feed pipe that's clogged, you could be screwed, this isn't a problem on gas powered cars, but could happen in diesels. If you've got an AT X3, there could be an emergency driving mode that would kick in and reduce power and speed, this could be problematic.

I wouldn't recommend anyone to drive with engine problems, but if I was in your shoes, I would probably drive it this week, very carefully tho, as high revs could feed the cylinder more fuel than it's able to dispose of, if there isn't any timed combustion cycle going on in that cylinder. Misfiring would put more pressure on all the lower engine parts as well, as it throws off the balance of the cycles

Last edited by sanderpewz; 03-05-2014 at 08:46 AM. Reason: Grammar...
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2014, 08:55 AM
CitizenOfDreams CitizenOfDreams is offline
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Location: Orlando, FL
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 953
Mein Auto: 1998 BMW 740i
Quote:
Originally Posted by sanderpewz View Post
I wouldn't recommend anyone to drive with engine problems, but if I was in your shoes, I would probably drive it this week, very carefully tho, as high revs could feed the cylinder more fuel than it's able to dispose of, if there isn't any combustion cycle going on in that cylinder.
I don't think that's an issue. When a cylinder has too many misfires, the DME completely cuts off its fuel flow (to protect the cat converters). It's been that way at least since E38, and probably even before that.

So, if the misfires are caused by a faulty ignition component (spark plug or coil) and not something more sinister, the car should be perfectly safe to drive.
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Old 03-05-2014, 09:09 AM
sanderpewz sanderpewz is offline
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Location: Norway
 
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Mein Auto: '07 X3
Quote:
Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
I don't think that's an issue. When a cylinder has too many misfires, the DME completely cuts off its fuel flow (to protect the cat converters). It's been that way at least since E38, and probably even before that.

So, if the misfires are caused by a faulty ignition component (spark plug or coil) and not something more sinister, the car should be perfectly safe to drive.
Well, it's not unheard of to have fuel bleedthrough on common rail engines when one or more cylinders aren't firing, If the DME is able to cut fuel flow to a single cylinder at a time, OP should be fine, but since it's the nr. 1, it could disturb fuel flow to other cylinders.

Anyways, as aforementioned, I would go ahead and drive carefully, but try to keep it on lower revs, and only drive it for necessities,
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