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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 09-26-2008, 11:48 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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Fuel Pressure Regulator "fix" - lots more power

I have a 528 1997 180K and already saw big improvements recently in replacing the crank case valve CCV (no more engine stop (jerk) when starting in the morning or white smoke from tail pipe while warming), replaced cam shaft sensor CPS (no more misfires), replaced/cleaned MAF (no rough idle). BUT with nice idle and good power, I STILL had codes p0154 (o2 pre cat bank 2) and often p1189 and p0173 (fuel metering, compensating for lean). So bank 2 (cyl 4,5,6) were running lean. Problem narrowed to either fuel pressure regulator FPR or fuel pump.

Turns out it was the FPR. I checked the pressure using a air meter pushed onto the fuel rail schrader valve during idle, measured 42lbs, 52 lbs if the FPR vac hose off, ok. But the FPR was failing during rev, when it needs to close. So I TAPPED ON IT (not enough to break anything) with a wrench handle, then drove. Codes went away and LOTS more power! I think it freed up crud to work properly again. Also I noticed the fuel consumption meter under the tack is more active on acceleration (more fuel to injectors).

So lots of posts talk about MAF, fair enough, but changing the CCV CPS and the FPR were big improvements for me, well worth the money. I think anyone with a older BMW (>100K) should just change these out. The CCV was fairly easy to replace, took about 1 hr, same for CPS. I may change out the FPR ($100) and I can see it, would be easy to do.
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2008, 03:45 AM
Jynger Jynger is offline
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Nice to know, changed mine CCV and noticed improved mpg, could you post realoem page and detail number for the other two (CPS & FPR) ?
Thank you.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2008, 03:51 AM
N.C. 528I WAGON N.C. 528I WAGON is offline
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Nice info, my is rolling towards 100k. So i will be replacing these soon. Thanks.
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2008, 11:59 PM
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ztom ztom is offline
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cps change http://benedict.isomedia.com/homes/g...CamSensor.html. On FPR I looked around on threads also looked at diagrams http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partgrp.d...85&hg=13&fg=15

Well..the P0173, p1189 and p0154 codes have come back with a vengeance. Very next day, don't know what changed. The car still has lots of power so if it weren't for the codes I'd think I was all done, except idle would sometimes be rough after a hard drive. I tried CRC MAF cleaner on maf and also checked for vac leaks spraying carb spray around the intake manifold and throttle and maf boot, but no idle change. I saw this thread which has similar mystery http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=448705. I'm wondering if any of the injectors on bank 2 are bad, was thinking about swapping positions with bank 1. Because I get very good acceleration all gears and revs I'm thinking fuel rail pressure now is ok. Car is still reporting lean bank 2, maybe injectors bad? I don't think it's a leak because it's bank 2 specific. Its running lean so I get the 0173 and still not enough to make the o2 sensor say no longer lean, that seems to be the issue. I haven't changed the FPR, still might, have one on order.

Last edited by ztom; 09-30-2008 at 01:32 AM.
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  #5  
Old 09-28-2008, 12:01 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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"don't think it's a leak because" meaning "don't think it's a intake vacuum leak because"
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  #6  
Old 09-28-2008, 12:04 AM
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pre cat o2 was changed early in all this, was first thing. I've since been getting p0154 (no activity) but my indy has a meter showing real time the o2, so it's working. I think people throw away good sensors thinking 'no activity" means bad, but my indy says it's just so lean it's not going up and down as in
http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/7104/13gy1.jpg
http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/9163/25kd.jpg
http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/2097/38id1.jpg

Last edited by ztom; 09-30-2008 at 01:35 AM.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2008, 11:49 AM
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I swapped the injectors - 1,2,3,4,5,6 now 6,5,4,3,2,1 and still bank 2 codes p0173 p01189 and p0154. It really looks like the pre cat bank 2 o2 sensor is bad but it was replaced and since then a real time code reader showed the o2 sensor working, just indicating lean. So still a mystery, meanwhile car running great except for CEL coming on.
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2008, 01:29 PM
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I sprayed carb cleaner again, this time with the plastic cover off that covers the injectors. No rpm change so still not looking like a vac leak as cause for lean bank 2. Shoot, maybe the new o2 sensor pre cat bank 2 is indeed bad? I'd like to get under the car to swap the connections to bank 1 but it's hard to get under there.
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  #9  
Old 09-28-2008, 05:17 PM
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Well now I pulled the MAF and put in the old one after cleaning it again with CRC maf cleaner, and now two trips and no CEL! I hope all is well on this now and I'm cautiously optimistic. If so, it proves to me that the MAF is indeed VERY sensitive and also that p0173 and p1189 codes were thrown for bank 2 but didn't relate to bank 2, but again, only if no more CEL. Anyway I really think that carb spray on a maf is a no no. Instead of the alcohol in a bag, I liked the idea of the maf spray to kick stuff off the thin film sensor, also I could see the fluid dries quickly.

But also I was fooling with the ICV hose (1" hose attached down stream of the maf coming into the boot from below). I started the car with it disconnected and then it stopped, also tried to plug the hole into the boot and restart. I also wiggled the hose a bit and tried to find any cracks. Then put things back. I don't think that was any part of any fix but for the record that's what I also did.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2008, 09:06 AM
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The next morning the idle at start up is rough, a little like it's missing on one cylinder driving half a block (down the street), evens out and within a minute got a CEL, again p0173 p1189 and p0154. The p0173 and p0154 never go away and can't clear them, the p1189 comes and goes. So aside from the cold start, the car is running great.

I'm wondering if the ICV is not functioning right. I was thinking that it may be lean on bank 2 because air is coming through the icv tube even when the engine is hot and wondering if that air is more going to bank 2. Found a picture (right side) showing the underside of the intake manifold, and I think it shows the tube from the icv come in near cyl 4.
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Last edited by ztom; 09-30-2008 at 01:37 AM.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2008, 02:15 PM
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2008, 01:22 AM
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Tonight I noticed after drive home that idle is good but occasional low sound
'puff' out the back, like rich condition, consistent with the high stft bank 2 trim positive. Earlier I had the high positive stft b2 but no puff, as in running lean, trying to compensate for not enough fuel, but now it's like there's too much fuel. Now only an idle issue, otherwise good perf on warmed up driving, good acceleration but getting cel p0173, p1189 and p0154.

Tonight changed back to the other maf I have (from salvage yd), no change so I don't think it's a maf problem.

I read this article on o2 sensors - http://www.engine-light-help.com/oxy...sor-codes.html. Says high o2 on b2 pre cat can be not only lean (vac leak or low fuel) but also can be unburnt fuel. Also that o2 sensors often get replaced even though still good. So now I'm wondering if the issue is spark plugs and/or coils on bank 2. If so, only noticeable at idle, rough when cold and puff/backfire when warm idle. Thinking about new plugs and swapping coils with bank 1.

Last edited by ztom; 09-30-2008 at 01:40 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2008, 01:31 AM
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"high o2" in earlier post means "O2 level is high", o2 sensor voltage reading low.
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2008, 01:48 AM
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A good post on removing plugs - http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ve+spark+plugs
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  #15  
Old 09-30-2008, 08:08 AM
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This morning I did not change the plugs but only swapped the coil packs - 1-2-3-4-5-6 is now 4-6-5-1-3-2. Also took the hose off of EGR valve coming up from the air pump. Another thread says you can feel the suction into the valve and the air pushing from the pump during the first 2 min. On cold start, yes after about 2 min, stops. First 2 min is adding air into exhaust to help heat up the cats. From the get go the idle was fine, vs the rough, misfire or yesterday morning. Go figure. So I went for a drive and it threw p0173, could be old code? Reset it and drove freeway and tried hard acceleration, all great with no cel or codes (but I've been there before, no over yet). Starting out in 1st was nicer, smoother in a subtle way. Came home and idled car in garage. Not sure but intermittent puffing misfire of last night seems gone.

So wouldn't it be nice that the p0154 p0173 and p01189 and cel go away now that I've put in the old maf and swapped the coil packs? Seems unlikely but it did cold start perfect this morning and no misfires right now. Well let's see..
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  #16  
Old 09-30-2008, 08:39 AM
modsquad modsquad is offline
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Okay call me dumb, but what does swapping the coil packs do?
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2008, 10:22 AM
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I thought maybe if the problem on bank 2 was related to packs on bank 2, like insufficient spark, so rich exhaust and remaining o2 so sensor would read high o2, thinking incorrectly a lean condition.

Since the last post, the codes are back. But the puff/misfire at warm idle is not there. Codes pulled in order p0173 p1189 p0173 p1189 p0154, so still seems all related to 02 sensor no activity. Thought maybe I'd put in new plugs, low cost to try.

Fuel consumption gauge (under tach) - noticed that just as I come to a stop out of gear, the meter will dip down then go back up. Like engine is still trying to put fuel into engine even though idling. Does anyone else see this? Is it normal?
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2008, 11:44 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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What are your: (I assume you have an OBD-2 scanner since you mentioned STFT)

(1) STFT & LTFT at idle and 3,000. Vacuum leaks will only show up in the fuel trims at idle.
(2) What is the max/min voltage of the o2 sensors?
(3) While driving at 30 MPH, how often does the o2 sensor switch?

As for the O2 sensor, just because it is switching, it may not be switching enough (low-hi / hi-lo transition) in a given period of time (slow sensor) or it may not switch fully. (should be ~.1 -.9 volts)
If your car put out a puff of black smoke IT IS RUNNING RICH. This may due to the o2 sensor seeing the exhaust as lean, so it adds fuel.
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  #19  
Old 09-30-2008, 07:25 PM
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my scanner doesn't read real time or o2 volts but I have some info from my indy doing a scan. He guns the engine and can get the b2 stft % near 0 then at idle over say 15 sec it climbs up to like 27%, then fuel loop goes open and that's when the puff starts. But he says its not rich but cyl misfire. But I still don't think so. After driving home I idled in the garage and indeed can feel a puff of air periodically from the tail pipe. No black smoke, no rich smell.

I'll remember your 1,2,3 questions, I wish I had the tools to answer them. Increasing revs through the range slowly or by kinda stomping, no evidence of misfire or backfires up or down, very smooth. On vac leaks I did the carb spray all over, no rpm changes. Cold start idle was fine this morning. Puff seems to start when warm.

I bought a set of plugs and was going to put them in but hopes on that helping aren't too high. I also bought a new fuel pressure regulator, might put that in next.
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  #20  
Old 09-30-2008, 09:33 PM
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Just replaced the plugs and glad I did - the cyl 3 center ceramic was cracked and loose and both 3 and 4 were somewhat brown, burnt. cyl 1,2,5,6 were gray (ok or lean burn?). The puffing went away for now (maybe I was getting misfires on cyl 3 (bank 1)). But, the cel came back, same codes. Well the fuel pressure reg cost about $90, guess that's next to change.
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  #21  
Old 10-01-2008, 12:34 AM
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I'm now at the point where I started this thread - I just replaced the fuel pressure regulator. I found it easy to do - remove the injector connector box, unbolt the fuel rail and lift up, slide off clip and pull off the first injector and have a 6oz cup to catch the gas and put it outside for safety, take retainer ring pliers (pep boys $12) and with a small screwdriver to help in the left hand, get the ring off, take pliers and gently wiggle/twist the FPR out, apply teenie bit lithium grease to o rings on new one, push in with vac hose port in the right direction, reverse the process to reassemble. Tips 1) on the shiny metal retainer wire on the electrical connector for injector, take a screwdriver and gently push one end around its corner but leave the other side alone. This way the metal wire stay's on and doesn't drop down into the engine area. 2) apply teenie lithium grease to o rings on injectors to make them easy to put back on.

Unfortunately I'm fully expecting the codes to not have gone away. Tonight it drove great and excellent mpg, 33-35 flat, really. The start out in first gear is like a dream.

Since the cyl 3 and 4 plugs looked burned and 3 was cracked, I moved the 3 and 4 injectors to locations 1 and 6, thinking that 3 and 4 run hotter and I wanted less stressed old parts at those locations. 3 adn 4 may get hotter I'm guessing because it is center of the manifold, air gets there easier and so tends to run leaner, so hotter.

Anyway it's been a good series of tasks, very enjoyable really except of course for the cel light. But the car does in fact drive better than it has maybe during the time I've owned it and during that time it already was doing well.
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2008, 06:20 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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What is your plan from here?
You may want to invest in an OBD-2 scan tool. I use http://obd-2.com/ it does require a laptop, but is only $122.
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  #23  
Old 10-01-2008, 07:30 AM
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  #24  
Old 10-01-2008, 08:38 AM
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I may need to get a better obd2. This morning the car ran great, cold start right up, as if it were warm. Drove about 15-20 min no cel, no codes thrown. But, second drive, in 3 blocks threw the same codes p0173 and p1189. Freeze frame I think shows old data, never understood that, maybe my scanner is not good. ltft b2 is 0.0%, maybe nothing but suspicious, meanwhile the stft b2 on freeze was +25%, still at least thinking it's correcting for lean. I'm thinking with new plugs fixing the misfire and it idling fine, that maybe it is indeed is still correcting for lean. Not sure where to go from here, maybe bad or dirty fuel injectors? Get a bottle of Techron additive? But if the injectors weren't doing well wouldn't I be getting misfires? And if I move the b2 injectors onto b1, why still the trim on b2? Maybe the new o2 sensor bad?
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  #25  
Old 10-01-2008, 03:43 PM
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Max - Thank you for the tip on the scan tool, I've ordered one.
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