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Hi Everyone,

Sincerely hope some one can help me out with this, please excuse how verbose i can be, i am only trying to be specific and informative.
Car is a BMW 318ti Compact e46 with an N42B20 motor

The car was every so often giving me severe hesitation when hot, pulling off from a stand still, like NO power at all for a few second until revs climbed above 2k rpm/ very erratic and i could not duplicate the issue as it was entirely at random but definately when the engine was hot, never when cold. Every time i have taken it to BMW, the car suddenly was in tip top shape and they could not repeat it nor find any faults relating to this.... Fast forward 2 months, now i get a repeated 2a88 Camshaft Control error code and car is in limp mode, see below and let me know if anyone can assist me please??

Car has a n42b20 engine. car had erratic dangerous hesitation no matter how hard i pressed accelerator when engine was hot/operating temperature. Car is now in limp mode and has NO power at all.

car is throwing repeated codes as per below most concerning one is the 2a88...

2f99 - ambient temperature, ignored as this is a common repetitive error that doesnt always come up
2f9e - thermo oil sensor - ignored as it is erratic and wouldnt cause hesitation/doesnt always appear
2a88 - Camshaft Control (Exhaust Vanos)
2b63 - exhaust cam sensor - replaced sensor, code hasnt reappeared since.

Work Done thus far,
1. Did coil test - OK
2. Replaced Exhaust cam Sensor as well as Inlet - 2b63 code no longer reappears, but is replaced with 2a88 now.
3. Cleaned MAF - did MAF test - OK
4. New Spark plugs - OK
5. Full service - OK
6. Replaced fuel pump with OEM - OK
7. Replaced fuel filter - OK
8. CCV - Mechy told me this is okay and suction seems normal/ no milky residue in oil/oil cap
9. Replaced entire exhaust (slight rattle from CAT converter though, think loose bracket)
10. Changed OIL 3x to different brands / fully synthetic
11. Injector Cleaner (Wynns in fuel tank, didnt fill tank to maintain higher concentration)
12. Replaced air filter twice.

Then, Mechy suspected the Vanos Solenoids, or Exhaust Vanos
13. Removed, Cleaned, swapped them around - still the same,
14. Replaced Solenoids from a working normal car, still the same limp mode engine code 2a88.
15. Replaced Exhaust Vanos with second hand one, re-did timing, as the timing was found to be out, then found the plastic timing guide/thingy to be broken. So we replaced, and did timing again - no change, still getting 2a88 fault + limp mode when driving
16. Replaced chain guide tensioner - engine rattles less, but still the same 2a88 code + limp mode.
17. Cleaned throttle body - No change.

Then, Mechy said it was the exhaust that was clogged?
Took the exhaust off, think he cleaned it some how, now the exhaust is rattling not entirely sure what he did but i suspect he didnt put it all back together the right way or some loose bracket of some sort

Now the mechanic is saying he thinks it is the VVT/valvetronic that needs to be replaced. I am at my wits end with this and literally dont have any more money to carry on replacing random things one by one having already spent thousands based on speculation about engine code 2a88

when the code 2a88 comes up the and the car goes in limp mode, usually i would clear it, then drive for about 10-30 miles before it reappears, there is no sudden hesitation at pull off when this code appears, but is very very low on power, given the car is an auto, it always shifts down much more prematurely than when not in limp mode. i.e, premature gear changes from 1st to 2nd to 3rd etc. Usually i could clear the codes, the car would drive a few kms and then the revs would sporadically dip and go back and code reappears, car goes into limp mode with 2a88 code yet again and erratic choppy idle. Mechy has since resolved Idle issue/ not sure how, but the code 2a88 is still present.

Suspect exhaust Vanos was replaced with a faulty second hand one - but mechy said it comes from a working car - chances make this slim? Please, anyone have any ideas of what i can do???

Please anyone, please help??? To moderators, very sorry if i havent posted correctly - please advise?

Thanks,
Andrew.
 
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