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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 08-16-2009, 08:07 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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Post Car hesitates under load. No misfire fault codes. The only FC thrown is P0327.

Hey guys, I hope someone here might be able to give me an idea what to do. I have a 2002 BMW 530I which misses intermittently when under load. The only fault code is P0327, which is Knock sensor Bank 1. No misfire fault codes. I have a friend who is a BMW mechanic. He told me to keep driving as he thought it might be bad gas which, at the time he said it a month ago, sounded reasonable.

I have been driving the car, but it is still throwing that code and misses under load. When I say miss, I mean the car buckles and hesitates. No misfire fault code though, just P0327. It seems to do fine above 4000 rpm in any gear.

The funny thing is - the car would do fine if I drove for a while. For example, I went to Main and back a couple of weeks ago; put around 1100 miles. Drove for 9 hours in one direction and a few days later another 9 hours back. The car was just fine - did not miss once. I did another long trip - same thing - no problems. However, when I drive it around town, the car does miss quite often. Not every day though.

Since the car started acting up, I have changed the fuel filter. My spark plugs are 20000 miles old. I have an AutoEnginuity Scan tool that I have been using. The freeze frame of the P0327 code seems normal, although the Long Term Fuel Trim is a bit above zero: +3.90 for bank 1 and +4.68 for bank 2. I have sprayed starting fluid all over the engine but no observable RPM surge. I have also replaced the vacuum hoses.

Any ideas and suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 08-16-2009, 08:54 PM
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lild lild is offline
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recheck you plugs make sure they are nice and tight. i had onw work itself lose once.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:37 AM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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Thank you. Good idea. I'll check them.
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:41 AM
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just thinkin about it, when i had one work lose. i had similar misses. no codes, but mine didn't happen until around 75-80 mph. but let us know, so we can try to figure whats next.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:04 AM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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I have heard people say this happens before. I will check them sometimes today and report back. Thank you.
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  #6  
Old 08-17-2009, 09:41 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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That long term fuel trim is indicating that the computer is trying to shut off fuel----that means that it's no a vacuum leak---this is interesting in the least--what ever you find thats causing the problem please get back to us and let us know--there may be excess carbon built up in the cylinder head and piston tops--and this can cause detonation--may want to find an indy that has one of the Motor Medic machines that can clean the system out. If there is a build up like the one I'm referring to--that can set off a knock sensor and retard the timing.
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  #7  
Old 08-17-2009, 01:45 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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I spoke with my friend who is a BMW mechanic this morning. He told me to check my spark plugs after driving the car while it has been doing this missing business. He said that I might be able to identify what cylinder is having a problem by looking at the tip of the plugs and see if any one is more dirty/oily than others. I will know soon - just waiting for the car outside to cool down a bit. He thinks that I might have a clogged injector, because the problem does go away when I take the car on a long trip. One thing I am sure of is that the condition is getting worst.

He also suggested that I use fuel injector cleaner again - I used one bottle couple of weeks ago but to no noticeable effect. If this does not help, he told me that they can hook up a machine at his garage and run the car by forcing directly some cleaning solution through the injectors but that would cost me around $140 so I will try the cheaper option first. I will go out to check on these spark plugs now and report to you later. Thanks for your interest and suggestions, guys.
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  #8  
Old 08-17-2009, 04:01 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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The Motor Medic machine is like what your freind is advising. They hook the machine up and while the car idles there is a solution of fuel with heavy solvents that cleans the injectors and also cleans all the carbon from the cylinder--hell it even cleans the 02 sensors and cats--the fuel system is unhooked then the machine takes over feeding the fuel--takes about 1/2 hour---if the knock sensor is going off--there's got to be a reason--eother the sensor is bad --or there is detonation causing the sensor to act up.
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  #9  
Old 08-17-2009, 06:00 PM
E39 Paul E39 Paul is offline
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I have a 2003 530i. Similar **** going on. Brought car into BMW main dealer..... Advised oil valve getting blocked and all connecting hoses need replacing as getting old...... Never believe everything main dealer tells you.... Always trying to rip you off somehow!
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  #10  
Old 08-17-2009, 07:22 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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Agree - it's sad, but there so few conscientious, honest and competent mechanics out there.

I removed and inspected all spark plugs today. Two of them were loose. Thank you, lild, for the suggestion. I could turn them by hand. I had put anti-seizing compound when I put them in two years ago and tightened them to the specs, but I guess they went loose on their own. I imagine, this means that these two plugs did not have good ground. If this was the case and was causing my problem, I still wonder why there were no misfire fault codes set.

After tightening the plugs I drove the car for an hour. No problems. I will drive it some more tomorrow and see. I am still not convinced this was the problem, but hope and pray that further testing proves me wrong. After all, loose spark plugs can definitely disrupt the work of an engine.

One more last note: It occurred to me that if one of my knock sensors is out then the hesitation and lugging would be due to lack of sufficient ignition timing advance as the computer should retard the timing putting the car in "safe'' mode. Does that sound right?

I will write more tomorrow after further test driving. Thank you, guys.
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  #11  
Old 08-17-2009, 08:50 PM
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well i hope it's that simple for you. beacuse the plugs weren't in tight, this caused the miss's to happen, basically not getting a good fire off the plug. which leads to unburnt gas. so the ecu was retuning the car to adjust. so you got a code for a knock sensor, but the sensor may be fine, and just set because of the loose plugs. the codes i got was for the o2, even though the o2 sensors were fine. the car ran fine up to 80 mph, and i could feel the hesitation at that point. i thought at first my plugs were fouled, but found out that 1 was just lose. and it sorta scortched the the plug hole. looked like i had an oil leak. lol. glad to see that you may of found the problem, and i wouldn't hesitate to tighten just a smidge past the specs. don't want it to happen again on ya.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:59 PM
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Your car seems to be exhibiting a classic example of the "Part-throttle VANOS stutter" (type that phrase into the searchbox for more info....it`s been discussed a lot on the E46 Forum).
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  #13  
Old 08-17-2009, 10:21 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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Yea, I did tightened the plugs a bit above the prescribed 18 ft.lb. I definitely don't want to have to tighten them again. Hope that's it. We'll see tomorrow.
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  #14  
Old 08-18-2009, 01:34 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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If everything works out from what you have found(loose plugs) have the engine scaned again after a hundred miles or so--just to make sure there isn't a positive long term fuel trim still going on.
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  #15  
Old 08-18-2009, 07:09 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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I drove the car today twice. No hesitation, no lugging. I am becoming increasingly hopeful that tightening the plugs solved the problem, but the problem was intermittent before, so I will wait for a few more days before I am completely certain.

I checked the LTFT - it was still 3.90 for Bank1 and 4.68 for Bank 2. I might have a small air or vacuum leak, but I have not been able to find it so far. I will look into it again.

Does anyone know of another than spraying starting fluid on the engine method to detect air leaks? Smoke machine method - what is this?
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  #16  
Old 08-19-2009, 05:48 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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From what you stated--these numbers are on the positive side--that mean the computer is trying to turn off fuel to the engine--if they were neg numbers the computer would be trying to add fuel--that would be a vac leak--what you have going on isn't in my op
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  #17  
Old 08-19-2009, 09:20 AM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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This is how I interpreted the positive value of the Fuel trim at first, but then I looked it up in an automotive technology textbook - it's name is " Advanced Engine Performance Diagnosis". I bought the book from the local community college last year. Quite informative book, although I wish it were a bit more theoretical.

The book says the exact opposite. It says that when the trim is a positive number, that means that the computer receives data indicating lean mixture caused by air or vacuum leak or by plugged up fuel filter, etc..., so what it does is adds more fuel than what it deems to be "normal". The book does not elaborate much on how this "normal" value is arrived at, but I figured, it must be calculated by using data from some sensors and mapping it against some hard data in the computer memory. In this case, if some of these sensors is a bit off, then my " normal" fuel trim value would be off, etc... This is why, I think, the book says that ideally, the Long Term Fuel Trim should be 0%, but fluctuations between -10 and +10% should not be considered as something that deserves special attention and repair work. So I don't worry too much about the +4% value of the fuel trim. I will keep an eye on it though.
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Old 08-19-2009, 01:22 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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You are correct--my bad--my car is running a -4.25 on both banks--I got excited that someone may be going through the same problem as I--the computer is trying to shut off fuel to the engine--causing a slight running rich issue. Yours is going the other way and thats caused by a vac leak--your correct and I was bass acwards
with my responce---See if the following helps you in finding your vac leak--and again my app's
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1079942

Meanwhile I'm back at trying to figure out how to find the cause of my negative fuel trim issue.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
You are correct--my bad--my car is running a -4.25 on both banks--I got excited that someone may be going through the same problem as I--the computer is trying to shut off fuel to the engine--causing a slight running rich issue. Yours is going the other way and thats caused by a vac leak--your correct and I was bass acwards
with my responce---See if the following helps you in finding your vac leak--and again my app's
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1079942

Meanwhile I'm back at trying to figure out how to find the cause of my negative fuel trim issue.
this is a long shot. but try changing out your double temp sensor. the one for the ecu. see if the sensor is faulty, then the ecu doesn't know the real temp. of the motor, which will in turn change the fuel trim value. and you don't necessarily get a code for it either.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:04 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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I Thought of the temp sensor--have checked thru the on board test and found the computer is reading right at 92C --temp is normal--
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:36 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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Does your car protest the negative fuel trim? Is it running poorly?

Thanks for the vacuum leak link. I checked it out. The guy talks in between other things about a leaky DISA valve. I had the same problem in the past. My CVV valve went out some time ago and in the process of replacing it I found out the the DISA valve gasket is leaking air badly, so I put some silicone and sealed off the leak.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:42 PM
mmihailov mmihailov is offline
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This book that I was mentioning earlier says that you can get rich condition if your Oxygen Sensors are contaminated/old or if you have exhaust leak upstream of O2S.
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Old 08-20-2009, 05:20 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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New 02 sensors in the car--and no exhaust leak--thats all well. On the Disa valve--I cut my own gasket out of gasket paper and then applied a little silicone around the lip of the intake where the Disa mounts--then let thatset up for a few hours --sprayed some teflon on the gasket on the Disa and then mounted the part back on. Great seal that way and when it's time to come off--it's not glued on.
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Old 08-20-2009, 06:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by poolman View Post
I Thought of the temp sensor--have checked thru the on board test and found the computer is reading right at 92C --temp is normal--
can you smell the rich condition when the car is running? like if your at a light, or drive thru, and the exusaht smells a little funny?
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Old 08-20-2009, 08:39 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Nope--can't smell a thing--car runs great--gas mileage is a little off though--car pulls hard--all across the band
it just bugs me that I can't find the issue that this is steming from.
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