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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012, 09:43 AM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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FRAM air filter

Check engine light came on.
BMW dealer said the code was a lean fuel code and the fix was to take my new FRAM air filter out and put a BMW one in. $126 for complete service ticket, $24 filter, the rest shop and labor fees.

I told them to put the FRAM in the back! Does anyone really believe this code was the result of using a FRAM filter?
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2012, 10:43 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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Heard this before - not so much because it is a FRAM, but more because it does not fit quite right.

Can't really see how it would cause a lean code, but if it does fix the problem right away, I guess they are right.

Mahle and Mann filters seem to be the safest bet.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2012, 11:50 AM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhopper View Post
Check engine light came on.
BMW dealer said the code was a lean fuel code and the fix was to take my new FRAM air filter out and put a BMW one in. $126 for complete service ticket, $24 filter, the rest shop and labor fees.

I told them to put the FRAM in the back! Does anyone really believe this code was the result of using a FRAM filter?
It sounds odd, at best. Let us know if/when the CEL comes back...
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Last edited by lpcapital; 03-07-2012 at 11:56 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:15 PM
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ngcreese ngcreese is offline
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I'm reaching here but.... pre-cat O2-Sensors / spark plugs?? (if your mileage is above 60 to 70K...)
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:41 PM
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fhopper fhopper is offline
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Milage 67k, car runs like a scalded dog. I kinda hope it throws a code again, we'll see.
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:43 PM
lpcapital lpcapital is offline
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Sounds like is the good ol' vacuum leak...

Check the intake manifold where it branches out going to the idle control valve. Probably when you replaced the filter you disturbed it and it cracked. It brittle with time and heat cycles.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:45 PM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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$126!!! Wow. You can pull that air filter in 5 minutes.

I've been running a K&N panel filter in my 2007 for 20k miles with zero problems.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2012, 01:54 PM
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ngcreese ngcreese is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhopper View Post
Milage 67k, car runs like a scalded dog. I kinda hope it throws a code again, we'll see.
Bought my X3 with 59K miles on it... after getting past the tranny shift issues. I always noticed misfiring, lack of torque and generally poor acceleration.... up until the 100K point at which I changed the spark plugs, and had a mechanic change my pre-cat O2-Sensors....

The difference? Every see Men in Black when Will Smith went for his first ride-along in what looked like an old government car? But when they started driving... the ride was nuts. That's what the difference was like. Way more torque.
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2012, 05:14 PM
chewchewone chewchewone is offline
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so far i have no problem with FRAM filter installed about 3 weeks ago, it fitted quite well actually.... car has 88K miles
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2012, 09:02 AM
timarnold timarnold is online now
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I am highly dubious that the Fram filter caused the problem. That being said I always use Mann or Mahle. One possibility is that the rubber duct from the airbox the Throttle Body does have a tendency to devlop a crack, typically where the duct splits and one branch goes to the ICV. It normally cracks on the underside & is difficult to see. The act of moving the upper filter housing could easily open or close the crack.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2012, 11:14 AM
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Thanks everyone, like I said, I kind'a hope it throws the code again. The car drives great, (I do wish it were a little quicker from 65 to 90 but it sure gets to 65 in a skinny minute). So I suspect several of you are right and we will discover another source of air other than the FRAM.
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  #12  
Old 03-08-2012, 02:32 PM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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There actually is a TSB on non-oem filters throwing a CEL. I think it is for the ones without the foam pad.

Anyway I had put in a STP air filter on my 05 X3 and it never throw a code.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2012, 06:53 PM
Gee3 Gee3 is offline
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I've run the Fram filter with the foam on it for some time and no issues. The end near the radiator gets chewed up but that's because it's hard to maneuver the air filter box cover when it's connected to the air duct and the intake hose.
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  #14  
Old 11-20-2012, 08:39 PM
jvest2000 jvest2000 is offline
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That sounds weird unless it was pulling air from somewhere else (a crack, hole)? I thought the MAF sensor was supposed to account for that?

In any case (for the complete novice) ... here is a link to a handy guide on how to easily change out your engine air filter and some suggestions on good quality OEM German filters that i have used. It's an easy and cheap way to make sure your engine is breathing clean air.

X3 DIY Engine Air Filter Change Guide

That's probably a bit of overkill for most people but i wanted it to be simple enough that anyone could try/do it. Hope it saves you some $$$.
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  #15  
Old 11-22-2012, 07:14 AM
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Fram filters regularly rate very low. They spend all their money on marketing instead of their product. Why try and shave a couple dollars off a low ticket item. Buy an OEM one from Amazon or a discount online BMW oem source. BMW are finicky and partidular about what you implant in them. Don't risk issues.
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  #16  
Old 11-22-2012, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3emist View Post
fram filters regularly rate very low. They spend all their money on marketing instead of their product. Why try and shave a couple dollars off a low ticket item. Buy an oem one from amazon or a discount online bmw oem source. Bmw are finicky and partidular about what you implant in them. Don't risk issues.
+1
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  #17  
Old 11-22-2012, 02:09 PM
todd92 todd92 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3emist View Post
Fram filters regularly rate very low. They spend all their money on marketing instead of their product. Why try and shave a couple dollars off a low ticket item. Buy an OEM one from Amazon or a discount online BMW oem source. BMW are finicky and partidular about what you implant in them. Don't risk issues.
Quote:
Originally Posted by usaret View Post
+1

Sigh
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  #18  
Old 11-22-2012, 02:49 PM
Allies_X3 Allies_X3 is offline
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Seconding Tim Arnold. The y-duct off the main duct seems to tear often and unfortunately you have to take it out to actually see it. The main duct in my X3 looked perfect but the smaller duct was torn.
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  #19  
Old 11-22-2012, 02:51 PM
Allies_X3 Allies_X3 is offline
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Might be worth checking to see if you hear a high pitched whistle when you rev the engine. I noticed it upon depression of the accelerator but it only lasted a half a second as the RPMs increased.
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  #20  
Old 11-22-2012, 05:32 PM
usaret usaret is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
Sigh
I do not understand why stuff like this bothers you so much that you feel compelled to make disparaging remarks because someone's opinion on air filters doesn't jibe with yours.

Or feel the need to call people:
Quote:
Originally Posted by todd92 View Post
equally clueless.
For wanting to stick with a certain maintenance regime.

If you disagree just ignore it and move on.

Last edited by usaret; 11-23-2012 at 08:00 AM. Reason: Goodwill
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  #21  
Old 11-22-2012, 07:39 PM
Supercourse Supercourse is online now
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The season of goodwill is approaching.
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  #22  
Old 11-23-2012, 10:02 AM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fhopper View Post
Check engine light came on.
BMW dealer said the code was a lean fuel code and the fix was to take my new FRAM air filter out and put a BMW one in. $126 for complete service ticket, $24 filter, the rest shop and labor fees.

I told them to put the FRAM in the back! Does anyone really believe this code was the result of using a FRAM filter?
Hard to believe, odd, strange, etc, but it happened to me once. When I bought the X3 back in 2008, Carmax had just replaced the air filter with a non-OEM, the CEL light came on and since it was under the original warranty, I took it to the Dealer, which they replaced it with a BMW one and reset the light. Never came back again. They billed me for the new filter because it was not covered due to non-OEM filter was in.

So yes, I'd stick to OEM air filters.
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  #23  
Old 11-23-2012, 11:34 AM
chewywso chewywso is offline
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I had the same lean engine codes. The intake was cracked on the back side of the "y" connection. You should be able to reach and feel it a crack or a hole with your finger. This one went with 120,000 miles @ 8 years. When you buy a replacement ($25 Euro or about $35) you will see why it cracks, when new the "Y" connection is straight and it must be bent to fit the intake. The concern I had was this leak is behind the filter and you are getting unfiltered air directly into the intake. Job takes about 3 hours to do, follow the thread with pics - it is superb. On another note, I do not think you will get a lean condition with a dirty filter - you'd get a rich one. I've run K&N for about 80,000 miles so far.
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  #24  
Old 11-23-2012, 11:46 AM
Madtown Madtown is offline
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Fram filters are garbage IMHO. When I owned a Cummins Diesel you either used a Fleetguard or Mopar filter as they could handle the vibration. On the forums many people had issues with Frams failing due to vibration & causing engine damage. Granted the X3 does not create this severe kind of condition but I bet Fram dont do the R&D that is needed to be up to BMW's OEM specs. They design the filter to fit & call it good.
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  #25  
Old 03-14-2013, 06:34 PM
Paule39530i Paule39530i is offline
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Misleading About The K&N Oil Filter

Hey BeemerHeadz,

Jus wanna give a shout in regards 2 the so called "Million Mile Filter" that ez N question on the forum. Had 1 in my 2002 530i for 2 years, did the research B4 I installed 1. But, started noticin' a decrease in power recently. So, I had a diagnostic performed & found out that the oil, drop-by-drop, over time had build up on my throttle body & caked my intake valves. Both had to be replaced & it cost . I even oiled it ligthly, jus enough to coat the pleats on the clean side as instructed . So, to sum it all up, all U BeemerHeadz out there who is proud to be in the possesion of either a 528i - 540i, no matter what year, do yourself a favor & do not put that oiled filter in you whip. Just think about it, which I didn't do earlier , "Why would U put a oiled filter in an area where it suppose to be dry . I learned the hard way & I'm lookin' out for ya!! As 2 the K&N filter, I give it !!! Now I've installed & have been usin' a Fram CA_5350 Extra Guard filter & it breathe better with no lost of horsepower. I recommend it, it depends on U'r make & model what type of filter to use. Later

Last edited by Paule39530i; 03-14-2013 at 06:43 PM. Reason: Add More Info
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