Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-26-2012, 09:47 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Rough Idle

Been having an issue that just started up on my 95 E36, recently purchased private sale. I start the car cold and it idles really rough at around 400-500rpm. I can feel the underbody shaking and a light smell of gas fumes after I shut it off.

Car is OBD-I so I ran a self-diagnostic, got about 15 codes showing 1222 "Oxygen Sensor Lean/Rich Detect (primary) - If the signal from the O2 sensor indicates a very lean or very rich mixture for more than 10 seconds, then the computer generates this code. It could mean a faulty O2 sensor, or a problem with another component."

Not sure how reliable this is though since there appears to be a great deal many codes stored. They could be old codes not cleared from god knows when since I haven't had the car long enough.

Any ideas??

Last edited by Dunzo; 06-26-2012 at 09:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:12 PM
TRaV MaNN's Avatar
TRaV MaNN TRaV MaNN is offline
Somebody stop me....
Location: Slackramento, CA
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 3,691
Mein Auto: EW/// 86
Open the hood and check for any leaks in any of the hoses, mainly the intake boot thing. Cracks mean air is escapinging which can lead to an overdose on the fuel to air ratio.

A search of "e36 rough idle" will give you plenty of ideas to start with, and the majority of them being free and involve pulling parts off and cleaning them. Good luck
__________________
You cant spend all your time worrying about where your next Twinkie is going to come from, so follow rule #32 and Enjoy The Little Things.


Last edited by TRaV MaNN; 06-26-2012 at 10:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-26-2012, 10:25 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Sounds good thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:48 AM
NiiCKSTERR NiiCKSTERR is offline
Registered User
Location: California
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: 1994 E36 318is
I have a 318is with the same problem. I've put so much money into it while trying to fix my idle problem. I mean I got an O2 sensor, changed several hoses, changed the boot, got a new icv, changed the spark plugs, freekin mass air flow sensor. And still idle problems. Word of advice..I say go with the Dealer on this one
Or maybe sell it because I guarntee it..it gets worse from here. HA. Good Luck on whatever you decide!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-27-2012, 10:32 AM
bmw-mania bmw-mania is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: California
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,336
Mein Auto: BMW
HOLYFCK! you actually did a STOMP TEST?!?!



Clean, Clean, Clean the MAF.. remove screens on MAF, use spray FIRST, (and LIGHTLY with q-tip if necessary) clean the element.
Clean Throttle body
Clean Throttle position sensor
Check for vacuum leaks
Check the hoses that are plumbed into the boot on intake
Check O2 sensor

Disconnect, clean, lube, and reconnect all associated electrical connections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NiiCKSTERR View Post
I have a 318is with the same problem. I've put so much money into it while trying to fix my idle problem. I mean I got an O2 sensor, changed several hoses, changed the boot, got a new icv, changed the spark plugs, freekin mass air flow sensor. And still idle problems. Word of advice..I say go with the Dealer on this one
Or maybe sell it because I guarntee it..it gets worse from here. HA. Good Luck on whatever you decide!


Try runnin real good fuel, top tier 91 octane or better.. add 1 gal of E85 (ethanol/flexfuel) to approx 2/3 of tank.
See if it straightens out.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by cj.surr View Post
I don't have to read the username on these posts to know who wrote it.

Bmw-Mania, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-29-2012, 08:10 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Just a small update with some questions.

-Removed air filter housing, MAF and boot.
-Vacuum test, found some smoke coming out of the rear under the intake manifold.
-Removed the manifold (not fun) and inspected gaskets, hoses, no issues found there.
-Tomorrow I'll be removing the ICV, cleaning it and inspecting all connected hoses. I'll also run another vacuum test before that to try to isolate the leak(s) as the manifold and upper hoses appear good. Will also clean the throttle body.

So now I have two questions: First, the air filter cover that bolts onto the MAF was completely cracked and falling apart meaning there was definitely some unfiltered air going through the MAF and into the throttle. Will order a replacement. What impact would this issue have had towards the idle?

Also the MAF in this BMW is the old Bosch Mototronic Meter with a small resistor, a throttle-like flap system with a covered housing you need to cut open. See:



This can't be cleaned as it is not a typical MAF sensor. I am also not cutting it open to mess around with it. Any suggestions there? Can a more modern MAF sensor be installed in it's place? Thanks.

Last edited by Dunzo; 06-29-2012 at 08:23 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-30-2012, 12:49 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Anyone? Would like some advice before I reassemble. Thanks.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-30-2012, 01:04 PM
firemedic521 firemedic521 is offline
Registered User
Location: Tucson
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 69
Mein Auto: Tahoe, 750I
Yeah, I would not open that up . Had a buddy try that and it never worked right again. If you had air leaking in unfiltered after the maf that could account for a lot of problems since that computer isn't accounting for that flow and is sending the wrong amount of fuel

Sent from my EVO using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-30-2012, 06:06 PM
southpark11235's Avatar
southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
bimmerfest Supporting Member
Location: Saugerties NY
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2,660
Mein Auto: 1999 BMW 323is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunzo View Post
So now I have two questions: First, the air filter cover that bolts onto the MAF was completely cracked and falling apart meaning there was definitely some unfiltered air going through the MAF and into the throttle. Will order a replacement. What impact would this issue have had towards the idle?
Unfiltered air is not good for the engine but it would not effect the idle. As long as the air is measured by the MAF the idle should not drop. You should look into a cold air intake as long as you are replacing the stock air box. A CAI might be cheaper than a stock air box a plus you will get a slight power increase.
__________________
Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, youd better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die! Cartman
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-30-2012, 06:20 PM
firemedic521 firemedic521 is offline
Registered User
Location: Tucson
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 69
Mein Auto: Tahoe, 750I
Sorry, I miss understood I though air was leaking in after the maf.

Sent from my EVO using Bimmer App
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:13 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by southpark11235 View Post
Unfiltered air is not good for the engine but it would not effect the idle. As long as the air is measured by the MAF the idle should not drop. You should look into a cold air intake as long as you are replacing the stock air box. A CAI might be cheaper than a stock air box a plus you will get a slight power increase.
Yeah, this is likely since I have searched pretty hard for one. No parts stores carry them, and there's a couple on ebay but not worth the price. So yeah, I'm either getting a CAI or swinging by a BMW recycling place an hour away to grab a box. I'll do some more research on the possible MPG/performance gains on the 95 E36 before I decide. Since I'm waiting on a solution there and have the intake manifold completely detached, I'm going to clean it out and repaint it.

Question nobody answered: Can the MAF meter be swapped out with the newer, smaller MAF sensors? On the surface they seem very different in function, and not sure if they are cross compatible. Would really appreciate an answer on that. Cheers!
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-01-2012, 11:42 PM
hornhospital's Avatar
hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 14,343
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunzo View Post
Question nobody answered: Can the MAF meter be swapped out with the newer, smaller MAF sensors? On the surface they seem very different in function, and not sure if they are cross compatible. Would really appreciate an answer on that. Cheers!
No, they aren't interchangeable. The older ones are incompatible with the newer ECUs and vise-versa.
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:03 AM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
No, they aren't interchangeable. The older ones are incompatible with the newer ECUs and vise-versa.
The ECU was replaced this year by the previous owner. That almost makes me wonder if they replaced it with the right one. Can the meter be cleaned with maf cleaner? I assume so but MAFs are sensitive and better to check first.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:06 AM
hornhospital's Avatar
hornhospital hornhospital is offline
D'oh, You kids!
Location: In the Grumpy Chair
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 14,343
Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunzo View Post
The ECU was replaced this year by the previous owner. That almost makes me wonder if they replaced it with the right one. Can the meter be cleaned with maf cleaner?
Yes.

Why was the ecu replaced?
__________________
Quotes to live by:
guessing gets expensive...drivinfaster
nothing is more expensive than a cheap BMW...c4harpe13

Ken Kanne, Silverhill, AL, E36 Forum Mod/Craigslist addict/Hoarder of all sorts of stuff
BMW-CCA #441426
1995 318is "Bebe"; 1993 325is "Elvira" 1985 635CSi "Katja" 1984 633CSi "Sylvia"
HAVE I HAD MY MEDS YET?

Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:26 AM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by hornhospital View Post
Yes.

Why was the ecu replaced?
I was told the old one was toast. He left it in the trunk. I'm probably just being paranoid, I doubt the car would have just a simple idle issue if the wrong ECU was installed.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:05 PM
Hatterer4's Avatar
Hatterer4 Hatterer4 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Pennsylvania
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 347
Mein Auto: 1993 BMW 318is
Clean Throttle position sensor


How do you clean this??? May be a dumb question but never heard of it
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-05-2012, 05:57 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hatterer4 View Post
Clean Throttle position sensor


How do you clean this??? May be a dumb question but never heard of it
Just some brake cleaner on the actual sensor area (just a rotating mechanism that attaches to the throttle) and some electrical cleaner on the connection port. You can probably use the electrical cleaner on the sensor area too if you're going to get some anyway.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-03-2012, 11:46 AM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Okay, so I have completed my overhaul of the intake system. Here's my check list:

-Broken air box replaced with CAI.
-MAF cleaned.
-Throttle Body Housing cleaned.
-Upper and Lower Intake Manifolds cleaned.
-ICV cleaned.
-All associated gaskets replaced.
-All vacuum hoses checked for leaks.
-All associated sensors & connectors cleaned and greased.
-Spark plugs replaced. (NGK)
-Camshaft cover gaskets replaced. (Old plugs were covered in oil)
-O2 sensor replaced. (NTK)

I have spent months and a great deal of time and effort to do this work, everything was reconnected and put back together with precision and patience. I am confident it was all connected properly. So after two months of sitting cold, it finally came time to start it.

And... *drumroll*

The problem is not fixed. The engine still starts and nearly dies unless I give it gas, after holding the RPM at around 1100, the car eventually warmed up after 15 mins and could stay running, but not without the throttle fluctuating. I imagine after a short drive it might stabilize, which is how the car ran when I bought it. The snake was doing this with the car before I would come see it, so I wouldn't notice the issue. He always made up some reason about why the car was running.

Anyway, back to the drawing board. I imagine once I fix this problem all the work I did with the intake will pay off, but for now I am still stuck with my E36 in the garage. I am also still getting code 1222 which is O2 sensor reporting lean/rich. Any more ideas?

Last edited by Dunzo; 09-03-2012 at 05:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-03-2012, 08:58 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
Bump.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-03-2012, 09:33 PM
wengermi wengermi is offline
Registered User
Location: tx
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1993 318i
recheck for vacuum leaks. check in between the upper and lower intakes halves. i had a couple leak from in there. also i had a bad leak from my fuel injectors and where the upper and lower haves meet. try replacing/fixing the gasket where the upper and lower intake meet. that was the hardest for me to find and it fixed my lean/rich issue. you can try adding clamps on all the lines to make sure they are sealed right. i also had bad knock sensors which caused my rough idle. i got two used ones from the junk yard and it smoothed my idle out.

Last edited by wengermi; 09-03-2012 at 09:34 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-03-2012, 09:50 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
All intake gaskets have been replaced. The hoses were checked with absolute scrutiny for cracks and double checked. I actually added some clamps onto some of the hoses as well. I don't think this particular issue is the knock sensors since the OBDI gives a code for that. Also knock sensors are used on a reactive basis and wouldn't account for the engine dying out on a cold start without throttle being applied. I'm leaning towards a fuel intake issue at this point... I should mention I checked all the injectors for clogs when I had the intake disassembled.

Last edited by Dunzo; 09-03-2012 at 10:00 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-04-2012, 09:51 AM
wengermi wengermi is offline
Registered User
Location: tx
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 1993 318i
how about a compression test and check your spark plugs. most of the time you can read a spark plug and see if its running rich or lean by whats on the tip. you can also try seafoam in the gas tank or change your fuel filter and see if that helps. if its not air thats the problem then its fuel or spark
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-04-2012, 11:52 AM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
The sparks were replaced and the issue is the same. The #1 suspect right now is the MAF. I'm going to swap it and see if it makes a difference.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 09-04-2012, 12:00 PM
TheFinanceGuy's Avatar
TheFinanceGuy TheFinanceGuy is offline
still learnin'
Location: Boston Metro West (BMW)
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 4,957
Mein Auto: 1998 328i / 99 540iA
when the car is warm, what is the RPM?

does it sort of just idle lower and lower once cold, or does it just completly die?

If you turn on the AC when the car is cold will it idle?
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:35 PM
Dunzo Dunzo is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Canada
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 152
Mein Auto: 1995 318ti
RPM stays at around 1000-1100 RPM when warm for 10 mins. Car will completely die if I don't give throttle while cold. Haven't tried using the AC to see if it makes a diff.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:24 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms