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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 10-08-2010, 06:08 AM
Uldzha Uldzha is offline
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MAF sensor on BMW e46

Hi.Im new to this forum and this is actually my first post.
Problem I have is with my BMW 318 e46. When I start up my car in the morning and start driving right away it struggles very much and is jerking like mad, basically I need to stop and wait. Then after 5 minutes or so, everything goes away and car drives normally. If I stop and leave car maybe for an hour or two and then start up, it struggles again sometimes, but then after 5 minutes drives normal. My engine management light is on and it reads P0170 Fuel trim malfunction bank 1 and cylinder 1 misfire. So local mechanics told me thats the problem and thats why is jerking. I changed 02 sensor on bank 1 and spark plugs, ignition coil and ignition coil leads, but it is still doing the same. Lately I noticed when driving engine sometimes seems to loose power alltogether, but then again it kicks in and drives normally.
I was reading somewhere that these symtoms could be associated with Mass Air Flow sensor failure. Just wanted to ask your opinion guys. Maybe somebody have similar experiences or someone knows exactly what it is.
Thank you very much in advance!!!

Uldzha
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  #2  
Old 10-08-2010, 09:23 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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If you search the forum on that code you'll find lots of threads. From my brief reading, seems you should look at the intake boots, both of them. They develop cracks that cause the type of issue you're experiencing. Inexpensive and easy fix. Cleaning your MAF won't hurt either.

O2 sensors have their own codes. As do coils. Why did you replace all of those expensive parts as a first step? I guess it doesn't matter, what's done is done.
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  #3  
Old 10-09-2010, 04:25 AM
Uldzha Uldzha is offline
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Thanks Jeff for your reply. Im not mechanic myself and didn't think I will ever be fixing something, but I got fed up with mechanics who can't even change oil without fecking something up, so I got some manuals and tools and trying to fix as much as I can myself.I replaced all that stuff, because I was told by some 'professionals' that's the right thing to do...obviously its not
Anyway thank you very much for your advice! I will check intake boots and see if they are to blame.
Cleaning MAF sensor is not that easy, because its hard to get any cleaning stuff for it. Apparently CRC MAF sensor cleaner contains some substance which is not allowed to be sold here in UK...so I was told. And I haven't found yet any alternative. There's is some foam cleaner, but I can't find on the net what it is.

Uldzha
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  #4  
Old 10-09-2010, 07:24 AM
chathuranga chathuranga is offline
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Check the intake boots like Jeff said. The lower intake boot tends to crack at the point where it separates to attach to the throttle body and ICV. Also, here is a link to a thread that discusses MAF cleaners that are allowed in the UK... http://forums.*********.co.uk/showth...hlight=cleaner

Edit: WTF? The link is censored? The link is the following but get rid of the space between M3 and cutters. http://forums.m3 cutters.co.uk/showthread.php?t=7825&highlight=cleaner
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Last edited by chathuranga; 10-09-2010 at 07:28 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-10-2010, 03:40 AM
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Hi. Have a good look at all your breather and vacuum hoses for splits plus the large elbow hose at the end of your MAF, I had to replace all mine. You can look up all your parts here- http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E4.../march/browse/ , if your car is not a 2000 you can change it.
PS Which part of Scotland are you from? Jim
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  #6  
Old 10-10-2010, 04:58 PM
Uldzha Uldzha is offline
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Hi Jim!Thanks for your reply!Im gonna check all hoses tomorrow morning!One guy told me to disconnect the MAF sensor and take it for a wee spin. If the sensor or the hoses are to blame car will not jerk. It will not run very good, but the worst simptoms should dissapear. I'll try and see what happens.
I hope its ok to drive a bit without MAF sensor attached.

Im from Motherwell, originally from Latvia So breaking into BMW mechanical world is twice as hard for me, taking into account that english is not my fisrt language) And I never thought that I will be reading and learning about these things, but as I mentioned before I simply got fed up with Kwik-fit and National rip-off wizards
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2010, 05:06 PM
Uldzha Uldzha is offline
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Thanks for that link Jim!Perfect for finding parts and approximate prices too!!!
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  #8  
Old 10-10-2010, 07:45 PM
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I would also swap the injector from cylinder 1 to cylinder 3 to test the injector. if the misfire changes to cylinder 3 you know that is the problem
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  #9  
Old 10-10-2010, 09:24 PM
C-Bear C-Bear is offline
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Classic failing camshaft position sensor symptoms also.
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  #10  
Old 11-03-2010, 06:29 PM
cesmoot cesmoot is offline
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Any video tutorials for installing MAF sensor?

Hi, Paid dealer 113.00 to perform diagnostic on Monday. He could not find the problem leading to engine stalling 3 times in 3 weeks while driving. (Car stalled again on Wednesday). Said it would cost 400.00 plus one hour installation 107.00 if it was MAF. I am going to do this myself. Bought part on Ebay for 69.00 shipping free... Question: Anyone know of a video tutorial to assist me, or what manual do you recommend. Any other advice helpful. Do you think a cleaning with CRC mass airflow cleaner will be helpful first. Thanks... Charles
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  #11  
Old 11-03-2010, 06:35 PM
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djstrachan djstrachan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesmoot View Post
Hi, Paid dealer 113.00 to perform diagnostic on Monday. He could not find the problem leading to engine stalling 3 times in 3 weeks while driving. (Car stalled again on Wednesday). Said it would cost 400.00 plus one hour installation 107.00 if it was MAF. I am going to do this myself. Bought part on Ebay for 69.00 shipping free... Question: Anyone know of a video tutorial to assist me, or what manual do you recommend. Any other advice helpful. Do you think a cleaning with CRC mass airflow cleaner will be helpful first. Thanks... Charles
Obviously, it is a used MAF. Clean it first!! Never hurts.

Bentley Manual is the best for the E46. Costs about $100 new. You can probably get one on E-Bay for half that or less.

Good luck
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  #12  
Old 11-03-2010, 07:06 PM
LX-biker LX-biker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesmoot View Post
Hi, Paid dealer 113.00 to perform diagnostic on Monday. He could not find the problem leading to engine stalling 3 times in 3 weeks while driving. (Car stalled again on Wednesday). Said it would cost 400.00 plus one hour installation 107.00 if it was MAF. I am going to do this myself. Bought part on Ebay for 69.00 shipping free... Question: Anyone know of a video tutorial to assist me, or what manual do you recommend. Any other advice helpful. Do you think a cleaning with CRC mass airflow cleaner will be helpful first. Thanks... Charles
here suppose to be MAF DIY cleaning. Search something "Krisl Inspection II" But yours 318 probably 4 cylinder...
Good to know BMW dealers everywhere about the same.
When last time fuel filter was changed?

Last edited by LX-biker; 11-03-2010 at 07:09 PM.
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  #13  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:08 AM
Uldzha Uldzha is offline
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To Cesmoot: Im not a mechanic, but I think to change MAF sensor is 5 min job. Just unclip couple of clips take the old housing out and put the new one in. Job done. If you are cleaning then you need to be carefull not to touch the metal hot plate on the sensor, but thats quite easy and straight forward too. As you said that you already bought MAF sensor, dont clean old one, just change it and job done.
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  #14  
Old 11-04-2010, 07:36 AM
cesmoot cesmoot is offline
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Hey guys, thanks for the advice here...I think I will just replace rather than clean...if that does not stop the stalling I will clean/replace the Idle control valve, which seems intimidating to me.. Also, I found a youtube video for removing and cleaning the ICV idle control valve.

Last edited by cesmoot; 11-04-2010 at 12:34 PM.
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  #15  
Old 11-04-2010, 09:25 AM
eleison eleison is offline
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For sensitive parts, I would recommend getting parts from the stealership. Getting them online, the quality control IMHO, doesn't seem to be there. You could be wasting time and money esp. if you get a bad part and start replacing other things. Not worth the savings. For basic parts, like oil filters, brake pads, etc.. online is ok.
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  #16  
Old 11-04-2010, 06:18 PM
LX-biker LX-biker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleison View Post
For sensitive parts, I would recommend getting parts from the stealership. Getting them online, the quality control IMHO, doesn't seem to be there. You could be wasting time and money esp. if you get a bad part and start replacing other things. Not worth the savings. For basic parts, like oil filters, brake pads, etc.. online is ok.
You can always find OEM online as well as aftermarket. Same for local non BMW dealers, some of them may sell OEM together with aftermarket. But if you really like feed BMW dealer and pay 2 times more, nobody will stop you.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2010, 09:35 PM
sunny5280 sunny5280 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eleison View Post
For sensitive parts, I would recommend getting parts from the stealership. Getting them online, the quality control IMHO, doesn't seem to be there. You could be wasting time and money esp. if you get a bad part and start replacing other things. Not worth the savings. For basic parts, like oil filters, brake pads, etc.. online is ok.
I'm with you on this. I tried saving some money by purchasing a MAF online. It solved the initial problem (SEL light illuminated with fuel trim too lean code) but ended up causing stumbling a month or so later. Replaced it with OEM part and the stumbling disappeared.

I ended up paying more than just buying the OEM part. Though the reason I bought the part online was because I wasn't certain the MAF was the problem. Had I known it was I would have bought the OEM part to begin with.
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  #18  
Old 11-19-2010, 09:48 AM
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avglushk avglushk is offline
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Hello. Tomorrow i'm going to my mechanic to replace spark plugs and fuel filter and i also want to clean my MAF with MAF sensor cleaner. In the past (two weeks ago) I had code for MAF but in 15 minutes (when i shut my engine of and turn it back on) check engine light was gone and this code never showed up again. My mechanic (he works for bmw dealership) nice guy, he says he wouldn't clean it if the car was his. What do u think guys? Should I clean it or should i listen to my mechanic? Thanks.
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  #19  
Old 11-19-2010, 09:55 AM
cesmoot cesmoot is offline
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Hi, I'm no expert..but I replaced rather than cleaned my MAF. I bought one on Ebay for about 60.00. I cleaned and stored the old MAF just in case as a back-up though. So far, so good....
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  #20  
Old 11-19-2010, 10:20 AM
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avglushk avglushk is offline
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Originally Posted by cesmoot View Post
Hi, I'm no expert..but I replaced rather than cleaned my MAF. I bought one on Ebay for about 60.00. I cleaned and stored the old MAF just in case as a back-up though. So far, so good....

May be you still have (in ur email) user name of the guy on ebay who sold it to u?

So far.. what do u mean by so far how many miles u already drove after replacing MAF.

Thanks.
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  #21  
Old 11-19-2010, 12:40 PM
cesmoot cesmoot is offline
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Hi: Here is the link to the ebay MAF dealer

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWNX%3AIT

I have driven for about 2 weeks since the repair. I also cleaned my Idle Control Valve a week later.
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  #22  
Old 12-02-2010, 05:51 PM
lakers2k177 lakers2k177 is offline
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Becareful if you have a model year 2002 or 2003 325i, depending on your production year the refered to MAF described in a previous post will not work for 3 series made after 8/2002. From 9/2002 on they are much more expensive.
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  #23  
Old 12-02-2010, 06:16 PM
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avglushk avglushk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lakers2k177 View Post
Becareful if you have a model year 2002 or 2003 325i, depending on your production year the refered to MAF described in a previous post will not work for 3 series made after 8/2002. From 9/2002 on they are much more expensive.
mine is 1999 323i

but thanks anyway
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:00 PM
cesmoot cesmoot is offline
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Update, Idle Control Valve

Hey guys, As you may recall, about a month ago I cleaned and replaced the Idle Control Valve. Today I removed the old valve and installed a new one I purchased on Ebay for 135.00.

Apparently, cleaning the valve did not work in my case, so I am recommending that you just replace the valve rather than clean it. I kept getting fault codes p1500 several times after I cleaned it.

Although the car seemed to run better (only stalled once) between cleaning and replacing, I noticed that shortly after leaving the freeway each time, the check engine lights, etc would come on and later disappear for a while ( this occurred about 2 or 3 times each week.

Watch your tools... (Dropped a screw driver down there somewhere...

Thanks Jake for your help...
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  #25  
Old 07-23-2013, 12:38 AM
alewis5410 alewis5410 is offline
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mass air flow

Just got my 323i and it runs greate bought it for $2000 noticed that the engin light on got it checked out an dits the mass air flow it was unplugged it runs fine without it but when i plugged it in i didn't get any movement is it ok to drive like this i pla on getting it fixed its a real easy fix just wondering any help
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