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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-31-2020, 06:19 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Idle / jerking problems (long history)

I'm Jake, this is my first post. I'm a so-so car mechanic but I maintain all my own cars. I purchased my first BMW two years ago (2008 535i), and I've got a problem that may be recent or may have been evident since I bought the car, not sure. Here's the details:

The real problem started a few weeks ago, we've had a few cold snaps here in the Central Valley. I went to start my car and it struggled to start (turned over a few times, finally ignited). Idle was rough, but once I let it sit and went down the road it corrected. The last maintenance I did was changing the spark plugs and coils. At the time I changed plugs / coils, the car would start smooth, but once it did it's little 30 second BIT check, the idle went rough. The idle smoothed out after the car was warm. When I changed the plugs / wires, Cyl #1 was wet with fuel. Cyl 1 comes into play recently as well, as I got impatient and pressed the gas pedal while the engine was idling rough during its BIT and got a CES P0301 and P03201 (Multiple Cyll misfire / #1 Cyl misfire).

Some folks on this forum on other threads suggested reading the fuel trim live data, so I did. All readings are within 0% +/- 5% EXCEPT LONGFT2, which at idle cold reads -11%, at idle warm reads -5.5% and all other RPMs for all other readings are 0% +/- 5%. I read on this forum that more than 5% indicates something is off, but I've heard from others that more than 10% is when I should worry.

Potential unrelated:

Since I bought the car, even when it idles smooth there is a very slight "kick" or hiccup every 5-10seconds. Might be a turbo thing, this is the first turbo I've owned.

About 6 months ago the car was idling so bad it was drastic, changed the plugs and got smooth idle. Might have just been time. I noticed one oily plug.

About one month ago I changed the plugs and coils because of the rough idle (but smooth start). No plugs were oily, but #1 was wet with fuel.

About 2 months ago I pulled both VANOS and cleaned them. Did the 9v excitation check, both energized fine, didn't seem to be a problem. The car did idle much better after I cleaned them, though.

About 3 months ago, I was sick of chasing this issue so I called my local import mechanic. He was swamped so he asked me what the problem was, I told him about the rough idle, he said to change the fuel tank vent valve, said he had a Porsche in the shop at that time with the same issue. I changed the valve, it got better, but the problem came back.

I drove to SanFran over Christmas, lots of mountain driving after letting the car sit at the airport for a week, little bit of a rough idle on start but smooth driving through the hills, zero performance issues.

Every once in a while, on the on-ramp to Fresno (or passing someone on the way to Fresno) I will get a "engine reduced power" warning, but it operates the same and goes away when I restart the car.

Pretty much everything I've done to this car has made the symptoms get better temporarily.

So right now going into the weekend I just ordered fuel injector o-rings (called gaskets, apparently) and bought some MAF cleaner. My plan is to go looking for a leaking injector, but other forums I'm reading on here make me wonder if it's an idle problem. If it were an idle problem however, it would not just be Cyl 1 that has the issue, it would be multiple. So I'm at the end of my rope for troubleshooting if it's not a worn o-ring.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by JSFengineer; 01-31-2020 at 07:00 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2020, 12:24 PM
TJ209 TJ209 is offline
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You should contact your local dealer about BMW SIB 13 01 20 emissions recall campaign 10E-A02 that could get your fuel injectors replaced for free at the dealership. Search for posts to get a copy for your inquiry.
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2020, 12:56 PM
MysticRob MysticRob is offline
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I've recently been dealing with a longer crank, rougher than normal idle off and on for the last weeks, and an occasional hunting idle, in Boise since it's gotten much colder. No idea if the colder weather is to blame, but that's when my issues started.

First issue was CEL and reduced power. Codes showed exhaust VANOS and an odd one for IBS comms. I restarted the car later and it ran fine for a few days, but I have two new VANOS solenoids coming in the mail this Friday since the service history doesn't indicate they've ever been changed after 110k miles. I tried cleaning them in the past and it was only a temp solution so figured it's time. Been down on low RPM power anyway for months now, so figure changing both sounds like a good solution.

Last Sunday after the super bowl it started up again, though far worse, CEL and felt like missing on a cylinder. Turning car off and on a few times resulted in same horrible idle and loss of power.
This time coded for a misfire on cylinder 3. Plugs have only 10k miles so replaced coil with a spare I had from a previous N54 car. Ran fine immediately after the coil change.

Ran fine a few more days, then today at lunch feels like it's missing on a cylinder again. Coded for cylinder 4 this time. I'll throw another spare coil at it and let everyone know.

At this point I'd be wary of your VANOS solenoids possibly also creating your specific problems. Cleaning sometimes just doesn't quite do it, and the energizing test may not tell the whole story. The hunting is a classic VANOS symptom from other accounts I've read.
Obviously the gas smell is a bad thing for you, which is likely the injector, though a bad coil wouldn't light the mixture off on the compression stroke, so maybe it's just unburned fuel from a crappy coil too.
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Last edited by MysticRob; 02-05-2020 at 03:44 PM.
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2020, 03:04 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ209 View Post
You should contact your local dealer about BMW SIB 13 01 20 emissions recall campaign 10E-A02 that could get your fuel injectors replaced for free at the dealership. Search for posts to get a copy for your inquiry.
Thanks TJ209, I called the local dealership about the recall, they said it already had that campaign accomplished in 2013 at the Fresno dealership, all six injectors replaced. I said well I would assume the injectors are good since they are only seven years old. He said “you’d hope so, yeah”.

I got the seals in today so I’ll be opening her up soon, but one more symptom occurred. I left the key in the ignition while I was texting on my phone, then started cold after the pumps being on for about 30 seconds. The car started right away without hesitation, but then went on to idle rough until it was warm. Seems like if an injector or seal was leaking, it would depressurize with the car off (or a seal contracting in the cold), so maybe this is more evidence for a fuel issue.
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2020, 05:35 PM
mjchecko mjchecko is offline
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Do you have the seal prep tool? The teflon FI seals are oversized to seal inside the bore, and they need to be squeezed down by the tool just prior to installation in order to seat properly. You won't be able to reinstall the injectors without it.

How are you going to test for a leaking injector? I don't know the procedure for that on this engine

Has your hpfp been changed? That's another n54 recall item and some of your symptoms could be from a weak pump.
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Old 02-05-2020, 06:34 PM
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You don't list your mileage. Have you have the unit walnut blasted yet? Over 50K, you probably need it.
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Old 02-05-2020, 08:48 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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I had a bad idle issue tonight. I also had a low oil warning level. Since the 1 litre oil bottle I normally carry was empty, I had to drive a hiccuping car to my nearest local auto supply store to purchase some. After purchasing the oil, I popped the hood and discovered that I had left the oil filler cap open and had made quite a mess of the engine compartment due to oil blowing out of the filler hole. After topping up the oil, and closing the cap the car runs and idles fine.

Have you checked your CCV system for leaks?
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Old 02-11-2020, 11:40 PM
Kurishax Kurishax is offline
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Hi Guys,

I have the same Issue on my BMW e60 2008 525i. Went to dealer they said i have to change NOx Sensor. but i dont believe them on this. What could this sensor do to my bad Idle and vibration.

Any of u BMW master's know what is going on here?
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:30 AM
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Old 03-02-2020, 08:04 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Hey guys, Jake again. Over a month ago I said I was going to change my fuel injector seals that weekend, but I ended up fixing up my scooter and riding that to work instead lol. However, I thought I'd update this thread with one critical piece of info. In Central Valley, it can be 32F in the morning and 80F in the evening, which is great for troubleshooting. In the morning, the car starts ok after the key is in the ignition for 5 seconds, then idles very rough, then idles smooth at the next red light (after being driven a few minutes). When I start the car on my way home from work when it's hot, it turns over quite a few times before starting, but idles fairly smooth. Anything that fluctuates with temperature points towards a seal somewhere, so I'm every more sure that it's the fuel injector seals (or MAYBE the VANOS seals). Gonna actually try to attempt the seal replacement this weekend. I'll update when I do. Also, I will be buying the seal installation tool.
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Old 03-03-2020, 12:56 AM
Kurishax Kurishax is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurishax View Post
Hi Guys,

I have the same Issue on my BMW e60 2008 525i. Went to dealer they said i have to change NOx Sensor. but i dont believe them on this. What could this sensor do to my bad Idle and vibration.

Any of u BMW master's know what is going on here?

Hi guys,

So i just wanted to share my solution with you guys. Went to the dealer few days ago and they have checked the car for me. They came up with:

I had to change 3 injectors bcs they were leaking.
i had to change the CCV - link to show what i mean.

https://www.offenga.nl/bmw-onderdele...SABEgKlKvD_BwE

costs:
CCV = 400 eu
injectors x3 700 eu
I had to let the car know that it has 3 new injectors. i dont know what this is called in english.
costs: 150 eu

total costs for me: 2k eu

alot of money i know.. but if u can do it urself.. maybe 1200 eu.



sorry for bad english
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Old 03-05-2020, 09:23 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Thanks for that reply. This is more evidence that it's a leaking injector, whether it's the injectors themselves or the seal. Mine changes based on temperature so I'm guessing mine has more to do with the seals. The CCV doesn't seem too hard to change but in all the videos I've watched, they are rarely clogged.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:24 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Update

So I finally got around to changing the seals. The old seals were in good condition, but it wasn't really that hard to pull the injectors. I had a special tool, but only one of them were hard to pull. I used the tape method to shrink the seals, then put them to two dies, then put the injector back in within 15 seconds of removing from the die and cleaning off the lithium grease.

Put the key fab in, waited about 6 seconds for the pump to prime, then cranked it.

First two seconds: started like a dream, idled smoother than I've ever hear it

next 28 seconds (running it's BIT test), rough idle, about as bad as before on a cold start.

After the BIT test, as the idle drops, the engine was trying to choke itself (unlike Jeffery Epstein). It was rougher than usual, and I could actually hear the misfires. So after about 20 seconds I shut it off. At this point I plugged the ODB reader plugged in.

Cranked a second time and monitored the LONGST. Idle was rough, then after the 30 second BIT the idle got really bad. LONGST was at -12 during rough idle, then went to -20, then. -36 as the idle got so bad I thought it was going to die on its own, unlike Jeffery Epstein.

I started it again, thinking maybe the ECM needed to reset. Same results.

I unplugged both VANOS, started it, got high RPM but smooth idle. With VANOS disconnected the LONGST2 was at about -8 to -12, about what it was before when it was started cold. Shut it off. Walked away to scratch my head.

Walked back and started it, VANOS still disconnected, rough idle, misfire. Reconnected the VANOS. Started it, a little rough, then smoothed out. By now, pre-seal replacement, with the car warm, LONST should be about -8 to -12 at idle, which it was, but the idle was still a little rougher than before, with the occasional hesitation as I drove it around the block. I finally backed in back in to the garage and ordered two new VANOS from rock auto. Yeah I know it's probably not the "best" place to get them but honestly it's worth the money just for troubleshooting at this point because the only other thing I can think of at this point is a bad injector and they are $300 ea.

Only other notes are that each injector was solid black at the tip, lots of carbon buildup, cleaned up quickly with a rag and MAF cleaner. When I pull the injectors they were relatively easy, could almost pull by hand. When I put each injector back in, I had to really push to get them into place, so I know they are snug. I probably should have taken photos but the seals were all pretty flush, exactly as they looked when removed.

So I get the new VANOS on Wednesday but my hopes aren't really high that this is the fix. I pulled the solenoids a few months back, cleaned them (they weren't too bad), and did the 9V test to make sure they still worked. They did. I couldn't tell you what condition the seals were in, they looked like seals. Who knows.

ANY input is welcome at this point! Luckily I got my old POS Jaguar fixed up so I've got a daily commute while the Beamer sits in the garage. And the working from home is nice too.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:27 PM
JSFengineer JSFengineer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
I had a bad idle issue tonight. I also had a low oil warning level. Since the 1 litre oil bottle I normally carry was empty, I had to drive a hiccuping car to my nearest local auto supply store to purchase some. After purchasing the oil, I popped the hood and discovered that I had left the oil filler cap open and had made quite a mess of the engine compartment due to oil blowing out of the filler hole. After topping up the oil, and closing the cap the car runs and idles fine.

Have you checked your CCV system for leaks?
How exactly do I check my CCV for leaks? I'd have to do it myself, my local import guy is out for a few months, COVID19 and all.
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