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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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 01-14-2009, 11:44 AM
Coupe_forever Coupe_forever is offline
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Location: London UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: BMW 328Ci
Exclamation BMW E46 99 328Ci rough idling and misfire when warm?

I had a problem with cold starts only with the rough idling but it was ok once it hit normal engine temperature. I did the usual unplug the VANOS exhaust solenoid test and it made no difference so I was happy it wasn't the VANOS failing. To be fair the car has 124,000 miles with FBMWSH

About 3 months ago though one day it stalled and the engine check light came on. Ever since then it develops a misfire and sounds like a tractor after a couple of minutes running (rough idling still in evidence) and even when warm the car won't idle properly. Sound terrible.

One other point I have noticed that when driving at 70mph on the motorway the engine temperature goes down below 1/4 on the temperature gauge at this cruising speed in cold weather.

If I turn the engine off and then fire it up again the misfire goes away for a minute or two but will still return when hot OR cold. It's a sad sight as this car has been very well looked after all its life from the 5 previous owners, nothing suspicious in all the receipts for work done.

This could be the car to put me off BMW forever, all the horror stories about how badly designed this engine is combined with all the hits google will find for E46 328Ci engine problems makes me think has BMW gone down the pan? I don't have 1000s to waste on this car, it is probably only worth 3500 and really I buy BMWs NOT to have to have these drastic and sudden expensive failures. My 325i Coupe (94 E36) was 25,000 miles higher and never gave me a single problem in 4 years of ownership.

The rust, little problems like the immobiliser/alarm not working properly below 0 degrees C and gear stick not sitting between 3/4 gear sometimes after using 5th gear are just not what I expect from a 32k BMW with such average mileage. I am not the only one disappointed with the E46 which is a shame because I love the styling.

Any help really appreciated getting to the bottom of this problem and restoring my faith in BMW. If not I will go back to E36s or even a different car make all together! The E46 may look the sweetest but I am guessing the 99-00 328Ci is a cruel mistress when your bank balance is taken into account
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2009, 12:00 PM
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Solidjake Solidjake is offline
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Location: NYC
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 17,669
Mein Auto: 2002 330i
Welcome to the forum.

1. Get an OBDII scanner and find out what codes you get from the car. If you are misfiring then it will tell you which cylinder/s. Then you can swap ignition coils to see if it's that cylinder of just a spark plug or coil.

2. As for the temp gauge, your thermostat is probably going south.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:13 PM
tamvegas tamvegas is offline
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Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 528
Mein Auto: 2000 328ci
My 2000 328ci with 89K miles has been and is the most dependable car one can ask for. Runs beautifully and the latest failure was the expansion tank at about 75K miles (7 months ago). Belts, pulleys etc at the same time. Had it for almost 5 years (paid off in 4 months) since 34 K miles. Did replace the coils and plugs at about 50 K miles. And many suspension components. Mines a Feb 2000 build with the dual OBD ports.
Very happy with the e46.
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Old 01-14-2009, 01:36 PM
Coupe_forever Coupe_forever is offline
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Location: London UK
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3
Mein Auto: BMW 328Ci
Thanks for the advice, it will be going to Bates BMW soon enough just wanted to know if anyone else had this problem.

I don't think you can call the 328Ci or 323Ci a fantastic car at all with the absolute mess BMW made with those engines sorry. And I know two people with the SMG E46 cars that have had nothing but problems with those too.

Add to this that there is more rust on this car than my 97 e36 which I wash about twice a year and has only ever cost me oil/plugs/petrol (as did my two previous e36 coupes) it is hardly the bastion of BMW build quality at all. I don't expect to pay for anything on a BMW apart from regular service items. My first BMW 325i E30 went from auction house to...Turkey. Not a hitch and it had no service history and was 5 years old. Now that is a BMW not trying to fathom out which flakey design flaw/component is causing my 32,000 car to run like a Skoda 125k later dear god.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2009, 02:08 PM
mikeyc_123 mikeyc_123 is offline
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Location: UK
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 1
Mein Auto: 330ci m sport convertible
Same problem with the temp sensor!

I have the same problem with the temp gauge!! All of a sudden the other day it started to move.. not much tho. I thought nothing of it as it didnt move much and it was cold. But today it has been up and down but never over the centre point that it normally sits at.

Did you find out what the problem was?

Cheers


Mike
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2010, 06:58 AM
JephyM3 JephyM3 is offline
99 M3 Cabrio/Estoril/5spd
Location: Tampa Florida
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 99 M3 cabrio/Estoril/5spd
My E36 M3 had the same problem. I changed coils and plugs at the reco of my dealer----$1200 later: same problem! To shorten a very long story, when the coil boots (that were old, cracking and shorting the electric prior to the plug) were replaced the problem....SOLVED!
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2010, 12:07 PM
3beemers 3beemers is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: So Cal; Las Vegas
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 414
Mein Auto: 01 330i 09K13GT 83R100RS
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidjake View Post
Welcome to the forum.

1. Get an OBDII scanner and find out what codes you get from the car. If you are misfiring then it will tell you which cylinder/s. Then you can swap ignition coils to see if it's that cylinder of just a spark plug or coil.

2. As for the temp gauge, your thermostat is probably going south.
+1. Seems like 02 sensors.
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