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Help My Engine is not running the same!!!

1959 Views 9 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  ahull
So I purchased this 323i about 2k miles ago about 2 months ago. So I did put 2 thousand miles on it already. I've changed the oil 2 times in a month just to make sure its running clean oil. things were going great the engine ran smooth and the car was running slick on the road until about 2 days ago. I was on the road and i noticed that my car wasn't giving the quick response it usually does. I would normally push down the pedal halfway and it would pick up instantly. As of now my car feels a little sluggish and just doesn't seem to be performing the same. I looked under the hood and started inspecting. I noticed that this hose was busted at the end of what its connected to. I'm waiting to get off work right now and get to auto zone and try to get this thing replaced. Here is what it looks like. And there is this button that's randomly placed under my hood. I pressed it a couple of times trying to figure what its for. I'm not sure but i think these things might be a my problem. I'm really hoping someone with more expertise can help me out. I did lift my car up today and leak coming from my power steering pump. But I didn't get a chance to ride the car to see if that was the problem with it. The other day maybe about 4 days ago I was replacing the old drain plug which was broken, when i noticed the other half of the plug was still in the oil pan screwed in. I only noticed this because when i was trying to screw the new one in I had trouble getting it in and then noticed that some metal shards where screwing out of the end of the new bolt. I immediately took it out and inspected the problem then noticed the other half of the old drain plug still stuck inside. I got it out by fitting a screw driver in the hollow middle of the drain plug and just screwed it out and put the new one in. COULD THAT BE THE PROBLEM OF MY ENGINE RUNNING SLUGGISH? When I took the old end of the plug out there were no metal shards in site. I'm very concerned and only because I cant find the main source of my problem. I do have an engine lite on and the code say something about a secondary air system< I looked at the wiki and I still cant figure out the the heck that is.! Please help me somebody.

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The hole in that hose may be throwing the secondary air code. Would be good to fully troubleshoot that system. See the e46 wiki link above.

The button isn't random. Look in your owners manual for the page that IDs stuff under the hood and it'll prolly explain.

The broken bolt/drain plug has nothing to do with any performance problem. Unless you ran the car without oil. Sounds like you just broke the bolt. They're made to break when over tightened to save from ruining the pan $$$.

Secondary air problems can cause running probs but could be something dlse. Any other codes? Last time fuel filter changed? Last time MAF cleaned?
So I purchased this 323i about 2k miles ago about 2 months ago. So I did put 2 thousand miles on it already. I've changed the oil 2 times in a month just to make sure its running clean oil. things were going great the engine ran smooth and the car was running slick on the road until about 2 days ago. I was on the road and i noticed that my car wasn't giving the quick response it usually does. I would normally push down the pedal halfway and it would pick up instantly. As of now my car feels a little sluggish and just doesn't seem to be performing the same. I looked under the hood and started inspecting. I noticed that this hose was busted at the end of what its connected to. I'm waiting to get off work right now and get to auto zone and try to get this thing replaced. Here is what it looks like. And there is this button that's randomly placed under my hood. I pressed it a couple of times trying to figure what its for. I'm not sure but i think these things might be a my problem. I'm really hoping someone with more expertise can help me out. I did lift my car up today and leak coming from my power steering pump. But I didn't get a chance to ride the car to see if that was the problem with it. The other day maybe about 4 days ago I was replacing the old drain plug which was broken, when i noticed the other half of the plug was still in the oil pan screwed in. I only noticed this because when i was trying to screw the new one in I had trouble getting it in and then noticed that some metal shards where screwing out of the end of the new bolt. I immediately took it out and inspected the problem then noticed the other half of the old drain plug still stuck inside. I got it out by fitting a screw driver in the hollow middle of the drain plug and just screwed it out and put the new one in. COULD THAT BE THE PROBLEM OF MY ENGINE RUNNING SLUGGISH? When I took the old end of the plug out there were no metal shards in site. I'm very concerned and only because I cant find the main source of my problem. I do have an engine lite on and the code say something about a secondary air system< I looked at the wiki and I still cant figure out the the heck that is.! Please help me somebody.
The first two pictures you posted show the SAP pump and the metal check valve. The hose pulls vacuum from your intake manifold and activates that check valve to inject emissions into your exhaust stream.

That hose is most definitely tripping your SES light. I recommend you replace the entire length of hose and make sure it is properly tied off to prevent it from touching the cats. This is a common problem on E46s and the hose is known to dry up and slowly crack away. Any high temp hose with the same ID (inner diameter) will work. I repaired a friend's SAP system with a $20 hose off amazon. BMW wanted $60 for a 8" length of hose....

The SAP system runs on a cold start and is for emissions. It will not affect engine performance.

The third picture you posted is for your OEM alarm. It's the hood switch. It basically tells the alarm module if the hood is closed or not.

Check simple stuff first....clogged air intake hose. Dirty/clogged filter. Dirty MAF. (Use MAF cleaner and follow the instructions on the can). Vacuum leaks can cause hesitation and reduced power. A broken DISA valve in the intake manifold can cause lose of torque and hesitation.
Would seafoam be a good idea?
The hose with the issue is from the SAP pump to the valve, not the vacuum hose that activates the valve. If the valve gets stuck open it can affect performance - it's not supposed to be open when the pump's not on.

Still, not a bad idea to refresh the vacuum hose if it's high miles.
The first two pictures you posted show the SAP pump and the metal check valve. The hose pulls vacuum from your intake manifold and activates that check valve to inject emissions into your exhaust stream.

That hose is most definitely tripping your SES light. I recommend you replace the entire length of hose and make sure it is properly tied off to prevent it from touching the cats. This is a common problem on E46s and the hose is known to dry up and slowly crack away. Any high temp hose with the same ID (inner diameter) will work. I repaired a friend's SAP system with a $20 hose off amazon. BMW wanted $60 for a 8" length of hose....

The SAP system runs on a cold start and is for emissions. It will not affect engine performance.

The third picture you posted is for your OEM alarm. It's the hood switch. It basically tells the alarm module if the hood is closed or not.

Check simple stuff first....clogged air intake hose. Dirty/clogged filter. Dirty MAF. (Use MAF cleaner and follow the instructions on the can). Vacuum leaks can cause hesitation and reduced power. A broken DISA valve in the intake manifold can cause lose of torque and hesitation.
Not sure you'd get much from that. Do the real troubleshooting first.
Would seafoam be a good idea?
I replaced the hose and its running kind of the same way it use to. Now i heard that if I took out the DISA valve it will actually make your car run better....? IDK but thats what a service adviser from BMW told me. I watched a DIY video on how to replace those valves and it showed how the flap inside the valve could be broken and could actually cause a flapping noise or something. Now since I replaced the sap hose IM pretty sure I could clean it up. Would it be a good idea to run some sea foam in it? I seen a video on it but i also heard that there are some cons from sea foam. The end of the valve where it meets the hose looked a little dirty so I figured I might need to clean it. The guy also told me something about a boot hose or boot intake thingy...? idk but if somebody could direct me the right way I can fix this thing myself since I'm a pretty handy guy. Thanks for all your support
It appears that you are way down on the E46 learning curve, so most of this will seem strange to you. Step Number One in any diagnosis is to have the codes scanned, write down the results, and post them here....those are real-world FACTS that we can work off of. Most of what you`re (allegedly) being told is a load of horsesh!t. Stop obsessing over SeaFoam....that crap never cured anything.
"One step at a time" is the way to proceed, rather than your "shotgun approach"....:tsk:
I replaced the hose and its running kind of the same way it use to. Now i heard that if I took out the DISA valve it will actually make your car run better....? IDK but thats what a service adviser from BMW told me. I watched a DIY video on how to replace those valves and it showed how the flap inside the valve could be broken and could actually cause a flapping noise or something. Now since I replaced the sap hose IM pretty sure I could clean it up. Would it be a good idea to run some sea foam in it? I seen a video on it but i also heard that there are some cons from sea foam. The end of the valve where it meets the hose looked a little dirty so I figured I might need to clean it. The guy also told me something about a boot hose or boot intake thingy...? idk but if somebody could direct me the right way I can fix this thing myself since I'm a pretty handy guy. Thanks for all your support
Thanks Fast Bob. I'm not sure how I don't see how I'm obsessing over seafoam but just for future references I'll be sure never to mention that stuff again. The code that came up when I took it to Auto Zone was p1421 which is the secondary air system. I took a look under the hood and saw that the hose from the Secondary air pump was busted. I went to BMW and replaced it. My car went back to normal and the SES light came off. Its been gone for 3 days now. I'm taking it one step at a time. It's just that since I've got this car, every body I know just keeps throwing different things at me saying " oh you should do this, you should do that" or what ever the case might be. I come on here and check it out and see how I should proceed. I'm not necessarily taking the " shot gun " approach. Now if you have any other advise please feel free to share with me. I really don't feel like paying BMW $150 an hour just for them to tell me how to get rid of the flapping noise I hear on the side of my engine or where its coming from.
Intake boot is the big rubber tube running from the airbox on the drivers side to the intake manifold (big black hunk of plastic running the lenght of the engine on the driver's side). As the boots age, they crack and let in unmetered air and cause problems. You need to remove them to fully inspect. Also check the smaller hose that branches off that for your idle control valve.

Your disa plugs into the side of the intake manifold by the intake boots and certainly can make a flapping noise when it breaks. Can be rebuilt or replaced - read about all this in the e46 wiki link near the top of the page.

I ran some seafoam in my SAP passages as a preventive measure after reading that some people had seen their passages clog with carbon/soot and running some seafoam in them cleared them. No idea if it needed it or not, just thought it couldn't hurt. No way to really verify if it did anything other than make a sh!t ton of smoke.

Running seafoam in the engine as advertised is something I'd avoid unless my engine was really high mileage and known to have had a sketchy maintenance history. I hope I'm never in that situation. For really bad cases it may help, but otherwise it's probably a waste of time.
I replaced the hose and its running kind of the same way it use to. Now i heard that if I took out the DISA valve it will actually make your car run better....? IDK but thats what a service adviser from BMW told me. I watched a DIY video on how to replace those valves and it showed how the flap inside the valve could be broken and could actually cause a flapping noise or something. Now since I replaced the sap hose IM pretty sure I could clean it up. Would it be a good idea to run some sea foam in it? I seen a video on it but i also heard that there are some cons from sea foam. The end of the valve where it meets the hose looked a little dirty so I figured I might need to clean it. The guy also told me something about a boot hose or boot intake thingy...? idk but if somebody could direct me the right way I can fix this thing myself since I'm a pretty handy guy. Thanks for all your support
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