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Hello all,

I apologize in advance if this is a repost, but my situation seems a little different from the threads I've found. I purchased a 2008 535xi automatic with 84k miles yesterday. On my way home from the dealership, I got on the interstate and as I was accelerating up the on ramp (uphill ramp, moderate to heavy acceleration) I noticed a hard intermittent jerk in the 2000-3000 rpm range. I'm somewhat of a gear head but this is my first BMW so I'm not familiar with many of the systems and whatnot, but my best description would be a transmission slip. Now, I had driven the car two times previous to buying and of course didn't have this problem. When I first noticed it, I had been driving maybe 15-20 miles. Leaving work I have a long hard uphill pull right out of the parking lot and I felt pretty sure it would do it leaving there last night, however it shifted perfectly and accelerated smoothly all the way up. I'm wondering if the problem only occurs after the fluids warm up. Three different times it happened yesterday and the check engine light (yellow engine block light between tach and speedo) came on. All three times when the light came on, it started running extremely rough. Almost like it was right on the verge of running out of fuel and sputtering, but I had plenty. The first time, I pulled over immediately and popped it into park. Extremely rough idle, rough revs when giving it a little gas. I shut the engine off and let it rest for a minute and when I fired it back up, light went off, and it ran perfect until the next slip. Second time I wasn't able to pull over for a mile or so and the light went off and rough running went away just as I was pulling off the road. Third time I was under slightly harder acceleration, it did the usual jerks in the 2-3k range but past 3k the best way to describe it was like you were "feathering" the clutch in a manual transmission car. Horrible power, jumpy rpms. The light and rough idle came back, I pulled over, restarted, and it ran better since restarting (still jerks 2-3k) but the light has stayed on ever since. It did the jerks more that three times, but the light/rough idle only happened 3 times.

I called my local BMW dealer and asked about a tranny fluid flush and filter change. He told me it was supposed to be a lifetime fill (which I'm not too crazy about) but some people did it as a preventative maintenance and he's supposed to get me a number on that. The closest problem I've found to mine online the guy said the dealer updated his ECU to the latest and reset the fuel trims and it fixed his problems. I have a 30 day warranty through the dealership it came from but they're not a BMW dealer (and 2 hours away) so I'm not sure what's going to happen there. Going to give them a call today and see. Can anyone offer any suggestions? I realize I've been talking transmission a lot but like I said, this is my first bimmer and it may not be transmission related at all.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Sorry - I should've added that under light acceleration (even in the said RPM range) it acts normal. It's just when I put a load on it (uphill or getting up to speed) that the jerks happen.
 

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If you have a 30 day warranty, take it back! When this happened it should of put in a code they can read via a computer. Since it has happened multiple times there should be plenty of info for them to determine the cause. I wouldn't waste any time.
 

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You may have a problem with your injectors. You need to take it back ASAP and have it checked out. They are expensive to replace. If the cel came on something is not right.



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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks.. Just spoke to the dealer it came from and they advised to take it to the local dealer and get the codes read before making the trip back to them. I'll post updates until this is resolved in case others are having the same issues.
 

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Your transmission is probably fine...do a search for Injectors, HPFP (high pressure fuel pump). Likely one of the two (or both, HPFP is covered by warranty).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Update - I stopped by O'Reilly's the other day. They pulled a P0305 (misfire on cylinder 5). Took to local dealership yesterday. They were able to recreate the problem on a test drive. The paperwork said they tried swapping the coil with cylinder 1 and the code did NOT follow the coil. (Not 100% sure if they tried swapping the injector and/or plugs also but I'm wondering now..) They found a bulletin from BMW describing an almost identical problem and want to take the intake apart and do a carbon cleanup. Waiting on the go ahead from the Lexington dealership (that the warranty is through) to have the local dealer do it and hopefully not take it back down there. I'll continue to update until it's resolved.
 

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It could very well be the famous carbon buildup on the intake valves with the N54 engine. And your mileage is about right for when it commonly rears it's ugly head.

The only way to know for sure is to remove the intake manifold and inspect. There are several threads in the 3 series forum with the same engine. Proper removal of the carbon is best done by walnut blasting the valves and runners. Choose wisely on who you get to perform this service on your car.

Good Luck and keep us posted here.
 

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Update - I stopped by O'Reilly's the other day. They pulled a P0305 (misfire on cylinder 5). Took to local dealership yesterday. They were able to recreate the problem on a test drive. The paperwork said they tried swapping the coil with cylinder 1 and the code did NOT follow the coil. (Not 100% sure if they tried swapping the injector and/or plugs also but I'm wondering now..) They found a bulletin from BMW describing an almost identical problem and want to take the intake apart and do a carbon cleanup. Waiting on the go ahead from the Lexington dealership (that the warranty is through) to have the local dealer do it and hopefully not take it back down there. I'll continue to update until it's resolved.
I was about to say... on E60's if the computer detects a misfire it will shut down that cylinder to prevent unburnt fuel from being dumped into the catalytic converter and frying them.. so that's why it was running so rough in your original post.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
RESOLVED!
Lexington dealer gave the go ahead to do the carbon clean up at the local dealer. Made an appointment on the 20th to have it done. They called on the 21st and said it was ready. Got on the interstate leaving the dealership, same thing as before. Turned around and took it right back to them and told them that didn't change a thing, try again. They called yesterday and said thsy had narrowed it down to a bad coil (even though supposedly they swapped it out before ever starting this process) and that they had ordered it for today. They brought it to me today and she runs like brand new! Amazingly the local dealer covered the cost of the coil replacement since they misdiagnosed in the first place. All in all I got a carbon cleanup and new coil without costing a dime! Hope this helps someone else solve their problem (and I hope you can manage to get it for the same price I did too!). Cheers!
 

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Hey Dillon I am getting ready to purchase my first bimmer which also is a 2008 and it also comes from a dealer with a 30 day warranty. Reading your post I'm becoming a little hesitant because I can't afford the ext. warranty at this time. Would you still say it was a good buy???


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Hey Dillon I am getting ready to purchase my first bimmer which also is a 2008 and it also comes from a dealer with a 30 day warranty. Reading your post I'm becoming a little hesitant because I can't afford the ext. warranty at this time. Would you still say it was a good buy???
Absolutely, my situation worked out well because it was having the problem right away so I was still able to get it fixed within the 30 days. I guess it would depend on where it comes from but the dealership mine came from was fantastic in getting the problem solved and as I mentioned before they even let me take it to the local dealer instead of driving the 2+ hours back to them. I assume if you're buying from a reputable dealer they would stand behind their warranty and take care of it if something was wrong. I highly, highly recommend extensive test driving in varying conditions before signing any papers. I drove mine multiple times before buying but not more than a couple miles at a time. If possible I would take it on a 10-15 mile cruise at least, freeways, back roads, as many different driving conditions as you can try out because mine never acted up until it got warmed up. Of course if there's an obvious problem before you finalize anything I would maybe try to find another one. Congrats on your first! This is my first one and I haven't had it very long but I'm already hooked! Good luck!
 

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Great Info

Wow, That sounds a lot like the issues I'm beginning to have. No caution lights however...yet! Very helpful, thank you all! Now I have something to mention when I bring it in. Thanks, pt
 

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Got same problem, but no check engine lights and ive done walnut blasting and replaced spark plugs, i guess coils next, how would i narrow it down to which coil needs replacement or do i replace them all?? I hope i dont need new injectors or fuel pumps.

But i wonder why im not having check engine light ??

Thanks in advance
 

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Replace them all. I just did mine and best price from a reliable vendor was through ECS tuning. I think they were $38/each with free shipping.
 

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I had a cyl 3 misfire, which was putting the car into limp mode. My issue ended up being an oil leak which got into cyl 3 so I changed plugs and coils. That didn't fix my issue, actually created more error codes, which ended being faulty VANOS units. Both were replaced and car is back to normal.

What error codes do you have?

Here is the link to ECS Tuning. I got the Bosch ones for $38.95 with free shipping. My car is an E60 with N54 - 535xi, per the link. If that is not your car then just enter your car and search out the ignition coils.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E60-535xi-N54_3.0L/ES2550226/

Skrelnik ... U got a link for them coils?

Did u have same problem??

And did coils fix it as well?
 

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I had a cyl 3 misfire, which was putting the car into limp mode. My issue ended up being an oil leak which got into cyl 3 so I changed plugs and coils. That didn't fix my issue, actually created more error codes, which ended being faulty VANOS units. Both were replaced and car is back to normal.

What error codes do you have?

Here is the link to ECS Tuning. I got the Bosch ones for $38.95 with free shipping. My car is an E60 with N54 - 535xi, per the link. If that is not your car then just enter your car and search out the ignition coils.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E60-535xi-N54_3.0L/ES2550226/
Sounds like it might be time for a valve cover gasket replacement time if you've got oil in cyl 3. :(
 

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Please tell me why you mentioned the valve cover gasket? The reason I ask is that my Indy said I needed to replace that so he did replace it for like $50 since the engine was already opened.

Seems like a great deal for a valve cover gasket right? Well, last August I brought the car to a BMW dealership for an oil change. They said I needed to have the oil filter housing and valve cover gasket replaced. So the BMW dealership did this job 8 months ago.

Do you think they could have messed it up? I ask because when I received the car back after BMW did the job the car was making a ticking noise. I brought the car back to BMW and they said it was normal, but I said it didn't make this noise when I brought the car in. They had no response.

My wife picked up the car last night from the Indy and I haven't heard the engine yet so I am listening tonight for that ticking noise...I guess if it is gone then I know my answer.

Sounds like it might be time for a valve cover gasket replacement time if you've got oil in cyl 3. :(
 
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