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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 12-08-2009, 05:20 PM
washburn33 washburn33 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 E39 540IA Sport
Can a vaccuum leak cause a cold engine to shake violently at idle?

When I start my car on a cold morning, my car idles poorly and shakes quite noticibly. It's an intermmitent shake though, not a constant one. When the car warms up, the shake is barely noticeble though. I pulled the hose off the ccv on the back of the intake and it showed no signs of being clogged. I've recently changed the whole front and rear suspension, motor mounts, tranny mounts, flex disc, center bearing. This only started since it began getting cold here in NJ. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:31 PM
frhsfootball80 frhsfootball80 is offline
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definately sounds like an intake leak, i had the same thing on my 540i back in the day. you're noticing it now because the intanke gaskets have shrunk while the cars not running due to the cold, when the cars warmed up they expand and the leak is gone.

its probably time to do an intake manifold overhaul, not really hard, doesnt cost much either. do a search and you'll have your answer.

btw to check for an intake leak, get some intake spray and spray it where the intake meets the engine and at all the intake connectors. if the revs jump up, you have a leak.
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  #3  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:38 PM
franka franka is offline
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+1 , the difference between cold running vs warm running pretty much points to an intake leak, a vacuum leak.
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  #4  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:48 PM
washburn33 washburn33 is offline
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I kinda figured that it was a vacuum leak, but I've never had a vacuum leak that caused this poor of an idle. I just sprayed some starting fluid around the intake, and it looks like the front throttle body to intake manifold gasket is leaking. I have access to a smoke machine, so I'm gonna smoke test it tomorrow to confirm. Thanks for the input.

If it were a misfire or bad coil, it would have thrown a code by now, right?
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  #5  
Old 12-08-2009, 05:58 PM
sddale sddale is offline
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+1 When I had an intake leak it got so bad sometimes I would think that the engine was going to jump out. My leak was at the throttle body gasket. When brake cleaner was squirted on that gasket the car would die.
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  #6  
Old 12-08-2009, 06:01 PM
frhsfootball80 frhsfootball80 is offline
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Location: keller, tx
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by washburn33 View Post
I kinda figured that it was a vacuum leak, but I've never had a vacuum leak that caused this poor of an idle. I just sprayed some starting fluid around the intake, and it looks like the front throttle body to intake manifold gasket is leaking. I have access to a smoke machine, so I'm gonna smoke test it tomorrow to confirm. Thanks for the input.

If it were a misfire or bad coil, it would have thrown a code by now, right?
misfire or bad coil would throw a code because the knock sensors would pick it up, if it was bad enough the car would actually go into limp mode. but you definitely have an intake leak.
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  #7  
Old 02-26-2010, 12:22 AM
etc etc is offline
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That's what happening to me, also.

I just replaced both Camshaft Position Sensors (Intake and Exhaust).

In the process, I broke the CCV vent tube. I got a new CCV vent tube and installed it.

To do the above, I had to remove the airbox and disconnect a few sensors. I did not remove anything else and I did not do the CCV replace procedure.

I was getting code P1397 (Camshaft Sensor), I cleared it, don't know yet if it will come back or not.

Anyway, when I was done, I noticed that the idle RPMs improved, they are now a rock steady 600 instead of jumping all over the place. And the car now starts easily, whereas before it would sometimes act totally dead, like the battery was removed.

But, I have a shake at idle. The engine is shaking. Not too bad but I remember that before the fix it was completely quiet and rock-solid.

I obviously have a vaccuum leak but unable to find it.

There is a slight hole in the airbox, on its bottom, could that be the cause of the rough idle?
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  #8  
Old 02-26-2010, 04:24 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etc View Post
There is a slight hole in the airbox, on its bottom, could that be the cause of the rough idle?

On a 540 air box a hole in the bottom wouldn't matter because the air flows up thru the air filter.

I can't speak of a 528 but I would guess that its the same for the 528 because air flowing upward tends to drop debris before it hits the filter. My point is that air flowing up is a superior design to air flowing down onto the filter.
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Last edited by franka; 02-26-2010 at 04:35 AM.
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  #9  
Old 02-26-2010, 04:41 AM
Dubbimmer Dubbimmer is offline
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Location: Dublin
 
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Mein Auto: 525
Hi All,

I have this since also, I wait until the car heats up and restart the engine and all is well. again. A quick question, when the car is cold and shakes, does it drive like there is little power also, I ask because this is what happens to mine, it will not sort itself however until I restart the engine.
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  #10  
Old 02-26-2010, 06:45 AM
etc etc is offline
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Weird, it didn't happen today (shaking at idle), it seems, not cold and not warmed up either. Still need to go over the tubes in the CCV area. A brief look did not reveal any cracks anywhere.
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