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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 04-24-2010, 05:43 AM
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morrisroad morrisroad is offline
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e39 Rough idle - early morning start or when cold

So my 2003 530i has been very good so far with the exception of some rough idling in the morning. This started in the winter.

One day when I started it to let it warm up. When I got in the car, the engine light was on the gauges were all messed up, and it sounded like it was running on three cylinders. I turned off the car, restarted the it and it was running better, eventually the check engine light went off. This was the worst scenario.

The daily scenario now is that when I start the car, the idle is rough until it warms up. No check engine light. I've noticed this happens on the odd occassion when I drive the car during the day.

What have I done so far:
1) Took it to the shop - they checked the computer no codes. Mech suggested it might be a dripping injector, but he said wait until its real bad and bring it back.

2) Checked the forum, tried disconnecting the MAF before start, then started it, seem to run a little better, but I still noticed the miss. I read you can clean the MAF, how do you do that without messing it up?

Not sure what to try next.

Any suggestions greatly appreciated...thanks.
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  #2  
Old 04-24-2010, 06:12 AM
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paferri paferri is offline
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If your check engine light came on, there should be a stored code, intersting he did not find any. I would look into your CCV as this is a known issue when they start to go, any excessive smoke coming out of the exhaust?. Could also be oil in you plugs due to a leaky valve cover causing misfires, or fouled plugs, dirty or stuck ICV, vaccum issue, and or vanos seals.....could also be a fuel system issue.

A good e39 tech will look into all these areas....good kuck
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Last edited by paferri; 04-24-2010 at 06:15 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-24-2010, 06:53 AM
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Josh P. Josh P. is offline
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+1, too many possible causes. There must be stored codes if the engine's misfiring, fine a (more) qualified indy.

Bad cam position sensor and/or O2 sensor will also trigger dash lights and rough running. Those would be you prayed-for causes, as they are cheap to fix.
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"Mods": driveshaft, cooling system, Vanos, CCV, PSR, VCG, FSU, spark plugs, buncha belts-n-hoses, & other things I'd just as soon forget

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  #4  
Old 04-24-2010, 07:03 AM
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paferri paferri is offline
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thx josh, forgot that one...could be emissions related as well... O2 sensors or cats. Go to a reputable indy and have them look at it, not just any mechanic.
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Last edited by paferri; 04-24-2010 at 07:56 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-24-2010, 07:10 AM
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ztom ztom is offline
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If no codes then I think it's not o2. Rather cvv. Should be replaced anyway. Search on Disa also.
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  #6  
Old 04-24-2010, 10:39 AM
sddale sddale is offline
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Push on the gas pedal a little to see if the rough running goes away faster. If it's a leaky injector it will run smooth faster. I had a similar problem and it turned out to be a vacuum leak.
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  #7  
Old 04-24-2010, 01:22 PM
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See "How to diagnose a sudden and disturbingly unsettling cold-engine misfire"
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  #8  
Old 04-24-2010, 03:48 PM
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Vanos?
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  #9  
Old 04-24-2010, 05:28 PM
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I have a similar but a lot lighter problem. Early morning warm up at first sounds almost like a diesel unless I rev it up a little. It pretty quickly goes away but still scares me. I'll have the car looked at by pros this tuesday, hope they don't find anything serious.
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  #10  
Old 04-24-2010, 09:37 PM
therealsuv therealsuv is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_n00b13 View Post
Vanos?
Yup. I had the same issue on cold mornings. Rebuilt the VANOS and she no longer stumbles on cold mornings.
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  #11  
Old 04-25-2010, 08:00 AM
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morrisroad morrisroad is offline
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Thanks everyone, some things to try out now. The car has 96,000 miles or 155,000km all highway.
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  #12  
Old 04-25-2010, 10:04 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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Assuming your car is up to date with sp plugs, air filter, fuel filter, etc.

COLD start problem is usually from:
1. Bad Vanos seals
2. Air Leak (causing lean running condition).
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  #13  
Old 10-16-2010, 06:03 PM
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Changed the CCV, spark plugs, air filter. Throughout the day I do notice more power there, no doubt about that in comparison to before. However, still getting the stumble in the cold morning though. Wondering if could be bad coil because it sounds/feels like a miss ?

What does the VANOs do that would cause as stumble? Looked a the repair procedure and see about bunch of spindles with gaskets..
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Old 10-16-2010, 07:41 PM
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I read somewhere that if you disconnect the vanos and the engine behaves ok cold, then the problem is the vanos.
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  #15  
Old 10-16-2010, 07:48 PM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
I read somewhere that if you disconnect the vanos and the engine behaves ok cold, then the problem is the vanos.
I think you're thinking of MAF.

Sounds like you've solved part of the problem with the vacuum work but you have a lingering VANOS issue
Read all about the VANOS problem here: http://beisansystems.com/index.html
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  #16  
Old 10-16-2010, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ztom View Post
I read somewhere that if you disconnect the vanos and the engine behaves ok cold, then the problem is the vanos.
this is how I confirmed mine as being bad.
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  #17  
Old 10-17-2010, 07:43 AM
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Checked the Beisan write up on the double vanos replacement and some other sites, understand what its doing now. In the write up it states some of the problems with bad Vanos are "Increased fuel consumption. Double vanos cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall." Given some other information on the site, and o-rings that are not made of good material this would suggest its likely not working as it should.

However, my car is an 03 - would the cold weather start problem still be the case? I don't get the hesitation on the low RPM side of things which is an indicator of Vanos problem.

Last edited by morrisroad; 10-17-2010 at 07:46 AM.
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  #18  
Old 10-17-2010, 07:58 AM
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Could it be the cam position sensor?
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  #19  
Old 10-17-2010, 09:17 AM
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I installed the seals in my car almost 4 years ago--it's an 03 model as is yours--after doing so the cold weather start is no longer an issue--and the car was given new found power that I didn't know was there
after about 15k miles--since I was one of the first to do the project and that Rajaie lives about 1 1/2 hour away from me--we got together and removed the Vanos and inspected the seals--they were just like new--I have over 100k miles on the new seals now and everytime I turn the key the engine springs to life as soon as the key is turned---do the seal change--it's not really that hard--just follow the directions and it's a cake walk--just turning wrenches and a good Saturday working on your car.

Last edited by poolman; 10-17-2010 at 12:49 PM.
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  #20  
Old 10-23-2010, 04:42 PM
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Thing is there is no hesitation on acceleration, which has been referenced as main issue with Vanos, and the car runs pretty well during the day.

Trying the LUCAS fuel injector cleaner as suggested in one forum suggestion.
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  #21  
Old 11-21-2010, 06:26 AM
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Lucas injector cleaner several bottles. Same when cold.

Somebody made a reference that if you unplug the vanos and start your car and the issue is not present that the Vanos is the issue. Is that correct?
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  #22  
Old 11-21-2010, 07:42 AM
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Change the VANOS.
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  #23  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:36 AM
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When I had a cold-engine misfire, here's the algorithm I gleaned from reading everything I could in bimmerfest on the topic:

0. When you notice a BMW cold-start stumble ... especially after sitting for a couple of days in damp cold air ...
1. Shut the ignition off & wait 30 seconds to restart the engine
2. The stumble may go away but look for the SES light on the cluster
3. If you see an SES, check for a P1349 code and reset the MIL
4. If you have a P1349 code, swap ignition coils between #3 & #4
5. If the intermittent start stumble moves to cylinder #3, replace the coilpoolman coil recall information here)
6. If the start stumble returns on cylinder #4, swap or replace the plug
7. If the stumble returns on cylinder #4, swap or replace the plug boots
-----< after this point, I think we're moving away from the specific cylinder >-----
8. If it returns on cylinder #4, clean the MAF (hot film air-mass meter) with CRC & replace the air filter
9. If it returns, replace the "cam position sensor" (is there one specific to cylinder #4?)
10. If it returns, replace the Cam Position Sensor CPS (is this specific to cylinder #4?)
11. If it returns, replace the post-cat oxygen sensor (the pre-cat 02 sensor is not implicated)
12. If it returns, replace the VANOS seals (can variable valve timing affect only a single cylinder?)
-----< after this point, we're really shooting in the dark >-----
13. If it returns, replace the CCV (aka CVV oil separator valve)
14. If it returns, replace the fuel filter (one guy suggested replacing the fuel pump)
15. If it returns, add a bottle of Seafoam or Techron concentrate to the fuel
16. If it returns, clean the ICV (idle control valve) with carb cleaner
-----< people really suggested all these items in the respective threads
17. If it returns, replace the hose from the MAF to the engine
18. If it returns, replace any cracked "T-connection after the MAF sensor"
19. If it returns, replace the "valve cover gaskets (VCG) into the spark wells"
20. If it returns, clean or replace all the fuel injectors
21. If it returns, replace the "coolant temperature sensor"
22. If it returns, replace the alternator to raise the voltage (yes, this has been suggested)
-----< ok, these were listed as solutions but they aren't feasible >-----
23. If it returns, move to Georgia (from Michigan
24. If it returns, drive the car every day (don't let it sit for two days)
25. If it returns, check the "intake boot" for cracks and replace if necessary
26. If it returns, replace the "throttle position sensor" (TPS)
Note: Don't laugh; I've read dozens of threads and each of these has been posited as the "solution" to this intermittent problem!

And, here's what lild said to look for

1--bad fuel
2==trash or gunk in fuel
3---spark plug valve cover seals
4---head gasket leak, or cracked block
5---bad spark plugs
6==bad coil pack or boot (Bentley says to diagnose with an oscilloscope)
7---bad 02 sensors
8---bad maf mass air flow sensor or meter
9---bad fuel injector
10---cracked ring
11---cam shaft sensor cps
12==crank sensor cps
13---bad ground wires
14--- bad fuse or relay
15---bad electrical wiring
16--- dme, or ecu (Digitial Motor Electronics, i.e., the engine computer)
17--intake manifold gasket leak
18--ccv--aka pcv, crankcase oil separation valve
19--icv--idle control valve
20--tps==throttle position sensor
21-- bad VANOS seals

In my case, this was the presumptive misfire scenario:
A) Misfire occurs more than once/200 revolutions in one cylinder, so that DME cuts off fuel for that cylinder's nearby injector;

B) A DTC diagnostic trouble code is thrown indicating the cylinder that misfired and that the fuel was subsequently cut off & the SES service engine soon light comes on solid yellow (not blinking) to warn the driver;

C) Even if the misfire no longer occurs, the fuel cutoff is only corrected upon the next ignition cycle (or clearing of the DTC with a diagnostic tool if, for some reason, the vehicle is kept running).
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  #24  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:42 AM
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Oldman M Coupe Oldman M Coupe is offline
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Also check for water where the power brake unit is. Drains get clogged and fills vacumn unit and the is sucked in right to #4 cly.
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  #25  
Old 11-21-2010, 09:59 AM
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Johnny Canada Johnny Canada is offline
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I'd consider a faulty or dirty Idle Control Valve (ICV). What did the old plugs look like (wet, black, ....)?

Last edited by Johnny Canada; 11-21-2010 at 10:07 AM.
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