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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello,

My 2011 328xi is starting to have some shuddering issues, and I think it might be cold.

I have 76k on the clock. I bought it this summer, and haven't noticed any type of shudder issues over the last 3.5k miles.... until recently when the weather has turned significantly colder.

Today I noticed significant shudder during acceleration after the car sat outside all day. I've noticed it on another day and both times the car still COLD. Once it "warms up", I don't seem to notice it at all.

Now, here's something else odd that I have noticed since I owned it. The oil temp gauge is very sporadic. The car can be sitting still, and if you watch the gauge you'll see it move around between two of the tic marks. Almost like it's measuring the water level in something you're moving. It's very strange. Today on a very cold day (24f), after driving for 30+ min at highway and stop/go traffic, the temp only rose to approximately 205-210f. Even during the hottest days in the summer I don't see go over 230f.

Not sure if the oil temp has anything to do with the transmission shudder, but thought I would mention it.

No codes using a generic reader (Torque)..... and it also has all of the original spark plugs. I try to "push it" to force a CEL and I can't seem to force it.

My next steps are to 1) Change the trans oil/filter and possibly the plugs.

Other thoughts?

[RESOLVED]: Short version: Changed out Spark Plugs
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hmmm... Even if the shudder goes away once warmed up? I've run 2 tanks of Techron (the real stuff) in the last 3,500 miles. I'm willing to try again though! I have a nice long drive tomorrow I can burn it through.
 

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The shudder is injectors. Go to advance auto, get 2 containers of Techron fuel system cleaner & run 1 in each of the next 2 tanks of gas. Will clean it right up
Injectors are not common issues on N51/2 motors. They are common on your N54 motor though.

Does the shutter happen in park/neutral? Or only in drive?

When was the last time you change your car battery? If it's been more than 4 years, how is the first start in the morning? Slow?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Updated info. This morning I had a 2.5 hour drive mostly at highway speed. The shudder definitely occurs under acceleration load. At first I was thinking transmission because of how it "feels", but what I noticed today was that at say 60Mph if I start a moderate acceleration to 80Mph I noticed significant shudder, but my automatic transmission never down shifted from 6th to 5th during this time it stayed in 6th gear. So because there was no shifting during that "test", does that rule out the transmission from the equation and push troubleshooting more towards spark plugs and/or ignition coils possibly? I'll also mention that it couldn't reproduce the problem every time... I would say 85% of the time I could...
 

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It does sound like a misfire but if it was consistent, the SES light should trip.

You might have a vacuum leak.

Check air filter, MAF, intake boots, and all other vacuum lines etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Injectors are not common issues on N51/2 motors. They are common on your N54 motor though.

Does the shutter happen in park/neutral? Or only in drive?

When was the last time you change your car battery? If it's been more than 4 years, how is the first start in the morning? Slow?
No shuddering in park/neutral or while just driving around town or my neighborhood. Only during a "moderate" acceleration will it shudder.

I believe the battery is original and it seems to start just fine but I certainly wouldn't rule it out. It is just over 3 years. Build date of 3/2011.
 

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The start of a failing ecentric shaft sensor.
 

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The start of a failing ecentric shaft sensor.
This was in the back of mind but normally, a bad ESS will give starting issues too.
 

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Mine acted like the op's on my x5 with the N52 until it really got bad. Then it was a pain to get it started and never had a CEL.
 

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My 2011 328xi is starting to have some shuddering issues, and I think it might be cold.
Well Brew, your 328i is famous for Mass Air Flow sensor issues. Hey, what with the density of Philly gas hittin' low for this time o'year, time to clean it! Google can help you there.

Yep, it's whispered in the grand mainsons of Tennessee: When you think it's colder, the globe is actually warmer!

What are your thoughts?

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Does he have an oil temp guge on that 328i? BTW...they sal MAF cleaner at the parts store. Remove it and spray it, see if it helps.
I cleaned my MAF back in August... and put in a new engine air filter... This car came from the salty coast of Delaware. You can see lots of wear on various rubber gaskets and plastic exterior parts. I'm going to look around for a vacuum leak somewhere in the engine compartment. I'll also check to see if the ESS has any oil seeping into the connector.

Thank you so much to everyone for the suggestions! I have a list of issues to check. Still most curious to me is the fact that none of the 'idiot lights' have tripped. The car really has a hard time on the highway passing other cars, it's most dangerous as it doesn't have that immediate "giddy up" to pass. :dunno:

I'll poke around under the hood tonight and come back with any findings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Update: Tonight I took at look at the following:

- Used the full version of BMWhat to scan for codes - NONE found
- MAF / Airbox / Obvious hoses... All look brand new.
- Checked the ESS for oil seeping into the connector - Looks dry and clean.
- Checked Valve Cover Gasket seal - all looks bone dry.

So then I took out the spark plugs. Original. Any ideas what the white powder is on the inside of the coils and "caked" around the coil side of the plugs. And how about the tips? Pretty nice? I'm crossing my fingers I found the problem.... How this didn't throw any codes is beyond me.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about the white powdery stuff. Just clean it up and reinstall.

The electrode and ground look fine. I swapped my plugs at 80k and they were ok too....worn, but ok.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I wouldn't worry too much about the white powdery stuff. Just clean it up and reinstall.

The electrode and ground look fine. I swapped my plugs at 80k and they were ok too....worn, but ok.
New plugs going in later this morning and we'll see what happens.. Dealer isn't buying that the plugs are my issue.. Parts guy is thinking my issue is more vacuum leak... We'll find out in about 3 hours. :)
 

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Check the gap before installing.

Mine were all over the place.
 

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Mine were NGK but claimed to be pre-gaped.

You can get a gap tool for $2 at most auto parts stores. It's best to double check so you know the spec is correct and don't have to worry if that is the issue after install.
 
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