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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 08-01-2005, 01:35 PM
lewistuck lewistuck is offline
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Mein Auto: 99 323i E46
Question coil pack replacement and ox sensor issues

I have a '99 323i with approx. 79k miles. It'd had been running rough over the past few months and I've been struggling with trying to get it smooth ever since. The check engine light was coming on after a hard downshift and then acceleration and the car would buck and run as if it was only on four or five cylinders, but then it goes off and returns to normal once I turn off the engine and then restart it again.

In trying to resolve this, I've replaced all the coil packs and spark plugs and it did get much smoother, especially taking off in first and second gear, then it started acting up again. It began bucking under really hard acceleration and sure enough, the check engine light would come back on until i restarted the engine, then it would clear.

I recently replaced the first oxygen sensor next to the cylinder bank thinking that could be it, and also put on a cold air intake, it once again began to run smoothly, good clean acceleration in first and second, no bucking, and then sure enough, last night, I down shifted hard from 5th to third, accelerated, the car bucked, and the check engine light came back on... I'm very frustrated and not sure what should be next on my list... fuel injectors, the remaining oxygen sensors???

Any help you could offer would be so much appreciated... I just want my car to run like it used to!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2005, 04:15 PM
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doeboy doeboy is offline
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Hmm... CAM Positioning sensors maybe? Take it to your local Independent shop and see if they can pull the error codes from the car (if they happen to have a diagnostic computer).

(oh.. and why is this in the E46 M3 forum? )
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2005, 06:13 PM
ZIGGURAT89 ZIGGURAT89 is offline
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It was the cam sensor on my car.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2005, 07:18 PM
bimmere46 bimmere46 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 325i
Same here...cps.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2005, 07:49 AM
lewistuck lewistuck is offline
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Lightbulb Thanks

Sorry this post ended up in M3 by mistake but I appreciate the insight and tips though... it's funny, since the check engine light clears every time i restart the ignition, there were no codes to see when i brought it to the shop... last night it happened again so i drove it with the check engine light on, got to my local shop and begged them to put it on the diagnostic tool...

They have two different types, the first he connected under the dash and it produced no error codes although he readily admitted he could hear the engine misfiring. The secong he connected at the port under the hood and it dispayed two OS sensors as bad (one of the ones i just replaced last week!) and a misfire on cyl #6.

He didn't like what he saw and said he'd need more time to investigate but is fearful that my computer is failing and generating the misfires and codes... if that's the case he says it's a dealer only issue and big $$$ but he wants to check into some TSB's... perhpas all the suggestions of cam sensors can help...

Thank you....
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2005, 09:11 AM
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doeboy doeboy is offline
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What kind of Diag machines did your guy use?

FWIW... I know that if a check engine light is lit (and sometimes even without it lit) a GT1 tester or DIS should be able to see if a fault occured, how many times, and at what rpms it occured.

Regular OBD-II readers and such may not be able to see these stored errors.
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2005, 08:26 PM
CJsCar CJsCar is offline
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And don't discount the coils in spite of the recent replacement. Bremi has been having major problems with the direct coils they sell BMW, VW, Audi, Porshe, and MB. If replacing them use Bosch.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2005, 10:36 AM
lewistuck lewistuck is offline
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Red face again thank you, but one other question...

thank you both for your help, I mean it. I'm not convinced I have the right mechanis helping me in the first place and with me just really learning the inner workings, I get a little frustrated...

I'm going to look for another shop that focuses more on on Bimmers and I'll keep researching... btw, in some of the previous replys, people had mentioned cam sensors as being a possible cause... are they hard to replace? are there more than one? something i can do at my level?

I've read how to test the coil packs using an ohm meter and perhaps i'll pull them all out and retest them even though they're fairly new (less than 4k miles) and we'll see...

thanks again....
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  #9  
Old 08-03-2005, 11:52 AM
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doeboy doeboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lewistuck
thank you both for your help, I mean it. I'm not convinced I have the right mechanis helping me in the first place and with me just really learning the inner workings, I get a little frustrated...

I'm going to look for another shop that focuses more on on Bimmers and I'll keep researching... btw, in some of the previous replys, people had mentioned cam sensors as being a possible cause... are they hard to replace? are there more than one? something i can do at my level?

I've read how to test the coil packs using an ohm meter and perhaps i'll pull them all out and retest them even though they're fairly new (less than 4k miles) and we'll see...

thanks again....
I wouldn't totally fault the mechanics either... might be that they don't have the right equipment that would let them see these particular errors (which many independent shops don't have I'd imagine).

There should be an intake cam positioning sensor and an exhaust cam positioning sensor, so yes.. there should be two. They are also known as "pulse generators" so if there is any confusion when you say cam positioning sensor, try "pulse generator".

As for difficulty of the job, I wouldn't know as I've never had to replace mine (knock on wood). But I believe someone here has replaced theirs at one time or another.
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