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  #1  
Old 05-31-2019, 08:52 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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330Ci stalls while driving at higher RPM

Seems like something is off with my car yet again. I wanna get a jump start on figuring out what's the issue.

So the car stalls while driving and there is a noticeable change in the exhaust sound, I guess cam position and a/f mixture.the noticeable change appears if I rev the car above 3,000 rpm or so.

I'm thinking of the following issues:
  • The car was low on gas so refiling it I though may identify an issue with the fuel system but nothing changed.
  • Some online search suggested that it might be my battery going bad, because the car struggles to start up after dying. I will check battery at Autozone tomorrow morning, but I doubt it.
  • I will read the codes tomorrow with INPA, see if there are any errors that the car throws.
  • Since there is a change at higher RPM could it be an issue with VANOS? Vanos position sensor? I recently replaced vanos o-rings and the car was great for about a month.
  • Lastly I currently drive without a MAF sensor, but it hasn't been an issue before.

I feel like I didn't describe a problem well, so here is an edit:

Above a certain RPM (~3000) the car starts to misfire, stutter and eventually dies. To keep the car driving at lower speed I rev it high so it doesn't die and at times it seems to fix the issue and the car is back to normal. Once I rev it back to 3000 the issue returns. Once the car dies it has a lot of trouble starting, and really only starts with wide open throttle.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2019, 01:24 AM
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Are the fuel pump and filter original to the car ?
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:50 AM
marcozandrini marcozandrini is offline
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The first step in diagnosing a problem is to scan the engine computer (DME in BMWspeak) for codes. The Service Engine Soon light is on only when an emissions related code is present.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:18 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
Are the fuel pump and filter original to the car ?
I actually don't know, the history of the car is unknown. At 210k I think the fuel filter is best be replaced anyway.
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Old 06-01-2019, 05:21 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Originally Posted by marcozandrini View Post
The first step in diagnosing a problem is to scan the engine computer (DME in BMWspeak) for codes. The Service Engine Soon light is on only when an emissions related code is present.
Yeah, here is a thing with CEL light though. I have catless headers and the car doesn't throw codes because that was disabled. And sometimes I wonder if CEL was disabled all together... That being said what's a good tool besides INPA or Autozone to get codes (cheap pls)?
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
I actually don't know, the history of the car is unknown. At 210k I think the fuel filter is best be replaced anyway.
In which case, both pump and filter should be replaced. Pumps can "soft fail" (maybe your current problem), or, they can also just BANG flat-out give up, leaving you stranded, often at an inconvenient time or place. Better to do a pre-emptive strike, when and where it`s convenient for you.
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Old 06-04-2019, 11:14 PM
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with the information given and with out codes I'm thinking/guessing vanos is your problem.
Symptoms

Cars experience:
Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption.
Repairing the vanos seals provides:
Overall increase in torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Resolution of bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Smooth even distribution of power and RPM transition. Resolution of engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Quiet stable idle. Smooth easy takeoffs. Improved performance when AC on. Reduced fuel consumption, by ~10%.

Cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall.

In some cases the engine computer will generate a fault code. The code is usually associated with the vanos exhaust side. This is due to the powerful spring in the vanos exhaust cylinder which forces the piston out. Fault codes include:
P1520 (BMW 104, 0x68): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator (faulty reference value).
P1523 (BMW 106, 0x6A): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator Tight or Jammed (mechanically stuck).
P1397 (BMW 18, 0x12): Camshaft Position Sensor B (exhaust) Circuit.
The exhaust camshaft position sensor (CPS) is a common failure. But if replacing the exhaust CPS (w/ OEM CPS) doesnít work then itís likely the vanos failure.
On 01+ M54 & M56 engine cars codes P1520 & P1523 were removed. Thus code P1397 appears.

*need more info:
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

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Last edited by BimmurBrothor; 06-04-2019 at 11:35 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-05-2019, 04:53 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmurBrothor View Post
with the information given and with out codes I'm thinking/guessing vanos is your problem.
Symptoms

Cars experience:
Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption.
Repairing the vanos seals provides:
Overall increase in torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Resolution of bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Smooth even distribution of power and RPM transition. Resolution of engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Quiet stable idle. Smooth easy takeoffs. Improved performance when AC on. Reduced fuel consumption, by ~10%.

Cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall.

In some cases the engine computer will generate a fault code. The code is usually associated with the vanos exhaust side. This is due to the powerful spring in the vanos exhaust cylinder which forces the piston out. Fault codes include:
P1520 (BMW 104, 0x68): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator (faulty reference value).
P1523 (BMW 106, 0x6A): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator Tight or Jammed (mechanically stuck).
P1397 (BMW 18, 0x12): Camshaft Position Sensor B (exhaust) Circuit.
The exhaust camshaft position sensor (CPS) is a common failure. But if replacing the exhaust CPS (w/ OEM CPS) doesnít work then itís likely the vanos failure.
On 01+ M54 & M56 engine cars codes P1520 & P1523 were removed. Thus code P1397 appears.

*need more info:
http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
Thanks, I too think it might be Vanos, but I just replaced Vanos seals with Beisan o-rings a couple weeks ago. I'm thinking that it could be cam position sensor. A quick update though, I've been driving the car since the day I made that post and it's totally fine. Could it be just adjusting to new exhaust?
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:15 AM
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BimmurBrothor BimmurBrothor is offline
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ah! good to here. knowing these cars it wouldn't surprise me. tell us, how long has the adjustment taken place? the car is back to normal.

more info: Symptoms

Cars experience:
Overall loss of torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Uneven power distribution and RPM transition. Engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Louder idle and intermittent idle RPM hiccups. Difficult takeoffs. Loss of power and bogging when AC on. Increased fuel consumption.
Repairing the vanos seals provides:
Overall increase in torque and power, particularly in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Resolution of bogging then surging at 3k RPM. Smooth even distribution of power and RPM transition. Resolution of engine hesitations in the lower RPM range, < 3k. Quiet stable idle. Smooth easy takeoffs. Improved performance when AC on. Reduced fuel consumption, by ~10%.

Cars with the M52TU engine (98/99-00) experience cold weather cold start idle jolts and possible stall.

In some cases the engine computer will generate a fault code. The code is usually associated with the vanos exhaust side. This is due to the powerful spring in the vanos exhaust cylinder which forces the piston out. Fault codes include:
P1520 (BMW 104, 0x68): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator (faulty reference value).
P1523 (BMW 106, 0x6A): B (exhaust) Camshaft Position Actuator Tight or Jammed (mechanically stuck).
P1397 (BMW 18, 0x12): Camshaft Position Sensor B (exhaust) Circuit.
The exhaust camshaft position sensor (CPS) is a common failure. But if replacing the exhaust CPS (w/ OEM CPS) doesnít work then itís likely the vanos failure.
On 01+ M54 & M56 engine cars codes P1520 & P1523 were removed. Thus code P1397 appears.
There's more @...

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

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Last edited by BimmurBrothor; 06-05-2019 at 06:26 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-05-2019, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
In which case, both pump and filter should be replaced. Pumps can "soft fail" (maybe your current problem), or, they can also just BANG flat-out give up, leaving you stranded, often at an inconvenient time or place. Better to do a pre-emptive strike, when and where it`s convenient for you.
Fuel pump would be my guess also, then it means problem will come back in few days even when it works fine now.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:37 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Originally Posted by BimmurBrothor View Post
ah! good to here. knowing these cars it wouldn't surprise me. tell us, how long has the adjustment taken place? the car is back to normal.
Let's see I dropped my car on the ground Friday, drove for about an hour, then left it over night drove it for 30 minutes in the morning, and didn't have a problem since.
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Old 06-05-2019, 06:42 AM
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you'll keep your eye on it for a few more days tho.
Damn! to think, the problem was those seals

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Old 06-05-2019, 06:43 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
Fuel pump would be my guess also, then it means problem will come back in few days even when it works fine now.
It could be the issue. I checked battery and alternator it's not them, and I order new MAF, cause I know for a fact that mine doesn't work. Fuel system with next paycheck.
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:35 AM
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If precat o2 sensors are original replace them as well.
And then I would go after vacuum leaks.

What are your long term fuel trims?
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:46 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Just replaced all vacuum lines, and I don't have CATS so would I really worry about precat sensors?
Quote:
Originally Posted by archbid View Post
What are your long term fuel trims?
Also, I don't really know
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:44 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Update: I installed a new MAF sensor, because well there is a code for faulty MAF sensor. The car idles a lot better when cold, idles okay, maybe a bit better when warm. The car doesn't stall as it used to, but I just pushed it to 80mph in town revving to max, and once released the throttle the car just shut off at speed and gave me oil and battery lights. Started back just fine and continued driving. So next is fuel pump and filter, because I'm getting a feeling that if accelerate too fast the fuel pump fails.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:01 PM
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change the oil level sensor...its cheap!

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Old 06-08-2019, 07:13 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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change the oil level sensor...its cheap!

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Just for the heck of it?
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:31 PM
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Just for the heck of it?
well not really...about a 1.2 years ago I just got my 04 x3 2.5. peach of a car. anyways while driving and getting familiar with the car...it went dead, stalled...so during my research (I had already changed the standard stuff) I found one odd post/link where the guy described the very same thing as I had experienced with the 04...reluctantly I did it! after experiencing the car go down on me again at a stop light. no such problem since...heck the car had at the time 162k on the clock...I figured, it's due and I'm sorry to say...it was aftermarket sensor...roughly 15 bucks. my wife is the primary driver of that car and believe me she is better at notifying me than the dash warning lights!
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:54 PM
archbid archbid is offline
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Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
Update: I installed a new MAF sensor, because well there is a code for faulty MAF sensor. The car idles a lot better when cold, idles okay, maybe a bit better when warm. The car doesn't stall as it used to, but I just pushed it to 80mph in town revving to max, and once released the throttle the car just shut off at speed and gave me oil and battery lights. Started back just fine and continued driving. So next is fuel pump and filter, because I'm getting a feeling that if accelerate too fast the fuel pump fails.
They are both diagnosable with a simple fuel pressure gauge. Why not test and find out?

Also, if your O2 sensors are original/older than 100k, replace them.
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Old 06-16-2019, 09:54 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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They are both diagnosable with a simple fuel pressure gauge. Why not test and find out?

Also, if your O2 sensors are original/older than 100k, replace them.
I should really diagnose before spending money, for sure.

As far as O2 sensor, is there any way to test it besides reports from the commuter (which I don't have any O2 errors) ?
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Old 06-16-2019, 07:14 PM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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aaaand it's back, worse than before, gonna park the car for now, till I get the fuel filter and read the codes. At 3500 sharp it starts misfiring, and unless full throttle dies, if it sits for 5-10 minutes all is back to normal. I just replaced vanos o rings with beisan system and I'm thinking maybe the VANOS is getting stuck after engagement? Seems like a sound theory, so cams are not in correct position once engaged, and the car chokes, until oil pressure is relieved and vanos retards. Maybe vanos solenoid?

It's a guessing game, till I measure fuel pressure, but INPA doesn't show any new errors with the car tho.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:13 AM
archbid archbid is offline
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Originally Posted by e46Natasha View Post
I should really diagnose before spending money, for sure.

As far as O2 sensor, is there any way to test it besides reports from the commuter (which I don't have any O2 errors) ?
The O2 sensors won't throw "I'm Failing" codes unless the heater fails or there is no signal. As they fail they will mess up the ecu calculations leading to other codes like misfires and lean codes.

They are wear items like filters and plugs and should be replaced at 1k up to 2003 models and 125k after.

You can diagnose, as a soft failing o2 sensor will tend to react mode slowly than one that is performing correctly. However this requires you to chart the readings over a period and compare to known good readings for the same type of driving in the same type of vehicle.

My advice is replace on the maintenance interval. If nothing else it will spare your cats a bit of abuse.
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Old 06-17-2019, 08:33 AM
archbid archbid is offline
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Presuming the Vanos under your circumstances is like presuming zebras when you hear hoofbeats. You really need to follow the list above. It very likely contains the solution.

These cars are not miraculous self-diagnosing machines, so presuming a component works because there is no code is a fallacy. If your fuel filter is more than 60k, just replace it. Trying to think your way through this is ignoring the immense amount of pattern-matching that this forum has based on seeing the same scenarios over and over again.
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Old 06-17-2019, 10:22 AM
e46Natasha e46Natasha is offline
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Originally Posted by archbid View Post
The O2 sensors won't throw "I'm Failing" codes unless the heater fails or there is no signal. As they fail they will mess up the ecu calculations leading to other codes like misfires and lean codes.

They are wear items like filters and plugs and should be replaced at 1k up to 2003 models and 125k after.

You can diagnose, as a soft failing o2 sensor will tend to react mode slowly than one that is performing correctly. However this requires you to chart the readings over a period and compare to known good readings for the same type of driving in the same type of vehicle.

My advice is replace on the maintenance interval. If nothing else it will spare your cats a bit of abuse.
Sounds reasonable, but they are expensive Also I've got no CATs to spare, haha
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