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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 02-01-2008, 04:10 AM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Wits End: Both Banks Lean codes P0171 P0174

Ok, I've been chasing this 'both banks lean' problem for almost 4 months now... I thought I had it licked when I found the cracked intake elbow, but nope... so I got tired of working on it and left it at a reputable Indy shop (friend of a friend etc.). They replaced the O2 sensors and the crankcase vent valve as the most likely culprits, but the codes STILL came back! Now we're both at wits end and the Indy shop is telling me that we need to take it to the dealer because he thinks there's something wrong with the ECU. I've spent about $1000 in parts/labor chasing this so far:

What I/we've replaced (all BMW parts):
Both pre-cat O2 sensors
Crankcase vent valve/tubing
Fuel cap
MAF/airbox O-ring
MAF/throttle body intake air elbow
spark plugs
Air filter

Everything has been checked for vacuum leaks, none found.

I'm hoping someone out here is a BMW tech and can point me to a likely cause, or confirm that I need to end up at BMW service...
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2008, 05:13 AM
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Sib 12 20 07

M54/M56: Mixture Too Lean - Fault Codes 2882/2883 are Stored in the DME

E46 with M54 from 8/00 to 8/06

"Service Engine Soon" light is illuminated. The fault codes "2882/2883 fuel trim, mixture too lean" are stored in the DME.

CAUSE
Possible causes may include: incorrect air filter, unmetered air or a defective air mass meter.

PROCEDURE
Remove and inspect the air filter element. Only the filter with the P/N 13 72 1 744 869 must be fitted.

Make sure you are using 91 octane as required.Double check the intake for any air leaks (smoke machines are preferred method in locating any intake air leaks).
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2008, 07:08 AM
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Sounds like it would make sense to clean the MAF as well, especially since it only takes 10 minutes to do so.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2008, 08:30 AM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Thanks for the help guys, all that (and more) has already been done. Forgot to add to that list that I also replaced the fuel filter as well. I only run 93 octane fuel.

The first thing I did with this car after I bought it was perform the 60k mile service, including plugs, airfilter, fuel filter, etc. The lean codes showed up a short while later (like a month after I bought the car).

Then it started throwing the P0171 and P0174 codes. I found cracked pipes, intake tubes, etc. Replaced those. Found the fuel cap was actually broken, replaced that. Still no fix to the codes, they always come back within 100 miles of being reset after repairs/maintenance.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2008, 09:27 AM
Big "J" Big "J" is offline
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This may be a shot in the dark...but, have you done a fuel injection cleaning? Through the fuel system and vacuum system?
My 325i gave those codes and I did that and haven't had any issues since.
I used "Seafoam" from Autozone and it worked great!

Just a suggestion.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:01 AM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Have not used the AZ product, but I have used the German chemicals (can't remember the name, started with an M... 'moly' something) for cleaning the injector and fuel systems.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:04 AM
Big "J" Big "J" is offline
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Did you try through the vacuum system?
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:12 AM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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No, the chemicals I used were through the fuel system. They were put into the tank with very little fuel remaining in the tank (for maximum concentration of the chemical) then driven around for a few miles to burn off, then tank topped off.

Not saying that I won't give the seafoam a try, at this point anything is a shot.

I don't look forward to a visit to the local dealship here in Orlando, I just ordered a new remote key from them and they had my VIN number wrong by one digit... not giving me much confidence in them finding a solution either.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:28 AM
Big "J" Big "J" is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrakilo99 View Post
No, the chemicals I used were through the fuel system. They were put into the tank with very little fuel remaining in the tank (for maximum concentration of the chemical) then driven around for a few miles to burn off, then tank topped off.

Not saying that I won't give the seafoam a try, at this point anything is a shot.

I don't look forward to a visit to the local dealship here in Orlando, I just ordered a new remote key from them and they had my VIN number wrong by one digit... not giving me much confidence in them finding a solution either.
Jeez..... I feel your pain!
Dang keys are cheap... $160 ??

Yeah.... try the seafoam and see if that works.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:31 AM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Yeah, $160... try $202 w/tax/tag/title/first born
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2008, 11:45 AM
Big "J" Big "J" is offline
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lol!! Wow!!!

I got mine for $160. The dealer (indy) that I bought my car from got them to me at his cost.

Well, let me know how it goes!!
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2008, 12:59 PM
konrad330xi konrad330xi is offline
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Have your gas analyzed. I was running Union 76 premium, but was getting the same codes the OP was.

A BMW tech requested a gas analysis after all the usual culprits had been eliminated (e.g MAF, etc.). The gas came back 30% "something else".

Since changing to Chevron, the codes have gone away, at least for now.
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  #13  
Old 02-01-2008, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konrad330xi View Post
Have your gas analyzed. I was running Union 76 premium, but was getting the same codes the OP was.

A BMW tech requested a gas analysis after all the usual culprits had been eliminated (e.g MAF, etc.). The gas came back 30% "something else".

Since changing to Chevron, the codes have gone away, at least for now.
Only use Exxon/Mobil, Chevron, or shell
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  #14  
Old 02-01-2008, 02:59 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by konrad330xi View Post
Have your gas analyzed. I was running Union 76 premium, but was getting the same codes the OP was.

A BMW tech requested a gas analysis after all the usual culprits had been eliminated (e.g MAF, etc.). The gas came back 30% "something else".

Since changing to Chevron, the codes have gone away, at least for now.
Thanks for the suggestino, but this problem has been ongoing for almost 5 months and during that time I've tried every major brand of gas in the Orlando/Tampa/Daytona Beach area. Believe me, its not the quality of the fuel. If it were that simple, the code would come and go with various tanks of fuel used. The code gets thrown and stays active.
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2008, 02:48 PM
konrad330xi konrad330xi is offline
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You're welcome, but I still advise you to check your gas. My BMW SA has found problems with most of the major brands (including water in some test cases).

As it was explained to me, the more none gas additives (+30%) will throw to lean fuel code.

It seems to vary by station, not necessarily by brand.
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  #16  
Old 02-05-2008, 02:56 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Updated list of things that have been done, but still no solution:

What I/we've replaced (all BMW parts):
Both pre-cat O2 sensors
Crankcase vent valve/manifold vent tube
Fuel cap
MAF/airbox O-ring
MAF/throttle body intake air elbow
Spark plugs
Air filter
Fuel filter
Fuel leak diagnostic pump (goes on the charcoal canister at the fuel tank)

Procedures done:
Cleaned MAF sensor
Cleaned throttle body
Cleaned idle control valve
Used injector/fuel system cleaner in tank
Used SeaFoam thru intake system

Still getting P0171 and P0174 codes... only thing that I can add is that I got a P1444 and a P1447, which prompted replacement of the leak diagnostic pump (it showed up as a failure) and I'm also getting a P0313 (misfire with low fuel detected) whenever I let the fuel tank get into the reserve (yellow light on, less than 50 miles showing on range).

Any help will be much appreciated. I'm taking the car to the Orlando BMW dealer on Thursday...
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  #17  
Old 02-06-2008, 06:53 AM
wdaveweaver wdaveweaver is offline
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I don't know if this is true for Bimmers as I don't do much work on mine, but on my '95 Pontiac T/A a lean issue in both banks is usually attributed to a leak in the intake manifold somewhere and it's usually the gasket/mating surface to the block. What happens is the motor/pcm is sensing there is too much fuel in the mixture and not enough air due to the leak. This drops the MAP (Manifold Absolute Pressure) causing the less amount of air into the cylinders and therefore the computer cutting the amount of fuel to lean the mixture. Check all your seals on vaccum lines going to the intake manifold and or the presence of oil/greese at the base of the manifold where it meets the block as this is usually indicative of a leak. Like I said I am not sure if it is the same but this is what I have seen in Chevy Small blocks and other motors as well. Good luck.
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  #18  
Old 02-12-2008, 12:57 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Wits End: Both Banks Lean, the saga continues...

Ok, FIRST trip to the dealer, I leave the car overnight and thru the weekend. Monday they call me and $400 later they tell me its a failed O-ring on the dipstick. Part is $4.05, labor is, well, do the math...

30 miles down the road, SERVICE ENGINE SOON light relights itself... I pull off and read the codes... still the same two: P0171 and P0174...

Took the car back this morning.
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  #19  
Old 02-12-2008, 03:35 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Update:

SECOND trip to the dealer this week... they confirm that there is no longer any leaks by pressure testing the engine/intake system, again. Run more diagnostics and now they say its a defective MAF sensor... another $600, $499 for the part, plus labor for installing it...
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Old 02-12-2008, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sierrakilo99 View Post
Update:

SECOND trip to the dealer this week... they confirm that there is no longer any leaks by pressure testing the engine/intake system, again. Run more diagnostics and now they say its a defective MAF sensor... another $600, $499 for the part, plus labor for installing it...


The part is $325ish online and installation literally takes 10 minutes... but a bottle of cleaner is only 8 bucks and cleaning instructions are in the wiki...
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  #21  
Old 02-12-2008, 03:58 PM
sierrakilo99 sierrakilo99 is offline
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Yeah, I cleaned the old one twice before, no joy with the results, and yeah, I'm totally capable of replacing it myself. After finding three other failed/leaking components already, and the code kept coming back, I had thrown my hands up and took the car to the dealer to have them diagnose it. When they found the failed o-ring on the dipstick (smoke test confirmed it) I thought they had found the leak I couldn't. Any further parts chasing would be with them on the hook to have them find it and fix it, with them warranty'ing the repairs from this point. I hope this finally fixes it...
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Old 02-12-2008, 05:23 PM
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Fair enough.. keep us updated!
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2008, 07:09 PM
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I'm currently in the same boat with those codes. I've cleaned the MAF and the codes stayed off for about a 150 miles. I added some fuel injector cleaner today. I'm replacing the pre-cat O2 sensors, fuel filter, and air cleaner this up coming saturday. While I'm under there I'm going to take off the mass airflow boot and inspect for cracks.

Here is something I pulled off the Bentley forum which my help:

1. Pre-Cat O2 Sensors (or as BMW refers to them "Regulating Lambda Probes")
I did in fact change the Pre-Cat O2 sensors (old ones had a whitish color to them) and although I got a minor bump in my gas mileage and the car did idle/run a bit smoother, however, the P0171 & P0174 DTC Codes returned approximately 90 miles later (compared to an average of 40 miles prior to the O2 sensor replacement.

So I was back to step one, hunting for a vacuum leak as well as trying to establish whether the MAF was good or bad.

2. Rubber Boot - Elbow between "Air Filter Box/Mass Air Flow Meter (MAF Sensor) ---TO--- The Throttle Body:
The first thing I rechecked was the RUBBER ELBOW/BOOT (PARTS 3, 5 & 6) [see "Charts & Parts" below] that connects the Air Filter Box to the Throttle Body. I had been told by a Certified BMW Mechanics that these parts fail frequently (deteriorated & cracked) and can trigger the Lean Mixture codes we have since air getting through past the MAF sensor/meter is unaccounted for thereby causing the Lean Mix. That is a cheap part (varies from $15 to $30 dollars depending on where you purchase it). If this is the culprit, this is a very easy DIY once you have a replacement for the cracked/ripped part. Loosening the clamps does take a bit of "touchy feely" making it a tedious job, but you can save up to $150 by doing it yourself as opposed to what some people were quoted by the Dealerships.

CHARTS & PARTS
{For an
"E46 Touring 325i M54" OR
"E46 SEDAN 325i M54" OR
"E46 SEDAN 325i M56" Refer to the "CHART #1: 3-Series E46 325i TOURING M54 or SEDAN M54 or SEDAN M56 USA -13_0905-HOT-FILM AIR MASS METER" parts diagrams for the information below}

325i TOURING M54 PART NUMBERS: AND
325i SEDAN M54 PART NUMBERS
PART #3 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 705 209
PART #5 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 435 626
PART #6 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 435 627

325i SEDAN M56 PART NUMBERS
PART #3 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 438 761
PART #5 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 438 760
PART #6 IN CHART = BMW P/N 13 54 1 438 759

In my case, these parts were in near perfect condition. So it was back to the drawing board...

3. ADJUSTER UNIT -with broken flap- is the culprit
Until I came across a part refered to as "ADJUSTER UNIT" which attaches to the drivers side of the Intake Manifold. This unit (I have no clue what it does... Anbody else wanna guess?), is attached to the manifold with 2 T-40 Torx screws, it does come off fairly easily. Once I took mine off, the flap that opens & closes was broken thereby leaving the air port/opening wide open and therefore causing the Lean Conditions which in turn, cause the P0171 & P0174 OBD-II codes to be stored & THE SES light to illuminate.

For my M56 engine, Part # 11 61 7 544 805, was $185.97 from www.koperformance.com

It took about 20 minutes to replace it but only because I had to remove the Air Filter Box to allow for easier access to the Adjuster Unit.

CHARTS & PARTS
{For an:
"E46 Touring 325i M54" OR
"E46 SEDAN 325i M54" Refer to the "CHART #2: 3 Series E46 325i TOURING M54 SEDAN M54 USA 11_2879 INTAKE MANIFOLD SYSTEM" parts diagram for the information below}

325i TOURING M54 PART NUMBERS: AND
325i SEDAN M54 PART NUMBERS:
PART #7 ON CHART = BMW P/N 11 61 7 544 806

{For an:
"E46 325i SEDAN M56" Refer to the: "CHART #3: 3 Series E46 325i SEDAN M56 USA 11_3405 INTAKE MANIFOLD SYSTEM" parts diagram for the information below}


325i SEDAN M56 PART NUMBERS:
PART #3 ON CHART = BMW P/N 11 61 7 544 805

END RESULT:
No more SES light for the past 250 - 300 miles.
Rough idle is gone,
And it might be in my head but the car has regained some power and is now a bit more snappy... with quite the attitude... Just the way I like her.
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  #24  
Old 02-13-2008, 12:03 AM
brabus brabus is offline
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Maybe a dumb question, but did you check BOTH of the tubes going from the MAF back? Both of mine were cracked, but I found an obvious crack on the first one (connected to the MAF) and replaced it, basically overlooking the 2nd one. Turns out the 2nd one that actually connects to the block had a massive rip in it too. So far I've gotten rid of those two codes (knock on wood). Just want to make sure you didn't make the same overlooking mistake I did.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:07 AM
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I thought in detail about this last night since I could not sleep; let me check my logic off you guys.

My error messages remained off for about 150 miles since cleaning the MAF sensor. Since I'm getting both codes, its probably not both O2 sensors at the sametime (but I'll replace them anyways since they are the original with 143,000 miles on them). If there was an air leak in the intake, it would tigger the codes a couple miles within resetting the SES, not 150.

Therefore is it more than likely sensor related? Since the car has higher mileage, and tried cleaning the MAF sensor (first time ever), should I just bite the bullet and replace the MAF sensor? Then while I'm doing that replace both parts of the intake boot and also the rubber ring on the dipstick tube since they are relatively inexpensive? How difficult is it to get to the throttle body clamp?

Comment/opinions?

Dan
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