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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 04-16-2009, 06:20 AM
2muchtorque 2muchtorque is offline
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Inconsistent Idle with E60

I purchased a 2006 530i as a CPO vehicle on approximately 2/2008. I noted that the engine idle dipped under certain conditions to the point where the vehicle would shake. Two visits to the dealer service center resulted in no resolution. Over a period of several months the situation continued but an additional idle issue developed. Simply put, the vehicle cannot consistently maintain an idle. The issue does not always occur but beginning in 12/2008 the incidents became more problematic. After several calls to BMWNA, the dealer, and FOUR service calls later over a two month period the end result was that BMW maintains that this vehicle operates within specifications and that any idle variance is due to normal engine load.

Here is a YouTube video of what BMW considers to be ‘within specifications’.



Question: Does anyone else have this issue, and more importantly, does anyone have a idea how to correct it?
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2009, 09:00 AM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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Honestly, I don't have this issue. On my E60, the idle is dead stable at about 650 to 700 rpm, regardless of being in neutral, drive, A/C on or off. It seems to adjust to that RPM and stay there regardless of engine load.

Have you done the usual tune-up type things based on miles? Air filters, plugs, perhaps running some BG44K to clean the injectors, intake valves, ports, etc.? These may not be applicable depending on how many miles on the engine.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2009, 01:03 PM
CLG CLG is offline
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Sometimes my idle is a little rougher than I think it should be, but normally it is rock solid and holds a constant RPM --> 750 RPM with my A/C turned on & 500 RPM with it off, no exceptions. Mine is the 4.4L V8.

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  #4  
Old 04-16-2009, 04:34 PM
juncman juncman is offline
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my 2006 55i holds a very constant idle, but after a bit of hard driving it was fluctuating from about 600-625.. After turning the car off and back on again (the next day) the problem stopped...???
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Old 04-16-2009, 04:47 PM
mhs525 mhs525 is offline
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Mine jumps around a bit. Doesn't really bother me. The car never stalls and drives fine...
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  #6  
Old 04-17-2009, 07:18 AM
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WillInDenver WillInDenver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs525 View Post
mine jumps around a bit. Doesn't really bother me. The car never stalls and drives fine...
+1
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  #7  
Old 04-17-2009, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs525 View Post
Mine jumps around a bit. Doesn't really bother me. The car never stalls and drives fine...
+ 2 usually around 600 rpm
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  #8  
Old 04-17-2009, 01:05 PM
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boriska00 boriska00 is offline
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On my 550i it's a bit different, but I think it's because of manual transmission.
If I am in neutral, it idles at 500. As soon as I depress the clutch, it's up to 650 or so, like we all used to.

I've never seen that in any other car, but I've been told it's normal here.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2009, 11:30 AM
FirstE60 FirstE60 is offline
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I have the exact same problem.

Your problem is 100% identical to my problem the rough idle would cause my vehicle to actually shake so I thought warranty would cover it. I noticed the rough idle once the RPM dropped below about 650. Anyways, The dealer told me it is from not using top not gasoline, even if it's 91 octane some are not good enough; it depends on the gas stations additives. He told me I need to go on some website that I forgot was called to see which gas stations are acceptable. Anyways, the not so premium 91 octane gas cause build up on the valve heads, thus causing a rough idle. This is because at idle the intake valves are only open 1/8th of an inch so any build up that occurs on the valves restricts airflow intake causeing the rough idle. The dealer wanted to charge me $258.00 to flush the system out which they said would fix the problem because it would completely clean the valves. However, being under factory warranty I thought this was ridiculous so I went to Autozone and bought some Lucas engine treatment that you add to the gas tank and so far it has seemed to cure the problem of rough idle. Although, it's only been a week so I don't know if the problem will come back. Hope this helps.

Last edited by FirstE60; 04-18-2009 at 11:53 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:35 AM
2muchtorque 2muchtorque is offline
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Update

Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstE60 View Post
Your problem is 100% identical to my problem the rough idle would cause my vehicle to actually shake so I thought warranty would cover it. I noticed the rough idle once the RPM dropped below about 650. Anyways, The dealer told me it is from not using top not gasoline, even if it's 91 octane some are not good enough; it depends on the gas stations additives. He told me I need to go on some website that I forgot was called to see which gas stations are acceptable. Anyways, the not so premium 91 octane gas cause build up on the valve heads, thus causing a rough idle. This is because at idle the intake valves are only open 1/8th of an inch so any build up that occurs on the valves restricts airflow intake causeing the rough idle. The dealer wanted to charge me $258.00 to flush the system out which they said would fix the problem because it would completely clean the valves. However, being under factory warranty I thought this was ridiculous so I went to Autozone and bought some Lucas engine treatment that you add to the gas tank and so far it has seemed to cure the problem of rough idle. Although, it's only been a week so I don't know if the problem will come back. Hope this helps.
I got a similar lecture from the dealer although they did not offer the flush. I have used a few Techron treatments. Not sure if that is strong enough, but it did not make a difference.

I have switched to using only Shell gasoline exclusively for the past few months but that has made no difference.

In repsonse to other comments I will say that execpt for this idle issue the car does run fine, but it is not ok with me. Premium car, premium price, prermium expectations, actually, I think that any decent car should be able to hold an idle. What concerns me more is how well this engine will hold up over the years. I kept my last BMW for 11 years and it performed well up to the day that I sold it. Are BMWs getting to be more disposable? That is, only lasting for a few years?
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  #11  
Old 04-19-2009, 10:58 AM
ilhambirkan ilhambirkan is offline
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I beleive your problem can be a numebr of things below:

1- Engine control unit DME is getting a faulty reading from one of the injectors or fuel pump and trying to inrease idle
2- One of your injectors has an intermittent or random injection issue which does not cause a fault code so BMW does nothing
3- Air/fuel ratio is changing due to inlet valve coltrol issues
4- Injector pressure is at the limit of fault but not faulting yet...

Questions:
1- Does it happen when the engine is cold?
2- Do you have a rough start from cold?
3- What is your engine DME SW version?
4- Did you get the full history of the vehicle, they have to disclose all that and it is stored in the key, I want to know what has been repaired replaced ect...
5- Do you have any aftermarket electrical product in your car
6- Was the car ever used with a chip tuning before you? (history may show that the chip was replaced)
7- Does it take longer then usual to start

If injector was replaced in the past, they may have done a bad job and that maybe your issue.

This is not a fuel issue, the controllers in this engine should adapt to any fuel, even non recommended 15 % ethanol, and keep a steady idle

From your service records get the SIB codes that they did work on and I will check the BMW TIS bulletin to give you an idea what is going on.
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  #12  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:10 AM
FirstE60 FirstE60 is offline
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Yeah I though the whole premium fuel thing was a bunch of B.S. However, when I used the Lucas engine fuel treatment it completely fixed the problem which makes me believe that there was build up on the valves.
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  #13  
Old 04-19-2009, 11:46 AM
ilhambirkan ilhambirkan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FirstE60 View Post
Yeah I though the whole premium fuel thing was a bunch of B.S. However, when I used the Lucas engine fuel treatment it completely fixed the problem which makes me believe that there was build up on the valves.
Could also be build up on the injector nozzle or the whole injection system, so the pressure is inconsistent and the DME tries to adapt to the pressure changes by giving a little more pressure then backin it off and you see the control programs continuous loop of adjusting parameters from the rpm handle.
The key is to find why there is buildup, becuse it may happen again. All the cars use the same gas , why these valves and/or injectors are more prone to problems? I beleive they are over engineered and trying to be too precise and too many controls to regulate the high pressure fuel system and they work against each other if there is any kind of minimal fault at one part. just my 2 cents....
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  #14  
Old 04-19-2009, 12:20 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilhambirkan View Post
Could also be build up on the injector nozzle or the whole injection system, so the pressure is inconsistent and the DME tries to adapt to the pressure changes by giving a little more pressure then backin it off and you see the control programs continuous loop of adjusting parameters from the rpm handle.
The key is to find why there is buildup, becuse it may happen again. All the cars use the same gas , why these valves and/or injectors are more prone to problems? I beleive they are over engineered and trying to be too precise and too many controls to regulate the high pressure fuel system and they work against each other if there is any kind of minimal fault at one part. just my 2 cents....
I believe the OP has a 530, which is a different injection set-up than the N54 engine. That said, one reason for BMW specification of Top Tier gas is because of problems with intake valve carbon deposits that can occur from using gas with insufficient levels of detergents. The best thing to do is to go Toptiergas.com and find a Top Tier retailer in your area. Adding a can of aftrmarket detergent with every tank of non-Top Tier gas is generally more expensive than just filling with a Top Tier gas.

Something is causing the idle fluctuation; what is the question. It is not something that throws a code, so intake valve deposits are a possible explanation. Although traditional intake valve deposits generally result in the engine stalling when you try to drive off at low speed after the engine has been first started.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:39 AM
2muchtorque 2muchtorque is offline
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Answers to ilhambirken's questions:

1- Does it happen when the engine is cold? No, engine idles slightly higher, perhaps masking the issue.
2- Do you have a rough start from cold? No
3- What is your engine DME SW version? How do I get that?
4- Did you get the full history of the vehicle, they have to disclose all that and it is stored in the key, I want to know what has been repaired replaced ect... Don't have that
5- Do you have any aftermarket electrical product in your car No
6- Was the car ever used with a chip tuning before you? (history may show that the chip was replaced) Not to my knowledge, and I don't think after market chips were available before I purchased the car.
7- Does it take longer then usual to start No
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2009, 10:49 AM
2muchtorque 2muchtorque is offline
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Dealer responds

Here is the reponse from the dealer's service dept, I assume when they say "from BMW' they mean the regional service representative.

"The response from BMW is that they have seen vehicles exhibit a fluctuation of 100-400 rpms under the conditions that Mr. CUSTOMER is talking about. This is the result of the fuel system purge valve operation and oxygen sensor operation. They say this should be considered normal idle characteristics, especially since we have had no faults relating to the engine control module, and there has not been a service engine soon light on. I also spoke with X and Y about this and they agree. If we had a service engine soon light on or faults stored, we could investigate this further, but we have had neither when we looked at the car."
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2009, 01:58 PM
jesimmons jesimmons is offline
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If I had a normally aspirated engine and was having a fluctuating idle issue, I'd start by running some Chevron or Shell (91 or 93 octane) along with a can of BG44K or Techron fuel system cleaner and see if that helps.

With the N54 engine - which is direct injected - we have a bigger potential carbon buildup issue, since oil vapors from the crakcase ventilation system are flowing through intake ports and valves without the benefit of a fuel/detergent mixture to disolve them. I anticipate that carbon buildup and idling issues might become a problem for owners with N54 engines down the road. Only time will tell.
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  #18  
Old 04-20-2009, 04:40 PM
ilhambirkan ilhambirkan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2muchtorque View Post
Here is the reponse from the dealer's service dept, I assume when they say "from BMW' they mean the regional service representative.

"The response from BMW is that they have seen vehicles exhibit a fluctuation of 100-400 rpms under the conditions that Mr. CUSTOMER is talking about. This is the result of the fuel system purge valve operation and oxygen sensor operation. They say this should be considered normal idle characteristics, especially since we have had no faults relating to the engine control module, and there has not been a service engine soon light on. I also spoke with X and Y about this and they agree. If we had a service engine soon light on or faults stored, we could investigate this further, but we have had neither when we looked at the car."
This is a reasonable explanation. Please look at your previous work orders on your car and one of them should have the firmware revision of the DME or you can call your service advisor and ask. Ask what work was done on your car before you owned it. have them print out and give you a copy for your records. Check if they have ever changed an injector or did reprogramming the DME because of the same issue?

Also try "jesimmons" reply
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Old 11-12-2009, 12:18 AM
artisthand artisthand is offline
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try this it's easy to do only 5 minutes and solved all your rough idle and check engine light problems on your (2000-2009) later or newer yes! all BMW E60, X3, X5, 325i,330i,335i,525i,528i,530i,535i,... check out the manifold adjuster Google this up.

That appears to have been the problem the whole time. This is what caused the check engine light and O2 sensor fault and misfire codes. listed below are the codes that are caused by a broken Intake Manifold Runner Valve/Adjuster Unit!!!

Ignore these codes after changing your broken or damage Intake Manifold Runner Valve/adjuster Unit these codes will be gone.

P0171 = Fuel Trim, Bank1 System too Lean

P0174 = Fuel Trim, Bank2 System too Lean

P0300 = Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected

P0313 = Misfire Detected Low Fuel Level

P0741 = Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off

P1083 = Fuel Control Mixture Lean (Bank 1 Sensor 1)

P1085 = Fuel Control Mixture Lean (Bank 2 Sensor 1)

P1342 = Misfire During Start Cylinder 1

P1346 = Misfire During Start Cylinder 3

P1348 = Misfire During Start Cylinder 4

P1350 = Misfire During Start Cylinder 5

P1352 = Misfire During Start Cylinder 6


The adjuster's part description on www.ecstuning.com
Air adjustment unit controls the path of the air in the intake manifold, allowing either a shorter or longer runner length. A common source of trouble causing low RPM sluggishness and accompanied by a clicking sound from the engine bay. The exact symptoms.

Location on driver's side. I already removed the two T40 bolts (upper right and lower middle.) Then simply pull the adjuster unit straight back out towards you. ( 5 minutes)
After removing the manifold adjuster you can also clean your idle control valve (ICV). It's easy to remove the ICV 12 minutes job and clean it with the Throttle Body & Air Intake Cleaner!!!








I can feel the difference in the acceleration and there's no slight hesitation or engine rough idle and after clearing the check engine light it will not come back on!!!

Last edited by artisthand; 11-12-2009 at 12:33 AM.
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  #20  
Old 03-10-2012, 09:30 AM
Gulam Rabbani Gulam Rabbani is offline
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M5 E60 Inconsitent revving on idle

I had the similar problem on My E60 M5. I replaced the engine oil filler cap and that solved my problems.
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  #21  
Old 05-27-2012, 02:31 AM
mtradwan mtradwan is offline
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What problem did u have on your e60 m5, cuz im having this issue but it stalls once in a while.
I have a GT1 and no errors what so ever...!!
did u get an error with the oil cap if not how did u know?
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  #22  
Old 05-29-2012, 11:53 AM
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My 2007 550i idles a little rough after start-up but smooths out as soon as I reach the road...about 250' from my garage.
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  #23  
Old 05-29-2012, 02:11 PM
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borderchris borderchris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samplemaven View Post
My 2007 550i idles a little rough after start-up but smooths out as soon as I reach the road...about 250' from my garage.
Very normal- Until the car goes out of open-loop, it runs rich. Once it goes closed and OBDII takes over, things get smooth. The stock valvetronic settings in open-loop are quite agressive- almost like a cammed V8, so you definitely get some love in the first 30 seconds or so on N62B48s. People forget that valvetronic controls all throttle settings (the plate is just a backup, believe it or not), and until the finer maps come online, it's a little racey. Here's a good tech write-up on the inner workings (4.4, but the important stuff if the same)...

http://www.bawarec.ru/manuals/7er/e6...7er-e65-12.pdf
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:58 PM
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My e60 fluctuates the same as yours when the A/C is on. For me I tie it to the RPM going to 700rpm when the compressor kicks in. Its almost like the torque converter is starting to engage putting an inconsistent load on the engine. If I turn A/C off the idle drops to a normal 500RPM and is very consistent. I have asked the dealer ( years ago) if they can just set the A/C on rpm to 550 or 600rpm and they say they can not.

I do understand in the ECU that there may be a possible code that will disable "Increase RPM while compressor engaged" have not found how to check or set though.

I ran Shell all the time, had injectors replaced under warranty and ran the BMW injector cleaner. 161,000 miles later my needle looks just like yours.

Our Z3 and my wife's e90 is dead solid.
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2014, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artisthand View Post
That appears to have been the problem the whole time.
See also:
- How to repair your DISA valve using titanium & aluminium machined parts and eliminate the chance of engine pin ingestion (1)
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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