Spark plug replacement, ceramic in cylinder, crying on the inside - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 06-23-2013, 08:12 PM
CharlesH CharlesH is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Jan 2013
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Mein Auto: 2003 325xi
Spark plug replacement, ceramic in cylinder, crying on the inside

Hey guys, I understand this isn't a fun post but maybe someone out there would get some enjoyment out helping.

Part 1 - During the winter every once in a while my car would throw these codes...
P0313 - PCM has determined a misfire has occurred with low fuel P1345 - A misfire on cylinder 2 with fuel cut off

Part II - once it got warmer out, no check engine light would ever come on. I forgot about the problem. Figured it was just the super cold weather and being poor and having low gas.

Part III - I bought some spark plugs to put in the car. Cylinder 1 had some loose material (cermaic?) from the spark plug and I think a small piece fell threw. I cut a small piece of tube and fashioned it to a shopvac and stuck it in the cylinder hoping to get it. I didn't see it come up but it might have.
I started the car (now I know I shouldn't have done it), alot of shuddering and misfiring crap, but I accidentally replaced the wrong coil I think so I switched it up and it started up fine. I took it around the block and even gave it some gas. Everything seemed fine.

Brought it back to my driveway and showed my roommate how the sound was gone, and then it came back! the shuddering.

The light is still on. I know when an e46 misfires it throws a check engine light on that stays on for a few days before turning off.
What do I do?
Do I take it to a shop? If I do, do I drive it there or tow it? I've started the car already, have I completely f*cked) my car?

Also, if I do drive it to the autozone (they'll clear the check engine for free) would that be risky with a possible small ceramic spark plug piece in it? WOULD THE CERAMIC PIECE EVEN SET OFF A CHECK ENGINE LIGHT????? Because I'm thinking if the light goes off and and doesn't come back on, all this worry was my car just being freaky because I took it half apart.

I'd be so thankful for a response to this, I'm a poor college student with a car out of my price range and I would really like to keep my baby with me for a few more years...

Love you guys,
happy driving
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Old 06-23-2013, 10:34 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Location: New York
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Mein Auto: '04 330Ci 6-speed
Don't love us so much; we can't take it.

Just stop worrying right now tho. I sense that nothing nearly as bad as you're thinking has happened. Best for you to go to the dealer or indy now and ask them to get the engine running right.
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Old 06-23-2013, 11:31 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
If you go to a well-equipped shop, they will have a bore scope (like a small camera on a flexible stalk) that can be inserted through the plug hole, and they`ll be able to see inside that cylinder.

Good luck !
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Old 06-24-2013, 04:46 AM
wdaveweaver wdaveweaver is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 330i ZHP
I highly doubt a piece of the Ceramic Insulator from the spark plug is going to cause much issues. Yes, it shouldn't be in the cylinder, but the piston and valves are much stronger that that little piece of glass and it will likely work its way out. Metal, now that's another story. Still, as suggested, take it to an indy and have that cylinder scoped to see what is going on. Likely your coil pack is going bad and that is where your misfire and shudder is coming from.
Gig'Em Ags

Last edited by wdaveweaver; 06-24-2013 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:36 AM
CharlesH CharlesH is offline
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Location: Maryland
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4
Mein Auto: 2003 325xi
Hey thanks so much for the replies guys.

I had it OBD'd the service engine soon light turned off. (it was a misfire on cylinder 1, the same cylinder I dropped the ceramic in) The BMW guy said i probably pushed it through the cylinder and to just chill on it unless the light comes back on
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