M54 down on power. - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-17-2019, 08:25 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
M54 down on power.

Hi guys, I don't have an E46, but I do have an early model E60 with the M54 engine. Since a lot of you here have the same M54B30 engine that is in my 530i, I thought I would ask here. I have 160k on this car and it's really down on power. I have no codes, so I don't know where to start. Have any of you E46 owners had this same issue?
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #2  
Old 04-17-2019, 09:18 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne, Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: E46 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Hi guys, I don't have an E46, but I do have an early model E60 with the M54 engine. Since a lot of you here have the same M54B30 engine that is in my 530i, I thought I would ask here. I have 160k on this car and it's really down on power. I have no codes, so I don't know where to start. Have any of you E46 owners had this same issue?
Well that's really vague, loss in power can be associated with many things raging from vacuum leaks, clogged injectors, leaking spark plug seals, clogged PCV etc. Are there any other issues, do you notice anything from the car? Also how do you know there is power loss, aside from "the feeling"?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-17-2019, 10:47 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
Well that's really vague, loss in power can be associated with many things raging from vacuum leaks, clogged injectors, leaking spark plug seals, clogged PCV etc. Are there any other issues, do you notice anything from the car? Also how do you know there is power loss, aside from "the feeling"?
Yes it is vague, but I don't know where to start. I've checked for vacuum leaks and found none. I do have blue smoke on startup that I believe may be a faulty CCV, but AFAIK that wouldn't rob power. I also have stumbling idle on some mornings, but it's only happened a couple of times.

I know it slow because it shouldn't take 9 seconds to get up to 60 MPH.
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 04-17-2019, 01:12 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 42,129
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Have the codes scanned. Write down the results, and post them here. That will help in the diagnosis.
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Disabled American Veterans*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-17-2019, 04:39 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne, Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: E46 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Have the codes scanned. Write down the results, and post them here. That will help in the diagnosis.
Since we are on the topic, ima steal the thread a bit. Autozone read my car to have bad MAF sensor, and I'm clueless as to how these codes are generated. I have aftermarket ebay-performance catless headers, and I turned off the CEL for this particular issue, or rather I purchased an unlocked ECU with no-cats option. Now, I don't know if this is the reason I get the MAF code, or my MAF is actually bad. I did try to drive without a MAD sensor at all, and it's really about the same, maybe a bit better idle. If I reconnected the engine stutters a little, and then goes back to normal which means the sensor works?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-17-2019, 06:24 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Have the codes scanned. Write down the results, and post them here. That will help in the diagnosis.
Like I said, I have no codes. No shadow faults, nothing. Itís like my engine was detuned by some people overnight.
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-17-2019, 06:53 PM
Aaustins14's Avatar
Aaustins14 Aaustins14 is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Rochester, NY
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 334
Mein Auto: '02 325ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
Since we are on the topic, ima steal the thread a bit.

Definitely stole the thread. Best bet is to start a new thread.

Your MAF sensor has nothing to do with deleting your cats.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Like I said, I have no codes. No shadow faults, nothing. Itís like my engine was detuned by some people overnight.

When was the last time you did your plugs?

Have you checked your air filter to make sure it isnít plugged?




Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-17-2019, 09:08 PM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 42,129
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Like I said, I have no codes. No shadow faults, nothing. It's like my engine was detuned by some people overnight.
That narrows it down a bit. There are not many factors which will degrade performance without throwing any fault codes. The one that goes to the top of my "Usual Suspects" list would be bad VANOS seals.

P.S.: Is your power loss "RPM specific"? (i.e., does it seem weak in the lower range, but then get stronger above 4000 RPMs ?)
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Disabled American Veterans*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....

Last edited by Fast Bob; 04-17-2019 at 09:11 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-18-2019, 06:37 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaustins14 View Post


When was the last time you did your plugs?

Have you checked your air filter to make sure it isnít plugged?




Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
I haven't done spark plugs or coils. iDrive says they're still good, of course one of the previous owners might have just reset it.

I installed new OE air filter back in January.
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-18-2019, 06:45 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
That narrows it down a bit. There are not many factors which will degrade performance without throwing any fault codes. The one that goes to the top of my "Usual Suspects" list would be bad VANOS seals.

P.S.: Is your power loss "RPM specific"? (i.e., does it seem weak in the lower range, but then get stronger above 4000 RPMs ?)
Do you mean like a Honda VTEC-like transition, where someone flipped a switch? Or just weak torque in the lower rev range? It pulls more in the higher RPM for sure. But even then, hitting the kickdown switch and letting it drop gears doesn't seem to help much.

I see a lot of debate on Bimmerfest about weather or not replacing the Vanos seals does anything. I can order the kit and do it myself, not expensive. I guess I can also have the injectors cleaned professionally and install new spark plugs too.
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-18-2019, 09:57 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 42,129
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Do you mean like a Honda VTEC-like transition, where someone flipped a switch? Or just weak torque in the lower rev range? It pulls more in the higher RPM for sure. But even then, hitting the kickdown switch and letting it drop gears doesn't seem to help much.

I see a lot of debate on Bimmerfest about weather or not replacing the Vanos seals does anything. I can order the kit and do it myself, not expensive. I guess I can also have the injectors cleaned professionally and install new spark plugs too.
To those who claim no difference with new VANOS seals, I can only say "Your ass is sucking wind !". In addition to contributing to irregular idling problems, bad VANOS seals throw off the cam timing, allowing them to advance prematurely, long before there are enough RPMs to take advantage of that advance. The normal "turnover point" is around 4000 RPMs, at which point you should feel an increase in power.
You have nothing to lose by replacing the seals, as they ALL go bad eventually....
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Disabled American Veterans*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-18-2019, 11:44 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
To those who claim no difference with new VANOS seals, I can only say "Your ass is sucking wind !". In addition to contributing to irregular idling problems, bad VANOS seals throw off the cam timing, allowing them to advance prematurely, long before there are enough RPMs to take advantage of that advance. The normal "turnover point" is around 4000 RPMs, at which point you should feel an increase in power.
You have nothing to lose by replacing the seals, as they ALL go bad eventually....
I take it you have done this repair, and found a big difference in power.

I'll order the parts today and do it when I remove the intake to replace the CCV system. Anything else that should be swapped out while I have the intake manifold pulled off?
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-18-2019, 11:50 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne, Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: E46 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
I take it you have done this repair, and found a big difference in power.



I'll order the parts today and do it when I remove the intake to replace the CCV system. Anything else that should be swapped out while I have the intake manifold pulled off?


Iíd say replace vacuum lines no matter how good your current ones are, itís cheap, but hard to get to. Remember that the intake gasket is a one time use. Also there is throttle body and disa valve o-rings, and since they arenít expensive I like replace all at once to further prolong their life.

For the Vanos most recommend using Beisan seals, but Iím unsure on the quality of other manufacturers. Also the Vanos oil supply washers are one time use.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-18-2019, 12:49 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
Iíd say replace vacuum lines no matter how good your current ones are, itís cheap, but hard to get to. Remember that the intake gasket is a one time use. Also there is throttle body and disa valve o-rings, and since they arenít expensive I like replace all at once to further prolong their life.

For the Vanos most recommend using Beisan seals, but Iím unsure on the quality of other manufacturers. Also the Vanos oil supply washers are one time use.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
Can the DISA valve o-ring be replaced? I checked my DISA valve about two weeks ago to check- it was still fine. It looked like it was molded into the plastic and not replaceable.

I think the E60 has different vacuum line locations, but I guess I could replace those too.
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-18-2019, 02:10 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne, Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: E46 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Can the DISA valve o-ring be replaced? I checked my DISA valve about two weeks ago to check- it was still fine. It looked like it was molded into the plastic and not replaceable.



I think the E60 has different vacuum line locations, but I guess I could replace those too.


Yes, it can be replaced, but you are right, it is not a regular o ring. I pulled mine in many pieces, and I think this is the reason why bmw doesnít sell one. But after 5minutes of google search youíll find dimensions or replica o-rings, which is better than a worn one.


Sent from my iPhone using Bimmerfest mobile app
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-18-2019, 08:14 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,353
Mein Auto: 2003 330ci (5 speed)
My old ZHP took 8.5 seconds to get 60mph, no codes, ran fine. I replaced VANOS, MAF, plugs, deleted the CCV, smoke tests, etc. Ended up being clogged catalytic converters. Threw on catless headers and my 0-60 went down to 5 seconds. Years of oil usage had taken their toll on the cats.

My diagnosis started with putting a paper towel in the tail pipe and revving the engine, it barely had enough flow to push the paper towel out of the exhaust. Then, I used a laser temperature scanner and saw that the cats were WAY hotter than the exhaust coming out of the head. Sure enough, the cats were stopped up badly! There is a thread in here somewhere where I showed them after I cut them open.

Good luck
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old Yesterday, 06:35 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
My old ZHP took 8.5 seconds to get 60mph, no codes, ran fine. I replaced VANOS, MAF, plugs, deleted the CCV, smoke tests, etc. Ended up being clogged catalytic converters. Threw on catless headers and my 0-60 went down to 5 seconds. Years of oil usage had taken their toll on the cats.

My diagnosis started with putting a paper towel in the tail pipe and revving the engine, it barely had enough flow to push the paper towel out of the exhaust. Then, I used a laser temperature scanner and saw that the cats were WAY hotter than the exhaust coming out of the head. Sure enough, the cats were stopped up badly! There is a thread in here somewhere where I showed them after I cut them open.

Good luck

How many miles did you have on your ZHP at the time? How much was it to have it fixed?
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old Yesterday, 10:49 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,353
Mein Auto: 2003 330ci (5 speed)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
How many miles did you have on your ZHP at the time? How much was it to have it fixed?
205k miles when I fixed it. Had probably been down on power since about 130-150k miles. The forum guys bought the headers for me. They were $300 iirc, the labor was free, I did it myself.

For new cats and labor expect it to be north of $1000.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old Yesterday, 11:42 AM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
205k miles when I fixed it. Had probably been down on power since about 130-150k miles. The forum guys bought the headers for me. They were $300 iirc, the labor was free, I did it myself.

For new cats and labor expect it to be north of $1000.
Crap, I hope that's not what it is. I need to replace CCV and vanos seals too. Aren't catless headers illegal in most states?
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old Yesterday, 12:09 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
Registered User
Location: Melbourne, Florida
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 66
Mein Auto: E46 330Ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Aren't catless headers illegal in most states?
https://drivinglaws.aaa.com/tag/emissions-inspection/
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old Yesterday, 06:33 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,353
Mein Auto: 2003 330ci (5 speed)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Crap, I hope that's not what it is. I need to replace CCV and vanos seals too. Aren't catless headers illegal in most states?
Probably illegal in all of them, but my state doesnít require vehicle inspection. They also trigger your CEL.

Iíd do the paper towel test, and the temp test as well.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old Yesterday, 09:35 PM
Nerdboss Nerdboss is online now
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: USA
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 1,672
Mein Auto: 2015 X3 35i
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Probably illegal in all of them, but my state doesnít require vehicle inspection. They also trigger your CEL.

Iíd do the paper towel test, and the temp test as well.
Whatís the normal temp for the catalytic converter?
__________________
2015 X3 35i | Black Sapphire | Technology | HK | Cold Weather | Xenon | X-Line | Premium Package | Driver's assistance |
2005 530i | Jet Black | Sport Package | Heads up display | Adaptive Xenon | Navigation | Rear Sunshade
2011 328i | Jet Black | Oyster/black Dakota | Navigation | Premium package | Sport Package | Heated seats (sold)
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old Today, 06:09 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is offline
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 23,353
Mein Auto: 2003 330ci (5 speed)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdboss View Post
Whatís the normal temp for the catalytic converter?
Not sure, but my temps at the 02 sensor were a lot lower than the 350 degrees coming off my cat. If yours are clogged you should see very high temps at the cat compared to the head/exhaust ports by the upper o2 sensor.
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
Reply

See More Related BMW Stories


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series & 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
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

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
DIY- Replacement of Leaky Power Steering Hoses bgal530 5 Series DIY 1 08-18-2015 01:43 PM
BMW Service Codes 00000000 through 09999999 mksu19 General BMW Questions 7 02-22-2013 06:07 PM
Torque, Power, RPMs and all that (series) neapolitan E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013) 25 05-19-2009 04:07 PM


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
© 2001- VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.