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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:11 AM
billome billome is offline
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sputters under heavy acceleration

07 335xi, 61000k miles, has had turbos replaced at 38000k along with HPFP at same time. Fuel injectors done at 48000k. Live in Tulsa Ok and you can only purchase 91 octane here. When I really get into it and the turbos kick in car sputters quite a bit. Anybody have any ideas?
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2012, 07:19 AM
David Williamso David Williamso is offline
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Does the check engine light come on?? could be may things so get the codes read. Plugs, coils fuel pump ....... etc and no way to know for sure without the codes.
David
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:35 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billome View Post
07 335xi, 61000k miles, has had turbos replaced at 38000k along with HPFP at same time. Fuel injectors done at 48000k. Live in Tulsa Ok and you can only purchase 91 octane here. When I really get into it and the turbos kick in car sputters quite a bit. Anybody have any ideas?

Idea: Ask your car how it feels. ECU stores system issues....got faults?

Without data, hard to diagnose.

However! SEARCH reveals many things....crank sensor....poor fuel....fuel pump....turbo issues....what have you turned up?


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  #4  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:36 PM
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A para from Burger Motorsports may give direction to your search:

Misfire codes are very common on the N54 motor and are generally either a defective plug, coil, injector, or if the misfires happen across multiple cylinders could also be an o2 sensor or high pressure fuel pump. The higher the power levels the more apparent hardware weakness are so often they will crop up first at only higher power levels. Eventually though, they will come up at OEM power levels too. If your plugs have over 15k miles on them I'd suggest switching them out. If that doesn't do the trick you can switch the coil on the misfiring cylinder over to another cylinder to see if the misfire moves with it. If it does, then replace that coil.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2012, 02:10 PM
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+1 on the plugs...turbo engines have an appetite for them
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  #6  
Old 09-23-2012, 07:31 PM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Plugs, coils, injectors, pumps will all trigger a MIL/CEL. BMW proprietary codes go a long way toward resolving the issue, but even SAE/EPA generic codes (such as a P0301; misfire in cylinder 1) will at least point to where you need to start checking.
There are problems perceived as a skip or misfire or roughness which will NOT trigger a CEL/MIL, but you need to start by checking for codes even if the engine light isn't on. If no codes are present then you need to do what's called "mode 6" diagnostics. But if you knew how to do that you are already making 70K a year as an L1 diagnostic technician and wouldn't be posting.

Last edited by DSXMachina; 09-23-2012 at 07:39 PM.
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  #7  
Old 09-23-2012, 08:34 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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As others have pointed out, lots of possibilities. Let me throw one more on the pile.
I had pretty much the exact same symptoms as you, OP, but mine eventually progressed to a continual misfire under any load (once the engine was warmed up)--that sounded and felt horrible (very rough running and way down on power). And yes, it did eventually cause the computer to throw a CEL/service engine soon light, after VERY heavy and long sessions of continual misfire.

In any case, the computer indicated a cylinder 2 misfire. Went the dealer route (took three tries), and they replaced plugs, coil for #2, and all injectors (on BMW's dime in that case). Didn't completely solve the problem, but it made it much better. So, it (root cause) isn't spark or fuel.
My current guess is.....carbon-fouled intake valves.
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Last edited by galahad05; 09-23-2012 at 08:37 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:48 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
As others have pointed out, lots of possibilities. Let me throw one more on the pile.
I had pretty much the exact same symptoms as you, OP, but mine eventually progressed to a continual misfire under any load (once the engine was warmed up)--that sounded and felt horrible (very rough running and way down on power). And yes, it did eventually cause the computer to throw a CEL/service engine soon light, after VERY heavy and long sessions of continual misfire.

In any case, the computer indicated a cylinder 2 misfire. Went the dealer route (took three tries), and they replaced plugs, coil for #2, and all injectors (on BMW's dime in that case). Didn't completely solve the problem, but it made it much better. So, it (root cause) isn't spark or fuel.
My current guess is.....carbon-fouled intake valves.
Galahad, sir, are you saying you are living with some remnant still of the original problem? Did they find carbon fouled intake valves on your engine? (Strange for a DI engine to say the least.)

Without getting too technical it can be explained why a misfire may not illuminate the CEL right away. Don't forget that the fire commands for the coils (and therefore sparkplugs) and the inject signal for the injectors originate outside those components. The source is the ECM but the ECM relies on the crank and cam angle sensors to tell it where the pistons are. The ecm then fires each device at the precise time for best running.
If a plug goes down chances are the CEL is coming on instantly because the ECM wants to save the cats and is going to shut the injector down to prevent fuel from melting down the cat. Assume for a second that the cam angle sensor has a chunk of metal stuck on it, then it might send a signal to the ECM that the piston is at a place it really isn't and the ECM may inject fuel or fire a spark a few degrees out of position. Instant roughness and loss of power follows but no CEL because the ECM thinks it's doing the right thing!
However, goose the throttle and the situation is magnified, now the ECM sees that the crankshaft velocity does not increase after the 'bad' cylinder is fired and it lights up the CEL. A code is stored saying a particular cylinder is misfiring. It's not a classic misfire, it's the right fuel and the right spark but at the wrong time.
It takes a highly trained tech who knows how to read scanner values, and who doesn't jump to conclusions, to find the real cause of any code.

Last edited by DSXMachina; 09-24-2012 at 10:50 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2012, 10:59 AM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is online now
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Billome, At 61K, your intake valves are definitey covered with clumps of black goo. I won't throw a CEL just for that. Symptoms seem right too.
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2012, 11:21 AM
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DSXMachina DSXMachina is offline
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Originally Posted by jburke4689 View Post
Billome, At 61K, your intake valves are definitey covered with clumps of black goo. I won't throw a CEL just for that. Symptoms seem right too.
So, 100% of 335i engines with 61K on the clock have valves that "are definitely covered with clumps of black goo"?
What is the source of the clumps and what is BMW doing about it? Sure is lucky for BMWNA that it doesn't happen earlier or 335's would be stacked up waiting to get into Service.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2012, 01:43 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
So, 100% of 335i engines with 61K on the clock have valves that "are definitely covered with clumps of black goo"?
What is the source of the clumps and what is BMW doing about it? Sure is lucky for BMWNA that it doesn't happen earlier or 335's would be stacked up waiting to get into Service.

Vaguely remember BMW cured that w/injector timing. Yeah I know, looks like PCV issue, but hey.

Not clear if 50/50 meth has effect. Should! Injected >just< upstream....!?

DIY valve cleaning vid here; BMW nut shell blast $600 last I heard. Little background to that video; words to the wise.

Quick look-see'll resolve this for OP....

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 09-24-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2012, 02:19 PM
jburke4689 jburke4689 is online now
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Intake valve cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
So, 100% of 335i engines with 61K on the clock have valves that "are definitely covered with clumps of black goo"?
What is the source of the clumps and what is BMW doing about it? Sure is lucky for BMWNA that it doesn't happen earlier or 335's would be stacked up waiting to get into Service.
The source of the clumps is crankcase gases (containing oil). The cyclone separator in the valve cover is good at removing the oil but not perfect. Because of direct injection, no fuel is sprayed on the back of the valve or valve stem so there is no cleansing effect from additives or fuel. I don't know that BMW is doing anything about it to eliminate it but I do know that they shipped all dealers a specialized tool kit to enable repair. The kit is used on Mini's too. There is an abrasive blaster that uses crushed walnut shells and an adapter that fits to the intake port and hooks to a shop vac to remove the shells.

I don't know that 100% of the N54s with 61K will have it. I have read on the forums where the issue can manifest at as low as 30k and a driver may never notice it at all. Mine exhibited the symptoms at about 57K and after Russel BMW said the couldn't find anything wrong, I removed the intake myself, saw the "black goo" and removed as much of it myself as I could and the car runs lile new. If you don't accelerate hard in upper gears (4-6) at lower rpm (2500-3000) you might never encounter it. It is probably more obvious on manual transmissions were you can control the gear and rpm more easily.

My guess is that many 335 owners dump the cars off lease before it is a problem or drive them gently and don't notice it.

It is definitely a problem on higher mileage N54 motors and it is recognized by BMW. If your car is under the original warranty, they will fix it if you have the problem. If you are out of warranty, they charge about $850. You can find indy shops that will do it for $300-400 and I have seen many folks that get together and do "group buys" to reduce cost.
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2012, 04:27 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jburke4689 View Post
The source of the clumps is crankcase gases (containing oil). The cyclone separator in the valve cover is good at removing the oil but not perfect. Because of direct injection, no fuel is sprayed on the back of the valve or valve stem so there is no cleansing effect from additives or fuel. I don't know that BMW is doing anything about it to eliminate it but I do know that they shipped all dealers a specialized tool kit to enable repair. The kit is used on Mini's too. There is an abrasive blaster that uses crushed walnut shells and an adapter that fits to the intake port and hooks to a shop vac to remove the shells.

I don't know that 100% of the N54s with 61K will have it. I have read on the forums where the issue can manifest at as low as 30k and a driver may never notice it at all. Mine exhibited the symptoms at about 57K and after Russel BMW said the couldn't find anything wrong, I removed the intake myself, saw the "black goo" and removed as much of it myself as I could and the car runs lile new. If you don't accelerate hard in upper gears (4-6) at lower rpm (2500-3000) you might never encounter it. It is probably more obvious on manual transmissions were you can control the gear and rpm more easily.

My guess is that many 335 owners dump the cars off lease before it is a problem or drive them gently and don't notice it.

It is definitely a problem on higher mileage N54 motors and it is recognized by BMW. If your car is under the original warranty, they will fix it if you have the problem. If you are out of warranty, they charge about $850. You can find indy shops that will do it for $300-400 and I have seen many folks that get together and do "group buys" to reduce cost.

Here's a little thread that looks just ducky.....DIY N54 Walnut Shell Blaster

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  #14  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSXMachina View Post
Galahad, sir, are you saying you are living with some remnant still of the original problem? Did they find carbon fouled intake valves on your engine? (Strange for a DI engine to say the least.)

Without getting too technical it can be explained why a misfire may not illuminate the CEL right away. Don't forget that the fire commands for the coils (and therefore sparkplugs) and the inject signal for the injectors originate outside those components. The source is the ECM but the ECM relies on the crank and cam angle sensors to tell it where the pistons are. The ecm then fires each device at the precise time for best running.
If a plug goes down chances are the CEL is coming on instantly because the ECM wants to save the cats and is going to shut the injector down to prevent fuel from melting down the cat. Assume for a second that the cam angle sensor has a chunk of metal stuck on it, then it might send a signal to the ECM that the piston is at a place it really isn't and the ECM may inject fuel or fire a spark a few degrees out of position. Instant roughness and loss of power follows but no CEL because the ECM thinks it's doing the right thing!
However, goose the throttle and the situation is magnified, now the ECM sees that the crankshaft velocity does not increase after the 'bad' cylinder is fired and it lights up the CEL. A code is stored saying a particular cylinder is misfiring. It's not a classic misfire, it's the right fuel and the right spark but at the wrong time.
It takes a highly trained tech who knows how to read scanner values, and who doesn't jump to conclusions, to find the real cause of any code.
Sort of a timeline of events:

1. progressively worsening shuddering under acceleration, eventually resulting in long periods of continuous shuddering under any throttle at all while driving.
2. Took to dealership. They diagnosed it as a cylinder #2 misfire (obd readings), looked at the plugs and saw that they were pretty much shot. Replaced. Also replaced cylinder #2's coil.
3. Within 2 days, I got the same problems as before.
4. Took to dealership. They swapped coil #2 (the new one) with #3, told me to come back if the problem returned.
5. That very day the problem returned--horrible drivability. Took the trouble to read the codes myself this time (via BavTech reader and laptop)--cylinder #2 misfire, again.
6. Took to dealership. They opened a case with BMW NA. BMW NA eventually agreed to do a goodwill replacement of all direct injectors.
7. Took car home and on that very drive home noticed a very slight misfire under heavy throttle at lower rpms, in higher gears (6mt car).

This is where things stand right now.

So....electricals (spark) replaced with brand new, and fueling (injectors) replaced with brand new. The only (relatively common) thing left is....air.

Thus, intake valves.
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Old 09-24-2012, 09:01 PM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Well, I supposed it could be something like a vacuum leak or some sort of vanos problem, but I'm going with what is more common....
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Old 09-24-2012, 11:25 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Originally Posted by galahad05 View Post
Thus, intake valves.

Does no harm to have a look - who's paying for that?
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  #17  
Old 09-25-2012, 06:18 AM
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galahad05 galahad05 is online now
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Eh, I'd do it. I have a video borescope.
I haven't taken it back to the dealership. The car is almost completely normal now.
I swear, if I give it an occasional "Italian tuneup" the problem becomes less and less over time.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:55 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Eh, I'd do it. I have a video borescope.
I haven't taken it back to the dealership. The car is almost completely normal now.
I swear, if I give it an occasional "Italian tuneup" the problem becomes less and less over time.
That's the spirit. Take some pics....let us know what you find.
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