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  #1  
Old 12-26-2003, 05:01 PM
toddkageals toddkageals is offline
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Mein Auto: 2008 335i Sport/Premium/A
Idle Problem Update and Some Warranty Issues

Guys....said I would post about my idle issues after car went to dealer so here it is:

The dealer said "yes, the dropping idle and cycling up and down/stalling are abnormal. They said that this problem was afflicting many e46 cars. The also said that the VME ????? needs to be reprogramed and that the software update should be released around the start of the February.....OR.....they could send the VME to BMW to be reprogrammed which would necessitate the car being down for a week or so. The car just recently got much worse with the idle problem (corresponding to a drop in temps?) so I'm not sure if it's really a software problem but they insisted this would fix the car. FWIW they checked it on their computer and said that there were no codes stored.

To my surprise, they are going to replace the leather cover on the passenger seat and the trim around the seatbelt slots (where they enters the cover on the pillar). The seat had a small abrasion on the side bolster (that seat is rarely used) where the color had come off....possibly due to the p/o hooking the seatbelt over the side bolster to keep the buckle from rattling. I mentioned this to the service advisor and said that I thought it was premature wear. When I picked the car up, they said they had ordered the leather cover and would replace it when it came in. The cloth material aroun the slots where the seatbelts enter the pillar was also worn on both sides from the belts scraping across them. Again to my surprise, they are going to replace those covers.

So...they didn't fix the idle problem yet but they are going out of their way to fix all the other little problems before the car goes out of warranty. I'll post again when the work is completed and the software is updated to let everyone know how it turns out.

Todd
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Todd
2008 335i
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2003, 05:07 PM
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Andy Andy is offline
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Todd,

Thanks for the information... please keep us posted, that is very interesting.

Sounds like you got yourself a pretty good dealer.

Andy
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  #3  
Old 12-26-2003, 06:54 PM
toddkageals toddkageals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy
Todd,

Thanks for the information... please keep us posted, that is very interesting.

Sounds like you got yourself a pretty good dealer.

Andy
Yeah....I've been VERY UNHAPPY with them up until this last service call. They have had a recent change in management and attitude and it seems to be paying off big time.

I'll let everyone know what happens.

Todd
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2008 335i
  #4  
Old 12-26-2003, 08:30 PM
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kyle5574 kyle5574 is offline
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I've got a '99 328i that often drops to about a third it's normal idle (to the point of almost stalling) and then surges back up and levels off. It does that mostly (but not exclusively) in cold weather before it completely warms up. Is that the same problem you have?

Last edited by kyle5574; 12-26-2003 at 08:34 PM.
  #5  
Old 12-27-2003, 06:35 PM
toddkageals toddkageals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle5574
I've got a '99 328i that often drops to about a third it's normal idle (to the point of almost stalling) and then surges back up and levels off. It does that mostly (but not exclusively) in cold weather before it completely warms up. Is that the same problem you have?
YES! That is the exact problem that I have. When warm the car does it somewhat but not as bad as when not completely warmed up. When not warmed up it nearly stalls then surges back up then levels off. It actually stalled on me last week when it was really cold. The dealer said that he had just watched a "service round table" discussion about this problem and that it was afflicting many '99 - '00 e46 cars (mine's a 2000 328i). He said that a software update is available and that they had to wait for their machine to be updated before they could update my software (early Feb. he said). He also said that they could ship the VME (I think that's what he called it) to BMW to get the update done now but that it would take a week or so. So anyway......I'm waiting for the update to see if that fixes the problem. Please let me know if you find out anything else about this issue.

Thanks,

Todd
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2008 335i
  #6  
Old 12-27-2003, 06:41 PM
toddkageals toddkageals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle5574
I've got a '99 328i that often drops to about a third it's normal idle (to the point of almost stalling) and then surges back up and levels off. It does that mostly (but not exclusively) in cold weather before it completely warms up. Is that the same problem you have?
Oh.....I meant to tell you that the dealer said that it had something to do with the VME having difficulty calculating the correct fuel/air mixture. I can't understand how this is just now becoming a problem if it is software related....seems like it should have been a problem since new. My dealer seemed very cooperative and like I said above they are replacing some trim pieces and the seat cover so I think they were telling me the truth (as far as they know). I'll keep you posted, you do the same.

Todd
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2008 335i
  #7  
Old 12-28-2003, 07:35 PM
ralbo147 ralbo147 is offline
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Cold Idle problem solved for my car.....

I've been having the notorious cold idle problem on my 2000 328i. They replaced the idle control valve but no luck and then said that it wasn't the DME software. They unplugged teh VANOS for a couple of days and it stopped having the idling problem. They replaced the VANOS unit and I have not had a problem since. So have your dealer unplug the VANOS unit for a couple of days and see if it still happens. Good luck!
  #8  
Old 12-29-2003, 12:25 AM
hbmike hbmike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralbo147
I've been having the notorious cold idle problem on my 2000 328i. They replaced the idle control valve but no luck and then said that it wasn't the DME software. They unplugged teh VANOS for a couple of days and it stopped having the idling problem. They replaced the VANOS unit and I have not had a problem since. So have your dealer unplug the VANOS unit for a couple of days and see if it still happens. Good luck!
Was this fixed under warranty for you? I've got the same problem, and I'm thinking of having the idle control valve replaced first to see if it fixes the problem. I've also got a 2000 328i, and am way out of the warranty period at 63k miles... thanks.
  #9  
Old 12-29-2003, 07:36 AM
toddkageals toddkageals is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ralbo147
I've been having the notorious cold idle problem on my 2000 328i. They replaced the idle control valve but no luck and then said that it wasn't the DME software. They unplugged teh VANOS for a couple of days and it stopped having the idling problem. They replaced the VANOS unit and I have not had a problem since. So have your dealer unplug the VANOS unit for a couple of days and see if it still happens. Good luck!
That's interesting. I read a much older thread on this problem and one of the posters said the same thing about the VANOS unit causing the idle problem. He also said that they tried updating the software but it did not fix his problem. Now.....that thread was a few months old IIRC and my dealer said that the new software would not be available until February so I'm not sure what's going on. I pretty much have to wait for the upgrade the software and then see if it fixes the problem. I'll be sure and mention the cam sensor (VANOS) if the problem is not fixed by the software. Please let us know if you start having the problem again or if it seems to be "fixed". Did you notice any difference in the performance of the car with the VANOS unplugged? How about with the new VANOS unit installed? My car has this same problem even when warm but the idle drop is not nearly as bad, did you have this problem as well? Sorry for so many questions, I want to make sure that they fix this problem while the car is still under warranty. I only have until March 4, 2004 and they can't update the software until Feb. so that doesn't leave much time if the software does not fix it.

I forgot one more question. Did they say why they didn't think it was the software? Did they upgrade the software and that didn't correct the problem? I guess that's two more questions

Thanks,

Todd
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  #10  
Old 12-29-2003, 08:45 AM
ralbo147 ralbo147 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toddkageals
That's interesting. I read a much older thread on this problem and one of the posters said the same thing about the VANOS unit causing the idle problem. He also said that they tried updating the software but it did not fix his problem. Now.....that thread was a few months old IIRC and my dealer said that the new software would not be available until February so I'm not sure what's going on. I pretty much have to wait for the upgrade the software and then see if it fixes the problem. I'll be sure and mention the cam sensor (VANOS) if the problem is not fixed by the software. Please let us know if you start having the problem again or if it seems to be "fixed". Did you notice any difference in the performance of the car with the VANOS unplugged? How about with the new VANOS unit installed? My car has this same problem even when warm but the idle drop is not nearly as bad, did you have this problem as well? Sorry for so many questions, I want to make sure that they fix this problem while the car is still under warranty. I only have until March 4, 2004 and they can't update the software until Feb. so that doesn't leave much time if the software does not fix it.

I forgot one more question. Did they say why they didn't think it was the software? Did they upgrade the software and that didn't correct the problem? I guess that's two more questions

Thanks,

Todd

They told me that my vehicle (2000 328i) didn't qualify for the software upgrade based on when it was manufactured. I've read many people say they've had their DME software upgrade and it works temporarily but they seem to get the same issue after some time. I would try having your dealer unplug the VANOS unit now for just a few days (it takes them 3 minutes to do it) and see if that's it. I did notice a little bit less power with the VANOS being unplugged but of course that's expected. Also you'll see the check engine light stay on when the VANOS is unplugged. My dealer assured me that driving with the VANOS unplugged for a few days will cause no harm. I recommend you try that while you wait for the new software to come out.

With the new VANOS unit in my car, I didn't notice any change in performance....The power is about the same as it always was except now without that annoying cold idle issue.

Hmm, My vehicle never had the idle issue when it was warm as yours seems to have...just when the engine was cold.

Let me know how it goes. Good luck!
 

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